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Samadhi (Sanskrit: , Hindi pronunciation: [s?'ma:di]), also called sam?patti, in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and yogic schools refers to a state of meditative consciousness. It is a meditative absorption or trance, attained by the practice of dhy?na.[1] In sam?dhi the mind becomes still. It is a state of being totally aware of the present moment; a one-pointedness of mind.[web 1]

In Buddhism, it is the last of the eight elements of the Noble Eightfold Path.[web 2] In the Ashtanga Yoga tradition, it is the eighth and final limb identified in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.[2][3]


  • Sarbacker: sam?dhi is meditative absorption, attained by the practice of dhy?na.[1]
  • Diener, Erhard & Fischer-Schreiber: sam?dhi is a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object.[4]
  • Shankman: an abiding in which mind becomes very still but does not merge with the object of attention, and is thus able to observe and gain insight into the changing flow of experience.[5]



Various interpretations for the term's etymology are possible:

  • sam, "together"; a, "toward"; stem of dadhati, "puts, places": "a putting or joining together;"[web 1]
  • sam, "together" or "integrated"; ?, "towards"; dh?, "to get, to hold": "to acquire integration or wholeness, or truth" (sam?patti);
  • sam, "uniformly" or "fully"; adhi, "to get established: : a state wherein one establishes himself to the fullest extent in the Supreme consciousness;
  • sam?, "even"; dhi, "intellect": a state of total equilibrium of a detached intellect.
  • sam, "perfect," "complete." dhi, "consciousness": a state of being where "all distinctions between the person who is the subjective meditator, the act of meditation and the object of meditation merge into oneness."
  • sama, "equanimous" dhi,"buddhi or the intellect"[6]


Common Chinese terms for samadhi include the transliterations sanmei () and sanmodi ( or ), as well as the translation of the term literally as ding (? "fixity"). Kumarajiva's translations typically use sanmei (), while the translations of Xuanzang tend to use ding (? "fixity"). The Chinese Buddhist canon includes these as well as other translations and transliterations of the term.


According to Rhys Davids[note 1] the first attested usage of the term samadhi in Sanskrit literature was in the Maitri Upanishad.[web 3]

The origins of the practice of dhyana, which culminates into samadhi, are a matter of dispute.[7][8] According to Bronkhorst, dhyana was a Buddhist invention,[9] whereas Alexander Wynne argues that dhyana was incorporated from Brahmanical practices, in the Nikayas ascribed to Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta. These practices were paired to mindfulness and insight, and given a new interpretation.[8] Kalupahana also argues that the Buddha "reverted to the meditational practices" he had learned from Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta.[10]


The term 'Samadhi' derives from the root sam-a-dha, which means 'to collect' or 'bring together', and thus it is often translated as 'concentration' or 'unification of mind'. In the early Buddhist texts, samadhi is also associated with the term samatha (calm abiding). In the suttas, samadhi is defined as one-pointedness of mind (Cittass'ekaggat?).[11]

Buddhagosa defines samadhi as "the centering of consciousness and consciousness concomitants evenly and rightly on a single object...the state in virtue of which consciousness and its concomitants remain evenly and rightly on a single object, undistracted and unscattered" (Vism.84-85; PP.85).

The Theravada Pali texts mention four kinds of samadhi:

  • Momentary concentration (khanikasamadhi): A mental stabilization which arises during vipassana.
  • Preliminary concentration (parikammasamadhi): Arises out of the meditator's initial attempts to focus on a meditation object.
  • Access concentration (upacarasamadhi): Arises when the five hindrances are dispelled, when jhana is present, and with the appearance the 'counterpart sign' (patibhaganimitta).
  • Absorption concentration (appanasamadhi): The total immersion of the mind on its meditation of object and stabilization of all four jhanas.


