Kundalini and Concentration
Concentration is not focused thought (bhawana) but is the process consisting of dharana, dhyana and samadhi. It does not come into being unless pratyahara is first established. In focussed thought, though mental efforts are made tocentralize thought on a chosen object, yet it is often diversified; an automatic anduncontrollable penetration of other objective images occurs, and consequentlythe whole thought system is shaken.
Concentration is a mental process of reducing multiform consciousness to apoint, termed bindu. The development of this mental power is dependent uponthe transformation of the diversified pranic forces into a state of pranicconcentration and withdrawal by which the vital and sensory functions becomeinternalized. These are the processes of pranayama and pratyahara.
Thereafter,and on the basis of pratyahara, pranic dynamism functions in the mind androuses the slumbering mentative energy which expresses itself as dharana-power,the immensely strong power to hold the one-pointedness of consciousness in theform of only one object, for a sufficiently long time to be effective.
This power grows step by step, and it is then possible to continuously maintain single-objectiveness of consciousness uninterruptedly and for a prolonged period oftime. This produces very deep concentration; and from that deep concentration a‘mental light’ comes into being which can be focussed on any object, inner orouter.
This state of consciousness is called dhyana.Prolonged and repeated dhyana deepens concentration so that it reaches thebindu state. This is the highest point of mental concentration in whichconsciousness is maximally concentrated to a point and the truth-exposingconcentration-light shines forth. This is samprajñata samadhi. Ultimately,samprajñata samadhi consciousness is coiled into bodiless and mindtranscendentsupreme consciousness in asamprajñata samadhi.
The general principles of concentration have been modified, specialized andelaborated in different systems of yoga to suit the particular needs of thepractitioners. In the hathayoga method of concentration, an attempt has beenmade to obliterate the mental reaction effects from the brain by the pranic withdrawal by pranayama.
It is necessary first to elevate pranayamic breathing tothe nadishuddhi level for this purpose. For the effectiveness of the nadishuddhipranayama, the body needs to be purified and vitalized by the practice of postureexercise, internal cleansing and right diet.In rajayoga, centralized thought, combined with spiritual reflection, is appliedfor the attainment of pratyahara. The intensified thought causes pranic withdrawal and sensory control. Thereafter, the dharana power is roused andgradually dhyana and samadhi are attained.In mantrayoga, concentration is attained by the use of mantra.
Mantra is an aspect of Kundalini, and it is in sound-form. So mantra is actually Kundalini inmantra form. The mantra sound cannot be heard by the physical ear. The replication of mantra on the physical plane is the lettered waikhari sound whichis audible. The waikhari mantra, in conjunction with pranayama and otherspecial processes, is utilized, according to the direction of a guru, to enliven themantra. In other words, it is the rousing of Kundalini in mantra form. When themantra-Kundalini is roused, it exhibits
its absorptive and control powers bywhich, step by step, the control of prana and the senses is attained. The influenceof the outer objects on the mind is neutralized by the mantra power.Consequently, it is a great help in the attainment of pratyahara and self-control.
Then mantra-Kundalini is transformed into Ishtadewata—the metamorphosis of subtle Kundalini through the mantra power into an appropriate divine form.At this stage, dharana and dhyana are attained. After this, Ishtadewata is again transformed into subtle Kundalini when samprajñata samadhi is attained.
Finally,Kundalini absorbs the mind and all other things and remains alone, and is then absorbed into Supreme Consciousness in asamprajñata samadhi.In Kundaliniyoga, which is the fundamental part of layayoga, concentration is attained through the roused Kundalini.
So in this yoga, the rousing of Kundalini is the essential process. This rousing is only possible in the muladhara chakra.
Focussed thought is the main factor of the rousing process. The intensified thought, in conjunction with pranayamic breathing, mantras and bandhas,becomes so forceful that ultimately it makes static Kundalini dynamic. If the centralized thought is imbibed with intense godly love, thought power is muchenhanced.
The roused Kundalini exhibits higher control power by whichdharana, dhyana and samadhi are attained.
Control There are eight distinct stages of development of the control power. The greatyogi Dattatreya said: ‘I will explain to you the science of yoga having eightstages of practice’ (—Darshanopanishad, 1.4). The great yoga master Ribhu alsosaid: ‘Yoga has eight stages of practice’ (—Warahopanishad, 5.10). Ishwara said:‘Yoga consists of eight parts’ (—Gandharwatantra, ch. 5, p. 25). Shiwa also said:‘Yoga consists of eight practices (—Wishwasaratantra, ch. 2, p. 11). So, both inWaidika yoga and Tantrika yoga the eight stages of practice have been accepted.
