By not given. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Paramahansa Yogananda (1893 – 1952) was the guru who wrote Autobiography of a Yogi and founded the Self Realization Fellowship in 1920. Called the Father of Yoga in the West by that fellowship, he taught Kriya Yoga meditation.
In this poem, Yogananda describes samadhi, the transcendental state reached in meditation where logic is silenced and the consciousness and body become unbound. Samadhi is the one-pointed focus that eliminates the disparity of experienced duality – the oneness and eternal nature of all things opens up to perception.
The following poem is given in my copy of Autobiography of a Yogi on pages 170 and 171. Curiously, the versions online have additional verses and changed punctuation versus my copy of the book – this is from the book.
Yogananda advised his students to memorize it as a way of encouraging spiritual growth… an incredible and interesting challenge. There’s a free online class on Kriya Yoga here that I’m thinking of trying out, also. If this poem moves you, that’s two ways of digging deeper.
Samadhi, by Paramahansa Yogananda
Vanished the veils of light and shade,
Lifted every vapor of sorrow,
Sailed away all dawns of fleeting joy,
Gone the dim sensory mirage.
Love, hate, health, disease, life, death:
Perished these false shadows on the screen of duality.
The storm of maya stilled
By magic wand of intuition deep.
But ever-present, all-flowing I, I, everywhere.
Planets, stars, stardust, earth,
Volcanic bursts of doomsday cataclysms,
Creation’s molding furnace,
Glaciers of silent X-rays, burning electron floods,
Thoughts of all men, past, present, to come,
Every blade of grass, myself, mankind,
Each particle of universal dust,
Anger, greed, good, bad, salvation, lust,
I swallowed, transmuted all
Into a vast ocean of blood of my own one Being.
Smoldering joy, oft-puffed by meditation
Blinding my tearful eyes,
Burst into immortal flames of bliss,
Consumed my tears, my frame, my all.
Thou art I, I am Thou,
Knowing, Knower, Known, as One!
Tranquilled, unbroken thrill, eternally living, ever-new peace.
Enjoyable beyond imagination of expectancy, samadhi bliss!
Not an unconscious state
Or mental chloroform without willful return,
Samadhi but extends my conscious realm
Beyond the limits of the mortal frame
To farthest boundary of eternity
Where I, the Cosmic Sea,
Watch the little ego floating in Me.
Mobile murmurs of atoms are heard,
The dark earth, mountains, vales, lo! molten liquid!
Flowing seas change into vapors of nebulae!
Aum blows upon vapors, opening wondrously their veils,
Oceans stand revealed, shining electrons,
Till, at the last sound of the cosmic drum,
Vanish the grosser lights into eternal rays
Of all-pervading bliss.
From joy I came, for joy I live, in sacred joy I melt.
Ocean of mind, I drink all creation’s waves.
Four veils of solid, liquid, vapor, light,
I, in everything, enters the Great Myself.
Gone forever: fitful, flickering shadows of mortal memory;
Spotless is my mental sky, below, ahead, and high above;
Eternity and I, one united ray.
A tiny bubble of laughter, I
Am become the Sea of Mirth Itself.
References & More Reading
- Self Realization Fellowship – yogananda-srf.org
- Paramahansa Yogananda – paramhansayogananda.com
- Samadhi – ananda.org
- Paramahansa Yogananda – wikipedia.org
- Samadhi – wikipedia.org
- Kriya Yoga – wikipedia.org
- You Too Can Memorize Yogananda’s Poem, Samadhi – anandaclaritymagazine.com
- Free Introduction to The Path of Kriya Yoga – anandaonlineclasses.org
May you have a most blessed day,