Samadhi the last of the eight elements of the Noble Eightfold Path.[web 2] The Noble Eightfold Path is a condensation of more elaborate descriptions of this path, which starts with a householder who hears the dhamma and leaves home (either literally or figuratively), and after preparatory practices starts with the practice of dhyana.[12][note 2]Sam?dhi refers here to the jhanas, levels of gradual deepening of meditation. The P?li canon describes eight progressive states of jh?na: four meditations of form (r?pa jh?na), and four formless meditations (ar?pa jh?na). A ninth form is Nirodha-Sam?patti.

According to Bronkhorst, the four r?pa jh?na may be an original contribution of the Buddha to the religious landscape of India.[9] They formed an alternative to the painful ascetic practices of the Jains.[9] The ar?pa jh?na were incorporated from non-Buddhist ascetic traditions.[9] According to Crangle, the development of meditative practices in ancient India was a complex interplay between Vedic and non-Vedic traditions.[13]


Majjhima Nikaya 26:34-42, Ariyapariyesana Sutta, "The Noble Search", gives the following description of the four rupa jhanas ("form jhanas"), the four arupha jhanas ("formless jhanas"), and nirodha-samapatti, the cessation of perception and feeling:[web 5][note 3]

First jhana

"Suppose that a wild deer is living in a wilderness glen. Carefree it walks, carefree it stands, carefree it sits, carefree it lies down. Why is that? Because it has gone beyond the hunter's range.[note 4] In the same way, a monk--quite withdrawn from sensual pleasures, withdrawn from unskillful qualities--enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

Second jhana

"Then again the monk, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation--internal assurance. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

Third jhana

"Then again the monk, with the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.' This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

Fourth jhana

"Then again the monk, with the abandoning of pleasure & stress--as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress--enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

The infinitude of space

"Then again the monk, with the complete transcending of perceptions of [physical] form, with the disappearance of perceptions of resistance, and not heeding perceptions of diversity, [perceiving,] 'Infinite space,' enters & remains in the dimension of the infinitude of space. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

The infinitude of consciousness

"Then again the monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of space, [perceiving,] 'Infinite consciousness,' enters & remains in the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

The dimension of nothingness

"Then again the monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, [perceiving,] 'There is nothing,' enters & remains in the dimension of nothingness. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

The dimension of neither perception nor non-perception

"Then again the monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, enters & remains in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One.

The cessation of perception & feeling

"Then again the monk, with the complete transcending of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, enters & remains in the cessation of perception & feeling. And, having seen [that] with discernment, his mental fermentations are completely ended. This monk is said to have blinded Mara. Trackless, he has destroyed Mara's vision and has become invisible to the Evil One. Having crossed over, he is unattached in the world. Carefree he walks, carefree he stands, carefree he sits, carefree he lies down. Why is that? Because he has gone beyond the Evil One's range."

Mental factors

The rupa-jh?nas are described according to the nature of the mental factors which are present in these states:

  1. Movement of the mind onto the object (vitakka; Sanskrit: vitarka)
  2. Retention of the mind on the object (vic?ra)
  3. Joy, rapture (p?ti; Sanskrit: pr?ti)
  4. Happiness (sukha)
  5. Equanimity (upekkh?; Sanskrit: upek)
  6. One-pointedness (ekaggat?; Sanskrit: ek?grat?)[note 5]

Dhyana and insight

Two traditions

A core problem in the study of early Buddhism is the relation between dhyana and insight.[14][9][15] The Buddhist tradition has incorporated two traditions regarding the use of jhana.[9] There is a tradition that stresses attaining insight (bodhi, prajna, kensho) as the means to awakening and liberation. But it has also incorporated the yogic tradition, as reflected in the use of jhana, which is rejected in other sutras as not resulting in the final result of liberation.[14][7][15] The problem was famously voiced in 1936 by Louis de La Vallee Poussin, in his text Musila et Narada: Le Chemin de Nirvana.[16][note 6]

Schmithausen discerns three possible roads to liberation as described in the suttas,[17] to which Vetter adds the sole practice of dhyana itself, which he sees as the original "liberating practice":[18]

  1. The four Rupa Jhanas themselves constituted the core liberating practice of early buddhism, c.q. the Buddha;[19]
  2. Mastering the four Rupa Jhanas, where-after "liberating insight" is attained;
  3. Mastering the four Rupa Jhanas and the four Arupa Jhanas, where-after "liberating insight" is attained;
  4. Liberating insight itself suffices.

