Originally Posted by Matti
This was clearly an instruction given to his followers who were already well established in Kriya Yoga which, from what I gather, is a way of moving energy (prana) in the body during meditation. Not meant for folks like us I would say.
As far as trance and samadhi are concerned, they can be seen as quite different - depending on how the words are used. I agree with you, Edwin.... trance is often used to mean loss of consciousness (and in the West, is often what happens with channelers when another soul takes over their body and speaks through them). But usually samadhi, in reference to Indian mahatmas (great souls) refers to the advanced state of meditation where there is an experience of oneness with God (or the Self). It's a heightened state of awareness of the Truth of existence. When Sri Anandamayi Ma was asked about an experience she had in samadhi she replied "I realized that the Universe was all my own manifestation (seeing her own God-Self)....I found myself face to face with the One that appears as many." Knowing her Oneness with the Infinite, she was looking at the multiplicity of forms that come out of that. Sri Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, Mata Amritananda Mayi and many many othes all regularly go (or went) into this state.
The caution is that accompanying these states are the siddhis - the so-called powers such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, healing powers, etc. which can be distractions on the path. People become attached to them, so that having them serves the ego. Also, advanced states of absorption can be very blissful which also bring attachment.
Edwin is right, we need to develop wisdom - experience the Self - and not chase after thrills (I think that's what you meant Edwin
) but I, for one, would be delighted to go into samadhi like these Great Ones.