Meditation, commonly perceived as a state of sitting with straight body posture and closed eyes, seems to have become a major resort to get rid of stress, tension and depression. However, our scriptures, the storehouse of spiritual treasure, reveal that meditation is not merely sitting and closing of eyes. Instead, it is a scientific methodology that becomes practicable only after a person gets initiated into the divine knowledge of Brahm Gyan by a Perfect Master or True Guru. This eternal technique helps one to have direct perception of God with the opening of the Third Eye. With this begins the actual process of meditation.
Our saints have not only been proficient in the art of meditation; in fact, they were the true masters of meditation and their meditation often culminated into Samadhi, the supreme state of consciousness. When it comes to Samadhi, it introduces us to the highest dimension of spirituality. Saints in Samadhi have the power to execute control over their breath, heartbeat, and pulse, to the extent that these signs of life may even fall to the zero-level or that of complete cessation. Not just that! Saints can transcend to this state anytime, at any place, at any moment. Here is a remarkable reference from the life of Sri Ramana Maharshi- Samadhi of Ramana Maharshi
Such a deep meditative state was attained by Ramana Maharshi in 1912. Ramana Maharshi, a guru from Southern India, was born in 1879 near Madurai, Tamil Nadu. One can find a clear explanation of the experience he attained during his state of Samadhi, as cited in 'History of Yoga (Volume XVI Part 2)', edited by S.P. Singh.
Once, he was walking along with other devotees towards the Virupaksa Cave at Tiruvannamalai where he stayed. Suddenly, the view of natural scenery in front of him disappeared and it seemed as if a bright white curtain was drawn there. He stopped walking and leaned against a rock. The coming and going of the vision in front of him continued to happen, where after, he sat near the rock. Suddenly, it so happened that the view of the natural scenery in front of his eyes was completely blocked and his blood circulation and breathing stopped. His skin also turned a livid blue. Despite these symptoms, the usual current in his body continued without a break.
Witnessing such a situation of Maharshi, Vasudeva Sastri, who accompanied him, thought him to be dead and started weeping. Ramana Maharshi's body had neither blood-circulation nor respiration and its position was still. This state continued for up to ten to fifteen minutes, after which, suddenly, a current ran through his body and circulation and respiration resumed. His body was drenched in perspiration and the skin became full of life. After this, Ramana Maharshi got up, continued walking and reached Virupaksa Cave.
Verily, the description refers to the elevated state of Samadhi, wherein one witnesses the absence of signs of life, with the yogi appearing to be physically dead or life-less. This account strengthens the fact that Samadhi is not a hypothetical or impractical concept; rather, it has been an age-old tradition of saints. Although, when told about the subject of Samadhi and the state of a yogi in it, people today often show a skeptical attitude if such a state is practically possible or not. But, references like Ramana Maharshi and many others from the past validate this concept.
The point of consideration is that Samadhi is beyond the comprehension of mind and intellect. From the perspective of the medical science, a yogi in the state of Samadhi appears to be lifeless on the physical plane. But, it is not so. In this context, spiritual science is the only resort as our physical senses and the instruments of medical science cannot gauge the intensity of this state. Scientific instruments have succumbed to limitations in their efforts to measure heart-beat, pulse rate etc., in this exalted state of meditation, and therefore, the yogi in Samadhi is perceived and declared as clinically dead by doctors. However, if we wish to seek an unprejudiced opinion in this context, then, our scriptures and the authenticated instances from the lives of the saints in the past, serve as a proof that this
state is a supremely-elevated state of spirituality and saints have been attaining it from time to time for a divine and noble cause.