Samadhi Shrine

Definition - What does Samadhi Shrine mean?

A samadhi shrine is a Hindu temple memorializing the dead, which may or may not contain the body of the deceased. These temples are built to honor people who were regarded as saints or gurus in Hindu religious traditions.

While most Hindu people in India are cremated after their deaths, samadhi shrines are reserved for those who have already been cleansed by the fire of yoga. These temples also memorialize individuals who are believed to have been in the state of samadhi (a non-dualistic state of consciousness) at their time of death, such as yogis, gurus or saints.

Yogapedia explains Samadhi Shrine

According to the author Patanjali, samadhi is the last of the eight elements of yoga practice. It is described as a state in which the mind is only conscious of the object of concentration. It makes the practitioner unaware of the outside world, so much so that they will not respond to stimulus and sometimes may almost appear dead. It is popularly believed that deceased yogis are not actually dead, but rather are rapt in deep meditation. That is why the burial places for deceased ascetics are usually referred to as samadhi shrines.

Samadhi shrines in India are often visited and kept clean by the devotees. Hindu rituals, meditation, prayer and mantra chanting may take place in samadhi shrines. Some samadhi shrines have become places of pilgrimage for people seeking the ascetic´s continued blessing.

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