SAMADHI – Bliss or Enlightenment.
This week is the last one of the 8 limbs of yoga series. Many of us know the word samadhi as meaning ‘bliss’ or ‘enlightenment’, and this is the final step of the journey of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. After we’ve re-organised our relationships with the outside world and our own inner world, we come to the finale of bliss.
When we look at the word samadhi though, we find out that ‘enlightenment’ or ‘realisation’ does not refer to floating away on a cloud in a state of happiness and ecstasy.
What does Samadhi Mean?
Breaking the word in half, we see that this final stage is made up of two words; ‘sama’ meaning ‘same’ or ‘equal’, and ‘dhi’ meaning ‘to see’. There’s a reason it’s called realisation – and it’s because reaching Samadhi is not about escapism, floating away or being abundantly joyful; it’s about realising the very life that lies in front of us.
Once the mind is pure and we truly do experience a state of Samadhi we can keep hold of, we attain moksha, also known as mukti, meaning a permanent state of being liberated, released and free.
There’s just one catch though – Samadhi isn’t a permanent state…. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras importantly tell us that unless we are completely ready, without ‘impressions’ such as attachment, aversion, desires and habits, and with a completely pure mind, we will not be able to maintain the state of Samadhi for long: