Samadhi or Bliss, is the final limb in Patajlai’s Eight Limbed Path
According to Äshtanga yoga (Eight Limbed Yoga), the final destination of the seeker is Samadhi. One reaches this stage only after he has practiced all the earlier aspects of Äshtanga yoga. Although we practice the eight limbs simultaneously, we must have a certain level of mastery over the other limbs before we will likely reach this blissful state. Samadhi is the state of sublimation and a precursor for the stage of enlightenment. Some yoga scholars believe that very few seekers reach this stage, as it is the most difficult of all the stages, while others believe that it is accessible to those who seek it, even if in brief glimpses.
Samadhi is that state whereby the body physically and mentally reaches top-levels of the concentrated meditation and total bliss. In this state you forget everything and merge with the Supreme Being completely.
In Samadhi, the yogi merges with the object of his choice and completely blends so that the seeker and the object become seamlessly one. The soul becomes liberated and enjoys the pure unblemished identity. The soul becomes isolated and goes beyond all stages. It becomes free in that moment and is no more bounded by the boundaries of place and time.
Samadhi needs the ultimate power of the highest level of concentration. No seeker can just sit down one day and flaunt that he is going into Samadhi. You have to live the eight limbs to create the right kind of atmosphere and conditions to enter that state of concentrated meditation. Your mind should be free from all types of worldly attachments so that you can concentrate on the Supreme Power.
How do you achieve Samadhi? Living the eight limbs continually! Meditate regularly and settle your mind so that it is unable to receive any external stimuli and also does not respond to it. Of course, some days meditation comes easily to us, and other days it seems out of reach.
Samadhi in itself is a very progressive process. You have to go through these processes step by step to reach your ultimate goal.
• Samprajanta Samadhi is the first step meaning knowledge with the awareness. In this step, you are aware of the reflections, reasoning, and bliss as well as individuality.
• Savitarka Samadhi is the second step wherein you are aware of the knowledge or a word and its meaning.
• Nirvitarka Samadhi is the third step wherein your mind becomes more pure and the process of reasoning stops. The only expression that remains is the object of the meditation.
• Savichara Samadhi is the state wherein the object gets expressed as just reflection.
• Asamprajanata Samadhi is the fifth step wherein though there is cessation of all kinds of mental activity like reasoning and reflections but there are still few traces of impressions that exists
• Nirvichara Samadhi is the next step wherein even the reflection of the object vanishes.
All the above stated steps of Samadhi are known as Sabija, meaning “with seed”.
The ultimate state of Samadhi is the Nirbija Samadhi. In this state you forget completely about self and sublimes into the Supreme. There is complete absorption of the mind and a freeing of the soul.
Truly, we can only experience Samadhi and can never fully express it in words.