"In acquiring material wealth all are not equally blessed. But in gaining mental and spiritual wealth, every one has an equal chance. Beginning from character and disciplines and ending with supreme kindness and goodness, the wealth of the mind is displayed in abundance before all. The question is only who wants, and, to which measure !"

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

  • 42nd Annual Delhi Jñāna Yajña 2016-08-25

    Poojya Swamiji and Mā will reach Delhi on Nov 13. They will stay at Centre for Inner Resources Development (CIRD), Vasundhara, and return to the Ashram on Dec 02, 2015. Programme Details available here.

  • Jñāna Yajña USA 2016 2016-08-02

    USA Jñāna Yajña (Sep 04 to 26): Poojya Swamiji along with Mā will leave for USA on Sep 04 and return to Ashram by Sep 28. Brni. Namrata Swaroopa and Smt. Mala Sridhar  (from Kenya) will accompany them. The programs will be held in Orange County (Southern California) from Sep 04 to Sep 13 and in Washington DC Metro Area from Sep 14 to 26. Click here for details.

  • Annual Jñāna Yajña Malaysia 2016 2016-08-02

    Jñāna Yajña in Malaysia (Aug 10 - 24): Poojya Swamiji along with Mā will leave for Malaysia on Aug 09. Brni. Namrata Swaroopa will accompany them. They will stay at the Society for Inner Resources Development (SIRD), Petaling Jaya. They will return to the Ashram on Aug 24.

Practical Guidance

Prabhaata Rashmih talks by Poojya Swamiji
  • PR 04 Nov 2015 - The difference between Sthitaprajna and Sthitadhi states in Bhagavad Gita
     Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio 

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    Swami Dingaleshwarji is here for some days. Nutan Swamiji used to tell us about whatever was taking place here. (Dingaleshwar) Swamiji’s arrival, his desire to learn some English, finding that this place will be suitable for him and he has been staying here with perhaps a rigorous English tuition from three or four people. I am very happy about it.

    Yesterday for the evening satsang, Swamiji raised a question. The question was, “What is the difference between sthitaprajña or sthitaprajñata and samādhi?” Then during the course of the discussion I said sthitaprajñata is a still state, inactive state where not only the body remains still, the mind and the intelligence also remains still, at the same time the seeker is also very much conscious of, aware of his own body and other things. It is not an inactive unconscious state. It is on the other hand a full conscious state. At the same time neither thoughts are there, feelings and emotions are there, nor from the intelligence level enquiry, finding and other things are there.

    The only two faculties, the only two instruments within our body which remain active and vibrant during the wakeful hours are the mind and the intelligence. When they become still and quiet, at the same time one is conscious of, automatically self absorption and self restfulness take place. Contrary to this is the sthitadhī state where the he who was a sthitaprajña, a samādhishtha, a man seated in samādhi becomes vibrant and active. His senses are active, mind is thoughtful, the intelligence is quite awake.

    Then how does he become a sthitadhī? This is something very important to know. Bhagavad Gita clearly says the difference is very specific. There is one shloka where Sri Krishna describes about stgitadhī. First he speaks about sthitaprajña

    प्रजहाति यदा कामान्सर्वान्पार्थ मनोगतान् ।
    आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्टः स्थितप्रज्ञस्तदोच्यते ।।
    prajahāti yadā kāmān-sarvān-pārtha mano-gatān
    ātmany-evātmanā tuṣṭaḥ sthita-prajñas-tadocyate
    (Bhagavad Gita 2.55)

    Leaving all desires of all kinds, when one remains absorbed in himself, at the same time he becomes contented within himself, by himself, that ātma-tushti is there, that is sthitaprajñata. When he wakes up and starts doing vyavahāra, activities in this world, his senses will be interacting with the objects. And normally what takes place? During the course of the interactions, three forces constantly surge up in the mind, three forces come to the mind repeatedly. These forces are called rāga, dvesha and bhaya. Rāga means desire,dvesha means hatred and dislike, bhaya means fear.

    If you analyze the human mind and human life and interactions, you will find all the things that take place within us can be traced to three important factors. One is desire for things other than oneself, number two is dislike, hatred and resentment towards the things of the world, the third is fear on one account or the other. All the other emotions like kāma, krodha, lobha,moha, mada, mātsarya etc. are multiplications of these three. The first thing to leave the mind is desire. The second thing to be set right is dvesha, hatred. And the third                force to disappear is fear.

    Now Sri Krishna says

    दुःखेष्वनुद्विग्नमनाः सुखेषु विगतस्पृहः ।
    वीतरागभयक्रोधः स्थितधीर्मुनिरुच्यते ।।
    duḥkheṣv-anudvigna-manāḥ sukheṣu vigata-spṛhaḥ
    vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhaḥ sthita-dhīr-munir-ucyate
    (Bhagavad Gita 2.56)

    If you understand the principle, it will be very simple but it is a very long drawn out task perhaps for seekers.

    duḥkheṣu-anudvigna-manāḥ, if you are interacting with this world on one account or the other, there will be duhkha, grief, one after the other.  Any number of grief may come, the enlightened man, the jñāni should not be ruffled, shaken or disturbed by them. Accept duhkha as part of life. It will take place when the senses interact with the objects of the world and allow the duhkha to be as it is. You are not creating them. The senses and the mind put together cause them. Like day and night, duhkha will come, it will disappear, sukha also will come, that will also disappear. So remain unshaken and undisturbed by duhkha by having a new point of view, vision about life.

