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Samādhāna or samādhānam (Sanskrit: समाधानम्) is a Sanskrit noun derived from the word, samādhā (समाधा), and variously means – putting together, uniting, fixing the mind in abstract contemplation on the true nature of the soul, contemplate oneness, concentrated or formless meditation, commitment, intentness, steadiness, composure, peace of mind, complete concentration, clearing up of doubt or replying to the pūrvapakṣa, agreeing or promising, a leading incident, justification of a statement, proof, reconciliation or eagerness.[1]


Samādhāna is the single-pointedness of the mind (cittaikāgratā); it is the state of the mind which one has with a single goal in sight which is gained on the strength of the control of the mind and the senses, withdrawal from worldly pursuits, endurance of life-pangs and faith in the scriptures and teacher’s instructions.[2]

In the Mahabharata (277:6), samādhāna is explained as the absorption of meditation or as that state of mind in which one has no longer any affection for the world.[3]

Realisation of Brahman

It is one of the four practices for the realisation of Brahman (sādhanā chatuṣṭaya)[4] that directs the energy of consciousness towards moksha ('liberation') and not towards siddhi or vibhuti ('accomplishments').[5]

In his Vivekachudamani (Sloka 26), Shankara explains that:

सम्यगास्थापनं बुद्धेः शुद्धे ब्रह्मणि सर्वदा ।
तत्समाधानमित्युक्तं न तु चित्तस्य लालनम् ॥ २६
26. Not the mere indulgence of thought (in curiosity) but the constant concentration of the intellect (or the affirm faculty) on the ever-pure Brahman is what is called Samâdhána or self-settledness.[7]

The perfect establishment of the buddhi always in the pure (nirguna) Brahman (free from all limitations) is said to be samādhāna, not the indulgence of the mind (not giving free rein to the mind to stray at will).[8]

Six virtues

Samādhāna, which develops mental concentration, is one of the six virtues (ṣaṭ saṃpatti) that a seeker after truth is expected to develop so as to cultivate the attitude of detachment from all selfish-ends; [9] it develops the ability to hold the mind on a single point.[10] For achieving this qualification the mind is required to be sufficiently trained, [11] and is achieved by the combination of the other five virtues – sama, dama, uparati, titiksha and śraddhā.[12] Shankara defines it as a state of poise and tranquility that the mind gains when it is trained to revel continuously in the concept of a perfect ideal, at once universal and omnipotent.[13]

See also


  1. V.S.Apte. The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Digital Dictionaries of South Asia. p. 1633.
  2. Swami Tejomayananda (2008). Tattva bodhah of Sri Adi Sankaracarya. Chinmaya Mission. pp. 29–30. ISBN 9788175971851.
  3. The Mahabharata, Book 12: Santi Parva. Netlancers. 26 February 2014.
  4. Nome (January 2003). Self-knowledge. Society of Abidance in Truth. ISBN 9780974226613.
  5. B.K.S.Iyengar (19 June 2000). Astadala Yogamala Vol.1. Allied Publishers. p. 128. ISBN 9788177640465.
  6. Sri Samkara's Vivekacudamani. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. p. 41. ASIN 8172764200.
  7. Madhavananda, Swami (1921). Vivekachudamani of Sri Sankaracharya: text, with English translation, notes and an index. Mayavati : Advaita Ashrama. p. 10.
  8. Sri Samkara's Vivekacudamani. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. p. 41. ASIN 8172764200.
  9. Debabrata Sen Sharma (January 1990). The Philosophy of Sadhana. SUNY Press. p. 74. ISBN 9780791403471.
  10. Swamini Nityananda (April 2010). Fire of Freedom. Trafford Publishing. p. 78. ISBN 9781426927539.
  11. Swami Chinmayananda (July 2007). Self Unfoldment. Chinmaya Mission Trust. p. 119. ISBN 9788175971936.
  12. J.P.Vaswani (27 January 2015). The Seven Commandments of the Bhagavad Gita. Jaico Publishing. ISBN 9788184950830.
  13. On the Path. Chinmaya Mission. p. 29. ISBN 9788175972254.