There are news and debates in the Indian and international media nowadays about one saint by the name of Ashutosh Maharaj ji whose body has been kept in a freezer from almost last one year by his disciples… they saying the saint has entered in samadhi. My question is what is samadhi, how long its duration can be and whether one’s body need preservation while one is in samadhi? Please enlighten.
I don’t wish to make any comments on Ashutosh Maharaj and the claims of his disciples but the question is relevant and i would definitely but briefly answer you. Though samadhi is a truth yet there are many misconceptions about samadhi. People feel that in samadhi the soul leaves the body which is not true. In samadhi soul very well resides or at least is well connected with the astral body so a commanded or induced inactivity prevails in the physical body. In this state of samadhi although the body shows no physical signs of life yet it does not deteriorate. In fact in samadhi all the vayus continue to work through the physicality of a sadhaka albeit the activity levels are extremely low. Such state of samadhi can stay for hours, days and weeks. If you go back in time you shall find that few accomplished yogis have remained in such a state for years together.
Someone who has experienced deep meditation would also experience that the rate of breathing, its length and intensity goes down drastically – people new to this experience sometimes force themselves out of this state with a jerk as they feel they are about to die! So, as meditation deepens one goes on to experience different levels of samadhi. It is true that samadhi is generally an outcome of stillness of mind accompanied with body yet it would be ignorant to assume that Samadhi is always about being still, inactive and something which happens only in the lotus-posture. There is another samadhi which Raman Maharshi has given a name – sahaja samadhi. Such a samadhi is maintained even while performing all day to day activities. The one whom Krishna refers to as Sthitiprajna is the one who walks, talks, sleeps, eats, drinks, plays, enjoys all worldly pleasures in samadhi itself. Such a man was king of mithila, Janaka – father of Sita, Raman Maharshi, Neem Karoli Baba, Mehar baba and in our own lineage our paratpar guru Shri Brahmanandnath ji chose to achieve and stay in such a state. There are inherent dangers for the siddhas in such a waking state of samadhi as then they operate only through the principle of love and compassion thus become highly vulnerable. Mostly such siddhas prefer to stay away from public contacts. Apart from those I personally know about there would have been many more unsung Masters in the eternity of time to achieve such a state however the moot point is samadhi, which is partial or complete absorption of mind in the object of contemplation can lead this body to go into a deep hibernation like state which for all practical purposes resembles a dead body and needs protection.. not preservation.
But the most important characteristic of any samadhi is body’s staying fresh and not showing signs of deterioration (at least decomposition). If one chooses to leave his/her body in the state of samadhi then after few days the body may just start shrinking to become like a log of dead-wood without decomposing. Even if this body is not kept in freezer or embalmed! Although there are many examples of bodies of many yogis and saints not decomposing for days together but one should not and can not take such a postmortem symptom of physicality as a sure sign of enlightenment because it is always a choice for the person to leave this body’s vayus activated or shut them down. If a master chooses to draw the vayus one after another then his body (after death) shall behave like any other ordinary person’s body. Most of the Masters prefer to not leave this body after setting the momentum of Vayus because then there is possibility of misuse of their body by some other spirit……. anyways.. I don’t wish to delve deeper here..
Second instance where body is left lifeless is parkaya pravesh. In such a situation the soul has to leave this body and its survival is majorly by way of preservation. There has been a reported case of Adi Shankaracharya where many things have been kept secret. The most important question comes that how his body was kept in good condition by his disciples for full one year till he came back. Most people will tell you that it was made possible by the use of Ayurvedic potions etc. But the secret lies in ‘Shava Sadhana’ techniques where ‘vyana vayu’ is not allowed to leave a body and with the help of ‘dhananjay vayu’ (this vayu doesn’t leave your body even when you are dead – it stays there till kapala is not destroyed) an energy channel is formed between the sadhaka (disciples here) and then they are able to regulate (maintain the minimal activity needed to keep body from decomposing) other 5 vayus subtly. In fact there is a whole discipline of shmashaan sadhana and shava-sadhana mostly under the aghora way. Apart from there are secret rituals to keep the panch-chakras, pranas and subtler aspects of panch-tattvas active by way of inducing energy currents in important nadis through mantra-shakti. Such a body which has been abandoned by a soul for the purpose of parkaya-pravesh can not be left unattended even for a minute. At least 3 persons should always be there keeping its chakras active.
So if one has left one’s body for parkaya pravesh (entering another healthy body for some time) such a grand arrangement (including a great team of dedicated care-taker-disciples with complete know-how of the secret techniques and knowledge of subtler aspects of Pranayama, Tattva Shakti, Mantras, Tanrtic rituals etc.) is needed otherwise the body shall not last. If such a team is not there a body, even if kept in a deep freeze state will gradually become incapable of revival. To summarize a dead body would require a complete preservation (not the likes of deep-freeze) schedule.
Hope this is enough to make fair judgement on issues like this today and tomorrow..
– Ach. Agyaatdarshan Anand Nath