[Advaita-l] nirvikalpa samAdhi again

Ramesh Krishnamurthy rkmurthy at gmail.com
Sat May 17 03:23:03 CDT 2008

Some excerpts on nirvikalpa samAdhi from the book "Exalting
Elucidations" of HH Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha of Sringeri
(D: Disciple, A: Acharyal)

D: What is the characteristic of nirvikalpa samadhi
A: The absence of awareness of the distinction of the seer, the seen
and the act of seeing is indeed its special characteristic. The Atman
is clearly perceived. Further, supreme bliss is experienced.

D: Will a single experience of nirvikalpa samAdhi be sufficient to
attain brahma-jnAna?
A: Normally, it is not sufficient. During nirvikalpa samAdhi the Atman
is experienced. After emergence from that state, the experience
gradually begins to fade. However, just after coming down from it,
everything is perceived as Atman. Nothing distinct from the Atman is
discerned. To cite an example, one feels, "I am a big ocean. It is in
me that the bubbles constituted by the world are produced." The
experience of nirvikalpa samAdhi must be had to be understood. Verbal
descriptions are woefully inadequate. If one gets the experience of
nirvikalpa samAdhi repeatedly, one's jnAna becomes stable. After the
realisation becomes stable, the mind is destroyed and one becomes a

D: Why should one descend from nirvikalpa samAdhi?
A: If prArabdha is not exhausted one is obliged to emerge even from
nirvikalpa samAdhi. We can find different illustrations for this in
the yoga vAsiShTha

D: Can one attain jnAna without experiencing nirvikalpa samAdhi
A: jnAna is nothing but the knowledge of one's True nature.
Technically, it can be obtained even through just vicAra (enquiry).
nirvikalpa samAdhi is a wonderful means but it is improper to say that
it is the only means.

D: Can one predetermine the duration of one's stay in nirvikalpa samAdhi?
A: Yes, if there is sufficient practice. If a suitable resolve is
made, before going into samAdhi, one can descend from the exalted
condition at the predetermined time. For example, if one thinks, "I
will do pUjA in an hour", and goes into samAdhi then one can come down
from samAdhi after being in that state for exactly one hour"

D: Is there a possibility for one to fall from spiritual life even
after attaining nirvikalpa samAdhi?
A: Yes, there is the possibility of a fall, until complete, firm
realisation of the Truth arises. I have come across persons who have
slipped after nirvikalpa samAdhi

// End excerpts

santoShaH paramo lAbhaH satsa~NgaH paramA gatiH I
vicAraH paramaM j~nAnaM shamo hi paramaM sukham II

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