[Advaita-l] Vikalpa, Savikalpa, and Nirvikalpa

vinayaka ns brahmavadin at gmail.com
Wed Aug 22 05:25:43 CDT 2012

2012/8/22 श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <lalitaalaalitah at gmail.com>

> *श्रीमल्ललितालालितः <http://www.lalitaalaalitah.com>
> lalitAlAlitaH <http://dooid.com/lalitaalaalitah>*
> I don't see word nirvikalpa in pa~nchadashI. So, adding nirvikalpa by you
> is not correct.



I have not coined the word nirvikalpa. It is consistently used by the
popular vEdAntic treatises like vEdAntasAra, vivEkachUDAmaNi, sarvavEdAnta
sAra samgraha etc.

For Ex:

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.
 (sarvavEdAnta sAra samgraha )

What does vidyAraNya say?

55. When the mind gradually leaves off the ideas of the meditator and the
act of meditation and is merged in the sole object of meditation. (viz.,
the Self), and is steady like the flame of a lamp in a breezeless spot, it
is called the super-conscious state (samadhi).

Hence my usage of the term is not improper. It is also used by the AchAryas
of Sringeri Math. If you  feel that vidyAraNya is talking about some other
samAdhi different from the nirvikalpa samAdhi please let us know about it.

You have used the term nirvikalpa samAdhi and say that there is no vritti
in it. May we know from where did you get this name and definition?

I had asked you about the akhaNDAkAra vritti and nirvikalpa samAdhi, please
read the following words of Swami Abhinava Vidhyatheertha who was a
sampradAya AchArya and an adept yOgi too.

Disciple: Will one's breathing completely stop when one attains nirvikalpa

AchArya: No, breathing persists to a small extent.

D: What is the characteristic of nirvikalpa samAdhi?

A: The absence of awareness of the distinction of the seer, the seen and
the act of seeing is indeed its special characteristic. The Atman is
clearly perceived. Further, supreme bliss is experienced.

D: Will there be positive experience of supreme bliss in nirvikalpa samAdhi
or is there merely the absence of sorrow?

A: There is not only the absence of sorrow but also the attainment of
supreme bliss. Even is jada-samAdhi the bliss of Atman is experienced but
to a much lower degree.

D: I heard that akhaNDAkAra vritti is persent in nirvikalpa samAdhi.
AchAryal said that there is no awareness of the distinctness of the seer,
the seen and the act of seein in nirvikalpa samAdhi. If so, will the
knowledge of akhaNDAkAra vritti be there in samAdhi?

(Pub. Note: akhaNDAkAra vritti is a plenary mental activity having Atman
for the object)

A: No. When one is in the state of nirvikalpa samAdhi, one will not be
aware of the presence of the akhaNDAkAra vritti.

D: If so, how can it be said that the akhaNDAkAra vritti existed
during nirvikalpa samAdhi?

A: One can know that by means of inference and scriptural statements. If
recollection is to arise, there should have been a preceeding experience.
When the mind comes down from nirvikalpa samAdhi, there is a memory to the
effect that supreme bliss was experience earlier. For the memory to be
present, there should have been an experience. If there is to be an
experience connected with the mind, there should have been a thought. That
mental vritti is called akhanDAkAra vritti.

D: An object is required for a thought to arise in the mind. What is the
object of the akhaNDAkAra vritti?

A: The Atman.

D: When an object is perceived, the mind assumes its form. Only then does
the knowledge of the object arise. In dreams too, the mind assumes the form
of what is seen, with the difference that the senses do not play a role.
So, in both waking and dream states the vritti assumes the form of an
object. AchAryal said that Atman alone is grasped by akhaNDAkAra vritti.
How can Atman become an object of the vritti as it does not have any for at

A: When it is said that akhaNDAkAra vritti's object is the Atman, what is
implied is that the mind is so extremely pure at that time that it just
cannot be discerned distinctly from Brahman. The mind is then like a pure
crystal. The effulgent Atman manifests in it clearly. Just as a crystal,
when placed in the vicinity of a red flower appears red, so also is the
nature of the Atman assuemd by the mind. This akhaNDAkAra vritti is the one
that destroys ignorance.

Finally :

D: Will AchAryal say something about nirvikalpa samAdhi from personal

A: (Smiling) Do you think that all the while I was merely repeating like a
parrot what is contained in the shAstras?

> And definition of vedAnta-sAra and it's commentary is specific to it's
> system. It doesn't apply to all.

May we know where exactly you disagree with the vedAnta sAra system? Can
you tell us where he differs from shankara?

I would also like to know your comment on the kArikAs and the bhAshya which
I quoted in my earlier mail.

Best Wishes,


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