Akshi Upanishad – Seven Steps to Samadhi

Akshi Upanishad is one of the minor Upanishads in Hinduism, which lists seven major steps to Samadhi. A detailed commentary on this Upanishad was given by Osho, which has been published as ‘Vedanta – Seven Steps to Samadhi’.

The following is the translation of the second part of the Upanishad, the major part, which deals with all the seven steps leading a seeker towards liberation, as it appears on the book by Osho:

surya_the_hindu_sun_god_asian_art_museum_san_francisco

Image source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akshi_Upanishad#/media/File:Surya_the_Hindu_sun_god_Asian_Art_Museum_San_Francisco.jpg

 

Step 1-Yog

The sun god said:
I shall now explain to you this most rare knowledge, upon the attainment of
which you will become free while yet dwelling in this body. See in all beings
the Brahman, who is one, unborn, still, imperishable, infinite, immutable
and conscious; so seeing live in peace and bliss. Do not see anything except
the self and the supreme. This state is known as yoga.
Rooted thus in yoga, carry out your deeds.

The mind of one who is thus rooted in yoga gradually withdraws
from all desires, and the seeker feels blissful while engaging himself
each day in meritorious acts. He has no interest whatsoever
in the contrary efforts of the ignorant.
He never betrays the secrets of one to another;
And he occupies himself solely with lofty deeds.
He performs only such gentle acts as do not disturb others. He fears sin and
does not crave any self-indulgence. He utters loving and affectionate words.
He lives in the company of saints and studies the scriptures. With complete
unity of mind, speech and action he follows them. Seeking to cross
the ocean that is the world,
he cultivates the above-mentioned ideas. And he is called a beginner,
one performing his preliminaries. This is called the first stage.

Step 2- Vichar bhoomika

Now follow the traits of seekers of the second stage,
Called the stage of thought.
He lives in the care of learned men who explain best what
listening, remembering, right conduct, contemplation –

dharana – and meditation are. Having acquired knowledge of such
scriptures as are worth listening to, he efficiently discriminates
between what is duty and what is not, and he knows well the division
between a word and the thing it symbolizes.
His mind does not suffer from an excess of conceit, pride, greed and
attachment, although externally they are apparent to some extent.
He gives up his external impurities as a snake casts off its slough.
Such a seeker acquires the actual
knowledge of all these things with the grace of the scriptures,
the guru, and the sages.

Step 3 Asansarga

After this the seeker enters the third stage of yoga
which is known as nonattachment. He fixes his mind unwaveringly
on the meaning of scriptural words.
He lives in the monasteries, ashrams, of saints well established
in austerities. He occupies himself with the discussion of the
scriptures and sleeps on a rocky bed. Thus it is that he lives his life.
Because he has attained peace of mind, the man of good conduct
spends his time in the enjoyment of pleasures that come naturally to
him from his excursions into the forest.
He remains detached however, from the objects of desires.
Through the ritual of meritorious deeds and the cultivation of right
scriptures, he attains that clarity of vision which sees reality.
On completing this stage,
the seeker experiences a glimpse of enlightenment

There are two kinds of nonattachment:
The ordinary and the sublime.
That attitude of nonattachment to the objects of desire in which the
Seeker knows that he is neither the doer nor the enjoyer,
Neither the restrained not the restrainer, is called ordinary
Nonattachment. He knows that whatever faces him in this life
Is the result of the deeds of his past life.
Whether in pleasure or in pain, he can do nothing.
Indulgence is but a disease and affluence of all kinds a storehouse of
Adversity. Every union leads inevitably to separation.
The ignorant suffer the maladies of mental anxiety.
All material things are perishable, because time is constantly
Devouring them. Through the understanding of scriptural precepts,
One’s faith in material things is unrooted
And one’s mind freed of them.
This is called ordinary nonattachment.


When thoughts like: “I am not the doer, my past deeds are the doers,
Or God himself is the doer,” cease to worry the seeker,
A state of silence, equilibrium and peace is attained.
This is called sublime nonattachment.

Step 4 Swapna

The first stage, to which contentment and bliss
Impart sweetness, springs from the innermost recesses of the seeker’s
Heart, as if nectar has issued forth from the heart of the earth.
At the inception of this stage the innermost recess
Becomes a field for the coming of the other stages.
Afterwards the seeker attains the second and third stages.
Of the three, the third is the highest, because on its attainment all
The modifications of will come to an end.
One who practices the three stages finds his ignorance dead,
And on entering the fourth stage
He sees everything, everywhere, equally.
At that moment he is so strongly embedded in the experience of
Nonduality – advaita – that the experience itself disappears.
Thus, on attaining the fourth stage
The seeker finds the world as illusory as a dream.
So while the first three stages are called waking ones,
The fourth is dreaming.

Step 5 Sushuptipad

On the attainment of the fifth state, the mind of the seeker ceases,
like clouds in an autumn sky, and only truth remains.
In this stage, worldly desires do not arise at all.
During this state all thoughts of division in the seeker are stilled
and he remains rooted in nonduality.
On the disappearance of the feeling of division, the fifth stage,
known as the sushuptapad – sleeping –
draws the enlightened seeker into its nature.
He is perpetually introverted and looks tired and sleepy,
even though externally he continues his everyday activities.

Step 6 Bhavshunya or JivanMukta stage

On the accompaniment of this stage, the desire-free seeker enters
the sixth one. Both truth and untruth, both egoism and egolessness
and all sorts of mentations cease to exist in this state,
and rooted in pure nonduality, the seeker is free from fear.
As the entanglements of his heart dissolve, so all his doubts drop.
This is the moment when he is completely emptied of all thought.
Without attaining nirvana, he is in a nirvana-like state
and becomes free while yet dwelling in the body.
This state is like that of the motionless flame of a lamp.
and then comes the seventh stage.

Step 7 Videhmukta

In this seventh stage, the stage of videhamukti,
liberation while living in the body is achieved. This stage is totally silent
and cannot be communicated in words.
It is the end of all stages, where all the processes of yoga come to their
conclusion. In this stage, all activities – worldly, bodily and scriptural –
cease. The whole universe in the form of the world – viswa,
intelligence – prajna, and radiance – tejas, is just aum.
There is no division here between speech and the speaker.
If however any such division remains, the state has not been attained.
The first sound ‘a’ of aum, stands for the world,
the second ‘u’ for radiance and the third ‘m’ for intelligence.


Before entering samadhi, the seeker should contemplate on aum most
strenuously, and subsequently he should surrender everything, from gross to
subtle to the conscious self. Taking the conscious self as his own self,
he should consolidate this feeling: I am eternal, pure, enlightened, free,
existential, incomparable, the most blissful Vasudeva and Pranava himself.


Since the whole visible world comprising a beginning, a middle and an end,
is sorrow-stricken, he must renounce everything
and merge into the supreme. He should feel that he is blissful,
taintless, without ignorance, without appearance,
inexpressible in words, and that he is Brahman,
the essence of knowledge.

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Author: Shanmugam

I am a blogger and a spiritual seeker. I had a tremendous awakening experience in July 12, 2014 on a Gurupurnima day in the presence of Sadhguru but I wouldn’t call that as spiritual enlightenment. But it did free me from many things and changed many things.

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