What is saṁyam? It means binding together, three important factors of yoga (union) viz. dhāraṇā, dhyāna and samādhi (discussed in the previous article). When all the three factors of yoga are fixed on a particular object, the physical appearance of that object disappears and knowledge about that object dawns. At this point, one gets siddhis. In order to get siddhis, one has to have the right birth (karmas), auṣadha (consisting of certain medicinal herbs in right combination), a mantra properly initiated, quality meditation and remaining in samādhi. At the end of quality dhāraṇā, dhyāna and samādhi, one experiences different types of siddhi-s. These three are related to antaḥkaraṇa or work internally in subtle manner.

Every object’s true identity is veiled by māyā. Let us take an example of a cow. When we look at the cow, we see only its gross form with horns and tail, etc. What is hidden is Brahman within the cow. Knowing the hidden is known as prajñaloka (prajña means knowledge and loka means world). Prajñaloka can be explained as absolute experience without any distractions. There are three stages to reach prajñaloka. The first stage is to cross the gross form on seeing an object; getting past māyā. The second stage is to develop detachment on that object. The third stage is cross these two stages. This is called saṁyam, which leads to revelation of ultimate truth.

This should be practiced in stages to achieve the best results. While practicing, one crosses five stages – experience, uncertainty (doubtfulness or lack of faith), unconscious (like in sedation), sleep and conscious. Experience is again classified into five kinds – deep sleep, dreaming state, active state, turya and turyātīta. The first three states, all of us experience on a daily basis. Turya and turyātīta are known as fourth and fifth stages of consciousness. In order to experience turyātīta, one has to discard uncertainty, unconscious and sleep. These three always bring in sorrow.

In the case of samādhi, there is nothing called internal or external, particularly in the case of nirvikalpa samādhi. Aṣṭāṅga Yoga has eight components. Out of these eight, dhāraṇā, dhyāna and samādhi as discussed earlier, work internally and only due to these, we can realize the Self within. When one is able to experience nirvikalpa samādhi, several siddhis come as a result. This is called vibhūti (manifestation of might, great power, superhuman power) and there are two kinds of vibhūti. One is used for material life and another is used for spiritual life. When someone uses these siddhis for material life, Divine Grace will not be possible, which is essential for realizing the Self.

Nirbīja or nirvikalpa samādhi can be experienced only due to Divine Grace, which can be either used for material gains or for Liberation. For nirvikalpa samādhi, everything else is external. In nirvikalpa samādhi, Divine pervades his body, his mind, his life and finally his surroundings. He leads a life that is fully protected by the Divine (Divine Grace and Blessings).

What is nirodha pariṇāma? Nirodha means restraint, check, control, suppression or destruction; Pariṇāma means change, alteration, transformation, development or evolution. Generally nirodha pariṇāma is used for restraining and transforming the mind. There are five types of thought processes that affect the mind. These thought processes appear in the mind like strong waves and the act of controlling them is known as yoga (when the mind is controlled, pure consciousness is revealed and this is known as Self-realisation or yoking with Brahman). When the mind is free from five types of thought processes, it is samādhi. Mind becomes peaceful on two counts. First, the past impressions have to go and next, new impressions should replace the past impressions. New impressions are not mundane impressions, but the result of spiritual practices in subduing the mind, which also results in dissolution of ego.  Only this alone can lead us to nirvikalpa samādhi.

Nirodha pariṇāma can be perfected only through practice, which ultimately leads to nirvikalpa samādhi. When one continues to experience nirvikalpa samādhi, he is called a super human being. Normal human beings use only two biological eyes and super human beings use another three hidden eyes apart from using the biological eyes. The three hidden eyes or super human eyes are ājñācakra, sahasrāra and back head chakra (bindu chakra). Those who use all the five eyes are known as siddhas (perfected, become perfect, beatified, endowed with supernatural faculties).

(III: 4 – 10)