Through concentration we become one-pointed. Through meditation we expand our consciousness into the Vast and enter into its consciousness. But in contemplation we grow into the Vast itself, and its consciousness becomes our very own. In contemplation we are at once in our deepest concentration and our highest meditation. The truth that we have seen and felt in meditation, we grow into and become totally one with in contemplation. When we are concentrating on God, we may feel God right in front of us or beside us. When we are meditating, we are bound to feel Infinity, Eternity and Immortality within us. But when we are contemplating, we will see that we ourselves are God, that we ourselves are Infinity, Eternity and Immortality.
Contemplation means our conscious oneness with the infinite, eternal Absolute. In contemplation the Creator and the creation, the lover and the Beloved, the knower and the known become one. One moment we are the divine lover and God is the Supreme Beloved The next moment we change roles. In contemplation we become one with the Creator and see the whole universe inside us. At that time when we look at our own existence, we do not see a human being. We see something like a dynamo of light, peace and bliss.
Concentration gives the message of alertness.
Meditation gives the message of vastness.
Contemplation gives the message of inseparable oneness.
If we meditate on a specific divine quality such as light or peace or bliss, or if we meditate in an abstract way on Infinity, Eternity or Immortality, then all the time we will feel an express train going forward inside us. We are meditating on peace, light or bliss while the express train is constantly moving. Our mind is calm and quiet in the vastness of Infinity, but there is a movement; a train is going endlessly toward the goal. We are envisioning a goal, and meditation is taking us there.
In contemplation it is not like that. In contemplation we feel the entire universe and farthest Goal deep inside ourselves. When we are contemplating we feel that we are holding within ourselves the entire universe with all its infinite light, peace, bliss and truth. There is no thought, no form, no idea.
In contemplation everything is merged into one stream of consciousness. In our highest contemplation we feel that we are nothing but consciousness itself; we are one with the Absolute. But in our highest meditation there is a dynamic movement going on in our consciousness. We are fully aware of what is happening in the inner and the outer world, but we are not affected. In contemplation, too, we are unaffected by what is going on in the inner and outer worlds, but our whole existence has become part and parcel of the universe, which we are holding deep inside us.
We concentrate because we want to reach the Goal. We meditate because we want to live in the heart of the Goal. We contemplate because we want to become the Goal.
Contemplation comes after many years, when one is very advanced in the spiritual life. Contemplation is the highest rung of the inner ladder. Very, very few spiritual aspirants have the capacity to do even limited contemplation, and they certainly cannot do so at their sweet will.
Contemplation must be mastered before God-realisation, so it cannot be ignored or avoided. But, in your case, the necessity for contemplation has not come because your concentration and your meditation are not yet perfect. When your concentration is perfect and your meditation is perfect, at that time your contemplation will also have to be perfected. Then you will really be able to enter into the Highest.
Try to imagine a golden being and feel that he is infinitely more beautiful than the most beautiful child that you have ever seen on earth. This being is your Beloved Lord Supreme. You are a divine lover and the golden being is your Beloved Lord Supreme.
Now, try to imagine that your own existence and also that of your Beloved are on the top of a mountain in the Himalayas or at the very bottom of the Pacific Ocean, whichever is easier for you. Once you feel this, then inwardly smile.
After a few seconds please feel that you yourself are the Beloved Supreme and that the golden being is the divine lover. It is like a divine game of hide-and-seek. When you become the Supreme Beloved, the divine lover seeks you, and when you become the divine lover, you search for your Beloved Supreme. One moment you are the supreme lover and the next moment you are the Supreme Beloved.
In the beginning, please do this with your eyes half open. When you become expert, you can close your eyes.
Above the toil of life my soul is a bird of fire winging the Infinite.
Samadhi is a spiritual state of consciousness. There are various kinds of samadhi. Among the minor samadhis, savikalpa samadhi happens to be the highest. Beyond savikalpa comes nirvikalpa samadhi, but there is a great gulf between these two: they are two radically different samadhis. Again, there is something even beyond nirvikalpa samadhi called sahaja samadhi.
