The word samadhi literally means sama and dhi – Sama means equanimous and dhi means the buddhi or intellect. If you reach that kind of equanimous state of intellect, it is known as samadhi.

The word samadhi has been largely misunderstood. People think samadhi means some death-like situation. The word samadhi literally means sama and dhi – sama means equanimous and dhi means the buddhi or intellect. If you reach that kind of equanimous state of intellect, it is known as samadhi.

The basic functioning of the intellect is always to set things apart. It is because intellect is functioning that you can discriminate cold versus warm. If you transcend the intellect you become equanimous.

When your awareness becomes perfect you are simply equanimous, you are not making a distinction – you are simply here, seeing life in its true working.

The moment you drop or transcend the intellect, discrimination cannot exist. Everything becomes one whole, which is the reality. In this state there is no time or space.

Time and space is a creation of your mind. Once you transcend the mind as a limitation, time and space doesn’t exist for you. What is here is there, what is now is then. There is no past or future for you. Everything is here in this moment.

Samadhis are of different varieties. When you are living in the body there are eight samadhis available to a human being.

Of these eight, they have been broadly categorized as savikalpa: samadhis with attributes or qualities – samadhis that are very pleasant, blissful, and ecstatic – and nirvikalpa: samadhis that are beyond pleasant and unpleasant, they are without attributes or qualities. Those who go into nirvikalpa samadhi states are always kept in protected states because their contact with the body has become very minimal.

The smallest disturbance, like a sound or a pinprick would dislodge them from their body. These states are maintained for certain periods to establish the distinction between you and the body. It is a significant step in one’s spiritual evolution, but still not the Ultimate. The samadhis by themselves have no great significance in terms of realization.

Mahasamadhi

As long as you are in the body, whatever liberation you attain, the body is a limitation. It is not complete liberation. When someone leaves their body in full awareness, then we call this mahasamadhi because he or she has shed the body.

For someone to be able to do this – taking this life and throwing it out without injuring the body – it needs tremendous energy. Mahasamadhi is a state where one willfully drops the body. The cycle is over. There is no question of rebirth, it is complete dissolution. You can say this person is truly no more.

Life just shifts from one level to another. In reality there is no such thing as death. Death exists only to one who has no awareness about life. There is only life, life, life alone. But mahasamadhi means the real end.