The term “samadhi” is considered to be inextricably linked to yoga system. Sometimes it is even represented as the ultimate goal of yoga. But if we try to understand the exact meaning attributed to this term in the modern pseudo-yogic domain we’ll find dozens of different definitions that are mostly ridiculous. The first pages of Google tell samadhi to be “trance”, “ecstasy”, “merging with Absolute” or a certain posthumous state. Vivekananda rather prosaically defined samadhi as “concentration”, while Mircea Eliade introduced a special term - “instasy”. Some tend to confuse it with nirvana of Buddhism. But where does the truth lie?
I used to briefly touch upon this topic on the blog. But given that the next lines to be interpreted are directly associated with this theme I chose to undertake a large-scale retrospective study of it. It took me three years to complete the issue, and I am now satisfied with the result.
The results of the study were briefly presented at the round table that was recently held at the Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. However, even an hour allowed to me as a token of respect has happened to be too short a time to fully cover the topic. So I thought I could be posting here the materials written in the process of the report elaboration.
Since I have over a hundred pages, I’ve arranged them in 5 articles:
- Samadhi as first mentioned in the early Upanishads and epic texts;
- Samadhi in the text of Patanjali and works of his commentators;
- Samadhi in Medieval teachings;
- Samadhi in early hatha-yoga;
- Samadhi in late texts on yoga.
Hopefully when done this way it won’t be too wearisome. However, I also think about releasing a video-lecture.