Samadhi (shrine)

Samādhi or samadhi mandir is the Hindi name for a temple, shrine, or memorial commemorating the dead (similar to a tomb or mausoleum),[1][2][3] which may or may not contain the body of the deceased. Samadhi sites are often built in this way to honor people regarded as saints or gurus in Hindu religious traditions,[4] wherein such souls are said to have passed into mahāsamādhi, or were already in samādhi (non-dualistic state of consciousness) at the time of death.

Samadhi of the Sikh Maharajah Ranjit Singh in Lahore
Ruined group of samadhi for the rajas of Kutch and their courts, at Bhuj, Gujarat

Samadhi is also used in Sikhism for the mausoleums of eminent figures, both religious and political. Examples include the Samadhi of Ranjit Singh in Lahore, and that of Maharaja Sher Singh near Lahore. Hindu equivalents are usually called chatri, although those for Maratha Empire figures also often use "samadhi". The forms of structure called "samadhi" vary greatly. The word is sometimes used for a memorial stele, also called paliya, a type of hero stone once common in parts of Gujarat and Sindh. It may be used for small memorial buildings such as open chatri, often placed around a temple.

The tradition of India is cremation for most Hindu people at the time of death, while samadhi is generally reserved for very advanced souls, such as yogis and saints,[4] who have already been "purified by the fire of yoga"[5] or who are believed to have been in the state of samadhi at the time of death. Samadhi usually involves inhumation rather than cremation.[4]


One of the popular site of pilgrimage in India is the town of Alandi in the state of Maharashtra where the 13th century Varkari saint Dnyaneshwar took Sanjivan Samadhi or entombed himself in the state of Samadhi. His devotees believe that he is still alive.[6][7]

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (d. 1977) the founder of ISKCON (known as the "Hare Krishna Movement"), is commemorated with a large Samadhi Mandir in Mayapur, West Bengal.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Hindi dictionary (Samadhi)". Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Oxford Dictionary - American English". Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Oxford Dictionary - English". Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b c McLaughlin, Mark (July 2021). Flood, Gavin; Frazier, Jessica; Lutjeharms, Rembert (eds.). "Tracing the Roots of Samādhi Burial Practice". Journal of Hindu Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press on behalf of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. 14 (1): 8–26. doi:10.1093/jhs/hiab008. eISSN 1756-4263. ISSN 1756-4255. OCLC 301680132.
  5. ^ Georg Feuerstein, The Encyclopedia of Yoga and Tantra (Boston: Shambhala Publications, 2011 ), p. 308.
  6. ^ Novetzke 2009, p. 218.
  7. ^ Glushkova 2014, p. 116.


External linksEdit