This problem has been elaborated by several well-known scholars, including Tilman Vetter,[14] Johannes Bronkhorst,[9] and Richard Gombrich.[15] Schmithausen[note 7] notes that the mention of the four noble truths as constituting "liberating insight", which is attained after mastering the Rupa Jhanas, is a later addition to texts such as Majjhima Nikaya 36.[17][9][14] Both Schmithausen and Bronkhorst note that the attainment of insight, which is a cognitive activity, cannot be possible in state wherein all cognitive activity has ceased.[9] According to Vetter and Bronkhorst, dhyana itself constituted the original "liberating practice".[18][9][20] According to Alexander Wynne, the ultimate aim of dhyana was the attainment of insight,[21] and the application of the meditative state to the practice of mindfulness.[21] According to Frauwallner, mindfulness was a means to prevent the arising of craving, which resulted simply from contact between the senses and their objects. According to Frauwallner, this may have been the Buddha's original idea.[22] According to Wynne, this stress on mindfulness may have led to the intellectualism which favoured insight over the practice of dhyana.[23]

Two kinds of dhyana

According to Richard Gombrich, the sequence of the four rupa-jhanas describes two different cognitive states:

I know this is controversial, but it seems to me that the third and fourth jhanas are thus quite unlike the second.[24][note 8]

Alexander Wynne further explains that the dhyana-scheme is poorly understood.[23] According to Wynne, words expressing the inculcation of awareness, such as sati, sampaj?no, and upekkh?, are mistranslated or understood as particular factors of meditative states,[23] whereas they refer to a particular way of perceiving the sense objects:[23]

Thus the expression sato sampaj?no in the third jh?na must denote a state of awareness different from the meditative absorption of the second jh?na (cetaso ekodibh?va). It suggests that the subject is doing something different from remaining in a meditative state, i.e. that he has come out of his absorption and is now once again aware of objects. The same is true of the word upek(k)h?: it does not denote an abstract 'equanimity', [but] it means to be aware of something and indifferent to it [...] The third and fourth jh?na-s, as it seems to me, describe the process of directing states of meditative absorption towards the mindful awareness of objects.

[25][note 9]

In Buddhist tradition


According to Buddhaghosa, in his influential standard-work Visuddhimagga, samadhi is the "proximate cause" to the obtainment of wisdom.[26] The Visuddhimagga describes 40 different objects for meditation, which are mentioned throughout the Pali canon, but explicitly enumerated in the Visuddhimagga, such as mindfulness of breathing (anapanasati) and loving kindness (metta).[]


Bodhisattva seated in meditation. Afghanistan, 2nd century CE
Indian Mahayana

The earliest extant Indian Mahayana texts emphasize ascetic practices and forest dwelling, and absorption in states of meditative oneness. These practices seem to have occupied a central place in early Mahayana, also because they "may have given access to fresh revelations and inspiration."[27]

In the Indian Mahayana traditions the term is also to refer to forms of "samadhi" other than dhyana. Section 21 of the Mahavyutpatti records even 118 samadhi.[28] The Samadhiraja Sutra for example has as its main theme a sam?dhi called 'the samadhi that is manifested as the sameness of the essential nature of all dharmas' (sarva-dharma-svabhav?-samat?-vipañcita-sam?dhi).[29][note 10]

A traditional Chinese Chán Buddhist master in Taiwan, sitting in meditation

Indian dhyana was translated as chán in Chinese, and zen in Japanese. Ideologically the Zen-tradition emphasizes prajna and sudden insight, but in the actual practice prajna and sam?dhi, or sudden insight and gradual cultivation, are paired to each other.[30][31] Especially some lineages in the Rinzai school of Zen stress sudden insight, while the S?t? school of Zen lays more emphasis on shikantaza, training awareness of the stream of thoughts, allowing them to arise and pass away without interference.


