Samadhi – equanimity, a uniform state of mind, union (yoga) with God, fulfillment.
The First stage of samadhi — sabija, savikalpa, samprajnata.
The Highest samadhi — nirbija, nirvikalpa, asamprajnata.
Raja Yoga begins when Kundalini makes her home above the throat chakra, making the highest form of samadhi, nirbija (without-seed), possible. This is also called nirvikalpa (without-difference) samadhi. Prior to this, one experiences sabija (with-seed) samadhi, also called savikalpa (with-difference) samadhi.
These different names for the same things, arrived at by different people of different lineages, in different locations and times over centuries, provide us with multiple clues for understanding samadhi.
The First Stage of Samadhi
Direct experience of Truth.
‘Seed’ refers to desire in a dormant state. A seed is something in a potential state that is not manifest. So in sabija, with-seed samadhi, a seed of desire is present, and makes the experience one in which there is a distinction between the individual and what is being experienced: savikalpa. Another term for this samadhi is samprajnata samadhi, ‘with-a-knowable’.
Sabija – ‘with-seed’. Dormant desire is present.
Savikalpa – ‘with difference’. Differentiation between the individual and the experience.
Samprajnata – ‘with a knowable’. An object of knowledge is present and knowable, perceptible.
The Highest Samadhi
Absorption into The Absolute, unfathomable bliss and independence without separation.
As samadhi develops, the next stage, in which difference is not present, is nirbija, nirvikalpa, asamprajnata samadhi. There is no difference because there is no desire, not even a desire in a potential state—there are no desires at all. There is no sense of self, no object to know, to perceive, and no experiencing going on. The knower, the knowing and the known are differences that are not present with this highest samadhi. It is asamprajnata, absorption into the Absolute.
Nirbija – ‘without-seed’. Without desire.
Nirvikalpa – ‘without-difference’. Without distinctions.
Asamprajnata – ‘without-a-knowable’. Absorption.
Kundalini & Samadhi
Before Raja Yoga begins, the first stage of samadhi may be experienced even though Kundalini has not yet made her permanent home at the sixth chakra. This happens when, with sufficient purification, the energy shoots up into the head but falls back to the first chakra (do not underestimate the importance of this chakra).
Although this may happen very quickly, a mere fraction of a second, it can last for several minutes, or even hours, and will go through changes until Kundalini is able to move house and retire to the the sixth chakra. At this point, Kundalini takes a new name: Maruti, Goddess of the Wind. Now the evolutionary force is fully awake, and She means business.