Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Savikalpa Mean?

Savikalpa is a Sanskrit term meaning “differentiated” or “optional.” It can be used to express ideas that are varied or to distinguish types.

In Hindu and yogic philosophy, savikalpa is most commonly used to distinguish a particular type of samadhi. Savikalpa samadhi is one of several levels, or stages, of samadhi, which is a state of bliss or complete concentration obtained when the yogi has realized the nature of his/her Higher Self. Savikalpa samadhi is sometimes described as the state in which the yogi’s consciousness temporarily dissolves into Brahman. Depending on the yogic tradition, savikalpa is either the second or third highest level of samadhi.


Yogapedia Explains Savikalpa

The ultimate goal of yoga is union of the individual with the Higher Self and, thereby, the universe. Yoga practices such as asanas, pranayama, mudras and meditation are designed to help the yogi reach this ultimate state of spiritual union.

Some traditions believe that samadhi is synonymous with enlightenment, while others believe it leads to enlightenment. Still others believe it is a state in which the mind goes blank, freeing the yogi from all thoughts. Savikalpa samadhi is a state in which the mind is still active and the yogi is still attached to the bodily and worldly distractions, but he/she gets a glimpse of bliss.

In the highest level of samadhi – called nirvikalpa, sahaja or asamprajnyata, depending on the tradition – the mind is under control and no longer imagines or wishes for anything. Only complete awareness remains. The yogi no longer sees differences because he/she sees the oneness and perfection of everything. The yogi’s awareness withdraws from the three bodies – the physical, astral and causal – until he/she achieves oneness with the Higher Self.

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