The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali provides all dedicated yoga practitioners with an outline on how to focus one's awareness on the Divine through deeper states of meditation in order to ultimately experience samadhi - a merging with Divine Consciousness. There are various stages of samadhi - or union with the Divine that are described in the Yoga Sutras.

Here are some verses from the first book - or Pada I of the Yoga Sutras - often referred to as Samadhi Pada - or Yogic Ecstasy. These come from Alberto Villoldo's Yoga, Power, and Spirit: Patanjali the Shaman - and his rendition and more contemporary interpretation of sutras 17 - 23:

Samadhi brings four gifts
the gift of reasoning, or the ability to analyze...
the gift of discernment, or the ability to see what
lies beneath the appearance of things...
the gift of bliss...
the gift of awareness of your True Self.

Samadhi allows you to break free
from the stories of your mind,
free from the talks of pain
and loss that bind you.

Then, only the karma built up
in previous lifetimes
can keep you tethered to the
struggle that many call life.

Experience samadhi
and you can leave your body at will,
immerse your consciousness
in fathomless nature,
even take up residence
in the realm of the celestial gods...

To achieve samadhi
you can draw upon faith
or personal experience.
You can remember the nature
of your True Self
or contemplate your oneness
with all of creation.
All four of these practices
lead to samadhi.

The sincere intent to achieve samadhi
will quickly bring you to the state of bliss.

The more earnest your efforts,
and the more attention you devote
to your yoga practice
the easier it is to attain samadhi.

Surrender completely to Spirit
and attain samadhi...

What else is there to do - or strive for - or experience - or become?


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