SAMADHI PART I
SAMADHI PART II
SAMADHI PART III
A LAYPERSON'S VIEW
A woman by the name of Mercedes De Acosta, a layperson with no indepth spiritual prowess other than a deep curiosity visited the venerated Indian holy man the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in 1938.
That visit was her first experience with Samadhi. A fellow American who was visiting the ashram at the time by the name of Guy Hague, and who has in the past, often been suggested as the role model for Larry Darrell in William Somerset Maugham's novel The Razor's Edge, was the first to give a name to what she was experiencing. In 1960 she wrote a book titled Here Lies the Heart in which she writes about that experience AND, in her own words attempts to describe Samadhi:
As he (i.e., Sri Ramana) sat there he seemed like a statue, and yet something extraordinary emanated from him. I had a feeling that on some invisible level I was receiving spiritual shock from him although his gaze was not directed toward me. He did not seem to be looking at anything, and yet I felt he could see and was conscious of the whole world.
"Bhagavan is in Samadhi," Guy Hague said.
Samadhi is a very difficult state to explain. In fact I do not think anyone has ever explained it. Doctors have tried to analyze it from a medical and physical point of view, and have failed. I have heard it described as "a state of spiritual ecstasy in which consciousness leaves the body." But this is not the whole phenomenon, as the breath stops and so does the beating of the heart. But it is not a form of trance as in the trance state both of these continue. It is claimed that Samadhi is a state attained only by highly Enlightened people--people who have reached Spiritual Illumination. It is a state where the spirit temporarily leaves the body and goes into one of bliss. All the Enlightened Ones who have attained Samadhi describe it as Bliss. In the last century the great saint Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa often went into Samadhi. The Maharshi would go into it for hours at a time, and often for days. When I arrived at the ashram he had already been in it seven hours.
FOR A NON LAYPERSON'S VIEW SEE:
The Question of the Importance of Samadhi
In Modern and Classical Advaita Vedanta
SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI: THE LAST AMERICAN DARSHAN
RECOUNTING A YOUNG BOY'S NEARLY INSTANT TRANSFORMATION INTO THE ABSOLUTE DURING HIS ONLY DARSHAN WITH THE MAHARSHI
WILLIAM SOMERSET MAUGHAM
Fundamentally, our experience as experienced is not different from the Zen master's. Where
we differ is that we place a fog, a particular kind of conceptual overlay onto that experience
and then make an emotional investment in that overlay, taking it to be "real" in and of itself.
ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT IN A NUTSHELL
ON THE RAZOR'S
THE BEST OF THE MAUGHAM BIOGRAPHIES:
SPIRITUAL GUIDES, GURUS, AND TEACHERS INFLUENTIAL IN DARRELL'S LIFE OTHER THAN THE MAHARSHI: