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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Samapatti

(Samāpatti)In yoga, a state of equilibrium or stillness of the mind where the mind no longer colors the perception of objects. Many commentators equate it with samadhi, but others consider it a stage prior to samadhi. In the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, samapatti is described as follows:

“In the case of one whose Citta-Vrttis [modifications of the mind] have been almost annihilated, fusion or entire absorption [samapatti] in one another of the cognizer, cognition and cognized is brought about as in the case of a transparent jewel (resting on a colored surface)” (I. K. Taimni trans. of Yoga Sutra 1.41 in his The Science of Yoga, TPH, 1961, pp. 95-6).

The phrase appears to describe the state of non-movement of the citta or mind-stuff, but not yet the union of the cognizer and the cognized, which is the essential quality of samadhi.

Well-known Zen writer D. T. SUZUKI quotes the Zen Abott Soyen Shaku on this point:

“Dhyana [meditation] is sometimes made a synonym for samatha and samadhi and samapattiSamatha is tranquility and practically the same as dhyana, though the latter is much more frequently in use than the former. Samapatti literally is ‘put together evenly’ or ‘balanced,’ and means the equilibrium of consciousness in which takes place neither wakefulness nor apathy, but in which the mind is calmly concentrated on the thought under consideration. Samadhi is a perfect absorption, voluntary or involuntary, of thought in the object of contemplation” (Studies in Zen, p. 39).

See SAMADHI; RAJA YOGA.

V.H.C.

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