I would like to preface this section by suggesting that you revisit sutras 1.17-1.19. These 3 sutras discuss the 4 pillars of Samadhi and they introduce you to 1.40-1.51, which are all about the different layers of Samadhi. Needless to say, it would be a good idea to re-read 17-19.
Sutra 1.40 defines the experiences of samadhi. As one begins to experience this type of heightened concentration, they are able to focus on something as small as an atom to something as large as the universe. It becomes easy for you to meditate on ANYTHING.
Sutra 1.41 Your mind is as clear as a diamond when you are able to maintain a clear and calm state during meditation. A mind that is clear can reflect anything, so in a way, you will reflect and attract the same positivity in the world. All your hard work is rewarded this way. “This is the culmination of Samadhi.”
The next few sutras explain the different types of Samadhi.
Sutra 1.42 – Layer 1: Samadhi on an object where the name, it’s form and your understanding of those things are the same. An example of this is the shape of a cross. The word Cross, the shape of said Cross and the knowledge of the Cross is your Samadhi.
Sutra 1.43 – Layer 2: Samadhi on the meaning of the object. This is a deeper layer than 1.42. The word, shape and knowledge become obsolete and you are now consumed in a feeling of bliss and euphoria by the meaning of the cross.
Sutra 1.44 – This sutra means that 1.42 and 1.43 have even deeper layers to them. They have layers that go even further beyond the object or meaning and can be reflective or non-reflective. (My mind really starts to check out here, haha). Pandit explains on www.YogaInternational.com that after you have achieved focus on the object (1.42) and then focus on the meaning of the object (1.43), you will then start to experience more subtle concentrations there afterwards (1.44). Once you have experienced this, you go on to experience the next sutra.
Sutra 1.45 The highest form of meditation by experiencing a primal force called Prakrti or the building blocks of yourself or your truest self. A great example of this is exploring our sorrows and pain to find the keys and solutions to healing those sorrows. We have the opportunity here to meditate on our own self-nature; mediation on our patterns (samskaras), histories and thoughts in order to heal ourselves. This is a very powerful place to be!
Sutra 1.46 Although we can achieve this high form of meditation, a warning from Patanjali that our seeds of past impressions are still within.
Sutra 1.47 I turned to Pandit to help me explain this one well. Essentially he says, to get past those obstacles, you must further your purification of the mind by practising a meditation that transcends thought all together so that the supreme self will shine through. (How the…???)
Sutra 1.48 Pandit continues by explaining that when the supreme self is shining through, there in lies intuitive wisdom that is self-sustaining.
Sutra 1.49 Explained by Pandit once again, the content of this intuitive wisdom is so different and unique from any scripture or text that it is extraordinary and probably deeply rooted and connected with God. You have knowledge that is so special that you do not need to cross check it with scripts or sages. You are this perfect reflection of God.
Sutra 1.50. This knowledge and subtle impressions cancel out all your samskaras or mental obstacles like past impressions or old memories left imprinted on the mind.
Sutra 1.51 This is even a step beyond the last sutra. This is losing one’s self in the transcendental divine self. You are not afraid of death of self…ego, or anything that will no longer be you in the mortal sense.
In the practical sense, let’s explain this process like so: Take a bad habit that you want to change. Meditate on it regularly with intent to change it. Explore where that habit came from and why it currently exists. Go so deep within yourself to really understand it. You understand it so well that you now have this complete, extraordinary understanding of it! You can now realize the solution to this and cancel out the bad habit by replacing it with a new one that is more serving of you in your current life.