Samadhi is the Final Confluence. It is the Final Convergence. This universe, the measure of which is approximately, on the average, 5 feet, 6 inches, is a presence of the streams, energies, forces, of rivers, streams of energy, rivers of forces of consciousness. When the river of consciousness, the streams of awareness within this universe which you claim to be your body, which you erroneously claim to be your personality, which you misidentify as yourself – when the stream of energy, rivers of forces of consciousness in this universe flow in multifarious and contradictory directions, there occur wounds; there appear hollows where there ought to be fullness. Where there ought to be undisturbed presence of dynamic force, there appear warps. One warp opposing another warp, one whirl contradicting the force of another whirl, one wave moving in one direction colliding with another wave moving in another direction, and once again there appear wounds. There appear and disappear many inclinations; there appear and disappear many desires and many frustrations. From moment to moment, your identity appears to change. This moment a yes; the next moment a no; the following moment a negation of that no; and the following moment even a negation of that negation. Then through a continual series of negations and denials, the current being attacked by cross-currents, the waves colliding with waves, all the energy of your life-force dissipates, and you become physically weak, mentally a weakling, a clod of earth at the mercy of the winds which are no longer smooth-flowing streams of prana.
Alas, this Luminescent Ray, this Configuration of Light, this Golden-winged Bird from the Celestial Region, from the Heart of the Sun, that Atman, your True Self, appears for what in eternity is only a micro-moment, and, as though the I were sullied, as though the I were bound, as though It were stained, and the One whose being is a Being of Eternal Joy says, “There is finitude to my joy.” That which was infinite therefore erroneously labors under the finitude of pleasure and thereby creates pain and is identified with the dichotomies of pain and pleasure. These dichotomies collide, and where there would have been the entire universe of pure joy and bliss and ecstasy (ānanda), there appear the opposing force of sukha and duhkha (the painful space and the pleasurable space). Alas, the deterioration of identity continues and there develops a veil around this Pure Self of Joy and Bliss and Ecstasy, the veil called the Anandamaya-kosha, the Sheath-of-pain-and-pleasure.1
That whose omniscience is proclaimed through the universes and beyond the universes now imagines this Infinite Consciousness, Infinite Wisdom and Knowledge, to be constrained now by the fetters of finitude and delimitation and, therefore, is considered capable of falling into ignorance. And there then appears the conflict between vidya and avidya (knowledge and ignorance), as though the Omniscient had donned the dirty robes of ignorance and the Vijnanamaya-kosha, the Sheath-of-knowledge,¹ appears.
Alas, the deterioration continues, and That which is beyond all mentation, That in which no thoughts arise (for thoughts are of finitude and delimitation), That which is the Source of all thoughts, That by which the mind mentates, but That which does not mentate in the mind, That One now erroneously considers Itself as though there is a thought, and there is an opposing thought in It. And another veil, another sheath, the Manomaya-kosha, the Sheath-of-mind,¹ appears.
Sheath after sheath swathes the Brilliant Light, and That which was never subject to movement or action, That whose vitality is proverbial, That which is the source of all vitality, seeking no other vitality from outside Itself, now is erroneously identified as hanging somewhere between vitality and weakness. And there appears a dichotomy between life and non-life, between the vital and the non-vital, the waves of the negative vitality crossing over the waves of the positive vitality, and thus a texture developing for the Sheath-of-prana, the Pranamaya-kosha.¹
That with no form, yet from which all forms proceed, That which transcends all forms, engulfs, envelopes, supports and is the substratum of all forms yet is formless Light in its own essence, that One – Alas! – is now identified as a being of form, whose form can be maintained only by the intake of food. So you create for yourself this grossest of the sheaths, this coarsest of the veils, the veil of the Annamaya-kosha, the Sheath-made-of-food. ¹
And among these sheaths there occur convolutions; there occur dissipations from one sheath to another. There occur bondages, pains, stains on the mind. The stained mind suffers, and yet You, who even in the pleasure of these five sheaths never suffers, remain deep within, the Essences of all essences, in the final recesses of your Being and Eternal Light.
And here, when you are out on the level of
the Sheath-made of contradictions between vitality and weakness,
the Sheath-made of mentation and non-mentation,
the Sheath which is a mixture of the light and the shade, sunshine and shadow (the Sheath of knowledge and ignorance), and
the Sheath which is a merger of pain and pleasure,
You send forth your rays and these five sheaths glimmer.
A little sunshine appears through all of these sheaths, through all of these shadows, and you operate as though this person was always ignorant, as though this person was always in pain, as though this mind was always suffering, as though this being was always a being of form.
So you dwell in the world of form, and you dwell in the world of vitality and weakness, andyou dwell in the world of sunshine a little and shadows a little. Because of these – the positives and the negatives – there occur conflicts and there occur separations, and you are subject to the Kleshas, the Afflictions.2
Then that which is not the Self is misidentified as the Eternal Forever, and That which is eternal is forgotten as being non-eternal. That which is Pure is mistaken as being impure. That which is impure is imposed on the Pure. That which is painful is sought as though it is Pleasure, and that which is the Pure Pleasure is abandoned as though it were painful.
