The eight limbs of yoga state eight principles, that lead to Samadhi eventually. However, the journey is not so easy for the common man. This is the ultimate path, chosen by all yogis. If you are one of those who have embarked upon this journey, you should read this.
Patanjali has set out the eight-fold path to reach the ultimate state of divine consciousness. This is the prescription for a morally disciplined life. The eight limbs are:
- Yama or abstinences
- Niyama or observances
- Asana or yoga postures
- Pranayama or breath control
- Pratyahara or withdrawal of the senses
- Dharana or concentration
- Dhyana or meditation
- Samadhi or absorption
As one slowly migrates in the journey of life from the stage of abstinence from worldly pleasures and starts observing the basic tenets, he crosses a stage that will lead to control of the self. In this quest for inner peace, asanas and meditation perform a constructive role. However, they are not the destination itself. After, you have gained pratyahara and dharana your journey may seem much easier. But you still have to work a lot more on the journey.
Letting Go from There On
In the quest for inner peace, the inner stillness emanates from the core, after you have achieved stillness and concentration. You might start noticing the bigger picture, rather than life in various small parts. Normally, every mind has an ego. But, once delve deeper into your psyche, while following the path to Nirvana or Samadhi, you will slowly feel the ego dissolving. However, there is one hard part in this juncture. You may feel a lot of pain, when you have to let go of the idea that you are a being or somebody. Moreover, you will also come to know, that all the memories and attachments, physical or mental, that you have gathered over the years, are nothing, but an imagination or void.
You must have noticed light passing through a prism and getting scattered. When the material body, no longer holds on to the above aspects, the universal consciousness of light can enter and pass through freely. That is the very same reason, why you can see light or aura around great figures such as Buddha. Once you are on the pedestal, that denotes ‘Inner Peace’, you will notice some features. You can chart out some pathways for yourself if you still haven’t been able to real that ultimate goal.
- Acceptance is the key feature. Once you start accepting all that comes to you- good or bad, you are one step ahead.
- Being non-judgmental is the next step in this journey.
- Addiction to preferences. This is the third step, in which addictions no longer rule your mind.
- A still mind is the next step, that takes you closer to your goal. You can never achieve inner peace amidst chaos, can you?
- Mindfulness is a stage when you learn to live in the present. Worldly matters and pleasures no longer matter to you.
- Use your will power to choose your thoughts and not the other way round.
This is the stage, when you will see to have reached INNER PEACE.
But are you still there yet?
Samadhi vs Nirvana
You can better understand the differences, if you find out the exact meaning of Samadhi and Nirvana. Samadhi is a state of meditative consciousness, which is still. It reveals just self-knowledge. In yoga, you can achieve Samadhi by contemplation and meditation. However, it is not the complete state of enlightenment yet. It is a temporary state.
The final state of or that of attainment is called Nirvana or Moksha. It amounts to the achievement of complete solitude. Moreover, you would have acquired your ‘real self’ at this stage. It also means the end of the cycle of rebirths. You can achieve the state while being alive, at the moment of death, or after death.
You will hear the term Nirvana associated with Buddhism, mostly. However, according to Yogic traditions, Samadhi is what most yogis look forward to. The state of Samadhi is when you have achieved pure consciousness. It is present in Lord Buddha’s eight-fold path of salvation as well. Although their subtle meanings are a bit different from one another, both carry the same connotations. You can associate Samadhi with the Ashtanga yoga path. Now, comes the question, of how to achieve this state of bliss? Well, had it been so easy, all of us would be walking around enlightened to the core. However, even yogis spend years after years, meditating and performing yajnas to achieve that final state.
Can the Mental Discipline of Yoga Help?
To a certain extent, ‘Yes’. And, the rest is your mental organization. You can attain the ultimate state of bliss or Samadhi, through the mental discipline called yoga. Mantra chanting is also quite helpful. Om is one such mantra, which can ring the universal consciousness. You can get to the point, where you can choose what affects you, and what does not. The stages of enlightenment can range from two to four. Here we will discuss the few, that seem to answer our query on inner peace, nirvana or samadhi.
- Sabija seems to be the first one. It is the seed, which is being referred to here. The idea is to seed your concentration. It can link the ego to the previous births, if any. Moreover, it is a sort of rewind and fast-forward to the present. You cannot gain samadhi, without acknowledging the past.
- Nirbija comes next. Once, you re-connect to your past and disconnect again, you become a person, without that seed. Now, you are one, and not a loner. The state is called onliness, and not loneliness. It is a state that achieves the universal bliss of consciousness.
You will know when you have achieved Samadhi. Some of the signs include, a stillness in your surroundings and thoughts. You can sense a feeling of disconnection, yet you work towards the higher good of all. You will also be able to control your sensory intake. These are the tell-tale signs of Samadhi.