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Yoga Sutra

Samadhi Pada

Sutra 1.18
विराम प्रत्यया भ्यास पूर्वः संस्कार शेषो ऽन्यः
virāma-pratyaya-abhyāsa-pūrvaḥ saṁskāra-śeṣo-‘nyaḥ

The other Samaadhi is the stoppage caused by consistent practice and wherein only the unmanifested past impressions remain.

viraama = stopping, blocking
pratyaya = caused by
abhyaasa = consistent practice
poorvah= past
samskaara = impressions
sesa = remain, leftovers
anyah = other

Now the other type of Samaadhi, Asamprajnaata Samaadhi, is explained. Through the continuous practice of stopping the mind from making modifications, only the impressions of the past including those of previous births are left in the unmanifested seed form.


In the cause and effect cycle of karma, the causes are stored as seeds which will sprout when the right time comes. In this Samaadhi, the activities of mind are stopped but the past impressions are still in the seed form.

Commentary by Maharishi Vyasha

The other Samaadhi, preceded by the casue of the suspension of all mental activities, is that in which the residua alone remain behind.

When all the functions of mind have been suspended and the residua alone remain behind, we have the suppression of our internal organ which constitutes the Asampajnaata Samaadhi.


The means to achieve this is the highest form of dispassion. Hence an object-based practice does not fit here and an objectless cause of suspension is the basis which is devoid of any material object. As a result, the mind becomes non-existing. This seedless meditation is Asamprajnaata Samadhi.

Commentary by Swami Vivekananda

There is another Samadhi which is attained by the constant practice of cessation of all mental activity, in which the Chitta retains only the unmanifested impressions.

This is the perfect superconscious Asamprajnata Samadhi, the state which gives us freedom. The first state does not give us freedom, does not liberate the soul. A man may attain to all powers and yet fall again. There is no safeguard until the soul goes beyond nature, and beyond conscious concentration. It is very difficult to attain, although its method seems very easy. Its method is to hold the mind as the object, and whenever through comes, to strike it down, allowing no thought to come into the mind, thus making it an entire vacuum.


When we can really do this, at that moment we shall attain liberation. When persons without training and preparation try to make their minds vacant they are likely to succeed only in covering themselves with Tamas, the material of ignorance, which makes the mind dull and stupid, and leads them to think that they are making a vacuum of the mind. To be able to really do that is a manifestation of the greatest strength, of the highest control.


When this state, Asamprajnata, super-consciousness, is reached, the Samadhi becomes seedless. What is meant by that? In that sort of concentration when there is consciousness, where the mind has succeeded only in quelling the waves in the Chitta and holding them down, they are still there in the form of tendencies, and these tendencies (or seeds) will become waves again when the time comes. But when you have destroyed all these tendencies, almost destroyed the mind, then it has become seedless, there are no more seeds in the mind out of which to manufacture again and again this plant of life, this ceaseless round of birth and death. You may ask, what state would that be, in which we should have no knowledge? What we call knowledge is a lower state than the one beyond knowledge. You must always bear in mind that the extremes look very much the same. The low vibration of light is darkness, and the very high vibration of light is darkness also, but one is real darkness, and the other is really intense light, yet their appearance is the same. So, ignorance is the lowest state, knowledge is the middle state, and beyond knowledge is a still higher state. Knowledge itself is a manufactured something, a combination; it is not reality.


What will be the result of the constant practice of this higher concentration? All old tendencies of restlessness and dullness will be destroyed, as well as the tendencies of goodness too. It is just the same as with the metals that are used with gold to take off the dirt and alloy. When the ore is melted down, the dross is burnt along with the alloy. So this constant controlling power will stop the previous bad tendencies and, eventually, the good ones also. Those good and evil tendencies will suppress each other, and there will remain the Soul, in all its glorious splendour, untrammelled by either good or bad, and that Soul is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. By giving up all powers it has become omnipotent, by giving up all life it is beyond mortality; it has become life itself. Then the Soul will know It neither had birth nor death, neither want of heaven nor of the earth. It will know that It neither came nor went; it was nature which was moving, and that movement was reflected upon the Soul. The form of the light is moving, it is reflected and cast by the camera on the wall, and the wall foolishly thinks it is moving. So with all of us: it is the Chitta constantly moving, manipulating itself into various forms, and we think that we are these various forms. All these delusions will vanish.


When that free Soul will command—not pray or beg, but command—then whatever It desires will be immediately fulfilled; whatever It wants It will be able to do.


