Is attaining desirelessness state equivalent to Samadhi?

Also, the three common states of consciousness are:

  1. waking consciousness
  2. dreaming
  3. dreamless sleep

Can someone stay in both states of waking consciousness and Samadhi together?

1 Answer 1


perfect desirelessness is only attained when one realizes Brahman. However, by restraining the senses and desires, one becomes pure and then one may attain Brahman. Krishna says (Gita VI. 24-25):

By totally eschewing all desires which arise from thoughts, and restraining with the mind itself all the organs from every side;

One should gradually withdraw with the intellect endowed with steadiness. Making the mind fixed in the Self, one should not think of anything whatsoever.

At the end of his commentary on these two verses, Sankara says that this is the highest instruction on Yoga.

And in II.29 the Lord says:

The objects of the senses fall away from a man practicing abstinence, but not the taste [hankering] for them. But even the taste falls away when the Supreme is seen.

So perfect desirelessness cannot be attained until the Lord is seen, but by practicing desirelessness the objects of desire will fall away. 'Falling away' means being able to control the senses.

Swami Vivekananda says (Complete Works, V5 p 147, and here under Epistles, letter LXXXIX, http://cwsv.belurmath.org/volume_5/vol_5_frame.htm):

Desirelessness means the disappearance of the inferior modification in the form of will and the appearance of that superior state. That state is beyond the range of mind and intellect.

That state that is beyond the range of mind and intellect is nirvikalpa samadhi, complete absorption in Brahman.

One can stay in a lower level of samadhi and still be awake or conscious of the world. One cannot do so in nirvikalpa samadhi. When Swami Vivekananda first met Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swamiji asked him if he had seen God. Ramakrishna replied 'Yes I have, and I see Him now, only more intensely than I see you.'

  • Thank you @Swami Vishwananda for you valuable reply. You have explained thoroughly. However I have doubt in some part. You started your answer by perfect desirelessness: What is meant by perfect desirelessness? Is there something called imperfect desirelessness. How can we practice desirelessness? Is seeking for GOD is also a desire? Thank you for reading this comment by giving your valuable time.
    – Bikram
    Oct 15, 2015 at 3:48
  • @Bikram The desire to seek God is the only desire that kills all desire.
    – Pinakin
    Oct 15, 2015 at 7:36
  • @ChinmaySarupria How is it even possible to think of God if you have the worldly desires.
    – Bikram
    Oct 16, 2015 at 7:58
  • @Bikram there is no imperfect desirelessness, that is like saying an imperfect perfect. To practice desirelessness, see the Gita quote II. 29 in my answer. Seeking for God is not a desire - desire refers to worldly desires. Oct 16, 2015 at 9:21

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