A Song on Samadhi
Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda composed this hymn in an attempt to express the inexpressible experience of nirvikalpa samadhi.

An English Translation (from the Complete Works)

Lo! The sun is not, nor the comely moon,
All light extinct; in the great void of space
Floats shadow-like the image-universe.

In the void of mind involute, there floats
The fleeting universe, rises and floats,
Sinks again, ceaseless, in the current “I”.

Slowly, slowly, the shadow-multitude
Entered the primal womb, and flowed ceaseless,
The only current, the “I am”, “I am”.

Lo! ‘Tis stopped, ev’n that current flows no more,
Void merged into void — beyond speech and mind!
Whose heart understands, he verily does.

The Original Bengali Hymn

নাহি সূর্য নাহি জ্যোতিঃ নাহি শশাঙ্ক সুন্দর।
ভাসে ব্যোমে ছায়া-সম ছবি বিশ্ব-চরাচর॥
অস্ফুট মন আকাশে, জগত সংসার ভাসে,
ওঠে ভাসে ডুবে পুনঃ অহং-স্রোতে নিরন্তর॥
ধীরে ধীরে ছায়া-দল, মহালয়ে প্রবেশিল,
বহে মাত্র ‘আমি আমি’ — এই ধারা অনুক্ষণ॥
সে ধারাও বদ্ধ হল, শূন্যে শূন্য মিলাইল,
‘অবাঙমনসোগোচরম্’, বোঝে — প্রাণ বোঝে যার॥

Transliteration

nāhi sūrya nāhi jyotiḥ nāhi śaśāṅka sundara|
bhāse vyome chāyā-sam chabi viśva-carācara||
asphuṭa man ākāśe, jagat saṁsār bhāse,
oṭhe bhāse ḍube punaḥ ahaṁ srote nirantara||
dhīre dhīre chāyā-dal, mahālaye praveśila,
bahe mātra ‘āmi āmi’, ei dhārā anukṣaṇ||
se dhārāo baddha hala, śūnye śūnya milāila,
‘avāṅmanasogocaram’, bojhe prāṇ bojhe jār ||

Alternate, more literal translation

Ah, there is no sun, nor the beautiful moon, nor any light whatsoever.
The entire universe floats through space, phantom-like, a mere picture.

This fleeting universe floats in the firmament of the involute mind;
It rises and floats and again submerges ceaselessly
In the stream of “I”-consciousness.

Slowly, slowly these phantom images have entered the primal womb.
Only the feeling “I”, “I”, flows on in a ceaseless stream.

That current also has stopped; the void has merged in the void,
Beyond the realm of mind and speech.
He alone understands whose heart understands.