    When sukhas come, do not be desireful, do not be elated, over delighted by them. So not to be depressed by duhkha and not to be unduly delighted by sukha.

    Then do not do anything because of a fear. Do not fear anybody including the Gods and Goddesses of heavens like Indra, Chandra and the others.  You are a full human being. If you are pure, good and you have reliance on God and you also know about the self, what is there to fear in this world? You don’t harm anybody. Try to do good if you can, at least avoid harm. When you are not harmful, why should there be a curse from anybody? So you should develop confidence and clarity to such an extent that you feel that “I am not under anybody. I will not fear either asurās or devās. I will not fear anybody. I will do what is right and proper. I will rely upon God. I will rely upon my own self.” Like rāga and dvesha, bhaya also should become sublimated.

    When the mind becomes free of raga-dvesha-bhaya, that person is called sthitadhī. His mind and intelligence becomes stable and with a stable mind and intelligence he can live and move and act in this world very, very well. The mind generally gets constricted and shrunk, narrowed down by either desire or hatred or fear. When the mind becomes free of these, you will become like air, like the ocean or like the space , ākāśa. That kind of a spacial or airy or oceanal mind is what makes a mind sthitadhī. He lives and moves in this world harmlessly trying to do good to the people and whatever reactions or interactional effects come to him, he is able to receive them and assimilate them like the sea does the rivers flowing ceaselessly to it.

    This sthitadhītva is an active and vyāvahāric state, sthitaprajña is a still, absorbed and a speechless, thoughtless and unquestioning state. In sthitaprajña there is full contentment remaining still, in sthitadhī also somewhat the same contentment is there but being active and interactive.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 03 Oct 2015 - A Wholesome Continuous Attitude towards God
     Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio 

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    Bhagavad Gita is a complete handbook on our country, its culture, values, ideals, various standards, norms, disciplines, everything you will find incorporated in Bhagavad Gita. And the distinction about Bhagavad Gita is, this exposition was made in the battlefield of Kurukshetra before the war to enable and empower Arjuna to fight. That was a particular occasion. But if you treat it as a general presentation, it is to enable every living individual in this world to live his life meeting the challenges, persecutions, trials and tribulations, never getting retarded, going forward with sufficient enthusiasm and involvement, finding all the drive, all the energy, all the resolve from the mind and the intelligence. In other words, the external world however huge and imposing it may appear to be will not be able to get the better of us. Our mind and intelligence are far superior and soul is the most.

    If you look into the whole of Bhagavad Gita, it is a personality based gospel. In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna always emphasizes the mind should be your focus and intelligence is the tool which will be activated in order to help you to focus on the mind and redress its adversities and enrich it with the necessary insight, joy, commitment and what not! Sri Krishna certainly speaks about a kind of a regulation and control to be exercised on the senses by virtue of which the mind will become more orderly and refined. One will be able to sit in a place and exclusively employ the mind and intelligence in the way of meditation.

    So this is a kind of a self-based pursuit where inner absorption becomes the goal as well as the practice. Obviously we will not be able to spend all the sixteen hours of the day excluding sleep in that kind of an absorption. Even ascetics living in the forest areas in a hermitage will not be able to do so. That means the absorptional hours will be very few, small in percentage and the interactional spell will be far more. Unless the absorptional sadhana is followed with an interactional pursuit also, there will not be any kind of a progress or fruition in spirituality.

    So there are only two points in Bhagavad Gita. One is absorptional inner refinement and the like, another is interactional. In the interactional, Sri Krishna goes on saying in several places in many ways, everything in this whole world is a display of the Supreme Reality. There is no difference between the Supreme Reality and what we see around. In other words, gross is nothing but a display of the subtle. World in its visible form is itself a gross representation and display of God. Can you take it like this?

    So here is a verse which he says,

    ये चैव सात्त्विका भावा राजसास्तामसाश्च ये ।
    मत्त एवेति तान्विद्धि न त्वहं तेषु ते मयि ।।
    ye caiva sāttvikā bhāvā rājasās-tāmasāś-ca ye
    matta eveti tān-viddhi na tv-ahaṁ teṣu te mayi
    (Bhagavad Gita 7.12)

    The entire prakṛti consists of sattva, rajas and tamas. And these are interplayed as a result of which the whole creation, preservation etc. are going on. So sattva, rajas, tamas are the three gunas, constituents of prakṛti which bring about the entire world, preserve it and also dissolve it. All the individual bhāvās as well as the collective entity called the world, all of them are but an outcome of sattva, rajas and tamas. “So whatever sātvik, rājasic and tāmasic traits and expressions are there, understand all of them without exception are me.” In that case, what should you do?

