‘Samyama’ means exploring and expressing the possibilities of extraordinary experiences and powers which are available to all of us.
The word ‘Samyama’ is a Sanskrit word which means ‘that which ties together’. Samyama is an intense processes that gathers and concentrates our scattered energies in a single direction.
The human body is a masterpiece of millions of years of creative evolution. The human bio-memory contains the cumulative bio-memory of every life form that we have taken before. Whatever we think of as miraculous powers in the modern day are only skills and abilities that we once had, but have forgotten in our present human birth. As Paramahamsa Nithyananda says, ‘If a fish can live underwater, you can live underwater. If a bird can fly, you can fly!’ Rediscovering these abilities is Nithya Samyama.
The purpose of Nithya Samyama is not only to empower us with extraordinary capabilities. These samyamas are powerful catalysts in the path of a spiritual seeker, preparing the body and mind to hold and radiate the phenomenal energies that are released with enlightenment. They also give us the confidence that we are progressing on the path!
Each samyama is designed to liberate us from the physical and mental patterns that are binding us to lives of disease, fear and mental poverty.
The sincere practice of any of these samyamas can liberate us from the limitations of body-mind and take us to higher states of awareness, helping us grow from human to superhuman states in consciousness, freedom, power and bliss.
Traditional yoga texts recognize samyama as the integration of the last four limbs of ashtanga yoga – pratyahara (shutting down the senses), dhaarana (concentration), dhyaana (contemplation) and samadhi. 21 units of pratyahara is considered to be equivalent to one unit of dhaarana, 21 units of dhaarana is equivalent to one unit of dhyaana and 21 units of dhyaana is equivalent to one unit of samaadhi. Samyama is the integration of all these.
Patanjali Yoga Sutras, one of yoga’s foundational texts, states:
trayam ekatra sammyamah (3.4) The integration of these three (dhaarana, dhyaana and samaadhi) is sammyama
tajjayaat prajnaalokah (3.5) From the mastery of samyama comes the light of consciousness..
Samyama was offered as a technique for spiritual enlightenment in the Tamil epic ‘Tirumandiram’ revealed by the saint Tirumoolar, who is believed to have lived in the physical body for over 3000 years without any solid food. The word ‘Tirumandiram’ translates as the ‘Science of Miracles’.
Samyama is far more than a technique or process. Enlightened master and accomplished yogi Paramahamsa Nithyanada reveals, “Samyama is diving into your center and staying there by the power of tapas (spiritual discipline). As a laser beam which illuminates whatever it falls upon, a concentrated mind that has mastered sammyama can simply illumine any field that it chooses to focus on. All deeper and subtler states of knowledge can be mastered only through the process of samyama. Samyama is also the key to the expression of extraordinary yogic powers, because samyama breaks the individual and collective bonds that bind us in space and time.”
It is the nature of the mind to be restless and scattered. By creating a strong flow of thought in one direction, samyama shakes the very roots of the mind, uprooting patterns and habits of a lifetime – sometimes lifetimes. For those who can withstand the churning of samyama, its helps break free from the mental patterns once and for all
Verbalization & Visualization
Samyama changes the way our brain perceives external and internal signals.
While we are normally accustomed to functioning through verbalization, sammyama moves us to the next level – to function through visualization.
Although samyama is seen as a way to master the mind it encompasses more than the mind. Samyama happens when your ability to feel, think and be – all three are centered on one subject. Emphasizing the intensity and perseverance with which samyama should be undertaken, Patanjali, the ancient enlightened master says that the practitioner must not move from the spot till his hair grows roots into the ground!
To be completely effective, samyama needs three components – the presence of an enlightened master who initiates one into the samyama, the technique itself, and the Sangha or group of practitioners experimenting with the technique. The right ambience creates a powerful energy field where beginners can simply pick up the positive bio-memory of those who are already trained in that samyama.