By this misidentification of the Self with the non-Self, the non-Self with the Self, the Pure I-AM becomes the impure I-am. The Pure Asmi (the Pure I-AM) becomes a conditioned I-am, and this I-am becomes the Asmita. Alas! Here in the interior mirror of the sattva of the mind, which is covered with the white, red and blue-black dust of matter, the reflection of that Sun which is Pure Self falls as though It were sullied.3
Come then, come on this journey — to wash ourselves, and where there are incongruences, let there appear confluences and convergences. Let the waves that conflict with the waves all become one stream flowing in the direction of one supreme oceanic expansion of Consciousness so that you may recover your knowledge of omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence. This you must recover, and all the viparyayas, pernicious cognitions, all the things which are opposite to the nature of your innermost essence, must be dropped. As you drop those, you no longer say, “I am this physiological made of food.” You no longer say, “I am this fabric which is a little of weakness and a little of vitality.” You no longer assume that these mentations occur in you. You no longer identify with the possibility of ignorance in The One Who is all-wise.
As sheath upon sheath drop from you, the convergence of energies, the confluences of energies harmonize your being – samadhi – that is the setting together of broken pieces. That is the Final Harmony.
If all things exist in you, how can they contradict each other within you?
But in order to begin this journey, you must begin with a process of self-purification. You must observe all the levels of that false being with which you have identified yourself. You must completely concentrate on all the components of this body and observe them – observe the mind that is in the body with the mind which is beyond the body. That is, you must observe the Sheath-made-of-food with the mind that dwells in the Sheath-made-of-prana. When you observe the Sheath-made-of-food with the mind that dwells in the Sheath-made-of-prana, then you realize that all the attractions and aversions of the body and the senses are worthless.
Since sentient beings take an interest in the world only because of the presence of Sattva (the Purest Being, the Purest Light) and because that Sattva that is within the body is mixed with all of the Rajas and the Tamas, (all the dichotomies and all the inertia), you abandon this composite of Serenity. Distraction and Inertia and you proceed further.4
You proceed further in search of that Empire where Pure Luminescence alone remains, where Pure Light alone remains, where It is not mixed with Rajas and Tamas, where it is not mixed with Distraction and Inertia. And as you have seen the flaws inherent in your attractions and aversions, the conflict between them ceases, and the two (that which you were attracted to and that which you were averse to) come together. They come together as the north pole and the south pole come together in a single magnet and form a complete whole. Thereafter you are beyond the attractions and aversions of the body and the senses – for what will attract whom? What will repel whom?
You have attained the samadhi which comes by concentration on the grossest vitarkas, the grossest objects. Abhoga, the Expansion of Consciousness occurs, and ecstasy appears, but that ecstasy, too, is short-lived because it is only the ecstasy of the Prana-field.
Then you look at all the incongruities, all the disharmonies of the Prana-field, and similarly you observe them. You observe the mind that dwells in the Prana-sheath with the mind that dwells in the Mental-Sheath, and similarly the attractions and the aversions, the negatives and the positives, are harmonized and become one. The healing of the Prana-sheath occurs, and all the warps vanish, and the prana flows – smooth and vibrant.
Thus, little-by-little, one-by-one, the incongruities, the disharmonies, the conflicts at each sheath of your awareness is harmonized. Then you have no more fear of dying, for you know that the one who dies is only the one who was born, but You who were never born shall never die, and this Golden-winged Bird will continue forever.
As one rises beyond these sheaths, the understanding of the nature of the Self and the non-Self occurs. Then you know that all these sources of attractions and aversions are far below you. All the conflicts of the positives and the negatives are of the regions and realms of the netherworld, the lower worlds, and you are beyond those that the Final Healing affects.
All the objects of concentration also vanish, not only the distractions. First the distractions vanish and only the concentration remains. Then the objects of concentration also vanish. The concentration also ceases. At first the Self knows “I am not of the body, I am not of the mind, I am not of the pain, I am not of the ignorance.” But thereafter that Self becomes disinterested even in analyzing these false, erroneous identifications for Its freedom is not a freedom from bondage. For in Its freedom a bondage had never occurred. Then Its knowledge is not opposite to ignorance because, in Its knowledge, ignorance never had space.
In the Final Transcendence even the mind becomes as though absent. Even mind becomes not only still, but as though absent. And when this becomes as though svarupa shunya, the poverties and the prosperities of the mere earthly things no longer affect you, for you have recovered your Empire of Consciousness. This is the Final Healing.
I wish you that Final Healing in this very life. In this very life it is possible! It is within your shakti, it is within your capacity, it is within your potency that in this very time-space-causation coordinate, that in this very time-space-causation coordinate, in this very body, in this very person, in this very life, you may become a realized being, an enlightened being and finally healed – finally transcendent, finally ascendant, finally expansive, for Brahmaveda Brahma eva bhavati, “He who knows the Expansive Self becomes that very Expansive Self.” I wish you that eternal, permanent knowledge – your own Expansive Self, in this very life – in this very life.