What is the nature of the control? It is a process by which an action orfunction, either of the body or the mind, is volitionally restrained with a view toreach a deeper aspect, which remains generally dormant, and bring into play ahigher form of power and consciousness. An unknown inner power is released when the body is made quiescent by the control process, which keeps the bodyin an excellent state of health and vitality, either when the body is in motion or isimmovable.
The motionlessness of the body also exercises a great influence onthe mind. In fact, it is an indispensable condition for the application of thecontrol, directly and effectively, to the mind. When the inner part of the mind isreached by control, the mind exhibits a trend toward tranquillity and showsbetter restraint when functioning at the sensory level.
This control either causesan alteration in a common action or function to a desired pattern, or stops theaction completely to bring about a state of motionlessness. To indicate thecontrol the terms ‘bandha’, ‘bandhana’, ‘rodha’, ‘nirodha’, and ‘nigraha’ areused. There are other terms also.The eight stages of control have technical names: yama (abstention), niyama(observance), asana (posture), pranayama (bioenergy-control or breathcontrol),pratyahara (sensory control), dharana (holding-concentration), dhyana (deepconcentration) and samadhi (superconcentration). Atharwana said: ‘The eightstages of yoga are abstention, observance, posture, bioenergy control, sensorycontrol, holding-concentration, deep concentration and superconcentration’ (—Shandilyopanishad, 1.2).
These eight stages of control have also been acceptedin Tantrika yoga. It is said: ‘Abstention, observance, posture, bioenergy control,sensory control, holding-concentration, deep concentration andsuperconcentration are the eight parts of yoga’ (—Tantrarajatantra, 27. 54–5).
Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Stages of Yama (Control): Dharana,Dhyana and Samadhi
The sixth, seventh and eighth stages of control are exercised in relation to themind. In other words, the control of the mind is practised in three main steps,and each one has a technical name denoting the nature of the control. Thesenames are Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi, which will be explained.
1 Dharana (Holding-Concentration)Dharana is the sixth stage of yama (control) and the first phase of mental controlor concentration. Dharana is derived from ‘dhri’ meaning holding. Holding is aprocess of maintaining a particular form of consciousness without itstransformation into another form. Therefore, holding is the process ofconcentration in which only one form of consciousness is maintained. Thismonoform consciousness is beyond perceptivity, intellectuality, affectivity, andvolitionality.Perception effects the oscillatory state of consciousness because of theconstant sensomental radiations into it.
The radiated energy in the consciousfield is transformed into conscious forms or images which, in relation to the I-consciousness, are apprehended as what we call the external objects. Accordingto the experiences in relation to the objects a conscious feeling of passion oraversion may be aroused.
This is determined to a great extent by the desire-pattern which is based on pleasure-pain impressions, acquired before. The desire(kama) itself which is born of preformed impressions, when combined with thewill-principle (manasyana) develops finally into conation (kriti). Conation may,or may not, be associated with affectivity.
On the other hand, intelligence plays an important role in perception. In ageneral way, it is a component part of apprehension. However, intellectuality becomes a predominant factor in certain types of apprehension. An apprehensioncan be so refined that higher and deep thinking and deliberation form its majorpart. Thinking and reasoning are the main functions of the intellective mind(buddhi).
Perception is the basis of consciousness at the sensory level. In thisconsciousness, not only perception, but also affection and volition and, to acertain extent, intellection are components. It is called the perceptive (sangjñana)field. When the intellective mind predominates in the perceptive field, clearthinking and sound reasoning become elements of consciousness. These are thefunctions of the intellective mind as mati (thought) and manana (reasoning).
Thei ntellective mind at a higher level, such as manisha (superintellect), exhibits ahigher form of intelligence as deep thinking and deliberation. The intellect and superintellect modify the perceptive consciousness to a specific form calledintellective consciousness (wijñana).Both the perceptive and intellective forms of consciousness are multiform incharacter, though the latter is much more refined.
The constituent elements of the perceptive consciousness are the knowledge-forms, principally of five varietiescreated by the five kinds of sensomental radiations in the conscious field. Each knowledge-form is a knowledge-unit which is termed writti (an imaged consciousness).
By the appropriate combination of different knowledge-units aconscious pattern is formed which is associated with the phenomenon of theawareness of the objects. It is manifold in character and is constantly changing.Intelligence also radiates from the intellective aspect of the mind into the conscious field, and is manifested as conscious thoughts and intellectualcreativity. When conscious thoughts are of a high order and intensive incharacter, consciousness assumes a new pattern called intellective consciousness,which is composed of thought-intelligence-units, also termed writtis.
