Updated: Jul 30, 2021
YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI | CHAPTER 1 - SAMADHI PADA | VERSE 19 | COMMENTARY
Bhavapratyayo videhaprakr̥itilaya̅na̅m ||1.19||
There is a state of meditation achieved only due to past practices (lose body consciousness) and another in which mind dissolves in Nature.
Asamprajnatah Samadhi is achieved by merit – it is not necessary the merit be earned in this lifetime only. In Bhagavad Gita, Shri Krishna tells Arjuna that one who walks on the path of spiritual practice, even if he does not achieve the goal in this lifetime, carries over the merit to the next lifetime and continues from where he left off. There are many people we know or hear about with unprecedented skill which cannot be explained properly. In the spiritual realm, there are great saints born who are able to slip into Asamprajnatah Samadhi without any effort – they lose all sense of their body and its needs like food and water, and sit in Samadhi for hours altogether. The great saint Ramana Maharishi sat in Samadhi for 6 months in a temple at the young age of 16, and was spoon-fed by the temple priests. Jaggi Vasudev or popularly called Sadhguru mentions in his book “Inner Engineering” his experiences with unintentional periods of Samadhi, which on rare occurrence continued for days. The loss of body consciousness is not limited to food, water or sleep but also includes the sensory urges. Many such saints transcend the need of sensory satisfaction and do not find any pleasure in any sight, sound, taste or touch; their mind is free of these restraints. The prana reaches a different plane where such fuel is not required to maintain the body.
The other type of meditation is one where the person gets absorbed into Nature. You can experiment – just comfortably lie down under a clear blue sky and stare at it. The sleep you will slip into would not be regular sleep – you will experience rest like you have never known. In fact, staring at a clear blue sky is given as one of the methods of achieving Samadhi in Vijnana Bhairava scripture. There are other instances too – staring at the stars on a clear night, or the moon, sitting at the beach and experiencing the sea, sitting beside a gushing river on a mountain – one may become entranced by the nature, and experience unity with the entire creation at any moment. We look at the stars and feel like they are calling us home. The sea invites us to its depths - we experience some inkling of the infinity we really are while in Nature. The five elements of the body are purified and harmonize with the same five elements that make up the entire universe. The world is such a beautiful place that experiencing this state might be one of the easiest states if one takes out some time for experiencing it. The grandiose of the nature reminds us of the bigger picture, uplifts our spirits and satisfies our core. Just watching the sun rise or set every day for 10 minutes can be included in the daily routine – remembering that the same fire that burns in the sun also burns inside you, that the same Space is home to this magnificent star and your magnificent person can be transmogrifying.