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In Hindu or Yogic traditions, Mahāsamādhi, the great and final samādhi, is the act of consciously and intentionally leaving one's body at the moment of death.[1] According to this belief, a realized and enlightened (Jivanmukta), yogi (male) or yogini (female) who has attained the state of nirvikalpa samādhi, can consciously exit from their body and attain enlightenment, often while in a deep, conscious meditative state.[2]

Associated with this belief is the notion that the individual's karma is extinguished upon death.

Some individuals have, according to their followers, declared the day and time of their Mahāsamādhi beforehand. These include Lahiri Mahasaya whose death on September 26, 1895 was of this nature, according to Paramahansa Yogananda. In Yogananda's autobiography he describes how Lahiri Mahasaya stood up and turned around three times, and then resumed sitting crossedlegged in the lotus posture, facing north.[2][3] Paramahansa Yogananda's own death on March 7, 1952, was described by his followers as entering Mahāsamādhi.[4] Daya Mata, one of Yogananda's direct disciples, said that Yogananda on the previous evening had asked her "Do you realize that it is just a matter of hours and I will be gone from this earth?"[5]


  1. ^ "Glossary Of Siddha Yoga Terminology". 2010-07-25. Retrieved 2020-11-22.
  2. ^ a b Blackman, Sushila (1997). Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die: Death Stories Of Tibetan, Hindu & Zen Masters. New York: Weatherhill. ISBN 0-8348-0391-7.
  3. ^ Yogananda, Paramahansa (1997). Autobiography of a Yogi - Chapter 36. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship. ISBN 0-87612-086-9.
  4. ^ "Mahasamadhi —". Yogoda Satsanga Society of India. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  5. ^ Goldberg, Philip (2018). The Life of Yogananda. California: Hay House, Inc. p. 277. ISBN 978-1-4019-5218-1.