At the sensory level the knowledge pattern is the awareness of sensoryobjects. Either the awareness, or the thought associated with it, is composed ofknowledge and intelligence units so coalesced as to give a complete meaning.Each unit is a writti which is the knowledge minimum. Consciousness in the sensory or intellective field is maintained by the continuous arising of the writtis,one after another. It is like this, writti 1—pause—writti 2—pause—writti 3 andso on. The pause is so brief that it cannot be apprehended, and so there is anapparent continuity. A writti-chain creates a knowledge pattern of which a singlewritti may manifest a knowledge of an object or the part of the knowledge of anobject or objects.
Therefore, our knowledge is a compound of writtis.The writti-form of consciousness, the seat of which is either the perceptive orintellective field, has been termed ‘sarwabhawatmabhawana’ (— Annapurnopanishad, 1. 32)—the multifarious consciousness—manifestingmanifold perception-thought phenomena. Unless the writtis are controlled, it isnot possible to attain uniformity (samata) of consciousness.
It is the background,or the actual state, of the concentratedness (ekagrata) of consciousness. Thisstate should be developed from the state of deconcentration by the application ofcontrol.The uniformity of consciousness is not an abnormal, unintelligent,unaffectionate and unillumined state.
On the other hand, it is a supernormal,superintellective, superaffectionate and superillumined state. So it has beencalled prajñana—superconsciousness. It is not based on perceptive-intellective knowledge phenomena, but on the dhi—concentrative mind which cause sconsciousness to assume the concentrative form. Superknowledge arises from concentration—not from perception and intellection. Superknowledge has twolevels—inward and outward.
At the outward level, superknowledge reveals the supermatter field, and thus the range of knowledge is increased to a very highdegree. At the inward level, superknowledge manifests as spiritual light ordivine knowledge.In the intellective field, the concentrative mind manifests as attention (awadhana) and genius (pratibha).
When the writtis flow in the conscious field,the specific function of the concentrative mind is almost hidden. Unless anappropriate condition in consciousness is created, concentration will not bepossible.
Concentration is essentially the development of that form ofconsciousness in which writtis cannot arise, and intellective, affective andvolitive phenomena are not recorded, and the form itself does not change. Awritti indicates a knowledge of an object or a part of the knowledge of an object.This is why writti 1 is not the same as writti 2, or writti 3. This shows theoscillatory character of the consciousness undergoing writtis.
On the other hand,the consciousness in concentration shows that any point, measured by time, isthat conscious form which is without manyness in character, but uniform. This isdue to the influence of the concentrative mind.In yoga, a unique method is introduced to raise our consciousness from the perceptive-intellective levels to the concentration level. The multifariousconsciousness is intimately related to the body.
The summation of all the activities of the body, which is indicated by the respiratory frequency and depth,may be regarded as an approximate index.In normal, quiet breathing, the number of breaths is from 12–16 per minute.Let us take 16 respirations per minute in a resting state. Assume a cross-legconcentration posture as advocated in yoga. Then make your body completelymotionless by passive conscious effort. When you have mastered the physical stillness, link your consciousness to the physical motionlessness. When this iscontrolled, any slight motion of the body, or even a tendency to movement willbe recorded in your consciousness.
However, by prolonged practice, a state ofundisturbed consciousness, in conjunction with the motionlessness of the body,can be maintained for a desired period. This is posture control.
When the concentration posture is controlled in this manner and the mindmade calm at the same time, the respiration rate of 16 per minute may decreaseto 10, 8, or even less. This is due to the stillness of the body and calmness of themind in which the suspension factor has been brought into play, whichinfluences the respiratory rate.
The respiratory rate of 16 per minute means thatthere are 16 inspirations and 16 expirations and a pause between them which isequal to zero. In other words—inspiration 16, expiration 16, and a pausebetween them; the pause = 0. If the pause 0 is raised to the inspiratory orexpiratory value 16 and the inspiratory and expiratory values are reduced, thensuspension will be a predominant factor in respiration. In yoga, the usualproportion has been fixed at the ratio of 1–4–2. If inspiration is 4, suspensionwill be 16, and expiration 8. If we make suspension equal to 64 seconds, theninspiration is 16 seconds, and expiration 32 seconds, that is, 4 counts inspirationin 16 seconds, suspension for 64 seconds, and 8 counts expiration in 32 seconds.Here, the value of 1 respiratory unit is 4 seconds. This is high R. unit. When a R.unit is reduced to 2 seconds, it is medium, a R. unit of 1 second is a low unit. Ina grade using a low unit, the suspension is 16 seconds. In the medium grade, it is32 seconds, and in the high grade 64 seconds.
A student should start at the lowgrade and gradually proceed to the high grade.The student should sit in a concentration posture and remain motionless andcalm. Then he should practise breathcontrol in the following manner: inspire andconcentrate on this in a passive way; then suspend and link the consciousness tothe suspension and be conscious of that; and finally, expire with passiveconcentration.
The counting of the number of units and the measure of each unitshould be done consciously along with passive concentration. When thesuspension is well-controlled, it will be easy and cause no disturbance.After the suspension has been made easy by practice, matrika (supersound)units should be introduced in suspension. The 16 matrikaletters from ‘Ang’ to‘Ah’ should be used in suspension.
If the suspension is for 64 seconds, then eachletter has the value of 4 seconds. This value is reduced to 2 seconds insuspension 32, and to 1 second in suspension 16. The increased or decreasedtime value is obtained by a slow or less slow mental sound-process essentiallyobtained by increasing or decreasing the nasal factor connected with eachmatrikaletter. During suspension, concentration should be made on the sound-process.
The inspiration and expiration should be done with passive concentration and should be regulated by the respiratory units.When the mental sound-process is fully established in suspension, the nextstep in practice is as follows: concentration should be done so deeply on the mental sound-process that the suspension time limit is totally forgotten.
In this case, the suspension may be unconsciously prolonged or the expiration-inspiration is carried out unconsciously. Now, the 16 matrikaletters should beused in inspiration, suspension and expiration, thus making the ratio 1–1–1.
When this is mastered, the 50 matrikaletters from ‘Ang’ to ‘Kshang’ should beused in inspiration-suspension-expiration as if one continuous act without anyinterruption in the mental sound-process at the junction between inspiration andsuspension, suspension and expiration, and expiration and inspiration, and so on.In this manner, a monoform consciousness is created in which are held only thematrikaletters, flowing one after another but linked with one another by the nasalfactor in mental sound-process, and the concentration is so deep that therespiratory phases do not break the concentration but remain in the background.
This is the process in which the specific function of the concentrative mind isfully activated. The nature of concentration is the holding of consciousness in aform which does not change, and to which perception, intellection, affection andvolition do not reach. As the consciousness does not receive anything from the perceptive-intellective field but remains concentrated, in what is beyondperceptive-intellective, and unchanging, it is called the holding process.
The firststep of the process is dharana—the holding-concentration. The holding ofconsciousness in that form in which the 50 matrikaletters flow uninterruptedly isthe dharana unit.It is said: ‘A well-controlled student should control the five forms ofbioenergy by breathsuspension; (inspiration should precede suspension) andexpiration through the nostril should follow suspension. When the throbbing ofthe bioenergy is controlled by breathcontrol, the mind, which is naturally restlessto an extreme degree becomes fit, and should be made to undergo the process ofdharana which should be done in the right way by the student who knows thesecret of doing it’ (—Shwetashwataropanishad, 2.9). Here it is stated thatbreathsuspension is an intrinsic part of holding-concentration.
Holding-concentration has been defined as: ‘By controlling the desiring mind,a wise yogi) should hold the Divine Spirit in his consciousness in concentration;this is dharana’ (—Amritanadopanishad, 15).It has also been said: ‘A student of yoga, being prepared by abstention andother practices, should hold in his mind the five forms of supermatter (in theirrespective centres) within the body; this is the holding-concentration’ (Trishikhibrahmanopanishad, Mantra Section, 133—134). Narayana said: ‘Thewithdrawing of consciousness from the perceptive field and holding it in thesuperconscious field is dharana’ (—Mandalabrahmanopanishad, 1.1.8).
In otherwords, the elevation of consciousness from the sensory level and itstransformation by holding in it superconscious forms should be done, Atharwanasaid: ‘Dharana is of three kinds: the holding-concentration on the divine aspectof self; holding-concentration on the void in the hrit-centre; and holding-concentration on the five divine forms in the five intra-spinal subtle centres’ (—Shandilyopanishad, 1.9.1).
An advanced form of holding-concentration was expounded by Wishnu. Hesaid: ‘Whatever is seen with the eyes should be thought of as Divine Being;Whatever is heard with the ears, whatever is smelt with the nose, whatever istasted with the tongue, and whatever is touched with the skin should be thoughtof as Divine Being. In this manner the objects of the senses should betransformed into Divine Being and are held in consciousness’ (—Yogatattwopanishad, 69–72).
