Samadhi is the third step in meditation.
The first is called dharana, holding the attention on to one place.
The second is dhyana, when the attention rests there continuously, and does not have to be recalled with more or less frequency, as it does in dharana.
But the meditator is still aware, I am meditating on this’. In samadhi, the I am meditating’ vanishes, and the object, This’, becomes radiant and blazes up in its own light; it is the whole universe.
Vairagya comes from vision of the Self. Even a glimpse of the Self frees from many long-standing obsessions. They are not exactly conquered triumphantly; they simply lose their importance because they become illusory. It is by vision of the Self that attachment even for the gunas is conquered. The ordinary man feels raga as attachment for specific objects, and the philosophical analysis and other practices are in the beginning directed mostly against this attachment for particular objects. But there is a much more subtle attachment, which is for the gunas themselves; it is different from attachment for objects. Take the guna rajas – passion-struggle. Normally this is felt as the fight for success in a particular thing; that thing is the object of attachment and joy is hoped for when it is attained. But a man whose attachment is for rajas itself does not mind much what thing it is that he fights for. His joy is in the struggle, and when he is successful he is rather indifferent to the object. It was merely a field for his rajas. Such men are mountaineers in everything. It is not that there is anything at the top of the mountain; they simply wish to ‘conquer’ it, as they put it. In the world they are often magnanimous to those whom they have defeated; it is victory itself that they want, not any particular success. Other people, travelling in the wake of such conquerors, may reap benefits, but the heroes themselves frequently waste their lives.
In the same way a man can be attached to the lethargy of tamas, which gives him a cheerful indifference to everything; or to the serenity and clarity of the individual self in sattva, which he does not wish to break up in favour of expansion into the unknown depths of the real Self.
© Trevor Leggett