Question 245: What, then, is equanimity (samadhi)?

Queen Chaudala
In Question 244, Vasishtha finished with reference to King Sikhidhvaja. Ramji, some time back there lived a king, Sikhidhvaja by name, who also remained in the non-ideational state and enjoyed immense bliss. You, too, should adopt the attitude like that of King Sikhidhvaja. In this new question from the young Rama, the story of King Sikhidhvaja and Queen Chudala is narrated.

atma-abhyas: spiritual discipline; spiritual endeavour

Brahm-gyan (Brahma-jnana) knowledge of the Supreme Brahman

drishya: sight; what is seen;
drishya-roop; the form that is seen;

prana-yama (praanaayaama). Breath control.
prana-yama -practice by breathing exercise SB 4.1.21
prana-yama -by the practice of regulating the airs within the body SB 5.20.27

samadhi: Samadhi is a state of profound and utterly absorptive contemplation of the Absolute that is undisturbed by desire, anger, or any other ego-generated thought or emotion. It is a state of joyful calm, or even of rapture and beatitude, in which one maintains one’s full mental alertness and acuity.

thanmayathwa: losing body consciousness temporarily due to contemplation on something

samadhi: Samadhi is a state of profound and utterly absorptive contemplation of the Absolute that is undisturbed by desire, anger, or any other ego-generated thought or emotion. It is a state of joyful calm, or even of rapture and beatitude, in which one maintains one’s full mental alertness and acuity.

bhava samadhi: emotion, strong feeling mistaken as samadhi

jagrith, swapna, and sushupthi: waking, dream and deep sleep

Atma-satta The potency of Atma (the Soul).


Question 245: Sir, who was King Sikhdhvaja and how did he attain the supreme state? Kindly advise me.

Answer: Ramji, Sikhidhvaja was a great and brave king. He had married a maiden, Chudala by name, according to the appropriate rites. Queen Chudala was very beautiful and wise and both of them loved each other immensely. She was very intelligent and would sense instantly the wishes of the king and act accordingly. They lived together merrily. After some time the king, assigning care of the state to his ministers, went with Chudala to live in a forest where they sported in various ways.

In due course they thought of learning yoga. Queen Chudala was superior to the king in learning yoga and used to teach him. They lived in the forest for a considerable time until they attained old age when they developed an attitude of detachment. They thought of the world as unreal and transitory, and regularly attended the discourses of saints on knowledge of the supreme, Brahman. At home, the queen used to reflect upon these teachings and practised accordingly. In all states of action, her mind was engaged in spiritual endeavour (atma—abhyas) and contemplation. She constantly used to think, ‘Who am I, what is this universe and how did it arise?

Practising through contemplation like this, she realised that the body is nothing, that it is merely an image of five elements and that ‘I am not that, I am not motor organs (karma-indriya), I am not sense organs (jnan-indriya), I am not mind, I am not intelligence, I am not ego, I am not ideation or jiva, because all these are insentient and unreal. All of them function with the potencies of Atma and that is my true self which is always effulgent, non-ideational and quiescent.’ She experienced that ‘the immortal and indivisible Atma is my true self and that the quiescent, pure consciousness, too, is my true self. I am non-ideational, stable and non-dual. I am extended as the sight (drishya-roop)’. Contemplating and practising like this, Queen Chudala was firmly convinced that the universe too, is Atma, that nothing else has been created, and that ‘I am that Atma’.

Ramji, in this manner, Chudala was firmly fixed in this spirit and she cognised herself as the pure and immortal Atma. She did not perceive any object besides herself and always felt that ‘I am perennially established in Myself, and that the being or the existence of all objects is due to My potencies’. Thus reflecting, she entered into samadhi. King Sikhidhvaja was surprised to find Chudala in a state of samadhi and said to her,”My queen, observing your state I find that you have attained a great peace that has made your face glow, and you look very serene.”

The queen said, “My lord, whatever is perceived is an ideation; I have attained to the state which is bereft of ideation, and for this reason I enjoy bliss and have attained supreme wisdom. I am established in Atma; that is why you find me in peace. What is seen or enjoyed with the senses is unreal like a dream.”

Ramji, the king was amazed to hear these words from Chudala and not realising the purport, he said very lightly, “O foolish lady, you are calling as unreal or a dream what is perceived as manifest and you say that you are not seeing that. You are calling what is not visible, as real and you say that you are able to see that. Who will believe such a talk? These utterances do not befit you. You also say that you indulge in nothing and that you are Ishwara. It is not right for you to say like that”. Having said so, the king got busy with his routine.