Here, the sensory objects are given a divine formby thinking and are held in the consciousness in concentration.About the Tantrika form of holding-concentration, Ishwara said:‘Concentration on the following points with breathsuspension is termed dharana;the points are: great toe, ankle, knee, scrotum, genitals, navel, heart, neck, throat,uvula, nose, eyebrowspace, breast, and head’ (—Gandharwatantra, ch. 5, p. 25).So holding-concentration should be done while doing breathsuspension.It is said: ‘The knowers of yoga say—the holding in the consciousness ofcertain vital points along with breathsuspension is dharana’ (—Prapañchasaratantra, 19. 21–22).
The mind should be concentrated on a certainvital point with breathsuspension. It is further stated: ‘The experts inbreathcontrol say that those vital points through which one can leave one’s ownbody and can enter another’s body and can reenter one’s own body are suitablefor dharana; they are: great toe, ankle, knee, anus, perineum, genitals, navel,heart, neck, uvula, nose, and eyebrowspace’ (—Prapañchasaratantra, 19.51–53).Shiwa said: ‘The holding of the mind, with breathsuspension, on the great toe,ankle, knee, thigh, genitals, navel, heart, neck, uvula, nose, eyebrowspace,forehead, and top of the head is termed dharana’ (—Wishwasaratantra, ch. 2, p.11). Further, ‘Concentration on the six subtle centres . . . (and) the Coiled Power(Kundali). . . is termed dharana’ (—Rudrayamala, Part 2, 27.34–35).
The distinction between holding-concentration and deep concentration(dhyana) has been explained. It is said: ‘Concentration on the whole divine formis dhyana, while only on one part at a time is dharana’ (—Bhutashuddhitantra,ch. 9, p. 8). The matrikaletters are very suitable for holding-concentration.
Only in deep concentration, can a divine form be the object. In fact, an appropriatedivine form arises from mantra in deep concentration. Now we come to dhyana.2 Dhyana (Deep Concentration)Dhyana is the seventh stage of yama (control) and the second phase of mentalcontrol or concentration.
The word ‘dhyana’ is derived from ‘dhyai’, to concentrate. Concentration is the holding of an image in consciousnesscontinuously and without interruption by the penetration of any other images.When this concentration becomes very deep by an uninterrupted and continuousholding of an image in consciousness for a sufficiently long time, it is calleddhyana.
It is the specific function of that aspect of the mind, called dhi—theconcentrative mind. The uninterrupted and continuous holding is the process ofconcentration. So the new term dhyana has been used in the seventh stage ofcontrol to mean deep concentration.It is said: ‘Eyes cannot receive the Supreme Spirit, nor can words express it,nor can it be reached by other senses and conative faculties or by ascesis or anyother actions.
The Supreme Spirit is revealed in dhyana; dhyana is only possible when consciousness is spiritualized by the purity of knowledge’ (—Mundakopanishad, 3.1.8). Knowledge at the sensory level is manifold incharacter—a writti-form. The realization of Supreme Spirit is not possible through such knowledge.
This is why it has been said that the senses cannotreach it. A mind which is only conscious because of perception, intellection andvolition cannot reach the Supreme Spirit.
When the maṅifoldness of knowledgeis transformed into uniformness, consciousness becomes purified andspiritualized. In such a state of consciousness dhyana develops into its highest point in which Supreme Spirit is revealed. It is the development of dhyana into samadhi (superconcentration). However, to attain such a state of consciousnessthe practice of concentration is absolutely necessary.It is said: ‘As the two pieces of wood are used in kindling the sacred fire by attrition, so the body and the pranawa (first mantra) are as if two pieces of wood,and they should be used by dhyana for the realization of the luminous Supreme Spirit’ (—Shwetashwataropanishad, 1. 14).
This means that the body should bemade motionless by posture and breathcontrol and then concentration should bepractised in conjunction with mantra.The hrit-centre is a very suitable point for the practice of deep concentration.So it has been said: ‘Controlling the senses . . . concentrate on the Divine Beingwho is quiescent, luminous, pure and blissful and in the hrit-centre’ (—Kaiwalyopanishad, 5). Here is a particular mode of concentration for the students of yoga:
‘Having assumed a (folded-leg) concentration posture, andwith the hridayañjali mudra (a mode of alignment of hands and fingers to makethem hollow) placed in the region of the heart, and with the eyes retracted from the world, applying pressure on the rima glottidis with the tip of the retrovertedtongue, not allowing the upper teeth to touch the lower, keeping the body erect,and with the mind concentrated, control the senses. Then with the purified andspiritualized mind he should concentrate on Wasudewa (a divine form—Krishna)who is the Supreme Spirit.