Patanjali's Yoga sutras

Samadhi is the main subject of the eighth limb of the Yoga Sutras called Samadhi-pada. They resemble the Buddhist jhanas.[32][note 11] According to David Gordon White, the language of the Yoga Sutras is often closer to "Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, the Sanskrit of the early Mahayana Buddhist scriptures, than to the classical Sanskrit of other Hindu scriptures."[33] According to Karel Werner,

Patanjali's system is unthinkable without Buddhism. As far as its terminology goes there is much in the Yoga Sutras that reminds us of Buddhist formulations from the P?li Canon and even more so from the Sarvastivada Abhidharma and from Sautr?ntika."[34]

Robert Thurman writes that Patañjali was influenced by the success of the Buddhist monastic system to formulate his own matrix for the version of thought he considered orthodox.[35] However, it is also to be noted that the Yoga Sutra, especially the fourth segment of Kaivalya Pada, contains several polemical verses critical of Buddhism, particularly the Vijñ?nav?da school of Vasubandhu.[36]


Samadhi is oneness with the object of meditation. There is no distinction between act of meditation and the object of meditation. Samadhi is of two kinds,[37][web 7] with and without support of an object of meditation:[web 8]

  • Samprajnata Samadhi, also called savikalpa samadhi and Sabija Samadhi,[web 9][note 12] meditation with support of an object.[web 8][note 13]
    Samprajata samadhi is associated with deliberation, reflection, bliss, and I-am-ness.[41][note 14] The first two, deliberation and reflection, form the basis of the various types of samapatti:[41][43]
    • Savitarka, "deliberative":[41][note 15] The citta is concentrated upon a gross object of meditation,[web 8] an object with a manifest appearance that is perceptible to our senses,[44] such as a flame of a lamp, the tip of the nose, or the image of a deity.[] Conceptualization (vikalpa) still takes place, in the form of perception, the word and the knowledge of the object of meditation.[41] When the deliberation is ended this is called nirvitaka samadhi.[45][note 16]
    • Savichara, "reflective":[44] the citta is concentrated upon a subtle object of meditation,[web 8][44] which is not perceptible to the senses, but arrived at through inference,[44] such as the senses, the process of cognition, the mind, the I-am-ness,[note 17] the chakras, the inner-breath (prana), the nadis, the intellect (buddhi).[44] The stilling of reflection is called nirvichara samapatti.[44][note 18]
  • Asamprajnata Samadhi, also called Nirvikalpa Samadhi[web 7] and Nirbija Samadhi:[web 7][note 20] meditation without an object,[web 8] which leads to knowledge of purusha or consciousness, the subtlest element.[44][note 21]

Ananda and asmita

According to Ian Whicher, the status of sananda and sasmita in Patanjali's system is a matter of dispute.[47] According to Maehle, the first two constituents, deliberation and reflection, form the basis of the various types of samapatti.[41] According to Feuerstein,

"Joy" and "I-am-ness" [...] must be regarded as accompanying phenomena of every coginitive [ecstacy]. The explanations of the classical commentators on this point appear to be foreign to Patanjali's hierarchy of [ecstatic] states, and it seems unlikely that ananda and asmita should constitute independent levels of samadhi.[47]

Ian Whicher disagrees with Feuerstein, seeing ananda and asmita as later stages of nirvicara-samapatti.[47] Whicher refers to V?caspati Mi?ra (900-980 CE), the founder of the Bh?mat? Advaita Vedanta who proposes eight types of samapatti:[48]

  • Savitarka-sam?patti and Nirvitarka-sam?patti, both with gross objects as objects of support;
  • Savic?ra-sam?patti and Nirvic?ra-sam?patti, both with subtle objects as objects of support;
  • S?nanda-sam?patti and Nir?nanda-sam?patti, both with the sense organs as objects of support
  • S?smit?-sam?patti and Nirasmit?-sam?patti, both with the sense of "I-am-ness" as support.