— God Bless You All —
1. Sthula Sharira (Physical Body) - - - - - - - - - 1. Annamaya-kosha (The Sheath of "Food")
2. Sukshma Sharira (Subtle Body) - - - - - - - - -2. Pranamaya-kosha (The Sheath of "Prana")
3. Manomaya-kosha (The Sheath of "Mind")
4. Vijnanamaya-kosha (The Sheath of "Knowledge")
3. Karana Sharira (Causal Body) - - - - - - - - - 5. Anandamaya-kosha (The Sheath of "Bliss")
See the explanation and charts on the Three Bodies, the Five Sheaths and the Four Levels of Samadhi at the end of the commentary on Sutra I.17 in Volume One of Swami Veda’s Commentary on the Yoga-sutras with the Exposition of Vyasa
“That sheath of light called prana is wearing another sheath of light called the senses and the body. Under the slow vibrating, low frequency sheath of light called the body, under the slow vibrating, low frequency sheath of light called the body is a slightly higher sheath of light called the prana, the field of vital force. Under that, there is another one of even more higher frequency, faster vibrating sheath of light called the mind, with many, many, many layers. The mind is composed of many, many sheaths of light, each relatively interior one of higher frequency. And then that one, in this walls within walls kind of a fortress of peace and citadel of divinity the one whose frequency and vibration cannot be gauged, cannot be measured, does not become lower or higher, does not become brighter or dimmer, is not born shall not die, was not created, will not be extinguished, there is one: You, the Spiritual Self.
‘Discover’ means ‘dis-cover,’ means that gradually (or if you have been touched by such powerful, divine grace, which comes by giving up all assumption of power, total surrender, if you’ve been touched by very powerful divine then, also, instantly), gradually, or if you can surrender then, right here, under this very Bodhi Tree, you drop these false identifications with the low frequency component of this assumed personality you have assumed. Your personality is not your Self. Your mind is not your Self. Your mind-states are not your Self. Your sentiments, your emotions, your knots, your warps, are not your Self. And all these causes of pain can cause no pain to that which you are now calling the Interior Self, because that One is not subject to warps, that one cannot be knotted, that one can not be dimmed. And when one knows that, then the Upanishad says: ‘Then one has no more sorrow.’” (Swami Veda in Calgary, 1999)
2 The Five Kleshas (Afflictions) are Avidya (Ignorance), Asmita (I-am-ness), Raga (Attraction), Dvesha (Aversion) and Abhinivesha (Fear of death). See the commentaries on Sutras I.5, I.8 and II.5 in Swami Veda Bharati’s Yoga-sutras of Patanjali with the Exposition of Vyasa, Volumes One and Two.
3 The Three Gunas (Tamas, Rajas and Sattva) are qualities of Nature that pertain to all things in the universe at all levels: physical, energetic, social, intellectual, psychological, emotional, nutritional – everything:
TAMAS —— Inertia, Stability, Solidity, Heaviness, Darkness, Dullness, Languor, Complacency, Lethargy, Laziness, Sluggishness, Torpor, Stupor, Stupefaction, Depression, Delusion
RAJAS —— Energy, Activity, Motion, Movement, Assertiveness, Excitation, Agitation, Nervousness, Fidgetiness, Restlessness, Aggression, Anger, Fierceness, Hostility
SATTVA —— Light, Brilliance, Illumination, Purity, Radiance, Calmness, Smoothness, Balance, Harmony, Clarity, Joyfulness, Softness, Expansiveness, Elevation, Inspiration, Openness, Tranquility, Pleasantness, Peacefulness
All devolutes carry within themselves all three gunas; nothing exists that does not include all the three gunas together. Variances in the nature of all phenomena, entities, attributes, self-identifications, tendencies and inclinations, choices, personalities, relationships and acts depend on the dominance and preponderance of gunas.
For example, where sattva dominates and is served by rajas and tamas, the manifestation appears predominantly sattvic. In that manifestation
sattva: provides refined, pure, luminous qualities;
rajas: energizes, impels, overcoming stagnation; and
But where tamas dominates,
tamas: causes stagnation and dullness;
rajas: struggles to change the quo;
sattva: remains dormant, waiting to be energized with the help of rajas.
This explanation is by no means exhaustive, but provides examples of an interdependence among gunas. Rajas provides constant oscillation, and sattva and tamas produce a pull, each in its own direction, seeking to be dominant. The natures and acts of objects, phenomena and entities change as the equilibrium or balance of forces among the inherent gunas undergoes any alteration. The most dynamic can become static, and the most static may become dynamic. Rocks may release gases; gases may become caught in rocks. Hydrogen may gather more particles and ultimately become uranium, which may radiate out its particles and eventually return to hydrogen. Food may provide sattvic energy or may sit as tamasic heaviness in the stomach and may then need the rajas of digestive spices, herbs or potions to impel it in some direction. A marriage may be pleasant (sattvic) and stable (served by tamas) or volatile (rajasic) or so stagnant (tamasic) that not even a quarrel occurs. For a more detailed understanding of the natures of the three gunas it is strongly recommended that the reader study Chapters XIV, XVII and XVIII of the Bhagavad-gita.
(from the “Overview of Sankhya Yoga” in Volume One of Swami Veda’s Commentary on the Yoga-sutras with the Exposition of Vyasa)