Patanjali Yoga Sutras - Knowledge Sheet 16
That which is caused by this existence (i.e., you meditating in this level of existence) also influences those who do not have a body and those who have merged with nature.
- Patanjali Yoga Sutra #19
This goes more into an esoteric line. Samadhi is not the property of just this level of existence. It surpasses this level. It goes into the other worlds too. People who do not have a body, they too can get affected by meditation. When you meditate, you are not just bringing harmony within yourself, but you are influencing the subtle layers of the creation and the subtle bodies of all the different levels of existence in the creation. So your meditation influences those people who lived 100 years ago. Their consciousness and their minds are affected. And also it affects the minds and consciousness of people who would live in the future. This is because life is infinite. Though life is in every moment, it is also infinite. Your life has been here from thousands of years and your life will continue to be here for centuries.
Different Type of Yogis
One is called Videha means one who does not have a body. Videha is knowing that: ‘I am not the body; I have a body; this is my body, yet I am not the body.’ You can walk feeling as though you have no body and the mind is in such a state of equanimity. And those who do not have a body, they also come under the influence of yoga.
The same is with Prakruti laya, those who are completely submerged in nature. They also attain the same state of equanimity. Have you ever had this experience? When you observe water in a lake and the waves in the water, that's all (the water in the lake and the waves in the water) that stands. No thoughts, no mind, no body, no awareness. This is Prakruti laya Samadhi — you are merging with nature at that moment. But when you are doing that the mind says, 'Oh! This is water. What am I doing? I should better use my time doing something else.' Then you are not dissolving in nature.
Either you are completely not aware of the material world (videha - non awareness of the body, of surroundings, of situations, so immersed in the Self) or completely immersed in the object of the world. With your eyes closed you are totally immersed – at that moment also you are in samadhi (in the state of meditation) or when you are looking and observing nature.
Prakruti laya is a big practice. For hours together, for years together people sit in solitude just watching nature till all thoughts disappear.
And all that they are left with is emptiness. You can do this as an experiment when you are very worried. Just sit by a flowing river and keep looking at the water. Within few moments you feel as though your mind is being pulled in the direction of water flow. Then you sit on the other bank and watch, then you will see your mind is being pulled in the other direction.
Patanjali says these things suit certain people at certain times. It is not a practice you do everyday. At certain time for certain people, these things create samadhi.
Next week: The most vital sutra...
(This is part of a series of knowledge sheets based on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's commentaries on Patanjali Yoga Sutras.)