top of page

Yoga Sutra

Samadhi Pada

Sutra 1.51

तस्यापि निरोधे सर्वनिरोधान्निर्बीजः समाधिः॥५१॥ 
 tasyāpi nirodhe sarva-nirodhān-nirbījaḥ samādhiḥ ॥51॥
tasyā =  in that, of that
sarva= all
api= too
nirodhāt= controls
nirodhe= controlling
nirbījaḥ  = Seedless
samādhiḥ= Samadhi

When these latent impressions too are suppressed, it becomes Nir-Bija Samadhi, the seedless one.

In Nirvichara, some latent impressions are left. When that too are suppressed, it is a state of Samadhi where all impressions are suppressed. Having controlled all impressions, it becomes Nir-Bija Samadhi.

Commentary by Maharishi Vyasha

On suppression of this also, since all is  controlled, the seedless Samadhi happens.

This seedless state is not only against the meditative consciousness but also against the latent impressions of that meditative consciousness. This is because the subliminal impressions produced by the restriction inhibits the latent impressions produced in Samadhi. The existence of the latent impressions created by the mind in restriction is inferred from the experience of the lapse of time during the stability of restriction. With the latent impressions that arise from emergent and restricted samadhi and which are conducive of isolation, the mind ceases and dissolves into its own original permanent state. When it ceases, the Self takes repose in himself which is the state of pure and liberation.

Commentary by Swami Vivekananda

By the restraint of even this (impression, which obstructs all other impressions), all being restrained, comes the “seedless” Samadhi.

You remember that our goal is to perceive the Soul itself. We cannot perceive the Soul because it has got mingled up with nature, with the mind, with the body. The most ignorant man thinks his body is the Soul. The more learned man thinks his mind is the Soul, but both of these are mistaken. What makes the Soul get mingled up with all this, these different waves in the Chitta rise and cover the Soul, and we only are a little reflection of the Soul through these waves, so, if the wave be one of anger, we see the Soul as angry: “I am angry,” we say. If the wave is a wave of love we see ourselves reflected in that wave and say we are loving. If that wave is one of weakness, and the Soul is reflected in it, we think we are weak. These various ideas come from these impressions, these Samskaras covering the Soul. The real nature of the Soul is not perceived until all the waves have subsided; so, first, Patanjali teaches us the meaning of these waves; secondly, the best way to repress them; and thirdly, how to make one wave so strong as to suppress all other waves, fire eating fire as it were. When only one remains, it will be easy to suppress that also, and when that is gone, this Samadhi of concentration is called seedless; it leaves nothing, and the Soul is manifested just as It is, in Its own glory. Then alone we know that the Soul is not a compound, It is the only eternal simple in the universe, and, as such, It cannot be born, It cannot die, It is immortal, indestructible, the Ever-living Essence of intelligence.

Commentary by Sri Osho


This is where all the paths culminate, all the Buddhas meet, Tantra and Yoga, Zen and Hassid, Sufi and Baul – all the paths. Paths may be different – they are – but now this comes, the peak; here paths disappear.




because Patanjali says that it is still a controlled state. Thoughts have disappeared: you can perceive now the existence, but still the perceiver and the perception, the object, and the subject... With the body, the knowledge was indirect. Now it is direct, but still, the knower is different from the known. The last barrier exists, the division. When even this is dropped, when this control is transcended, and the painter disappears in the painting and the lover disappears in the love, object and subject disappear. There is no knower and no known.




This is the last control, the nirvichara samadhi, samadhi where thoughts have ceased. This is the last control. Still you are, not as an ego, but as a self. Still, you are separate from the known – just a very transparent veil, but it is there – and if you cling to this you will be born, because the division has not been transcended; you have not attained to non-duality yet. The seed of duality is still there, and that seed will sprout into new lives and the wheel of life and death will go on moving.




Then the wheel stops for you. Then there is no time, no space. Life and death have both disappeared like a dream. How to transcend this last control? – it is the most difficult. To attain to nirvichara is very arduous, but nothing compared to the dropping of the last control because it is very subtle. How to do it? ”How” is not relevant at that stage. One has simply to live watch, enjoy, be loose and natural. This is where Tilopa becomes meaningful.


Because these people like Tilopa are Zen Masters they talk about the goal: loose and natural one lives, doing nothing, doing nothing to transcend the control. Because if you do something, that will again be a control. Your doing will be undoing. Loose and natural – that is the point where the tenth picture of the ten ox-herding series becomes meaningful: back again into the world, and not only back again into the world... carrying a bottle of wine. Enjoying, celebrating, being ordinary – that is the meaning. Nothing can be done now. All that could be done you have done. Now you simply become loose and natural and forget everything about yoga, control, sadhana, seeking, search. Forget everything about it, because now, if you do something, then the control will continue, and with control, there is no freedom. You have to wait, and just being loose and natural.


Somebody asked Lin Chi, ”What you are doing nowadays?” He said, ”Chopping wood, carrying water from the well – nothing else.” Chopping wood, carrying water from the well...


Lin Chi must have been at this stage when he answered this. He has come to the last control. Now there remains nothing to be done, so he chops wood. Winter is coming and wood will be needed, and people say it is going to be very cold this winter, so he chops wood, and of course, he feels thirsty, so he carries water, waters the garden, vegetables. Absolutely ordinary... no seeking, no search, going nowhere.


This is the state where Zenerin says, ”Sitting quietly, sitting silently, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows by itself.” Beyond this, words cannot explain. One has to reach to nirvichara and then wait for the seedless samadhi. It comes on its own, just like the grass grows by itself. Then the last control is transcended, and there is no one who transcends it. It is simply transcended. There is no one who transcends it, because if someone is there to transcend it, again the control is there. So you cannot do anything about it.


That’s why Patanjali simply ends: it is samadhi both.


Here ends the chapter on samadhis – nothing more to say. He doesn’t say anything how to do it. There is no how to it. This is the point where Krishnamurti gets very angry, when people ask, ”How?” There is no point, no method, no technique, because if any technique is possible here, then the control will remain. The control is transcended, but there is no one who transcends. Remaining loose and natural, chopping wood and carrying water, sitting silently, the spring comes, the grass grows by itself.


So you don’t bother about seedless samadhi. You simply think Of nirvichara samadhi, samadhi where thoughts cease. Up to there, the search continues. Beyond that is the land of no-search. When you have become nirvichara, then, then only you will understand now what to do. All that could be done you have done. The last barrier is there. That last barrier is created by your doing.


The last barrier is created; it is very transparent. It is as if you are sitting behind a glass wall, very beautiful and pure glass, and you can see everything as clearly as without the wall, but the wall is there, and if you try to cross it you will be hit hard and thrown back.


So nirvichara samadhi is not the last thing, it is the last but one. And that ”last but one” is the goal. Beyond that, read Zenerin, Tilopa, Lin Chi; sit silently and let the grass grow by itself. Beyond that, you can live in the market, because the market is as beautiful as the monastery. Beyond that you can do whatsoever you feel like doing – you can do your own thing – but not before that. You can relax; the search is over. In that relaxation comes the moment of inner tuning with the cosmos, and the wall disappears. Because it is created by your doing; when you don’t do, it disappears. It is fed by your doing. When you don’t do, it disappears, and when the doing has disappeared and you have transcended all control, then there is no life and no death because life is of the doer, death is of the doer.


Now you are no more; you have dissolved. You have dissolved like a piece of salt thrown into the ocean dissolves, and you cannot find where it has gone. Can you find a piece of salt which has dissolved into the ocean? It has become one with the ocean. You can taste the ocean, but you cannot find the piece.

bottom of page