Shloka # 52:
“When your intellect goes beyond the mist of delusion, you will win detachment from both what is to be heard and what has been heard.”
Shloka # 53:
“You will win this supreme yoga when your intellect, bewildered by Vedic texts, becomes firm and unwavering in concentration.”
In shlokas 52 and 53 respectively Sri Krishna concludes his summary of the basic teachings of a spiritual life as described by the vedas. All other chapters of Gita are a magnification of these two verses. This is the foundation upon which a 18-story edifice has been raised. Chapter 2, all verses 11-43 are very important, as are Jnana Yoga verses 11-25. One should try to memorize them and try to read them daily. All other chapters are based upon these verses. This will give you a strong foundation. Read these verses off and on. In this chapter, chapter 2, Karma Yoga and Gyana Yoga were described.
Karma yoga: is a religious life, where spiritual progress is important and while material life is not.
Gyana Yoga: The Karma Yogi’s mind will mature to study Gyana Yoga or one’s own Self. Just as a spectacle has got two goggles; the body and mind are like two media with which I interact. At the time of sleep, both the media, the body and the mind are resolved temporarily; and our transactions with the world stops. But even when the transactions stop, I continue to exist as a conscious being; a non-transacting conscious being. And Sri Krishna’s contention is this conscious being is my true nature. Body and mind are just two spectacles that are resolved in this knowledge of the Self.
I will still continue to exist as a Conscious Being. The body mind thought complex is only a temporary medium. “I” the pure consciousness will never die, while body and mind will come and go. This recognition is Self-knowledge. I know the body is not myself. It is a shell. This knowledge will then lead to Self-discovery.
Practice Karma yoga to know the mind. Practice Gyana Yoga to discover the Self. This is the essence of Gita.
All these are elaborated in future chapters. Here, now, Sri Krishna allows Arjuna to ask his questions.
“How can a man of stable wisdom, anchored in concentration, be described, O Krsna? How does a man of steadfast intelligence speak? How does he sit? How walk?”
Arjuna is a practical man. He wants to know the practical value of the teachings. Will there be a benefit for me? Will it transform me, here and now?
Imagine a person who goes through the path of Karma yoga and then withdraws from all activities and then discovers his Self. He is totally satisfied as well. Such a person is a Gyani. Such a person is called a Stitha Pragyaha. Stitha means freedom from all doubts. Pragyaha means Gyana.
Another expression used to describe the same person is Sama-dhitaha or one with conviction or established in his true nature or Atma. Such a person is one who does not forget his true nature even in day-to-day activities. To such a person knowledge is easily accessible, as he does not forget the teaching at all, so much so that he maintains equanimity even in a crisis.
Sthitadhihi is another expression used to describe such a person. Dhihi means Gyanam. In such a person, “I am Atma”, realization is a fact for him.
Thus, we have three definitions of an enlightened person.
Arjuna asks, Sri Krishna, what is description of such a Gyani? I would like to decide if this knowledge is useful to me or not. How will he talk to others, if at all? How will he sit? How will he walk? How does a Gyani conduct himself in the world? How does he think? How does he interact?
Swamiji clarifies that in this shloka the word Bhasha does not mean language but means description of Gyani. Swamiji also says that if there is no Guru, Sanyasa ashramam can be very dangerous, as Sanyasi will not know what to do with his time.
Shloka # 55:
Sri Krishna answered:
“When one wholly discards desires of the heart and becomes exclusively content with the Self, one is called a sage of stable wisdom. O Arjuna.”
This is a very important shloka as it provides a definitio n of a Sthita Pragyaha.
Once we know characteristics of a Gyani, we have a model for all spiritual seekers. Shankaracharya says, what ever is a natural trait in a Gyani, it is a guideline for all Sadhakas. We can also check ourselves against the model. How am I to know if I have reached the goal?
Swamiji cautions: Use this portion only to judge yourself or change yourself, and not to judge others.
- What are his natural traits?
- What are the disciplines to be practiced, to become an Sthita Pragyaha?
