YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI | CHAPTER 1 - SAMADHI PADA | VERSE 44 | COMMENTARY
Etayaiva savichara nirvichara ca suksham-vishaya vyakhyata
एतया एव सविचारा निर्विचारा च सूक्ष्म-विषयाः व्याख्याता॥१.४४॥
Etayaiva savicārā nirvicārā ca sūkṣmaviṣayā vyākhyātā ||1.44||
Similarly, are explained Savichara and Nirvichara Samadhi, which are of the subtler states of consciousness.
"Here Vichara means Experiences - Anubhuti."
_Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Subtler than the memory are our experiences. Experiences are a form of memory too; they are what our personality has become, and our attitude towards different aspects of life; experiences are reflected in our likes and dislikes, our patterns that we identify with so closely that we are unable to recognize them. Experiences are stored deep in our consciousness, beyond intellect, and many times, beyond recall as well. Experiences form our apparent identity.
In Savichara Samadhi, the experiences exist and start to surface. Also, there is the experience of the Samadhi itself. Once the experiences surface and can be witnessed, they become separate from our being. There is an opportunity to discover and realise that the experiences are not what we are, but what we have accumulated. The experiences are simply deep impressions in our memory. This sense of being distinct from we have experienced begs the question – Who am I? I am not the body, not the mind, not the memory and not the experiences. All these are what we have accumulated. What did we come with then? When one starts to view oneself separate from the impression of events that we have stored as experiences, there sprouts an inquiry of our true nature of being.
From here, one dives into Nirvichara Samadhi – a state in which the practitioner does not witness any impressions of the experiences. There is no experience of the Samadhi, and hence, the practitioner is simply being. When there are no experiences present in the accessed consciousness, there is no sense of time and space as well, for there is no past or future, there is no accumulated identity of body, mind, or memory, and one loses contact with the boundary of the physical dimension we hold ourselves in. It must be understood that in Nirvichara Samadhi, it is not that the impressions have been deleted. It is just that the consciousness dips a little deeper where the impressions do not exist. Samadhi is a spectrum of the consciousness, and it is fluid state – one can move from one state to another (even multiple times) in a single sitting.