Ramana Maharshi on Deep Sleep, Trance and Samadhi State
Question : What is the difference between deep sleep,
laya [a trancelike state in which the mind is temporarily in abeyance]
Ramana Maharshi : In deep sleep the mind is merged and not destroyed.
That which merges reappears. It may happen in meditation also. But the
mind which is destroyed cannot reappear. The yogi's aim must be to
destroy it and not to sink into laya. In the peace of meditation, laya
sometimes ensues but it is not enough. It must be supplemented by other
practices for destroying the mind.
Some people have gone into yogic samadhi with a trifling thought and after a long time awakened in the
trail of the same thought. In the meantime generations have passed in
the world. Such a yogi has not destroyed his mind. The true destruction
of the mind is the non-recognition of it as being apart from the Self.
Even now the mind is not. Recognise it. How can you do it if not in
everyday activities which go on automatically? Know that the mind
promoting them is not real but is only a phantom proceeding from the
Self. That is how the mind is destroyed.
Question : Can the meditator be affected by physical disturbances during
nirvikalpa samadhi? My friend and I disagree on this point.
Ramana Maharshi : Both of you are right. One of you is referring
to kevala and the other to sahaja samadhi. In both cases the mind is
immersed in the bliss of the Self. In the former, physical movements may
cause disturbance to the meditator, because the mind has not completely
died out. It is still alive and can, as after deep sleep, at any moment
be active again.
It is compared to a bucket, which, although completely
submerged under water, can be pulled out by a rope which is still
attached to it. In sahaja, the mind has sunk completely into the Self,
like the bucket which has got drowned in the depths of the well along
with its rope. In sahaja there is nothing left to be disturbed or pulled
back to the world. One's activities then resemble that of the child who
sucks its mother's milk in sleep, and is hardly aware of the feeding.
Question : How can one function in the world in such a state?
Ramana Maharshi : One who accustoms himself naturally to
meditation and enjoys the bliss of meditation will not lose his samadhi
state whatever external work he does, whatever thoughts may come to him.
That is sahaja nirvikalpa. Sahaja nirvikalpa is nasa [total destruction
of the mind] whereas kevala nirvikalpa is laya [temporary abeyance of
Those who are in the laya samadhi state will have to bring
the mind back under control from time to time. If the mind is destroyed,
as it is in sahaja samadhi, it will never sprout again. Whatever is done
by such people is just incidental, they will never slide down from their
Those that are in the kevala nirvikalpa state are not
realized, they are still seekers. Those who are in the sahaja nirvikalpa
state are like a light in a windless place, or the ocean without waves;
that is, there is no movement in them. They cannot find anything which
is different from themselves. For those who do not reach that state,
everything appears to be different from themselves.
Question : Is the experience of kevala nirvikalpa the same as that of
sahaja, although one comes down from it to the relative world?
Ramana Maharshi : There is neither coming down nor going up - he who
goes up and down is not real. In kevala nirvikalpa there is the mental
bucket still in existence under the water, and it can be pulled out at
any moment. Sahaja is like the river that has linked up with the ocean
from which there is no return. Why do you ask all these questions? Go on
practising till you have the experience yourself.
Question : What is the use of samadhi and does thought
Ramana Maharshi : Samadhi alone can reveal the truth. Thoughts cast a
veil over reality, and so it is not realized as such in states other
than samadhi. In samadhi there is only the feeling `I am' and no
thoughts. The experience of `I am' is `being still'.
Question : How can I repeat the experience of samadhi or the stillness
that I obtain here in your presence?
Ramana Maharshi : Your present experience is due to the influence of the
atmosphere in which you find yourself. Can you have it outside this
atmosphere? The experience is spasmodic. Until it becomes permanent,
practice is necessary.
Source: from David Godman Excellent Book "Be As You
Ramana Maharshi Biography
Ramana Maharshi Teachings
Osho on Lakshmi Cow (Ramana
Ramana Mahashi on Turiya and Samadhi
Osho on Lakshmi Cow (Ramana
Ramana Maharshi Free PDF
Maharshi Self Inquiry Meditation Technique
Ramana Maharshi on Samadhi - Nirvikalpa
Samadhi & Sahaja Samadhi
Ribhu Gita chapter
26 and 40 verses of Reality
Bhagwan Ramana Maharshi Teachings Blog (open in new window)
Jiddu Krishnamurti Talk on
Osho on Enlightened Person
Dreams and Sleep
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