Vijnana Bikshu (ca. 1550-1600) proposes a six-stage model, explicitly rejecting Vacaspati Misra's model. Vijnana Bikshu regards joy (ananda) as a state that arises when the mind passes beyond the vicara stage.[43] Whicher agrees that ananda is not a separate stage of samadhi.[43] According to Whicher, Patanjali's own view seems to be that nirvicara-samadhi is the highest form of cognitive ecstasy.[43]


According to Taimni, dharana, dhyana and samadhi form a graded series:[49]

  1. Dharana. In dharana, the mind learns to focus on a single object of thought. The object of focus is called a pratyaya. In dharana, the yogi learns to prevent other thoughts from intruding on focusing awareness on the pratyaya.
  2. Dhyana. Over time and with practice, the yogin learns to sustain awareness of only the pratyaya, thereby dharana transforms into dhyana. In dhyana, the yogin comes to realize the triplicity of perceiver (the yogin), perceived (the pratyaya) and the act of perceiving. The new element added to the practice of dhyana, that distinguish it from dharana is the yogi learns to minimize the perceiver element of this triplicity. In this fashion, dhyana is the gradual minimization of the perceiver, or the fusion of the observer with the observed (the pratyaya).
  3. Samadhi. When the yogin can: (1) sustain focus on the pratyaya for an extended period of time, and (2) minimize his or her self-consciousness during the practice, then dhyana transforms into samadhi. In this fashion then, the yogin becomes fused with the pratyaya. Patanjali compares this to placing a transparent jewel on a colored surface: the jewel takes on the color of the surface. Similarly, in samadhi, the consciousness of the yogin fuses with the object of thought, the pratyaya. The pratyaya is like the colored surface, and the yogin's consciousness is like the transparent jewel.

Sahaja samadhi

Ramana Maharshi distinguished between kevala nirvikalpa samadhi and sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi:[50][web 10][web 11]

Sahaja samadhi is a state in which a silent level within the subject is maintained along with (simultaneously with) the full use of the human faculties.[50]

Kevala nirvikalpa samadhi is temporary, [web 10][web 11] whereas sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi is a continuous state throughout daily activity.[50] This state seems inherently more complex than s?madhi, since it involves several aspects of life, namely external activity, internal quietude, and the relation between them.[50] It also seems to be a more advanced state, since it comes after the mastering of samadhi.[50][note 22][note 23]

Sahaja is one of the four keywords of the Nath sampradaya along with Svecchachara, Sama, and Samarasa. Sahaja meditation and worship was prevalent in Tantric traditions common to Hinduism and Buddhism in Bengal as early as the 8th-9th centuries.


The Samadhi of Ranjit Singh is located next to the iconic Badshahi Masjid in Lahore, Pakistan.

In Sikhism the word is used to refer to an action that one uses to remember and fix one's mind and soul on Waheguru.[] The Sri Guru Granth Sahib informs:[]

  • "Remember in meditation the Almighty Lord, every moment and every instant; meditate on God in the celestial peace of Sam?dhi." (p. 508)[clarification needed]
  • "I am attached to God in celestial Sam?dhi." (p. 865)[clarification needed]
  • "The most worthy Sam?dhi is to keep the consciousness stable and focused on Him." (p. 932)[clarification needed]

The term Samadhi refers to a state of mind rather than a physical position of the body. The Scriptures explain:

  • "I am absorbed in celestial Sam?dhi, lovingly attached to the Lord forever. I live by singing the Glorious Praises of the Lord" (p. 1232)[clarification needed]
  • "Night and day, they ravish and enjoy the Lord within their hearts; they are intuitively absorbed in Samadhi. ||2||" (p. 1259)[clarification needed].