Sri Krishna does not discuss all sadhanas here.
Swamiji says everybody has to go through Karma Yoga and Gyana Yoga. Gyana Yoga has three stages:
- Sravanam: Receiving spiritual teaching from a competent teacher. This will help in Self Discovery. Scripture and Guru are like a mirror. They allow you to see your own “Inner Self” or Real Nature. Sravanam removes self-ignorance and helps with self-discovery. It is a mirror.
- Mananam: Even as the student receives the teaching, several doubts come in his mind. The teacher’s goal is not to make the student believe. He wants the student to know. Knowing is different from believing. Where knowing is involved, buddhi is involved; and buddhi will not accept something unless it is convinced. It should be logical. So, student is allowed to reflect and think about teaching. He can ask all questions, he wants. Therefore the second process of jnana yoga is asking my own intellect honestly, am I convinced? Of what? I am not the body, I am not the mind; but I am the eternal consciousness, functioning through the body and mind; Until and unless the student is convinced, the guru is ready for any amount of discussion. And this interaction and clarifying of all doubts is called mananam. This is the second important part of jnana yoga. By mananam, I remove all the intellectual obstacles. With this the knowledge has been converted into conviction; it is no more mere vague hypothesis or idea, but is a fact for me. Mananam removes intellectual obstacles.
- Nidhidysanam: This intellectual knowledge has to be converted into emotional or psychological strength. It is the emotional personality that we use most of the time, not intellectual. We are disturbed by instances such as not getting coffee in time, car does not start, somebody overtakes your car etc. You get angry and disturbed. Day to day life is a series of such disturbances. One must free themselves from all unhealthy emotional responses.
A person with a high IQ and a very good job came to Swamiji and cried for fifteen minutes. He had problems with his wife. He has IQ but no EQ. Emotional Quotient is a rock like mind that can withstand all disturbances. This involves a big conversion within. Converting knowledge to mental strength. This is called Nidhidyasana. Ask yourself what complexes do I have? In background of this knowledge how do I get over them? Somebody said, “ Negatives are developed in dark room of ignorance.” Once he goes through Nidhidysanam he becomes Sthitha Pragyaha.
Thus, Sravanam and Mananam lead to Pragyaha. Nidhidysanam makes him Sthita pragyaha.
Such a mind is called Jivan Mukti. It is a light and non-burdensome mind. The Gyani is not aware of his own mind. Citing example: Swamiji says if body parts are healthy you do not feel them. Only when they are hurt you feel them. “When the show fits you do not feel the shoe” is a Chinese proverb. So also with mind, when it is not burdened you do not feel it.
The mind of a Sthita Pragyaha is now described:
- Such a person is self sufficient, self-content and does not require external factors emotionally. He might require external factors to provide for food, clothing, shelter, but as far as his emotional being is concerned, he is not going to go with a begging bowl, asking each and everyone, whether you will take care of me. His life is for giving love and care, but his life is not for begging for love and care. What a wonderful attitude. As long as I beg, there will be sanctions. You know what a sanction is? It is constant blackmail. His life is not for begging, but for giving. He also does not depend on the physical condition of his own body.
- Once there is fullness in oneself then there is renunciation of all expectations and desires.
Why do desires come? Why does a man look for a walking stick? One, whose legs are weak, needs a walking stick. So also it is with a family, such as wife, son and grandchildren. At each stage in life I feel “Appornatvam” or incompleteness. Gyani, however, does not see himself as incomplete.
He may use these things but he does not need them. Like going out for a walk with a baton. If he does not have the baton he will not fall. Although, he has people around him, he is not dependent on them. Manogatan, all these cravings of mind, torturing and inflicting pains, are cleaned up, not because desires are pushed away by suppression, rather desire drops with discovery of Poorṇatvam. It happens naturally. Just like when the fruit comes, all the flower petals fall away. Similarly, all these desires should fall, because of the discovery of poorṇatvam. Through knowledge these props fall away. So, Poornatvam is the second trait of a sthitapragyaha.
With Best Wishes,