Samadhi is a word from Hindu Yoga, meaning Samyak-Adhikara, complete control or, entitlement. If a yogi attains any samadhi, a state of mental focus, he/she is qualified by right to all the power that state holds. Our minds are weighed down by too many thoughts and loss of focus. By meditation, we can focus it on one single thing. When the rays of the mind become totally concentrated on one subject and very still, we attain samadhi. We forget ourselves and become one with the subject of the samadhi. In doing so, we gain total power over and full knowledge of the subject of meditation. There are many levels of samadhi, the mind thus getting stabler and stabler, gradually focusing on one single thought. Our subject of meditation may be something external, some abstract thing, or, something internal… like mind-stuff, intelligence, chitta, ego (called Antahkarana collectively), or, even subtler like bliss, truth or, consciousness.
When we look for solutions to the problems in our lives, generally we seek help from something outside ourselves, something more powerful than us. We pray to God Almighty, who is omnipotent, who controls everything. Is there a force that is conscious and can listen to our prayers? Fortunately, yes. There are powerful entities in the universe, who may be summoned and benefits reaped, but the results are limited by time and conditions. Sacrilege! Blasphemous utterance! Is that a daring statement in denial of God Almighty? No. For there is one God, but not in agreement to most doctrines. Doctrines are aimed at Loka-sangraha, organization, governance and leading a large number of adherents. Truth, on the other hand is above such things. Truth has nothing to do with recruitment. Truth is absolute freedom. Different religions point at God from separate stand-points and none can describe the infinity and magnitude of God in it’s entirety.
Where there is God, there is his devotee, there is bound to be Duality. Where there is duality, how can there be One absolute reality? What is the state, that fuses God and Devotee into one?
There is such an Ultimate state of existence, without which there is nothing. We accept and dismiss so many things in this world of multitude and variety. When we dismiss everything visible and invisible, … when we get rid of all different possibilities of existence, …all forms of matter or, energy contained in this universe, or, other universes … all thoughts passing through all minds, past present and future, … there remains an Conscious Invisible Power, which cannot be divided or, destroyed supporting everything known and unknown. This is the underlying, Fundamental Reality and it pervades all forms of matter and energy, however subtle. This Absolute Truth always remains. That is the only thing that matters… in this universe, or, beyond it. It is not some separate ‘Thing’, yet it is. Let us call it by the name of Unmani, for reference’s sake. It cannot be named, or, pointed at, as it permeates everything.
There are innumerable things beyond the grasp of our sense organs. Many things can’t even be detected by precision instruments, which are like extensions of our senses. All Objects are like clusters of matter and energy, marked with a beginning and an end. They need space to exist. What is beyond space?
Things are contained within the boundaries of time. Everything began at one point and continued to exist up-to some point of reference, this is Time. Time marks the continuity of things. But where there is no change, no beginning or, end, time is meaningless. That Absolute stillness, that Eternity which is the essence of consciousness, mother of Time and Space, is the Truth. The meaning we try to tag upon the word ‘Truth’, is void under the premise of Unmani. It is, had always been, and will be… like before us and afterwards, when our petty purposes will vanish like grains of camphor.
Unmani is the root of existence itself. But how did that stillness give birth to the variety of this known universe? The state of Unmani is not inert, but conscious of itself. It is the only source of Truth, Love and Bliss. When obstructions between our mind and Unmani are removed, we perceive it as flashes of bliss. When we fall asleep, and dreams stop distracting our inner mind, we can feel the Unmani as peace and solace. The energy thus gained, allows us to function in the waking state, which is an array of multiplicity and divided attention. Unmani, mentioned mostly in yoga-tantras is a higher state than Nirvikalpa samadhi of Vedanta. Nirvikalpa is attained by analysis and vigorous vichara leading to laya of the mind in Turiya Brahman. That would be like vritti-nirodha due to vichara, hence rising from Sa-vichara samadhi to Nir-vichara samadhi and Jivatman fusing into Paramatman at the top of the brain called Sahasrara, the thousand petaled lotus. Unmani is beyond Sahasrara lotus and above the scope of the bodily nine chakras, it is outside the body.
The existence of Mind or, ‘Mana’ ceases to be, before it can fully comprehend the ultimate state. Hence the highest state up to which we retain our mind is called Samana (with mind), and beyond it is Unmana (Above-mind, or, supra mind state), also called as Unmani, which is the very Nature of free consciousness. What causes the first vibration of existence from the stillness of the absolute? The Nirguna Brahman willed, and the world came to be. Why would the stillness vibrate with this will? Why would it spring from inaction to action? Vedanta and the Upanishads are silent about this. Gorakhnath answers this riddle.
What causes the primal vibration in the Mahashunya (Void) to give birth to the Mind? What causes the waves in the Mind to begin creation? The first wave that set things in motion, reverberates through all time as Om. Gorakhnath, the first know-er of Unmani reveals the secret that Unmani is not static, but Dynamic, in a state of flux. It’s like a mitral valve in the heart of everything, vibrating (spandanam), giving rise to the eternal waves of Truth and Bliss.
Born from Unmana is Samana, the purest state of mind. It is here that one may perceive God and interact with Him. He is the cluster of the purest emotions of the clear mind. But he who gets to know Unmani, cannot retain a separate existence. He is nothing but an embodiment of Unmani itself. Gorakhnath is said to reside in Mahashunya, in his eternal samadhi, all persona immersed in Unmani. But the dynamic nature of Unmani awakens him from time to time to appear in this variegated world below, as the emissary of Unmana.
He appears only to them who are thirsty for the highest truth. Those who ask for lower truths and crave minute flakes of power and worldly benefits, get what they desire. But such poor devotees cannot see the embodiment of truth and pure bliss, who is Gorakhnath. Truth, knowledge, bliss and love… emanate from Unmani.
Only a few have ever been able to say anything about such a state. Gorakhnath, Dattatreya and Gyaneshwar (Sant Dnyaneshwar, the author of Dnyaneshwari Gita)… the list is that much. The rest is recapitulation and permutation of their words in Tantra, Yoga and Spanda Shastras.
By Amitabha Chatterjee,
Disciple of Sri Dayal Baba and Sri Lalbaba.
This article can also be read here.