The Sikh Gurus inform their followers:

  • "Some remain absorbed in Sam?dhi, their minds fixed lovingly on the One Lord; they reflect only on the Word of the Shabad." (p. 503)[clarification needed]

See also


  1. ^ n.d.: unpaginated
  2. ^ See Pre-sectarian Buddhism#The eightfold path, and Majjhima Nikaya 27:11-26, Cula-hatthipadopama Sutta, "The Shorter Elephant Footprint Simile".[web 4]
  3. ^ See also Samadhanga Sutta: The Factors of Concentration
  4. ^ See Majjhima Nikaya 25, Niv?pa Sutta, in which the Buddha compares the search of the recluses and brahmins with deers (the recluses and brahmins) who try to escape the bait (sensual pleasure) of hunters (Mara). The deers who escape are those who keep accees to the senses, but in a mindful way; and who don't hold views like "the world is eternal, "the world is not eternal", et cetera. This is possible by the practice of jhana, which puts the recuses and brahmins out of reach of Mara.[web 6]
  5. ^ In the Suttapitaka, right concentration is often referred to as having five factors, with one-pointedness (ekaggat?) not being explicitly identified as a factor of jhana attainment (see, for instance, SN 28.1-4, AN 4.41, AN 5.28).
  6. ^ See Louis de La Vallée Poussin, Musial and Narad. Translated from the French by Gelongma Migme Chödrön and Gelong Lodrö Sangpo.
  7. ^ In his often-cited article On some Aspects of Descriptions or Theories of 'Liberating Insight' and 'Enlightenment' in Early Buddhism
  8. ^ Original publication: Gombrich, Richard (2007), Religious Experience in Early Buddhism, OCHS Library 
  9. ^ "In this order, therefore, what we should understand as vipassan? is not at all a synonym for sati but rather something which grows out of the combination of all these factors especially of course the last two, samma sati and samma sam?dhi applied to the ruthless observation of what comes into being (yath?bh?ta). One could say, vipassan? is a name for the practice of sati+sam?dhi as applied to anicca/dukkha/anatta (i.e. generating wisdom) directed at the six-sense-process, including any mental activity." According to Gombrich, "the later tradition has falsified the jhana by classifying them as the quintessence of the concentrated, calming kind of meditation, ignoring the other - and indeed higher - element.[24]
  10. ^ Gomez & Silk: "This samadhi is at the same time the cognitive experience of emptiness, the attainment of the attributes of buddhahood, and the performance of a variety of practices or daily activities of a bodhisattva--including service and adoration at the feet of all buddhas. The word samadhi is also used to mean the s?tra itself. Consequently, we can speak of an equation, s?tra = sam?dhi = nyat?, underlying the text. In this sense the title Samadhiraja expresses accurately the content of the s?tra."[29]
  11. ^ See also Eddie Crangle (1984), Hindu and Buddhist techniques of Attaining Samadhi
  12. ^ The seeds or samskaras are not destroyed.[web 9]
  13. ^ According to Jianxin Li Samprajnata Samadhi may be compared to the rupa jhanas of Buddhism.[38] This interpretation may conflict with Gombrich and Wynne, according to whom the first and second jhana represent concentration, whereas the third and fourth jhana combine concentration with mindfulness.[39] According to Eddie Crangle, the first jhana resembles Patnajali's Samprajnata Samadhi, which both share the application of vitarka and vicara.[40]
  14. ^ Yoga Sutra 1.17: "Objective sam?dhi (samprajnata) is associated with deliberation, reflection, bliss, and I-am-ness (asmita).[42]
  15. ^ Yoga Sutra 1.42: "Deliberative (savitarka) samapatti is that sam?dhi in which words, objects, and knowledge are commingled through conceptualization."[41]
  16. ^ Yoga Sutra 1.43: "When memory is purified, the mind appears to be emptied of its own nature and only the object shines forth. This is superdeliberative (nirvitaka) samapatti."[45]
  17. ^ Following Yoga Sutra 1.17, meditation on the sense of "I-am-ness" is also grouped, in other descriptions, as "sasmita samapatti"
  18. ^ Yoga Sutra 1.44: "In this way, reflective (savichara) and super-reflective (nirvichara) samapatti, which are based on subtle objects, are also explained."[44]
  19. ^ See also P?ti
  20. ^ Without seeds or Samskaras[web 7] According to Swami Sivananda, "All the seeds or impressions are burnt by the fire of knowledge [...] all the Samskaras and Vasanas which bring on rebirths are totally fried up. All Vrittis or mental modifications that arise form the mind-lake come under restraint. The five afflictions, viz., Avidya (ignorance), Asmita (egoism), Raga-dvesha (love and hatred) and Abhinivesha (clinging to life) are destroyed and the bonds of Karma are annihilated [...] It gives Moksha (deliverance form the wheel of births and deaths). With the advent of the knowledge of the Self, ignorance vanishes. With the disappearance of the root-cause, viz., ignorance, egoism, etc., also disappear."[web 7]
  21. ^ According to Jianxin Li, Asamprajnata Sam?dhi may be compared to the arupa jhanas of Buddhism, and to Nirodha-Samapatti.[38] Crangle also notes that sabija-asamprajnata sam?dhi resembles the four formless jhanas.[40] According to Crangle, the fourth arupa jhana is the stage of transition to Patanjali's "consciousness without seed".[46]
  22. ^ Compare the Ten Bulls from Zen
  23. ^ See also Mouni Sadhu (2005), Meditation: An Outline for Practical Study, p.92-93


