When one comes to read the eight limbs of Yoga (Ashtanga Yoga in Sanskrit), one sees Samadhi at the end, as the goal of Yoga.
This is the truth, goal of Yoga is not keeping the body healthy, or benefiting any other specific organ in the body, or expanding one’s life-span. All these are just the positive outcomes of Yoga practice, however, not Yoga’s goal.
As I wrote in a post earlier on Yoga, I explained Yoga comes from the verb Yuj in sanskrit, which means to unite, to join. (and I explained what is to be joined – refer to the article here)
I add here a beautiful popular Indian story about the salt doll:
Once upon a time, after a long journey over mountain and valley, a Salt Doll reached the
sea-shore. She was struck at that vast expanse of water she discovered. She had never seen the sea before. It was so large, so charming! She felt irresistibly attracted towards it. She stood on the shore, so firm and assured. The sea in front of her looked so vast, so immense, so inviting, so peaceful! She wanted by all means to know what the sea was. Timidly, the Doll came closer to the sea and with a touch of curiosity asked the sea: Who are you?” And the sea replied: “I am the sea.” The Doll remarked: “Well, you only told me your name. I want to know more about you. I want and long to experience who you are! Show me more about yourself’.”
The sea, mysteriously, answered: “I am just what I am. I am the sea.” In perplexity, the Doll inquired: “I cannot figure out what you say you are. Yet, I want to know more about you. Shall I be ever to understand who you are? The sea replied: You will never come to know who I am, unless you come closer to me, unless you touch me. … “If you really long to know who I am, please, come forward and allow me embrace you!.” The Doll came forward and fearfully touched the sea with one of her feet. Immediately, she experienced a very strange, but beautiful a feeling…. Something glorious she could not understand! . Then, she tried to move her foot out the water, but her foot wasn’t there any more! It had dissolved in the sea. In fright and disbelief, the Doll cried out: “What have you done to my foot? Yes, your foot is gone….You have given me permission to embrace me and experience who I am! If you wish to know more about me, and how wonderful is to abide in me, come even closer to me now! Be ready to lose yourself in me. Then, the Doll gradually, stepped deeper and deeper into the sea.
The deeper she went into the water that strange but wonderful feeling of joy grew stronger
and stronger, she kept experiencing and more of the sea. Finally, when the Doll was about
to be completely possessed by the sea, she exclaimed: “Now, I know what the sea is and
what I am. We are one!”!
Just as the salt doll dissolved in the sea, and once doing so, understood what the sea is, and what she really were, we should dissolve in Brahman. When one does this, one gets the absolute idea of what is Brahman, and what reality truly is.
No book, article or the greatest Yogi on earth can tell you about what Samadhi is. You may hear about certain experiences or stories of what Samadhi is, however, unless one really experiences it, one may never understand this.
Wish you all to attain Samadhi, by walking the path of Yoga!
Om Namah Shivaya