Ramji, Queen Chudala felt sorry and disheartened to note that the king had not yet attained to the Atmic state and was not able to follow what she had said. Thereafter, she did not talk on this matter to the king. In due course, the queen decided to practise breath-control (pranayama) so that she could lift the vital force (prana up to the tenth centre, bring it down again and control udana (moving above throat) and apana (moving below throat) vayu (types of prana) , that would enable her to move freely between akash (space, ether, that which is part of duality) and patala Loka, realm of existence – see below) . With this idea, she got busy with the practise of pranayama and was engaged in yoga.


Patala: A world, a division of the universe; in general three Lokas are enumerated, or heaven, hell, and earth: another classification enumerates seven, exclusive of the infernal regions; or Bhūr-loka the earth, Bhuvar-loka the space between the earth and the sun, the region of the Munis, Siddhis; Svarloka the heaven of INDRA, between the sun and the polar star; Maharloka the usual abode of BHṚGU, and other saints, who are supposed to be co-existent with BRAHMĀ: during the conflagration of these lower worlds, the saints ascend to the next, or Janaloka, which is described as the abode of BRAHMĀ’S sons, SANAKA, SĀNANDA, SANĀTANA, and SANATKUMĀRA; above this, is the fifth world or the Tapoloka, where the deities called Vairāgis reside; the seventh world, Satyaloka or Brahmaloka, is the abode of BRAHMĀ, and translation to this world exempts beings from further birth; the three first worlds are destroyed at the end of each Kalpa or day of BRAHMĀ; the three last at the end of his life, or of 100 of his years; the fourth Loka is equally permanent, but is uninhabitable from heat, at the time the three first are burning: another enumeration calls these seven worlds, earth, sky, heaven, middle region, place of births, mansion of the blest, and abode of truth, placing the sons of BRAHMĀ in the sixth division, and stating the fifth or Janaloka to be that, where animals destroyed in the general conflagration are born again.



Om bhur
Om bhuvah
Om svahah
Om mahah
Om janah
Om tapah
Om satyam

Puranas, especially the Atharva veda describe the Vyahrtis, the seven worlds which are supposedly located in higher planes above our earth.

Om, the Pranava – the seed sound that creates all that exists – is the universal chant is prefixed to denote that irrespective of any part of the galaxy, the vibration is uniform.

Bhuh refers to bhuloka, the earth
Bhuvah refers to the astral realm
Swaha refers to heaven
Maha refers to the sapta rishis mandala
Jana refers to the birth or beginning of creation
Tapa refer to the blessed state or the Narayana Loka
Satya refers to Brahma Loka

The Vyahrtis are also believed to denote the seven layers of consciousness namely – Survival, Relationships, Self-esteem, Transformations, Self-expressions, Connections and Contributions

Relatively the significance between these two meanings of the Vyahrtis is seen clearly as Earth – Survival, Astral plane – Relations, Heaven – Respect & Blissful, Sapta rishis – Realization, Birth – Expressions, Narayana – Connection, Brahmam – Contribution (creation)



What Is Samadhi?

Some people think sleep to be samadhi. Some others think that getting lost in thanmayathwa (losing body consciousness temporarily due to contemplation on something) or emotion is a samadhi (bhava samadhi). This is considered to be an experience in an immature state or a state which is neither waking nor dream. But the experience of samadhi is the same in all the three states, namely, waking, dream and deep sleep (jagrith, swapna, and sushupthi) . Actually the meaning of samadhi is obvious from the word itself. We say that a person has gone into samadhi, while talking. This is not samadhi; it may be a fit of emotion or hysteria or a weakness. To develop an equanamity of mind (sama chittha) even during the Waking state, even while he is conscious, is samadhi. To treat happiness and sorrow, pleasure and pain, friends and foes, profit and loss with the same equanimity and to attain a stage where neither one is elated nor depressed over such opposites—that state is samadhi. To clarify it further, one must be constantly in a state of bliss in all the three modes of akasa, i.e., bhuthakasa, chitthakasa and chidakasa. Such a state is not easily available to all. To attain that state, one must do intense sadhana and enquiry. Above all, he must have the divine grace. SSS, Bhagavad Gita (Part 2) pp129-130


The Forest, Foret


Hamsa Gayatri
Om Hamsaaya Vidmahe
Paramahamsaya Dheemahi
Tanno Hamsa Prachodayat

“May we realise Hamsa that is our own Self as the Swan. Let us meditate on that Paramahamsa, the Supreme Self. May Hamsa illumine us.”

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