In savikalpa samadhi, for a short period of time you lose all human consciousness. In this state the conception of time and space is altogether different. For an hour or two hours you are completely in another world. You see there that almost everything is done. Here in this world there are many desires still unfulfilled in yourself and in others. Millions of desires are not fulfilled, and millions of things remain to be done. But when you are in savikalpa samadhi, you see that practically everything is done; you have nothing to do. You are only an instrument. If you are used, well and good; otherwise, things are all done. But from savikalpa samadhi everybody has to return to ordinary consciousness.
Even in savikalpa samadhi there are grades. Just as there are brilliant students and poor students in the same class in school, so also in savikalpa samadhi some aspirants reach the highest grade, while less aspiring seekers reach a lower rung of the ladder, where everything is not so clear and vivid as on the highest level.
In savikalpa samadhi there are thoughts and ideas coming from various places, but they do not affect you. While you are meditating, you remain undisturbed, and your inner being functions in a dynamic and confident manner. But when you are a little higher, when you have become one with the soul in nirvikalpa samadhi, there will be no ideas or thoughts at all. I am trying to explain it in words, but the consciousness of nirvikalpa samadhi can never be adequately explained or expressed. I am trying my best to tell you about this from a very high consciousness, but still my mind is expressing it. But in nirvikalpa samadhi there is no mind; there is only infinite peace and bliss. There nature's dance stops, and the knower and the known become one. There you enjoy a supremely divine, all-pervading, self-amorous ecstasy. You become the object of enjoyment, you become the enjoyer and you become the enjoyment itself.
When you enter into nirvikalpa samadhi, the first thing you feel is that your heart is larger than the universe itself. Ordinarily you see the world around you, and the universe seems infinitely larger than you are. But this is because the world and the universe are perceived by the limited mind. When you are in nirvikalpa samadhi, you see the universe as a tiny dot inside your vast heart.
In nirvikalpa samadhi there is infinite bliss. Bliss is a vague word to most people. They hear that there is something called bliss, and some people say that they have experienced it, but most individuals have no firsthand knowledge of it. When you enter into nirvikalpa samadhi, however, you not only feel bliss, but actually grow into that bliss.
The third thing you feel in nirvikalpa samadhi is power. All the power of all the occultists put together is nothing compared with the power you have in nirvikalpa samadhi. But the power that you can take from samadhi to utilise on earth is infinitesimal compared with the entirety.
Nirvikalpa samadhi is the highest samadhi that most realised spiritual Masters attain. It lasts for a few hours or a few days, and then one has to come down. When one comes down, what happens? Very often one forgets his own name and age; one cannot speak or think properly. But through continued practice, gradually one becomes able to come down from nirvikalpa samadhi and immediately function in a normal way. Generally, when one enters into nirvikalpa samadhi, one does not want to come back into the world again. If one stays there for eighteen or twenty-one days, there is every possibility that the soul will leave the body for good. There were spiritual Masters in the hoary past who attained nirvikalpa samadhi and did not come down. They attained their highest samadhi, but found it impossible to enter into the world atmosphere again and work like human beings. One cannot operate in the world while in that state of consciousness; it is simply impossible. But there is a divine dispensation. If the Supreme wants a particular soul to work here on earth, even after twenty-one or twenty-two days, the Supreme can take that individual into was another channel of dynamic, divine consciousness and have him return to the earth-plane to act.
Sahaja samadhi is by far the highest type of samadhi. In this samadhi one is in the highest consciousness but, at the same time, one is able to work in the gross physical world. One maintains the experience of nirvikalpa samadhi while simultaneously entering into earthly activities. One has become the soul and, at the same time, is utilising the body as a perfect instrument. In sahaja samadhi one does the usual things that an ordinary human being does. But in the inmost recesses of the heart one is surcharged with divine illumination. When one has this sahaja samadhi, one becomes the Lord and Master of Reality. One can go at his sweet will to the Highest and then come down to the earth-consciousness to manifest.
Even after achieving the highest type of realisation, on very rare occasions is anyone blessed with sahaja samadhi. Very few spiritual Masters have achieved this state. For sahaja samadhi, the Supreme's infinite Grace is required. Sahaja samadhi comes only when one has established inseparable oneness with the Supreme, or when one wants to show, on rare occasions, that he is the Supreme. He who has achieved sahaja samadhi and remains in this samadhi, consciously and perfectly manifests God at every second, and is thus the greatest pride of the Transcendental Supreme.