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samadhi – the goal of the eight limbs of ashtanga

samadhi – the goal of the eight limbs of ashtanga

by August 28, 2013

Although the first seven of the eight limbs of Ashtanga are worthwhile stages, the ultimate goal is Samadhi, the eighth limb. Samadhi is a state of bliss that can also be thought of as enlightenment or another level of consciousness.

It takes extensive practice and devotion to the limbs to reach the point of Samadhi. The limbs before Samadhi – Dharana and Dhyana – already take your consciousness to another level and are difficult to attain, but you go to the highest level with this limb. It can be thought of as a reward for practicing and progressing through the other limbs.

It can be difficult for people to articulate this level, and people probably have differing experiences within it. Nonetheless, in “The Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali,” author Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri explains that the ” sense of self it totally dissolved.” You leave your thoughts and your physical body and you become part of a spiritual plane. You can experience the feeling of being connected to the Universal Consciousness.

The way to reach Samadhi is to practice the seven limbs before it. Begin with the first ones and work your way up with diligence and dedication. When you reach the state of meditation known as Dhyana, continuing with your practice will inevitably result in the shift of consciousness to Samadhi. Enjoy the journey!

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