When concentration is so deep that the wholeconsciousness is moulded, into the Wasudewa form, then that concentration willlead to liberation. All sins of worldliness are destroyed by the concentration onWasudewa with breathsuspension for three hours’ (—Trishikhibrahmanopanishad, Mantra Section, 145–9).Concentration on the universal form of God has been advised (—Darshanopanishad, 9. 1–2). But it is not possible until the Deity is realized bythe mantra way of concentration. The final stage of dhyana is the concentrationon Brahman (God) without form (—Darshanopanishad, 9. 3–5).Narayana says: ‘When concentration reaches the phase of “ekatanata”,monoformity (of Consciousness) of the Divine Being abiding in all, that isdhyana’ (—Mandalabrahmanopanishad, 1.1.9).
Ekatanata is that form ofconsciousness in which a chosen image is held continuously and without anyinterruption. The consciousness is in the form of a chosen image and this formcontinues without any change. So, ekatanata is very deep and continuousconcentration. This deep concentration is dhyana.There are two main types of dhyana: saguna (with form) and nirguna (withoutform). Wishnu says about concentration on form: ‘Dhyana should be practisedwhile concentrating on the Deity . . . and at the same time breathsuspensionshould be done (in a natural manner). This is saguna-dhyana’ (—Yogatattwopanishad, 104–105).
Here breathsuspension is the first stage ofkewala kumbhaka, that is, normal suspension without inspiration and expiration.However, it is an advanced form of concentration. After the saguna-dhyana(concentration on form) is mastered, a yoga student should start with thenirguna-dhyana (concentration without form). Wishnu said: ‘Nirguna-dhyanaleads to samadhi (superconcentration)’ (—Yogatattwopanishad, 105).Now we shall consider the Tantrika form of dhyana (deep concentration).Sadashiwa said: ‘Dhyana is of two forms: sarupa (with form) and arupa(formless). The object of the formless concentration is the Supreme Power-Consciousness which is beyond mind and speech, unmanifest, omnipresent, andunknowable; it cannot be identified as this or that; the yogis with greatdifficulties and through the processes of control attain it.
Actually, the SupremePower-Consciousness, who is above time, is formless and splendid; this realitymanifests itself by will in relation to mind-matter phenomena’ (—Mahanirwanatantra, 5. 137–140).The above statement clearly indicates that formless concentration is extremelydifficult to obtain. A yogi can attain it only when he has been able to develop thepower of concentration to a very high degree through the prolonged practice ofconcentration on form. So, concentration on form is the first step to formlessconcentration. Formless concentration is very near to superconcentration.
When consciousness becomes highly rarefied and illuminated by spiritual light throughthe practice of concentration on form, the formless aspect of the Supreme Power-Consciousness reflects on, and shines forth in, that consciousness. The sarupaand arupa dhyana are the same as the Waidika saguna and nirguna dhyanarespectively.Concentration on form has been defined as: ‘Experts on yoga say that dhyanais to make the form of Deity held (continuously) in consciousness’ (—Prapañchasaratantra, 19. 22–23). The holding process is concentration. So it issaid: ‘Dhyana is the concentration on the Deity of mantra’ (—Kularnawa, ch. 17,p. 83). It is clearly explained here: ‘Deep concentration on the conscious form ofthe Deity of mantra in your consciousness is dhyana’ (—Gandharwatantra, ch. 5,p. 26).3 Samadhi (Superconcentration)Samadhi is the eighth or the final stage of yama (control). The word samadhi isderived from ‘dha’ to mean dharana, that is holding. To maintain in theconsciousness an image of an object without letting it slip or disappear from theconsciousness is holding. It is the specific function of the concentrative mind(dhi) to hold an object in the consciousness without having it loosened andescaping from the consciousness.
This action of holding is in the nature ofbinding or restraining, because, without being bound or fastened together, theobject may be lost. Therefore, the mental action of holding is an action ofbinding (bandhana), which means yama (control).Let us explain it in greater detail. Dharana or holding is a process by whichonly one object is retained in consciousness, or consciousness is shaped only inone form—the form of one object only, which is held in it; or holding theconsciousness fixed on only one object; or, in other words, to bring or concentrate consciousness on one form or into one-pointedness. So the processof holding is the process of concentration. It is the process by which themultifarious consciousness is transformed into a monoform, and is in a state ofconcentratedness.
That the holding is concentration, is indicated by the fact thatthe word ‘dhyana’ has been used for complete dharana, that is, uninterrupted andcontinuous holding, or deep concentration.Holding consists of three phases according to the depth of concentration. Inthe first phase concentration is not very deep and so it is interrupted now andthen. This form of concentration has been technically called dharana or holding-concentration. In the second phase, concentration becomes so deep that it doesnot break at all but continues uninterruptedly.
