The states of meditation
The series on patanjali yogasutras continues
The next sûtra goes _ Vitarka vicharanandasmitaroopanugamatsampragnataha (Sûtra 17) meaning "In the state of conscious awareness or sampragnata samadhi, special logic is accompanied by the appearances of, or experience of meditation in which all experiences and thoughts exist, accompanied by bliss and the experience of just "I am"."
What is the purpose of this sâdhana? Tarka means logic. Kutarka means illogical, where the intention is not right. Logic is applied here with the sole purpose of finding fault. One knows deep inside that it is not right, but still, logically you prove that it is right. This is called Kutarka. Vitarka is special logic that one uses to pursue in the world and to perceive the truth.
Now, this knowledge of yoga sutras that we are discussing about is Vitarka or special logic. What is happening? Logically you understand this knowledge, even reading this or talking about this has a certain effect on our consciousness. This is samâdhi, which means equanimous. Dhi is the intellect or the faculty of consciousness that sustains you. Even when we are talking about the self with a definite logic we are in a state of samâdhi.
Logic can always change. Vitarka is logic that cannot be condemned, that cannot be reversed. For example, if somebody is dead and you are standing there, it is obvious that they are dead and you know that the life that was there is not there anymore. At that moment your consciousness is in a different state. When you are not emotionally connected to somebody, say, then what is happening to your consciousness? You feel this is the end. Like, when a movie is over, there is a feeling that it is all over. People walk out of the movie theatre and you see that they walk out in a particular state of consciousness. At that moment there is logic in their minds, which is irrefutable and irreversible. Everything is changing or is bound to change, bound to dissolve and disappear. This is obvious. This vitarka elevates ones consciousness.
To experience this, one does not have to sit with their eyes closed. With eyes open itself this is obvious. the feeling of 'I'. Everything is empty. Everything is in a state of fluidity. The whole world is just a "quantum mechanical field". This is vitarka. The entire science is based on tarka or logic. An irrefutable tarka of it is quantum physics. The calm of mind that you get from this special logic is vitarkânugama samâdhi.
There are two states of mind in you. One is the state in which thoughts disturb you and another is the state in which thoughts does not disturb you. In the second state, they simply hover around in your consciousness and you are aware of that you are in samâdhi. It is part of meditation. Experiences of smell, sight, vision, taste and sounds come under Vichâra, the second type of samâdhi or awareness. This is called vichârânugama samâdhi. The third type is anandânugama, the blissful state. Have you noticed that after you do Sudarshan kriya or any breathing exercise you are in a different state? When you sing bhajans you are on a different space of samâdhi. The mind is still elevated, the consciousness is still elevated.
The fourth meditative state is asmitânugama samadhi. This is really the deep experience of meditation where in you do not know anything. Just the awareness that you are. Just that you know you are, but you do not know who you are, where you are. Nothing else is known. Just 'I am present'. This is the fourth state of samâdhi. All the four are called sampragnâtha.