  1. ^ a b Sarbacker 2012, p. 13.
  2. ^ "The eight limbs, The core of Yoga".  External link in |journal= (help)
  3. ^ "8 Limbs of Yoga: Sam?dhi".  External link in |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Diener, Erhard & Fischer-Schreiber Ingrid 1991.
  5. ^ Shankman 2008.
  6. ^ Sturgess, Stephen (2014). Yoga Meditation. Oxford, UK: Watkins Publishing Limited. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-78028-644-0. 
  7. ^ a b bronkhorst 1993.
  8. ^ a b Wynne 2007.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bronkhorst 1993.
  10. ^ Kalupahana 1994, p. 24.
  11. ^ Henepola Gunaratana, The Jhanas in Theravada Buddhist Meditation © 1995
  12. ^ Bucknell 1984.
  13. ^ Crangle 1994, p. 267-274.
  14. ^ a b c d Vetter 1988.
  15. ^ a b c Gombrich 1997.
  16. ^ Bronkhorst 1993, p. 133-134.
  17. ^ a b Schmithausen 1981.
  18. ^ a b Vetter 1988, p. xxi-xxii.
  19. ^ Vetter, 1988 & xxi-xxxvii.
  20. ^ Cousins 1996, p. 58.
  21. ^ a b Wynne 2007, p. 105.
  22. ^ Williams 2000, p. 45.
  23. ^ a b c d Wynne 2007, p. 106.
  24. ^ a b Wynne 2007, p. 140, note 58.
  25. ^ Wynne 2007, p. 106-107.
  26. ^ Buddhaghosa & Nanamoli 1999, p. 437.
  27. ^ Williams 2008, p. 30.
  28. ^ Skilton 2002, p. 56.
  29. ^ a b Gomez & Silk 1989, p. 15-16.
  30. ^ McRae 2003.
  31. ^ Hui-Neng & Cleary 1998.
  32. ^ Pradhan 2015, p. 151-152.
  33. ^ White 2014, p. 10.
  34. ^ Werner 1994, p. 27.
  35. ^ Thurman 1984, p. 34.
  36. ^ Farquhar 1920, p. 132.
  37. ^ Jones & Ryan 2006, p. 377.
  38. ^ a b Jianxin Li & year unknown.
  39. ^ Wynne 2007, p. 106; 140, note 58.
  40. ^ a b Crangle 1984, p. 191.
  41. ^ a b c d e f Maehle 2007, p. 177.
  42. ^ Maehle 2007, p. 156.
  43. ^ a b c d Whicher 1998, p. 254.
  44. ^ a b c d e f g h Maehle 2007, p. 179.
  45. ^ a b Maehle 2007, p. 178.
  46. ^ Crangle 1984, p. 194.
  47. ^ a b c Whicher 1998, p. 253.
  48. ^ Whicher 1998, p. 253-254.
  49. ^ Taimni 1961.
  50. ^ a b c d e Forman 1999, p. 6.