This is called dhyana or deepconcentration. In the final phase, holding reaches its maximum point ofdevelopment. In other words, at a point when dhyana reaches its highestdevelopment, the process of holding is so firm that consciousness, which is in amost rarefied state, is only in the form of the object held, in its subtle aspect; andconcentration is so deep that even I-ness is lost. This is what is technically calledsamadhi. Now, dharana has reached its maximum point, and ‘sam’ to denotesuper has been prefixed to ‘dha’ with ‘a’ between, and thus the word samadhi isformed. Therefore, samadhi is superconcentration.The action of holding is intrinsically associated with binding (bandhana).Binding restrains an object held in the consciousness from leaving it. It alsorestrains the penetration of other objects into consciousness.
Therefore, holdingis in the nature of yama (control). There are other terms which have been used tomean control. Bandha, bandhana, nigraha, nirodha, niyamana and ayama aresynonymous with yama and all of them mean control. Control also developsstage by stage and at the eighth stage it reaches its highest development. Toindicate this, ‘sam’ has been prefixed to yama to form sangyama, to denotesupercontrol.Holding has also another aspect. During holding, there is a union between theconsciousness and the object. If consciousness remains united with the object,the object is restrained from escaping from consciousness. At the point ofsuperconcentration this union is complete. To denote this, the term sangyoga,meaning superunion, has been used. Now let us study the Waidika form of samadhi. About the accomplishment ofsuperconcentration it has been said: ‘By controlling the senses (through sensorycontrol), by controlling the outwardly directed tendency of the mind (by-concentration), by controlling the desires of the mind, and by ascesis, a yog; willbe in samadhi. In samadhi all love is directed to the Supreme Spirit, and one isfully attached to him, fully absorbed in him and experiences all bliss in him.
From samadhi arises divine knowledge by which God, whose power-in-word-form is pranawa, is revealed and the yogi is in him’ (—Nrisinghatapinyupanishad, 2.6.4).Samprajñata samadhi (superconscious concentration) has been defined as:‘The continuous flow of consciousness in the form of Brahman—God in whichthe I-ness has been dissolved is samprajñata samadhi. It is attained by prolongedpractice of dhyana’ (—Muktikopanishad, 2.53). Samadhi is of two forms:Samprajñata. and asamprajñata. When the term samadhi is used, it usually refersto the samprajñata type. In samprajñata samadhi mental concentration has beendeveloped to its highest point and, consequently, through such concentrationconsciousness is only in the God-form and nothing else, and this form of consciousness flows normally, uninterruptedly and continually, and even the I-ness is not a part of consciousness. The I-ness, illuminated, godly consciousness,in a state of concentration at its highest degree, is the superconsciousconcentration.It has been said: ‘The mind operating at the sensory level is the root-cause ofall the wordly knowledge. If the mind is dissolved, there will be no wordlyknowledge.
Therefore, keep the consciousness fixed on the Supreme Being indeepest concentration’ (—Adhyatmopanishad, 26). In superconcentration, God isheld by concentration, and consciousness becomes godly. The form ofconsciousness attained in superconcentration has been described as: ‘Samadhi isthat state in which consciousness is only in the nature of the object concentratedon, and is still like the flame of a lamp in a windless place, and from whichgradually the feeling of the action of concentration and I-ness has disappeared’(—Adhyatmopanishad, 35).
That is, consciousness in superconcentrationassumes the form of an object concentrated on, and is without I-ness, and doesnot change but continues to be in that form only.The nature of superconscious concentration has been more clearly stated here:‘That state in which consciousness is in concentration and is illuminated by thedivine light, and without any desire—that superconscious state is samadhi’ (—Annapurnopanishad, 1.48). It is further stated: ‘That state in which the mind isdevoid of restlessness, I-ness is absent, mind is unconcerned with worldly pleasures and pains, and consciousness is absolutely motionless like a rock, indeepest concentration, is samadhi. That state in which all desires have been completely eliminated, there is no liking or disliking, and consciousness is freefrom waves, and absolutely tranquil, that is samadhi’ (Annapurnopanishad, 1.49–50).The form of consciousness developed in superconcentration, is not void ornothing, though it is object-less and I-nessless, but there is that bliss which is beyond any worldly pleasure, and is full of power. So it is asserted: ‘That state ofconsciousness in which there are no objects, no passion or aversion, but there issupreme happiness and superior power, is samadhi’ (—Mahopanishad, 4. 62).
