[Advaita-l] [advaitin] What is Samadhi?

Bhaskar YR bhaskar.yr at hitachienergy.com
Fri Feb 2 06:12:17 EST 2024

Hare Krishna

And further below observations from Sri Dennis prabhuji's article say that few initial stages of patanjali's ashtanga yOga not completely out of syllabus in traditional shankarAdvaita and it has been accepted 'as it is'..  For that matter Sri VidyA prabhuji ( Sri Vidyashankar Sundareshan prabhuji) too agreed that dhyAna and samAdhi as explained in Advaita vedAnta in general and shankara bhAshya in particular something different from orthodox patanjala yOga.  Paramatam apratishiddham anumataM bhavati...that does not mean shankara advocated NS in a mind inert state as a means for self-realization.  Having said this noway Advaita belittling the dualistic yOga school and its practices, it has its own flavor and significance for its followers.  All respects to them.


Advaita borrows a number of elements from Sankhya and Yoga philosophies. For example, the teaching about the guNa-s is essentially from Sankhya (although Sankhya treats them as actual physical parts of prakRRiti, whereas Advaita regards them as merely attributes). And the satkArya vAda theory (which is that the effect is pre-existent in the cause) is used in the initial stages of the teaching, although it is later rescinded. Furthermore, Shankara is happy to make use of the initial practices of yoga, referred to in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras as rAja or aShTA~Nga yoga. These include the moral injunctions (yama-s), such as not injuring others, being truthful and modest, not stealing and so on; the obligatory standards of behavior (niyama-s) such as purity of mind, austerity and studying the scriptures; the asana-s and prANayAma of haTha yoga etc. There is much similarity and overlap with Shankara's advocated sAdhana chatuShTaya sampatti (which stem from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, I believe) so they pose no problems.
But there is a danger in taking this too far, and considering nirvikalpa samAdhi as understood by Patanjali to be an aspect of advaita is definitely taking things too far. According to Advaita, nirvikalpa samAdhi is only a means for obtaining single pointedness of the mind (the samAdhAna of sAdhana chatuShTaya sampatti), not a means for knowing brahman.

Hari Hari Hari Bol!!!

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