The term Nirvana in Buddhism; Nirvikalpa in Vedanta; Samadhi or Kaivalya in Patanjali yoga sutras are one and the same thing called by different names. Basically it is about getting immersed in the universal consciousness. We must be like the soap bubble flying in air, the inside and outside being the same, but separated by small film, reflecting and refracting the sunlight and giving happiness to the viewers and then finally popping out. When we are pure in our thoughts, engaged in activities (vrutti) without attachment, we are like the soap bubble, we act outside, but don’t let it settle inside. In that state, we have no attachment everything seems to be lightweight. That is true happiness – a true Samadhi.

Samadhi is not mysterious.

We experience Samadhi in day-to-day life while listening to a good music, watching a nice movie, going to beautiful landscapes and getting absorbed in doing so; this is Samadhi. Having a good night’s sleep is also Samadhi. Upanishads say that if we never experienced Samadhi we wouldn’t have survived.

If we consciously practice this state of samadhi we will be established in it. But as soon as a question arises as to ‘what am I doing here’, we come out of this state. The more we are in the state of samadhi, the less we will be multi-focused. When we put our mind to an object single pointedly, it is called dharana. In that state unconsciously we are also putting some effort. Slowly we need to recognize that effort and smoothen it, which then becomes a travel from dharana (fix) to dhayana (effortless flow). Effort is our ego and when this ego form of effort is dissolved samadhi happens. Such a person who has consciously reached above the normal realms of consciousness is said to be a Yogi. He approaches the world, interacts with it and once it is over he comes back to Samadhi. He hovers only around dharana, dhayana and samadhi. When we are not practicing samadhi, we wander around the object and hence we are interacting at the surface while yogi is below the surface, deep inside. Both are working and interacting, but yogi does and thinks about only one task. When the three faculties – attention, meditation, and contemplation – are exercised fully, that is a perfect meditation known as Samyama – seeing beyond the objective world, when ordinary person perceives the objective details a samyami is the one who sees things beyond the object. While everyone was seeing apple falling down, Newton saw what is the force behind that makes apple fall down. Newton was a yogi. We find Upanishads quoting that ‘yogi sees beyond what a normal person sees’.