According to the Sankhya Philosophy, there is no God. It says that there cannot be any God of this universe, because if there were He must be a Soul, and a Soul must be one of two things, either bound or free. How can the soul that is bound by nature, or controlled by nature, create? It is itself a slave. On the other hand, what business has the soul that is free to create and manipulate all these things? It has no desires, so cannot have any need to create. Secondly, it says the theory of God is an unnecessary one; nature explains all. What is the use of any God? But Kapila teaches that there are many souls, who, through nearly attaining perfection, fall short because they cannot perfectly renounce all powers. Their minds for a time merge in nature, to re-emerge as its masters. We shall all become such gods, and, according to the Sankhyas, the God spoken of in the Vedas really means one of these free souls. Beyond them, there is not an eternally free and blessed Creator of the universe.


On the other hand, the Yogis say, “Not so, there is a God; there is one Soul separate from all other souls, and He is the eternal Master of all creation, the Ever Free, the Teacher of all teachers.” The Yogis admit that those the Sankhyas called “merged in nature” also exist. They are Yogis who have fallen short of perfection, and though, for a time debarred from attaining the goal, remain as rulers of parts of the universe.

Commentary by Sri Osho


Samprajnata samadhi is the first step. Right reasoning, right reflection, a state of bliss, a glimpse of bliss, and a feeling of am-ness – pure simple existence without any ego in it – this leads to asamprajnata samadhi. First is a purity; second is a disappearance because even the purest is impure because it is there. ”In is wrong; ”am” is also wrong – better than ”I”, but a higher possibility is there when ”am” also disappears – not only ahankar, but asmita also. You are impure; then you become pure. But if you start feeling that ”I am pure,” purity itself has become impurity. That too has to disappear.

Disappearance of the impurity is samprajnata. Disappearance of the purity also, is asamprajnata. There is a cessation of all mental activity. Thoughts disappear in the first state. In the second state, thinking also disappears. Thorns disappear in the first state. In the second state, flowers also disappear. When no disappears in the first state, yes remains. In the second state, yes also disappears because yes is also related to no. How can you retain yes without no? They are together; you cannot separate them. If no disappears, how can you say yes? Deep down yes is saying no to no. Negation of negation – but a subtle no exists. When you say yes, what you are doing? You are not saying no, but the no is inside. You are not bringing it out: it is unmanifested.

Your yes cannot mean anything if you have no ”no” within you. What it will mean? It will be meaningless. Yes has meaning only because of no; no has meaning only because of yes. They are a duality. In samprajnata samadhi, no is dropped: all that is wrong is dropped. in asamprajnata samadhi, yes is dropped. All that is right, all that is good, that too is dropped. In samprajnata samadhi you drop the devil; in asamprajnata samadhi you drop the God also, because how the God can exist without the devil? They are two aspects of the same coin.

All activity ceases. Yes is also an activity, and activity is a tension. Something is going on, even beautiful but still something is going on. And after a period even the beautiful becomes ugly. After a period you are bored with flowers also. After a period, activity, even very subtle and pure, gives you a tension: it becomes an anxiety.


But still, it is not the goal – because what will happen to all your impressions that you have gatheredin the past? Many, many lives you have lived, acted, reacted. You have done many things, undone many things. What will happen to it? Conscious mind has become pure; conscious mind has dropped even the activity of purity. But the unconscious is vast and there you carry all the seeds, the blueprints. They are within you.

The tree has disappeared; you have cut down the tree completely. But the seeds that have fallen, they are in the ground Lying. They will sprout when their season comes. You will have another life; you will be born again. Of course, your quality will be different now, but you will be born again because those seeds are still not burned.

You have cut down that which was manifested. It is easy to cut down anything that is in manifestation; it is easy to cut all the trees. You can go into the garden and pull up all the whole lawn, the grass completely; you can kill everything. But within two weeks the grass will be coming up again because what you did is only with the manifested. The seeds which are Lying in the soil you have not touched them yet. That has to be done in the third state.

Asamprajnata samadhi is still sabeej – with seeds. And there are methods how to burn those seeds, how to create fire-fire that Heraclitus talked about, how to create that fire and burn the unconscious seeds. When they also disappear, then the soil is absolutely pure; nothing can arise out of it. Then there is no birth, no death. Then the whole wheel stops for you; you have dropped out of the wheel. And dropping out of the society won’t help unless you drop out of the wheel. Then you become a perfect dropout.

A Buddha is a perfect dropout; a Mahavira, a Patanjali, is a perfect drop-out. They have not dropped out of the establishment or the society. They have dropped out of the very wheel of life and death. But that happens only when all the seeds are burned. 

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