Samadhi, Divine Visions, and the Experience of God


I want to know what type of experience we have in samadhi. Can we get a vision of our favorite deity? I am confused about what we have to do to get a vision during samadhi.

—shivam, india


Dear Shivam,

I can think of no better description of the experience of samadhi than that which appears in a chapter in Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi entitled, “An Experience in Cosmic Consciousness.” Yogananda told his disciples to read his poem, “Samadhi” (which you will find in this same chapter) everyday with deep attention. It is exceptionally rare that a fully realized master describes his experience in such detail.

Yogananda said that God will come to us in whatever form we hold most dear. Christians will see Christ, devotees of Krishna will see Krishna, and so on. Such visions may come to one in moments of deep one-pointed devotion — even before one attains Samadhi.

Visions are not the only way one experiences God, however. God manifests to one both in form and in formlessness. In the stillness of deep meditation one may experience God as Bliss, Light, Love, Sound, Peace, Calmness, Power, or Wisdom. As one deepens in attunement to God, one will begin to experience God manifesting in these ways outside of meditation — in one’s daily activity or in superconscious dreams — until one feels the Divine Presence continuously.

Above all, God is felt. Even if you were blessed to receive a true vision, it would be the experience of Love and Bliss bursting the boundaries of your heart that you would most remember and cherish.

With Warm regards.
Puru (Joseph) Selbie