concentration. It is the fixing of the mind on any particular chosen object, say, a point
of light or the form of one's
Ista-devata Prolonged exercises in dharana will result in the perfect control of the mind
so as to turn Win whatever direction one likes. The mind thus controlled and directed can
easily pan on to dhyana or meditation, which is defined as an uninterrupted flow of
thought towards the object of devotion.
finally leads to samadhi in which two degrees are recognized the conscious samadhi and the
super-conscious samadhi. Both of them require the highest power of concentration. But the
first is a state in which the mind continues to function, though it is wholly
absorbed in the contemplation of the object, whereas the second is a state in which the
distinction between the contemplating subject and the contemplated object disappears
and the mind ceases to function.
An Indian writer employs the following figure to make the
distinction clear. If we compare our normal mental state to tile ruffled surface of
water in a pond which gives a distorted image of a tree on the bank, conscious samadhi is
like the calm surface which gives a steady and faithful image, and the super conscious
samadhi is like the dried up pond which gives no image at all, but makes us see the tree
itself. We are told that in the state of conscious samadhi, the yogin attains marvellous
supernormal powers (siddhis) of clairvoyance, clairaudience, of thought reading and
thought-transmission and of knowing the past and the future.