Is samadhi common?


In the SRF and Ananda communities, just how common is it really for individuals to experience cosmic consciousness or any level of samadhi? After reading "Autobiography of a Yogi", I'd love to believe that we could all be supermen and omniscient like the Great Masters, but alas, I need to keep it all in a realistic perspective.

Thank you.

—Dean Opseth, USA


Dear Dean,

Swami Kriyananda has often reminded us in the past number of years of Paramhansa Yogananda’s emphasis that we should all aspire in this lifetime of being a jivan mukta, which means to be ‘ freed while living’.

Here is a quote from Swami Kriyananda explaining more fully the state of being a jivan mukta: ‘Such a person has attained nirbikalpa samadhi, and final victory over the supreme’ indeed, the only’ obstacle he ever had: his self-created burden of self-identity, self-separative, ever self-divisive from others, which forms a yawning chasm between himself and God. When a person attains this highest state at last, he will never fall again.”

So it seems likely that there will be a number of individuals, both at Ananda and elsewhere, that will reach that state. Which means that yes, they will experience cosmic consciousness.

What is important for each one of us is that we are always open to the promise of God’s grace transforming us, and allowing us to experience our oneness in the Divine, the state of samadhi. Yogananda said that we should never let our mental gaze fall below that horizon line in our daily lives. As to when we will become jivan muktas — that is in God’s hands.

In divine friendship,