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Chapter 1: The Meaning of Samadhi

We will be moving on a dangerous terrain. If you forget that he is a poet also, you will be misguided. Then you become too much attached to his terminology, language, reasoning, and you forget his goal. He wants you to go beyond reasoning, but through reasoning. That is a possibility. You can exhaust reasoning so deeply that you transcend it. You go through reasoning; you don’t avoid it. You use reason to go beyond it as a step. Now listen to his words. Each word has to be analyzed.

Sampragyata samadhi is the samadhi that is accompanied by reasoning, reflection, bliss and a sense of pure being.

He divides samadhi, the ultimate, into two steps. The ultimate cannot be divided. It is indivisible, and there are no steps in fact. But just to help the mind, the seeker, he divides it first into two. The first step he calls sampragyata samadhi - a samadhi in which mind is retained in its purity.

This first step: mind has to be refined and purified - you cannot simply drop it. Patanjali says it is impossible to drop it because impurities have a tendency to cling. You can drop only when the mind is absolutely pure - so refined, so subtle, that it has no tendency to cling.

He does not say, “Drop the mind,” as Zen masters say. He says that is impossible; you are talking nonsense. You are saying the truth, but that’s not possible because an impure mind has a weight - it hangs, like a stone. And an impure mind has desires - millions of desires, unfulfilled, hankering to be fulfilled, asking to be fulfilled, millions of incomplete thoughts in it. How can you drop it? - because the incomplete always tries to be completed.

Remember, says Patanjali, you can drop a thing only when it is complete. Have you watched? If you are a painter and you are painting, unless the painting becomes complete you cannot forget it. It continues, haunts you. You cannot sleep well; it is there. The mind has an undercurrent in it. It moves; it asks to be completed. Once it is completed, it is finished. You can forget about it. Mind has a tendency towards completion. Mind is a perfectionist, and so whatsoever is incomplete is a tension on the mind. Patanjali says you cannot drop thinking unless thinking is so perfect that now there is nothing to be done about it. You can simply drop it and forget.

This is completely the diametrically opposite way from Zen, from Heraclitus. The first samadhi, which is samadhi only for name’s sake, is sampragyata - samadhi with a subtle purified mind. The second samadhi is asampragyata - samadhi with no mind. But Patanjali says that when the mind disappears and there are no thoughts, then too subtle seeds of the past are retained by the unconscious.

The conscious mind is divided in two. First, sampragyata - mind with purified state, just like purified butter. It has a beauty of its own, but it is there. And howsoever beautiful, mind is ugly; howsoever pure and silent, the very phenomenon of mind is impure. You cannot purify a poison, it remains poison. On the contrary, the more you purify it the more poisonous it becomes. It may look very, very beautiful; it may have its own color, shades, but it is still impure.

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