Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Jul 29 06:45:11 CDT 2002

On Fri, 26 Jul 2002, Prakash Babu wrote:

> Hi,
>  Iam new to the subject matter of advaita. And hence i want to clear my
> basic fundamentals.. As far as iam aware 'Samadhi' is a state of
> communion with the self. In that state u lose all consiouness of the
> outside world. But the sentence in the explanation:
> >> "...Involution in a conscious or wakeful state is called samadhi...."
> contradicts it. Is it in "samadhi"  consiousness is present, if not what
> is meant by "consiousness". thanks babu

I hope other responses in this thread have been informative for you.  I
just want to say something about the differences in this regard between
the Samkhya/Yoga darshan on one hand and Advaita Vedanta on the other.
Because they are starting out from a different set of assumptions, even
though they may use similiar terms, they come to very different

Samkhya is dualistic.  The universe for them consists of Purush (atma) and
Prakrti which are totally distinct.  Prakriti consists of the three gunas,
sattva, rajas, and tamas which when they get out of balance, trap the
Purush in samsara much as a car might get stuck in the mud.  The goal of
Yogic practice is to cease the agitation of the mind and bring about
balance which will enable the Purush to be free.  That state of
equilibrium is called samadhi.

Advaita Vedanta is non-dualistic.  Brahman is the only thing that truly
exists.  Due to the ignorance of the observer, the one appears to be many.
One is always in communion with ones' self (you said "I am...") but
the true extent of that relationship is not properly understood.   Freedom
is to be gained by ridding oneself of such misconceptions and knowing the
essential oneness of Brahman.

So from the Advaita point of view, samadhi by itself is not enough.  True
it is a position of stability where there is less mental turmoil which
could hinder self-reflection but without positive knowledge it is not
enough.  Shankaracharyas' argument is if duality is maintained, the
imbalance of the gunas which the Yogi has tried so hard to avoid, could
reappear.  In other words even if you free your car from the mud you could
drive a little further and get stuck in another mud patch.  Jnana and
jnana alone is the key to freedom from samsara.

For the jnani, samadhi is sahaja (effortless) because the duality that
causes turmoil is absent.  But samadhi is not the goal, but an auxiliary
to the goal which is jnana.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>
It's a girl! See the pictures -

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