Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur
January 30, 2013

Question: Srila Bhaktivinode often speaks of samadhi as the only path to actual realization. What is the process or essence of that samadhi? I've not found a direct explanation as yet, in his writings. I'm reminded of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's explanation quoted by Srila Prabhupada in NOI. (progressive absorption in Nama)

Answer: Along with your question you cited a portion of Text 5, Ch 9 from Sri Krsna Samhita by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur. I have reproduced the full text within the attached file, along with the prior 4 verses for purpose of contextual reference. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur uses the term "natural samadhi" interchangeably with the nine processes of bhakti, which begin with hearing and chanting. When progressively cultivated, the nine processes of bhakti naturally draw the mind to Krsna -- as opposed to other processes which attempt to mechanically drag the mind from material absorption towards brahman. An elaborate description of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur's "natural samadhi", i.e. the superiority of chanting nama, is found in the concluding portions of Chapter 4 of Brhad-bhagavatamrta Part 2. The Vaikuntha-vasis are extensively explaining the superiority of chanting to those who are achieve constant remembrance (samadhi) by silent meditation. Yes, progressive absorption in Nama is both the means and the goal of "natural samadhi".

Reading Assignment: Sri Krsna Samhita Ch9, Txt 1-5