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Yoga Sutra

Samadhi Pada

Sutra 1.19
भव प्रत्ययो विदेह प्रकृति लयानाम्
bhava-pratyayo videha-prakr̥ti-layānām

For demi-gods (or adepts with bodiless consciousness) and those merged with nature, asamprajnaata happens by birth.

bhava = become, manifest, the world
pratyaya = cause, caused by
videha = those with bodiless consciousness
prakrti= nature
layaanaam = merged with

One who has lost the awareness of the body is a Videha. His awareness of the self is not confined to the body alone. It is beyond his body. Another connotation for Videha is the demi-gods or celestial beings who do not have a physical body. 


One who has attained the consciousness of nature is Prakriti laya. His awareness of self is the whole universe. He feels that he and the universe is one and the same. For him, the merger with nature has already happened. 


One of the interpretations of this Sutra is that Videhas and Prakriti-layas take birth because of the latent impressions left with them. Actually, this Sutra did not tell the reason for their coming to earth, it just tells when they come to earth, asamprajnaata happens to them.


It is to be noted here that Maharishi Vyasa did not think in this line. According to him, Asamprajnaata Samaadhi is of types: one is caused by the existence and the other is caused by the means. The first type is experienced by Videhas and Prakriti-layas.


For videhas and Prakriti layas, asamprajnaata samaadhi happens by birth.

Commentary by Maharishi Vyasha

Asamprajnaata Samaadhi is of two types: Bhava-Pratyaya (caused by the existence) and Upaaya-Pratyaya (caused by the means). Bava-Pratyaya belongs to those who are bodiless and who are merged with nature.

The Videhas or bodiless ones who are the celestial beings belong to the category of Bhava-Pratyaya which is caused by the existence. They are experiencing isolation as it were, by means of their internal organ aided by their residua (unmanifested impressions) alone. They carry over the residual seeds which are related thereto.


Similarly, Prakriti-layas or those merged with nature experience isolation as it were, on the dissolution of nature of the internal organ in its full activity so long as the internal organ does not return to its work.

Commentary by Swami Vivekananda

(This Samadhi, when not followed by extreme non-attachment) becomes the cause of the re-manifestation of the gods and of those that become merged in nature.

The gods in the Indian systems represent certain high offices which are being filled successively by various souls. But none of them is perfect.

Commentary by Sri Osho


Even a Buddha is born. In his past life, he attained asamprajnata samadhi, but the seeds were there. He had to come once more. Even a Mahavira is born – once – the seeds bring him. But this is going to be the last life. After asamprajnata samadhi, only one life is possible. But then the quality of the life will be totally different because this man will not be identified with the body. And this man really has nothing to do because the activity of the mind has ceased. Then what he will do? For what this one life is needed? He has just to allow those seeds to be manifested, and he will remain a witness. This is the fire.

One man came and spat on Buddha; he was angry. Buddha wiped his face and asked, ”What else you have to say?” The man could not understand. He was really angry – red-hot. He could not even understand what Buddha is saying. And the whole thing was so absurd because Buddha didn’t react. The man was at loss what to do, what to say. He went away; the whole night he couldn’t sleep. How can you sleep when you insult somebody and there is no reaction? Then your insult comes back to yourself. You threw the arrow; it has not been received. It comes back: it comes back to the source finding no shelter. He insulted Buddha, but the insult couldn’t find a shelter there. So where it will go? It comes to the original master. 


The whole night he was feverish; he couldn’t believe what has happened. And then he started repenting, that he was wrong – that he had not done the good. The next morning, early, he went and he asked for forgiveness. Buddha said, ”Don’t be worried about it. I must have done something wrong to you in the past. Now the account is closed. And I am not going to react. Otherwise again and again... Finished! I have not reacted. Because it was a seed somewhere, it has to be finished. Now my account with you is closed.”

In this life when a videha – one who has understood that he is not the body, who has attained asamprajnata samadhi – comes in the world just to finish accounts... His whole life consists of finishing accounts; millions of lives, many relationships, many involvements, commitments – everything has to be closed.

It happened: Buddha came to a village. The whole village gathered; they were eager to listen him. It was a rare opportunity. Even capitals were inviting continuously Buddha, and he was not coming. And he has come to this small village out of the way – and without any invitation, because the villagers never could gather courage to go and ask him to come their village – just a small village, few huts, and he has come without any invitation. The whole village is afire with excitement, and he is sitting under the tree and not speaking.

And they said, ”For whom you are waiting now? Everybody is here; the whole village is here. You start.” Buddha said, ”But I have to wait because I have come for someone who is not here. A promise has to be fulfilled, an account closed. I am waiting for that one.” Then came a girl, and then Buddha started. Then after he talked, they asked, ”Were you waiting for this girl?”

Because the girl belonged to the untouchables – to the lowest caste, nobody could think of Buddha waiting for her. He said, ”Yes, I was waiting for her. When I was coming she has met me on the road and she said, ’Wait, because I am going for some work to the other town. But I will come soon.’ And in past lives somewhere I had given her a promise that when I become enlightened I will come and say whatsoever has happened to me. That account has to be closed. That promise is hanging on me, and if I can not fulfill it, I will have to come again.”

A videha or a prakriti-laya: both words are beautiful. Videha means bodiless. When you attain to asamprajnata samadhi the body is there, but you become bodiless. You are no more the body. The body becomes the abode, you are not identified. 

So these two terms are beautiful. videha means one who knows that he is not the body – knows, remember – not believes. And prakriti-laya, because one who knows that he is not the body, he is no more the prakriti – the nature.

Body belongs to the material. Once you are not identified with the matter in you, you are not identified with the matter without, outside. A man who attains that he is no more the body, that he is no more the manifested – the prakriti – his nature is dissolved. There is no more world for him; he is not identified. He has become a witness to it. Such a man is also born once at least because he has to close many accounts, many promises to be fulfilled, many karmas to be dropped.

It happened that Buddha’s cousin, Devadatta, was against him. He tried to kill him in many ways. When Buddha was waiting under a tree meditating, he rolled down a big rock from the hill. The roc was coming; everybody ran away. Buddha remained there sitting under the tree. It was dangerous, and the rock came just touching him, brushing him. Ananda asked him, ”Why didn’t you escape when we were all escaping? There was time enough.”

Buddha says, ”For you there is time enough. My time is over. And Devadatta has to do it. Some time back in some life there was some karma. I must have given him some pain, some anguish, some anxiety. It has to be closed. If I escape, if I do anything, again a new line starts.”

A videha, a man who has attained to asamprajnata, does not react. He simply watches, witnesses. And this is the fire of witnessing which burns all the seeds in the unconscious. And a moment comes when the soil is absolutely pure. There is no seed waiting to sprout. Then there is no need to come back. First the nature dissolves, and then he dissolves himself into the universe.


I am here to fulfill something; you are here to close my account. You are here not accidentally. There are millions of people in the world. Why you are here, and not somebody else? Something has to be closed.


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