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Kas: Hello, Daniel. I hope you are fine. Do you have experience of samadhi?
Daniel: Hello, Kas. I don’t see the point behind your question. Yes, I have experienced samadhi – but who cares?
As Vedantins we’re only concerned about liberation (moksa), and liberation is self-knowledge, not an experience or a state of high bliss.
Samadhi is the yogi’s idea of enlightenment, the experiential notion of enlightenment. But like all experiences, it’s as limited/fickle as any other and often results in more of a hindrance than anything else because it seduces the seeker into a game of experience-hunting. This game is anything but liberating! What comes, goes. Samadhi only serves if you understand it for what it is and apply it in your discriminative inquiry.
Moksa is freedom from experience. The understanding that “I am free of all states” – including the state of samadhi – is liberation. Not depending on any type of experience (object) for our inner satisfaction is what offers peace. Here’s a link that further expands on the notion of experiential enlightenment.
~ Easy, Daniel
Kas: Why are you telling me this kindergarten stuff?
Daniel: It’s only kindergarten stuff when one understands that moksa has nothing to do with nirvikalpa samadhi.
Kas: I know all about going beyond experience. I do it all the time – every minute of my waking hour.
Daniel: The “you” that you’re referring to is not beyond experience, but is only an experience appearing within the real you, awareness. Awareness is not subject to any states (i.e. sleep, waking, dream).
Kas: What I do not understand is why nirvikalpa samadhi happened to Ramana Maharshi spontaneously.
Daniel: Only Isvara knows. Is it important?
Kas: I do not want nirvikalpa samadhi to happen to me ever, because I don’t want to lose the use of my body for days on end.
Daniel: I apologise for my first response. I misunderstood your intention. I now see that your question is coming from a fear of nirvikalpa samadhi. There’s absolutely nothing to worry about, Kas!
Kas: And that is why I want to understand why nirvikalpa samadhi happened to Ramana Maharshi spontaneously.
Daniel: Ramana was a rare case.
Kas: If it happened to Ramana, it could happen to anyone; it could happen to me.
Daniel: It could, but it’s highly unlikely. Besides, it’s not a big deal if it does.
Kas: And that is “scary.”
Daniel: I think that you’ve stumbled across some of those crazy theatrical stories regarding samadhi and spiritual experiences! There’s absolutely nothing to fear.
Kas: I want liberation/enlightenment/Self-realisation, but without having to go through nirvikalpa samadhi, which is bad/dysfunctional for the body.
Daniel: Samadhi does not cause harm to your body or mind. The worst thing that could happen is that you want to experience it again when it ends!
Kas: It seems that for Ramana there was no choice in the matter. Nirvikalpa samadhi just happened to him and swept him away like a sudden tsunami.
Daniel: And what happened afterwards? Was Ramana damaged in any way? No, of course not. On the contrary, it was a golden gift from Isvara.
Kas: And that mystery puzzles me, scares me, haunts me.
Daniel: No need to be scared, Kas. There’s nothing to fear. You are worrying about something that will most likely never happen. And even if it does, it’s perfectly safe and a wonderful gift from Isvara! Either way, it’s fine.
Kas: I don’t want this to happen to me as I progress very, very fast through meditation every day.
Daniel: Relax. Continue doing your sadhana and take it easy. There’s nothing to fear, I promise. ☺
Kas: Thank you, Daniel. I am indeed grateful. This stupid fear had been with me for a very, very, very long time and just would not leave me.
I am relaxed now after your response.
A few months ago, I had very deep experience of this and now I just can’t engage in any entertainment or socializing – it is work and meditation all the time for me. It was very intense for me. My body became weak a couple of months ago – not as weak as that of Neal Rosner, but still very weak. The body/mind is regaining its balance, but still has not recovered fully.
And that worries me. I want to see me engaged with vigour in mundane, day-to-day activities. I want to see me working out well to take care of the body. I want to see me study well. That is not happening. I am teaching physics, maths and chemistry well though.
Meditation keeps getting deeper and deeper every day.
Let us see how soon I become efficient in material life too.
Daniel: Kas, the very fact that we are having satsang indicates that you are totally taken care of. It is because of good karma (punya) and by the grace of Isvara that you’re being carried along a path of self-inquiry. This is the highest blessing (prasad) one can receive. You are greatly blessed. ☺
I understand your concern. But there is absolutely nothing to fear. The process of inquiry may invoke certain unexplained phases and intense experiences, but know that like all experiences these pass. No experience lasts – no matter how spiritually intense.
Also, keep in mind that there is a lot of spiritual nonsense regarding experience. Even though some experiences may appear fierce, no harm can come to you. Trust in this.
Maybe draw back on the meditation and practices for a bit. Instead of meditating, use karma yoga as your main spiritual sadhana. There’s nothing more effective and devotional than karma yoga! This practice also fits perfectly with your everyday material and mundane activities.
Continue to joyfully engage in your daily work duties (teaching) and social duties. Doing physical exercise is another good tool to use to ground yourself. Take a run and smile at this amazing ride we call life!
You’re welcome to write to me anytime.
~ Much love, Daniel