XXII - Page 222 Home | Index | Previous | Next

Samadhi is Equal-Mindedness

The experience of that bliss has been referred to as the state of samadhi. What is the meaning of samadhi? Samadhi is ordinarily mistaken to be an emotional state in which a person acts abnormally, as if in a state of high excitement or trance. You may think that samadhi is something different from the waking, dream or deep-sleep states. But, truly, samadhi is something common to all three states. The meaning of samadhi is inherent in the word itself. Its root syllables sama or equal, and dhi or mind, together mean equal-mindedness. To be equal-minded in cold or in heat, in profit or in loss, in praise or in censure... that is samadhi. Therefore, a person who is immersed in samadhi, whose mind is in equanimity, will always be in a state of bliss, whether he is in the waking state immersed in his every-day life, or whether he is in the dream-state or in the deep-sleep state. Everyone yearns for such a beatific state. To attain it, a great deal of spiritual practice is necessary. You also have to earn the grace of the Lord by living a life replete with the virtuous qualities that are pleasing to him.

After describing the noble characteristics of a truly wise man, Krishna told Arjuna, "Arjuna, there is no value whatsoever in your basing your actions only on considerations involving the body. Follow my commands! Discharge your duties while all the time thinking of me. Then you will be able to experience and enjoy the divinity that is everywhere. This divinity is the unity which underlies all the diversity in the world. Base your actions on that. Constantly concentrate on that divinity. I am that divinity and you are very dear to me. When you concentrate on me, then I will be fully concentrated on you." For a wise man, whatever be the state he is in, his thoughts and feelings will not undergo any change. He will have developed an unwavering attitude, being focused at all times on the divine principle within.

Who will be surprised to hear that fire is accompanied by heat? Burning is the natural state of fire, just as cold is the natural state of ice. So also, everyone who is born will die. This should be considered as totally natural. Anyone who recognizes this truth will not be subjected to sorrow. In all places and in all circumstances, develop an equal-mindedness. Whatever happens, always keep your mind firmly fixed on the divinity, which is your true self. In order to develop this ability to think of the atma, your divine nature, in all places and at all times, you will have to gain a deep understanding of the characteristics of the three worlds, the physical, the mental and the causal.

In the evening you take your food and shortly afterwards you go to bed. Soon after that you are asleep and get a number of dreams. Many things happen to you in your dreams but after getting up nothing remains of the dream state. In the waking state you engage in many different activities and have numerous experiences, but then later on, when you go back to sleep again all these activities of the waking state are superseded by the events in the dream state. We see that so many changes come about in just 24 hours.