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.