Guru: The last one that we need to discuss on various types of samādhi-s is sabīja samādhi. We have already discussed about prefixing sa and nir before the names of different samādhi-s. For example, savikalpa and nirvikalpa samādhi-s, refer to the status of your mind, the first one is with traces of thoughts still remaining in your mind and the second one is the state of samādhi, where not even a trace of thought process prevails in your mind.
Disciple: But you have referred only sabīja samādhi and you have not included nirbīja samādhi. Why?
Guru: Patañjali has spoken about nirbīja samādhi in his samādhi (I.51). Sabīja means with seeds. What do these seeds mean? They represent deeply embedded thought processes which you acquired since your birth. As long these embedded thoughts remain in your mind, your meditation can never be perfect. By practicing sabīja samādhi, these embedded thought processes are annihilated over a period of time. When all the remaining impressions are annihilated, your mind becomes so fresh and so pure like morning dew.
Disciple: How embedded thoughts get annihilated?
Guru: You sow a seed and it grows and gives you vegetables. After sometime, the plant dies. This happens in a few weeks. Purposely, I am not drawing comparison to a tree, as trees outlive our lives. Similarly, impressions of your past actions get embedded in your mind and they have to sprout and grow and we do not know when they will grow. When they begin to grow, your life could change, your goal could change and you reach new heights. In case you fall, the consequences of your fall could be disastrous. By mediating on these embedded thought processes, we have to consciously annihilate these embedded thoughts. If there are too many thoughts process embedded in your mind, you have to annihilate each of them individually. Your spiritual attainment will never be perfect if you have embedded thoughts in your mind. A mind with embedded thoughts is called an afflicted mind.
Disciple: Is there any method to annihilate such embedded thought processes and how sabīja samādhi can remove these thoughts.
Guru: Literally speaking, you have to takeout these individual thoughts and stay with these thoughts for some time and after having remained with these thoughts for a while, you have to visualize the annihilation of such thoughts in fire. If you are able to do this holistically, such thoughts will be annihilated. When you are in this state of meditation, there are some supplementary factors which you have to take into account. You have to have a perfect Guru with whom you can interact spiritually. A Guru is the one who can takes you forward in your spiritual path very carefully. If you over do anything, you are bound to end up in problems. I have said this earlier; please do not forget to pursue both spiritual and material life on the same footing and if you fail to pursue your material life, it means you are self-centered. When you are self-centered you will never have Divine Grace. The company you keep is very important during your period of sabīja samādhi. If you have some impressions of your past, deeply embedded in your mind and if people talk about such incidents connected to such thoughts while you are trying to remove these impressions, by practicing sabīja samādhi, then it will be difficult to get rid of such thoughts. Your liberation is connected only to your mind and obviously you have to keep your mind pure.
Disciple: What will happen if I am not able to remove those traces?
Guru: Patañjali also explains the consequences of not removing these impressions. He says (II.14), such impressions if not resolved, leads to karmic impressions which means transmigration.
Disciple: Can you explain karmic impressions?
Guru: They are nothing but your karma. The effect of any of our thoughts and actions get embedded in our conscious mind. If these impressions are not removed through sabīja samādhi, these impressions percolate into our subconscious mind, where our karmic impressions are stored. Some of them mature during this birth and some of them mature during your subsequent births. I have told you enough about karma and soul. When you are able to get rid of these impressions in your conscious mind, all the karmas that you have brought forth to mature in this life get annihilated. When all the karmas that you have brought forth in this life are annihilated and next logical thing would be to surrender. Once you surrender to Brahman, you do not accrue further karmas and if you do not have any past karma-s in your subconscious mind, you are ready for liberation. When you go to higher spiritual states, you may be disinclined towards material life. This should never be the case. If you do not perform karma yoga, you are bound to fall, as you have failed to discharge your duties. For the sake of pursuing your spiritual goals, you cannot let down your dependants and if you do so, it tantamounts to your self-centeredness. When you call yourself as Brahman, how can you be egocentric? If you do that, then you are not realized. If Brahman is egocentric, what will happen?
Disciple: Very true. I have seen many, who have wrecked their lives by trying to be spiritual. I understand that a proper balance is to be maintained between material life and spiritual life. But, you have not discussed about nirbīja samādhi.
Guru: As I told you, this is referred both by Patañjali and Buddhism. In nirbīja samādhi, there are no impressions in your mind. As I said, your mind becomes like the early morning dew, so fresh, so pure and so beautiful. How can you explain this purity and beauty? Similarly when the mind is purged of impurities, what remains in your mind? Nothing and nothingness or absolute non-existence and according to Buddhism, that is God. Both fullness and void (pūrṇaṁ and śūnyaṁ) is Brahman and everything else is between these two extremes and this is known as His omnipresence.
There is nothing called nirbīja samādhi, as this is very similar to nirvikalpa samādhi. The ultimate state is that state during which time you become one with Brahman. This stage is possible only if your mind is completely pervaded by Brahman. This is the stage beyond Śiva and Śakti. If you want, you can call this state as the state of Paramaśiva, the state of Ultimate Reality, where I (Śiva) and This (Śakti) remain as One.
It is not enough to attain liberation. You should genuinely help others also to attain liberation. You are duty bound to tell others what is right and what is wrong in spiritual pursuit. If you realize the Self and go to a remote corner of the world, how will you realize the universe? Self realisation is not just realizing the Self, but also realising His Grandeur, which has manifested in the form of universe. If you do not impart sacred teachings to others, then you are self-centric, which is not the nature of Brahman. If Brahman is self-centric, where is the question of this universe and our existence? But always remember that you should teach only through your experience. Do not teach what you do not know. There are enough people to disagree with you, but that should not be your problem. Entire universe is sustained both on positive and negative energies. There will be voices of descent. If you teach from your experience, you will never go wrong. If someone disagrees with you, possibly he could be speaking from his experience. Experience always differs from person to person. Both could be right, as the path always differ. But the destination is always the same.
Disciple: Yes, I understand.
Guru: Have you heard about this? Kāñci Paramācārya said, “If you feel earnestly and keenly the urgency for escaping from the cycle of birth and death, you will ignore spiritual gloom prevailing in the land and seek out a guiding torch which will dispel the gloom in you. Such a guiding torch is the Guru, your spiritual Master, who is willing to help you.” Observe what he has said at the end. A spiritual master is always waiting to help someone with his extended hands. You should become a Guru and should perfectly live up to his expectations.
It is time for me to go and if we are destined to meet again, we shall meet. But mostly we may not meet again. I have told you everything and it is up to you to practice, experience and teach. Not everyone is gifted with these qualities. When you teach someone, always look at the situation from their point of view. There should be a strong bondage between a Guru and his disciple. This bondage should not be on monetary grounds. Spirituality is not a commodity. It is His Grace and use His Grace to take others also along with you in your spiritual pursuit. I wish you all the best and invoke His perpetual Grace on you.