Mind and Senses Become Steady in Samadhi

Kshenavrutterbhijatasyeva manergrahetrugrahana grahyeshu tatsthatadanjanata samapattihi’’ (I Sutra 41)

kshena = powerless; vruttihi = modulations of the mind; abhijatasya = transparent; iva = like; manehe = crystal; grahitri= the knower; grahana = knowing; grchya = the knowable;tatstha = remaining in it; tadanjanata = in spite of being with objects; samapattihi = samadhi.

“On making the modulations of the mind powerless and on becoming like a transparent crystal, the mind, which holds the senses or the objects of the senses, inspite of being engaged in the world of senses - all the three (mind, sense and objects) are in a state of harmony in samadhi.”

This sutra of Patanjali says, "You become like a crystal". A crystal exists, but it still allows light to pass through it totally. Though you exist with a body, in the state of samadhi, you are not there at all. You can live as though you do not exist. This is samadhi. When you are with the Self, you are just with the Self - steady, blissful, joyful. When you are with the senses, you are totally with the senses and when you are the object of the senses, you become the object of the senses.

How? Like a crystal. Behind a crystal, you keep any colored light and the crystal, without any obstruction, assumes the color of that light. In the same way, you look at the mountain; you become one with the mountain. This is samadhi.

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Eyes are the windows for you to see the world and for the world to see your soul, and how steady it is. If someone is too ambitious, too greedy, their eyes will indicate that. You can know that the person is so selfish, so greedy and so ambitious. If the person is kind and compassionate, their eyes will reflect that. Eye means the face, the senses, everything, not just the physical eyes. Your appearance, your walk, your behavior, your words and your entire life reflects what you are deep inside. This is the job of the senses. They give you the knowledge of the world and the knowledge of you to the world!

When you polish your senses and make them hollow and empty, they becomes like a crystal. The soul in you reflects that Soul, that Lordship in you. Then, when you look at the flower, you are just looking at the flower. You are touching the flower, you are feeling the flower. All your senses become totally active. Like the crystal which reflects the senses, the objects of the senses reflect the Purusha inside you, the being in you, the one Divinity in you. This is Sabeeja Samadhi.

You look at the mountain and it reminds you of your Self, the consciousness. You look at a flower and the flower reminds you of consciousness. You look at the sun, moon, water, or just stare at the ocean waves and that gives you the idea of the unknown, the formless energy in the Self by which all this has come up. At that very moment, samadhi is happening. You are in samadhi. Now, by looking at the sunset you are in Samadhi, the mind is steady and senses are steady. Steadiness is Divinity. Steadiness is strength. Steadiness is dispassion.

You can experiment with this. For a few moments, you keep your body still and keep your eyes still and you will see that almost immediately, the mind will also become steady. Stand still and the mind will also come to a standstill. This is when the time stops, breath stops, immortality begins. Before time swallows you, you swallow time. That is samadhi.

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(This is part of a series of knowledge sheets based on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's commentaries on Patanjali Yoga Sutras.)