[Advaita-l] Vikalpa, Savikalpa, and Nirvikalpa

vinayaka ns brahmavadin at gmail.com
Tue Aug 21 06:19:45 CDT 2012

On Mon, Aug 20, 2012 at 8:31 PM, shriharsha chatra <hschatra at gmail.com>wrote:

> Respected Learned Members,
> I want to have a better understanding of Vikalpa, Savikalpa, and Nirvikalpa
> wrt vedantic perspective.
> Please give your insightful perspective for the same.
> Thanks,
> Shriharsha



savikalpa samAdhi:

194. Absorption attended with self-consciousness   (savikalpa samAdhi) is
that in which mental state taking the form of brahman, the One without a
second, rests on It, but without the merging of the distinction of knower,
knowledge and the object of knowledge.

nirvikalpa samAdhi:

197. Absorption without self-consiousness (nirvikalpa samAdhi) is the total
mergence in Brahman, the One without a second, of the mental state which
has assumed its form, the distinction of knower, knowledge and the object
of knowledge being in this case obliterated.

198. Then just as when salt has been dissolved in water it is no longer
perceived separately, and the water alone remains, similarly the mental
state that has assumed the form of Brahman, the One without a second, is no
longer perceived, and only the Self remains.

Source: vEdAntasAra of sadAnanda yOgindra, tr. by Swami Nikhilananda.

>From sarvavEdAnta siddhAnta sArasamgraha:

Samadhi Relative and absolute:

819. There are two kinds of samadhi. Of them one is known as savikalpa
samadhi. It represents deep concentration at the relative plane. The
other is the nirvikalpa samadhi which is at the absolute plane of
consciousness, We shall discuss the nature of savikalpa samadhi.
Listen Attentively.

820. In the relative plane of consciousness, one is aware of brahman
as permeating the whole of one's field of consciousness. Inasmuch as
one has yet to establish complete identity with that which one
contemplates, it is called relative.

821. A clay elephant remainds us of a living one, even though it is
only clay. In the same way, the apparant disticntion of the knower,
the known, the knowledge of it, although unreal, yet helps one to
realise the ultimate truth; and such is the nature of savikalpa

822. It is called samadhi because it is helpful in leading to the
transcendent reality. It is called savikalpa which means
modification, because there is still linger the three fold
modifications of the knower, knowing and the known.

823. That stage of awareness is known as the nirvikalpa samadhi, in
which after having cast off the idea that one is the knower, one
firmaly established in that on which one contemplates.

824. It is as though the salt that has been thrown into water has
lost its seperateness, and remains in the form of water only.

825. When our individuality merges in the absolute Brahman, from
which it has emerged, it looses its sense of seperateness, and all
that remains is the one non-dual Brahman.

827. In the relative concentration, there is Brahman. In the deep
sleep there is the ignorance of Brahman. But the deep concentration
at the absolute plane differes from both these levels of

828. An Aspirant after realization should therefore practice in mind
both these aspects of Samadhi, the savikalpa and the nirvikalpa, and
he should continue to practice until all wrong ideas have been
utterly effaced.

829. When all wrong ideas have come to an end, there are no more
obstacles to the attainment of the heighest knowledge. In this way
it is that bliss eternal is realized.

Tr. by Swami Agamananda.

Best Wishes,


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