1.17 Layers of understanding are revealed through steady concentration on an object: thought, insight, and pure joy.

“…from the very beginning, meditation needs an object, a point of focus for the mind….three factors are present: the small you as the knower, the object of meditation as the known, and the process of knowing that relates the two.”

– Devadatta Kali, Managing The Mind

“Then the object is gradually understood in totality. At first this understanding is at a more superficial level. And finally it is total. There is pure joy in reaching such a depth of understanding. For then, the individual is so much in unity with the object that he is oblivious to his surroundings.”

– TKV Desikachar, Reflections on Yoga Sutra-s of Patanjal

“Persevering practice in non-attachment prepares the mind to pass from mental dispersion toward contemplation on an object. This contemplation passes through four chronological stages….In these successive states of union with an object, consciousness doesn’t change. The mind of the person becomes more and more transparent, until consciousness reflects the object of contemplation with purity.”

– Bernard Bouchard, The Essence of Yoga

“…samadhi is practiced first on the gross objects (satvitarka samadhi), then on the subtle elements (savichara samadhi), then on the mind devoid of any objects except its own joy – in other words, on the sattvic mind (sa-ananda samadhi – and finally on the “I” feeling alone (sa-asmita samadhi). There is a gradation because you can’t immediately contemplate the very subtle. First you have to train the mind to focus on something concrete….The samprajnata samadhis are a process of going inward – not evolution but involution.”

– Sri Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

“…samadhi is a way of attaining knowledge that is supra (above)-rational. Samadhi differs from our usual method of gaining understanding in that there are no steps of logic and no comparing or contrasting of bits of information in order to arrive at an understanding of the object being contemplated. Instead, knowledge gained from samadhi is direct, spontaneous, and intuitive, the product of achieving at least some significant measure of unity with the object being contemplated.”

– Reverend Jaganath Carrera, Inside the Yoga Sutras

“…the intellect becomes keen, reasoning is clear, bliss is reflected to all, and outward identification unites with the Supreme Consciousness.”

– Nichala Joy Devi, The Secret Power of Yoga