samādhi (‘state of perfect concentration’) The Yogasutras of Patañjali (200 B. C.) deals with the techniques of controlling and concentrating the mind. The work gives eight steps—generally known as aṣṭāṅgas (hence the name Aṣṭāṅgayoga for Patañjali’s system)—out of which the last three are dhāraṇā, dhyāna and samādhi. Dhāraṇā is the fixing of attention on a definite locus, such as the lotus of the heart, the light in the brain, the tip of the nose or the tongue, or on an external object like the moon or the image of gods and so on. When dhāraṇā ripens so that the flow of the thought-current becomes unbroken, it becomes dhyāna. Here the mind hovers round the object of meditation. There is still the consciousness of the trio—the ego-sense, the object of meditation and the process of meditation. When again dhyāna becomes perfect and the mind is so deeply absorbed in the object that it loses itself and has no awareness of itself, the state attained is called samādhi. In this state, only the object of meditation will be shining in the mind and the yogi is not even aware of the thought process involved in it. Even the ego-sense is completely subjugated. In the state of samādhi, which is an intuitive and superconscious experience, the object of meditation will reveal all its secrets to the yogi. If the yogi can make his own self or īśvara the object of meditation after learning about them from the Sāṅkhya (an allied philosophical sys¬tem declaring the knowledge of the Self as the means of liberation), he will get kaivalya (liberation). Patañjali calls these two samādhis respectively as samprajñāta and asamprajñāta. In the former, the object of meditation is known in its entirety. In the latter nothing outside the Self is known (samprajñāta = well-known, asamprajñāta = not known). See also NIRVIKALPA. Samādhi is the name of a vaiśya (merchant) who too received the esoteric teaching concerning the greatness of Devī, the Divine Mother, along with the king Suratha, from the sage Sumedhas. He had been driven out of his home by his own greedy wife and children. When he strayed into the hermitage of the sage, he met the king Suratha. Both of them then approached the sage for consolation. By his teaching Samādhi was guided towards mukti or liberation. See DEVĪMĀHĀTMYA.