The process of transforming the multiform consciousness into a uniform stateis superconcentration. It is said: ‘When consciousness reaches a state in which itbecomes uniform, it is samadhi’ (—Amritanadopanishad, 16). About theconsciousness in superconcentration, Dattatreya said: ‘Samadhi is that in whichconsciousness is in deepest concentration associated with the knowledge of theunion between the embodied spirit and the Supreme Spirit’ (—Darshanopanishad, 10.1). Dattatreya further said: ‘That concentrativeconsciousness in which arises the knowledge of being only in Supreme Consciousness is samadhi’ (—Darshanopanishad, 10.5). When consciousness isin the deepest concentration, there is the realization of only Supreme Being inwhich there is no feeling of the body, no perception, no intellection, and this issuperconcentration.
Now with the Tantrika form of samadhi. Shiwa has defined samadhi as:‘According to all Tantras, samadhi is that concentration in which the sameness(samata) of the embodied spirit and the Supreme Spirit is revealed’ (—Wishwasaratantra, ch. 2, p. 11). Here, the word ‘bhawana’ has been used toindicate deepest concentration. Shiwa has also explained the nature of thesameness. He says: ‘Samadhi is that in which arises the consciousness ofoneness (ekata) between the embodied spirit and the Supreme Spirit’ (—Gandharwatantra, ch. 5, p. 26). This means that in superconcentration,consciousness is in the deepest concentration and is fully illuminated by thedivine light in which the realization of the oneness between the embodied spiritand the Supreme Spirit occurs.We have already stated that samadhi consists of two forms: samprajñata andasamprajñata (nonmens concentration).
When superconscious concentrationdevelops to its highest point, nonmens concentration is achieved. It is said: ‘Assalt thrown into water becomes the same as water, so the state in which the oneness between consciousness and the Supreme Spirit occurs is called samadhi’(—Soubhagyalakshmyupanishad, 2.14). This means, that, when all the writtis(objective images) disappear and, consequently, consciousness is in the form ofthe Supreme Being in concentration and nothing else, this is the state of samadhi. This samadhi is superconscious concentration. Because consciousnessin the concentrative form still exists, (though highly purified and illuminated bydivine light. Again it is said: ‘When the vital activities are under full control andthe mind is in deep concentration, consciousness becomes uniform; this issamadhi’ ;—Soubhagyalakshmyupanishad, 2.15).
This is also superconscious concentration.About the nonmens concentration it has been said: ‘When all desires andthoughts disappear and the sameness between the embodied spirit and theSupreme Spirit occurs, it is samadhi. When the senses and the intellective mindand even the concentrative mind are absorbed, and, consequently, the entiremind undergoes a phase of negativity, (and, therefore, the whole existence isonly the beingness of Brahman, and that Brahman is without mind and matter),this is samadhi’ (—Soubhagyalakshmyupanishad, 2.16–17).
In this samadhi,there are no desires, no sense action, no intellection and no thought, and even thehighly spiritualized concentrative consciousness has been completely absorbed;in this grand ‘nonentity’ there remains only Brahman—Brahman in its supremestate which is without mind and matter, and consequently in this state theembodied spirit, as an individualized being, is nonexistent; the embodiment hasbeen completely dissolved and the spirit has been united with the Supreme Spiritand has become one and the same. This is asamprajñata samadhi—nonmensconcentration, in which, at the highest point of concentration, the concentrativeconsciousness, which is merely in the form of divine knowledge-light, istransmuted completely into Supreme Consciousness.
By this highestconcentration a state is reached in which everything else has been absorbed, andonly Supreme Consciousness shines in its supreme aspect. This is supremeconcentration—asamprajñata samadhi.Wishnu has also said: ‘Samadhi is the sameness between the embodied spiritand the Supreme Spirit’ (—Yogatattwopanishad. Atharwana has said:‘Samadhi is that state in which the oneness (aikya) between the embodied spiritand the Supreme Spirit occurs. It is without I-ness, without objects and withoutthe knowledge of objects; it is a state full of bliss and in it there remains onlySupreme Consciousness’
So the words ‘samata’(sameness) and ‘aikya’ (oneness) indicate the same thing. It is a state of onenessbetween the embodied spirit and the Supreme Spirit. Moreover, the non mens concentration is not the insensate, gloomy metamorphosis of the human mind, it is not a state of being dead-alive, but a borderland of human development, the highest possibility of man in his spiritual endeavour; it is a state of becomingSupreme Spirit, with supreme bliss and supreme power; it is to be free from the bondage of the body and mind, to become liberated-alive.