Sahaja is one of a number of terms that have been used to describe the trans-mind condition. Sahaja is derived from the Sanskrit saha, meaning “together” and ja, meaning “born” and can be translated to mean “innate”. It is a term that has long been associated with Indian mystical thought and practice, although its popularity has fluctuated as different Indian spiritual movements encouraged, revised or ignored it. Davidson provides seven contexts in which sahaja has been used over the recorded history of Indian, especially Buddhist, spiritual thought. The most pertinent to this discussion include the assertion that sahaja is:

“[A] fundamental, irreducible condition, decidedly a noun. It is roughly equivalent to svabh¯ava or svar ¯upa, and is used to described the inherent and inalienable attributes that exist irrespective of accidental circumstances.”

And,

“The present moment when one thing occurs with another, a temporal value differentiated from the prior and subsequent moments, when the two items were not associated.” (Davidson, 2002)

Synonymous terms and ideas include jivan mukta, “Buddha state” and “liberation”. Modern Western equivalent descriptions might include, but are not restricted to, “unitive state”, “self-realisation”, “self-actualisation”, “peak experience”, “sainthood” and “state of grace”.

Sahaja signifies one’s natural or spontaneous self, divested of all external influences and the mental conditioning produced by them. This natural state is demonstrated by young children, for example, who are free of the complex adult mind and its attendant pretences, “hang-ups” and neuroses. The sahaja state flows naturally to the one who has attained the depths of meditation and is therefore a logical consequence of the mental silence or “trans-mind” principle — a kind of renascent freedom. It can be described as the optimal state in which the body, the psyche and the soul find a synergistic integration to realise the potentiality that exists within each human being.

Dr Ramesh Manocha