An Essay on
© 2008 by Academic Services International, Los Lunas, NM, USA
Raja Yoga - Continued
8. Samadhi - Cosmic Union ("together with the beginning"): Sam means equal, entire, same, and all. Adi means first, beginning, prior, primary, and preeminent.
Do not be confused by the "h" in -adhi. The letter "h" is inserted as a phonetic device almost everywhere in the Hindi/Telegu written languages. Just as often, the "h" is merely omitted. For example, we equally see Shiva and Siva, depending on the translator.
Thus, we use the term Adi to denote the first (highest) level of consciousness depicted in the Seven Planes Chart (>)
Samadhi is an "expanded" result, similar to dhyana, but greatly enlarged beyond simple union with the single object of concentration.
It is as though the yogi experienced union with a floor mat, but then the mat radiated outward to include all things.
This has been called cosmic consciousness and union with god, plus many other appropriate phrases.
Any tendency to put an accurate name to it, or to describe it in detail, is doomed to failure.
Several written depictions of both dhyana and samadhi further divide these states into subdivisions, each with its own particular descriptive qualities.
This is appropriate for, as we can see on the Seven Planes Chart (>), each of the seven major levels of consciousness is composed of seven subplanes.
There is one additional term that frequently is used in Raja Yoga -
Dharana is the act of concentrating the mind on one specific object. A continuous reception of knowledge about that object is called Dhyana. When Dhyana surrenders all sense of form and only the meaning is perceived, this is Samadhi. These three stages then merge together into Samyama.
Thus, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi eventually combine into a continuous process, and it is neither here nor there just when the "maximum expansion" occurs . It is this "maximum expansion" which we do not address here, for its understanding is based solely on experience.
The result of all this practice is that duality disappears. This event generally strikes the mind of the yogi like a lightning flash. Although many attempts have been made, it cannot be adequately described, even by the yoga masters.
All of the yogi's image-making ability and sense-feeling apparatus dissolve in bliss by an experience that unhinges the mind and reduces the Matrix (the external world) to inconsequential trivia.