Question: Could you explain the difference between Samadhi and self-realisation? I know they are not the same theoretically, but I don't see why they're not.

Sri Chinmoy: They are not the same. Samadhi and self-realisation are not the same because Samadhi is a state in which you can stay only for a few hours, for a few days. You cannot stay in this state for more than twenty-one days. Usually after three weeks the body does not function. The infinite Grace of the Absolute Supreme has to dawn and take you into another channel of divine dynamic Consciousness, if it wants you to work for God on earth. As regards realisation, you have to know that once you have achieved realisation, it lasts forever.

Samadhi is an exalted and glowing state of Consciousness, whereas realisation is a conscious, natural and manifesting state of Consciousness.

There are three stages of Samadhi: Savikalpa Samadhi, Nirvikalpa Samadhi and Sahaja Samadhi. Usually we speak of Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa.

In Savikalpa Samadhi there are thoughts, ideas, but they do not affect the most advanced seeker or the Yogi. The Yogi remains unperturbed. He functions in a dynamic and confident manner.

In Nirvikalpa Samadhi, nature's dance stops. There is no movement. Everything is tranquil. The Knower and the Known have become totally One. The lover and the Beloved have become One. The Yogi enjoys a supremely divine, all-pervading, self-amorous ecstasy.

Sahaja Samadhi is by far the highest type of Samadhi. Very few spiritual Masters have achieved that state. In Sahaja Samadhi they walk like ordinary human beings. They eat. They do almost all normal things, the usual things that an ordinary human being does. But, in the inmost reaches of their hearts they are surcharged with divine illumination. After achieving the highest type of realisation, on very rare occasions one is blessed with Sahaja Samadhi. He who has achieved and remains in the Sahaja Samadhi consciously and perfectly manifests God at every second, and thus he is the greatest Pride of the Transcendental Supreme.

The Samadhis that you know, that you are familiar with, are Savikalpa Samadhi and Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Nirvikalpa Samadhi is the highest Samadhi that most spiritual Masters attain and it lasts for a few hours or a few days. Then, one has to come down. You have to know that one cannot operate from that high state of consciousness. One can never operate from Nirvikalpa Samadhi. It is simply impossible. One has to come down. Then, when one comes down, what happens? Very often one forgets one's own name. One cannot speak properly. One forgets one's own age. Many things happen then. Again, through continued practice of this Nirvikalpa Samadhi, gradually, when one comes down, one can immediately act like a human being on earth.

But realisation is something else. When once realisation dawns, the seeker enjoys freedom from the human personality and the human individuality. It is like a tiny drop of water which enters into the ocean. Once it enters, it becomes the ocean. At that time, we don't see the personality of the one tiny drop or the individuality of the drop. It becomes the entire ocean. So realisation is totally different. When one realises the highest truth, at that time the finite enters into the Infinite and realises and achieves the Infinite as its very own. Then, when somebody else sees such a seeker, he will see that he has become the ocean itself in his inner life.