Printed sources

  • Bronkhorst, Johannes (1993), The Two Traditions Of Meditation In Ancient India, Motilal Banarsidass Publ. 
  • Bucknell, Rod (1984), "The Buddhist to Liberation: An Analysis of the Listing of Stages", The Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, Volume 7, 1984, Number 2 
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  • Diener, Michael S.; Erhard, Franz-Karl; Fischer-Schreiber, Ingrid (1991), The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen, Shambhala, ISBN 0-87773-520-4 
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  • Gomez, Luis O.; Silk, Jonathan A. (1989), Studies in the Literature of the Great Vehicle: Three Mahayana Buddhist Texts, Ann Arbor 
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  • Jianxin Li (n.d.), A Comparative Study between Yoga and Indian Buddhism,, archived from the original on 2016-03-04 
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  • Maehle, Gregor (2007), Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy, New World Library 
  • McRae, John (2003), Seeing Through Zen. Encounter, Transformation, and Genealogy in Chinese Chan Buddhism, The University Press Group Ltd, ISBN 9780520237988 
  • Pradhan, Basant (2015), Yoga and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Springer 
  • Sarbacker, Stuart Ray (2012), Samadhi: The Numinous and Cessative in Indo-Tibetan Yoga, SUNY Press 
  • Schmithausen, Lambert (1981), On some Aspects of Descriptions or Theories of 'Liberating Insight' and 'Enlightenment' in Early Buddhism". In: Studien zum Jainismus und Buddhismus (Gedenkschrift für Ludwig Alsdorf), hrsg. von Klaus Bruhn und Albrecht Wezler, Wiesbaden 1981, 199-250 
  • Shankman, Richard (2008), The Experience of Samadhi - an in depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation, Shambala publications 
  • Skilton, Andrew (2002), "State or Statement?: Sam?dhi in Some Early Mah?y?na S?tras", The Eastern Buddhist, 34 (2) 
  • Sutcliffe, Steven (2004), Religion: Empirical Studies, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. 
  • Taimni, I.K. (1961), The Science of Yoga: The Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali in Sanskrit (PDF), Nesma Books India, ISBN 978-81-7059-211-2 
  • Thurman, Robert (1984), The Central Philosophy of Tibet, Princeton University Press 
  • Vetter, Tilmann (1988), The Ideas and Meditative Practices of Early Buddhism, BRILL 
  • Werner, Karel (1994), The Yogi and the Mystic, Routledge 
  • Whicher, Ian (1998), The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga, SUNY Press 
  • White, David Gordon (2014), The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A Biography, Princeton University Press 
  • Wijebandara, Chandima (1993), Early Buddhism, Its Religious and Intellectual Milieu, Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya 
  • Williams, Paul (2000), Buddhist Thought. A complete introduction to the Indian tradition, Routledge 
  • Williams, Paul (2008), Mah?y?na Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations, Routledge 
  • Woods, James Haughton, trans. (1914), The Yoga System of Patanjali with commentary Yogabhashya attributed to Veda Vyasa and Tattva Vaicharadi by Vacaspati Misra, Cambridge: Harvard University Press [page needed]
  • Wynne, Alexander (2007), The Origin of Buddhist Meditation (PDF), Routledge 

Web sources

Further reading


  • Crangle, Edward Fitzpatrick (1994), The Origin and Development of early Indian Contemplative Practices, Harrasowitz Verlag 


  • Vetter, Tilmann (1988), The Ideas and Meditative Practices of Early Buddhism, BRILL 
  • Bronkhorst, Johannes (1993), The Two Traditions Of Meditation In Ancient India, Motilal Banarsidass Publ. 
  • Shankman, Richard (2008), The Experience of Samadhi. An In-depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation, Shambhala 


  • White, David Gordon (2014), The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A Biography, Princeton University Press 
  • Maehle, Gregor (2007), Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy, New World Library 

External links

Advaita Hinduism
Theravada Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism

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