Ascension as Sahaja Samadhi – Part 1/4

Sri Ramana Maharshi

Some time ago I made a promise to the Divine Mother on An Hour with an Angel that, if she would confirm that Ascension was a level of enlightenment called Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi, I’d explain the concept to readers and listeners. I’d like to fulfill that promise here.

But I do warn readers that the articles in this series may be considered dense by some and are not intended for all readers. They’re intended for students of enlightenment (lightholders) who want an in-depth explanation of what the Fifth-Dimensional state is and means. So please feel free to leave this series aside and pass on to other articles if you wish.

Here is what the Divine Mother said about Ascension and Sahaja and what I promised her:

Steve Beckow: The last question is I’m trying to understand what level of enlightenment Ascension corresponds to. And I think it’s beyond the normal seventh-chakra enlightenment. I think it is what is called — and I’ll make this clear to readers — Sahaja Samadhi. Am I correct?

Divine Mother: Yes, it is beyond what you think of with your seven chakras. It is beyond, because what you are doing with the chakra system, even with the thirteen, we have emerged from the Third-dimensional realm, which is that reference point for the chakra system, into the new. So yes, you are correct, in this question and in this statement.

SB: Sorry, I am overwhelmed to hear you say that. It’s wonderful to have that confirmed. Thank you very much, Mother.

DM: It is wonderful for us as well, you know! … Now, you understand that most people – and yes, you will do a good job of explaining – have no conception of what this really means.

SB: Well, you know that I have a website that discusses Sahaja Samadhi at length. … If I take that material and present it to readers, would that be adequate?

DM: That will help. (1)

So now let me discuss as much as I know about Sahaja and as much as I think is advisable to say on the subject without overtaxing readers. My hope is that enough will be said to make clear to students of enlightenment where and how Ascension fits into spiritual evolution.

Let me first explain some of the terms used here.

Samadhi is the trance state in which enlightenment is experienced. We cover three stages of samadhi here. Savikalpa samadhi is samadhi with the experience of differences, awareness of the world, and expenditure of effort.

Nirvikalpa samadhi is the experience of samadhi without differences, awareness of the world, or effort. There are two stages of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. The first is Kevalya Nirvikalpa Samadhi, which is the effortless experience of God, without the experience of differences or awareness of the world and with a temporary heart opening.

And the second is Sahaja Nirvikalpa samadhi, which is the effortless experience of God, without the experience of differences or awareness of the world and with a permanent heart opening. At the point of Sahaja, we’re said to be liberated from life and death – not before.

With that let’s work our way up the kundalini tree of the body from Savikalpa to Sahaja.

Savikalpa Samadhi

Sri Ramana Maharshi is the most eloquent exponent of Sahaja Samadhi. Sri Ramakrishna also discusses it, but calls it vijnana. But here for simplicity’s sake (the subject being dense enough already) I’ll stay mostly with what Sri Ramana says on the subject.

The sage of Arunachala makes a distinction between two types of Samadhi or trance.

“Holding onto the Supreme State is Samadhi. When it is with effort due to mental disturbances, it is Savikalpa. When these disturbances are absent, it is Nirvikalpa.” (2)

Savikalpa Samadhi begins when the kundalini reaches the sixth or brow chakra. One of the distinctions between the two, he says, is that “Nirvikalpa is effortless, whereas Savikalpa is attended with effort.” (3)

Swami Vivekananda gives a second distinction between the two, based on the experience of duality or unity.

“There are two kinds of Samadhi. The one is called Savikalpa. In it one feels a trace of duality, of distinction between subject and object. The other kind is called Nirvikalpa. In that Samadhi one effaces, in the depths of meditation, all distinction between the knower and the goal of knowledge.” (4)

Another way of saying a trace of duality or awareness of the subject and object is to say that awareness of the world remains. Swami Saradananda distinguishes between the two on the basis of whether one remains aware of the world.

“During deep meditation, the experiences of the realm of ideas become so powerful in the mind of the devotee that he does not have the slightest knowledge of the external world for the time being. This condition of the devotee has been designated by the scriptures as Savikalpa Samadhi. …

“The whole of his mind goes forward with enthusiasm in the direction of the enjoyment of divine bliss, when once there arises the conviction that the enjoyment of that bliss becomes more intense if the mind can be made completely free from modifications. He then ascends to the highest plane in the realm of ideas [Nirvikalpa Samadhi] by the grace of the teacher and God, and establishes himself firmly in the non-dual knowledge and attains eternal peace.” (5)

So Savikalpa Samadhi sees us remain aware of the world, of differences, of subjects and objects. We see God but we sense that we cannot touch God. St. Paul described it as seeing through a glass darkly.

I have on other occasions said that Savikalpa Samadhi is usually the seeing of a light throughout creation. By “creation” I mean the realm of the phenomenal or the “world of things.” And the Divine Mother is also often called the Phenomenal. Therefore Savikalpa is represented as realization of God as the Mother, Shakti, or the Holy Spirit.

It could also take the form of a vision of the Personal God or an experience in consciousness while remaining aware of the world. It is accompanied by the opening of the Third Eye.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the Nirvikalpa stage of Samadhi where God is seen without awareness of the outside world and without awareness of differences.


(1) “The Divine Mother: Come to Me as I Come to You – Part ½,” Oct. 17, 2012, at The website is From Darkness Unto Light and the particular page on which this information can be found is

(2) Ramana Maharshi in S.S. Cohen, Guru Ramana. Memories and Notes. 6th edition. Tiruvannamalai: Sri Ramanasramam, 1993. , 89. [Hereafter GR.]

(3) Ramana Maharshi, GR, 88.

(4) Swami Vivekananda in Swami Nikhilananda, trans. Vivekananda: The Yogas and Other Works. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1953, 562.

(5) Swami Saradananda, Sri Ramakrishna, the Great Master. Madras, Sri Ramakrishna Math, 1979, Vol. 1, 104-5.

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