    यत्करोषि यदश्नासि यज्जुहोषि ददासि यत् ।
    यत्तपस्यसि कौन्तेय तत्कुरुष्व मदर्पणम् ।।
    Yat-karoṣi yad-aśnāsi yaj-juhoṣi dadāsi yat
    Yat-tapasyasi kaunteya tat-kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam
    (Bhagavad Gita 9.27)

    Do not distinguish between a religious or a spiritual act and a non-religious and non-religious act. Everything is the same. Therefore, in interactional life have a wholesome continuous attitude.

    Yat-karoṣi yad-aśnāsi yaj-juhoṣi dadāsi yat, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in the way of a sacrifice and whatever you give in the form of gift, offering or otherwise, yat-tapasyasi kaunteya, also whatever you do in the way of austerity or worship, all of them together alike consider to be an offering to the Lord. Stop your differentiation, consider even the tāmasic bhāvās around you are no other than the display of the Supreme Reality. Drop the differentiation and consider everything to be a medium, as an offer to the supreme. Don’t do anything specially in the form of worship or yāga or yajña. If you do, it is okay, don’t look for it and everything that you do should be equally an offer to the Lord.

    So it is development of this wholesome spiritual attitude and being governed by it throughout your wakeful hours. In the process, if you feel like sitting in meditation and getting absorbed, do that also. But the actual point is that every activity, big or small, internal or external, religious or non-religious, everything should become alike, Godly. Actually it is something very simple. But when I explain in this way “Oh Swamiji, is it possible to consider everything I do as worship? Is not worship something distinct? What about my taking bath, answering the calls of nature?” The mind should think like that and the thought should be processed. Ultimately you will have to come to the resolution that it is so.

    Yat-karoṣi yad-aśnāsi yaj-juhoṣi dadāsi yat

    Yat-tapasyasi kaunteya tat-kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam

    I would like you to reflect upon this verse and see whether your mind accepts it. It has to. Where is the obstacle? Whatever obstacle is there, that is called impurity. That impurity should be removed. Then you will be able to say “Even my own eating, drinking, sleeping, anything and everything that I do, becomes an equal offering to the Lord.”

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 01 Oct 2015 - How to Progress in Devotion
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

    Devotion is a very general concept and practice. Therefore most of the people are devotees in one manner or another, to some extent or more. But the devotion does not yield the desired result either for themselves in the way of fulfillment… “I am a devotee of God and I have attained whatever godliness I wanted to attain.” This kind of a fulfillment they may not have, they do not have.

    In the same manner, a devotee when others look at him, they are also not happy about that devotee. Either about his character, behavioral qualities, interactions, the manner in which he lives, if they contact him and interact with him, they don’t have any feeling that he is a devotee. So personally himself as well has interactionally in front of others, devotion does not become pronounced in him. What is the reason for it? I think everybody should take up this subject of enquiry and study. This is where our sastras become greatly relevant.

    In all our sastras you will find there is a lot of ethics discussed, the inner qualitative enrichment that one should have and the behavioral and interactional display of it. The second part is far more complex than the first part. Everyone can perhaps sit in a place, close his eyes and then be engaged in his inner association with God. How long will he do it? Normally people can do it only for half an hour or one hour. In the remaining part of the day, you will find all of them are interacting with people, with the world.

    I always say we have to interact with persons, places and events. Out of these, the interpersonal interaction, relationship, it is most complex. There people will come up with various comments. Actually this is what is discussed in our epics Ramayana and Mahabharata and also in a way in all the puranas. In Ramayana and Mahabharata, the characters are human but the puranas generally depict super human characters. But the message they want to convey is always very human and relates to human character, behavior and interaction.

    Hanuman makes a statement before Sri Rama which is wholesome in the sphere of devotion.

    देहबुध्या त्वदासोस्मि जीवबुद्ध्या त्वदंशक: ।
    आत्मबुद्ध्या त्वमेवाहं इति मे निश्चिता मति: ।।
    Deha-buddhyā tvadāsosmi jīva-buddhyā tvad-amśakah
    Ātma-buddhyā tvamevāham iti me niścitā matih

    Oh Lord, when I consider me and also you and try to strike at a relationship in which we are connected to each other, this is what I have to say. Deha-buddhyā tvadāsosmi, when I feel I have a body and I live and move with the body then the only thought that comes to me is I am here to serve you as a humble servant without asking for any remuneration or compensation. I am your dāsā, dehabuddhyā, when I think of me as the body.

    Jīva-buddhyā tvad-amśakah, when I consider myself as life or jīva in the body, then you represent the whole and I represent a part. So I am your part. As Jīva, I am your part like a spark of fire is exactly like the mother fire but the spark is very limited, it may not be able to ignite and burn the others. But the source fire can even destroy whole forests.

    Ātma-buddhyā tvamevāham, what does it mean? Suppose I consider myself to be ātma, means jīva is generally considered to be somewhat individualistic in character, personal etc. but when we go beyond that and try to understand the real essence of the jīva, it is the all-permeating self. Permeating everywhere it does not have a constriction called the body, limitation. It is pervading everywhere and as it pervades everywhere, I am also pervaded by it, you are also pervaded by it, it becomes one all pervading one, single factor. So ātma-buddhyā tvamevāham, when I think in terms of selfness then you yourself are I. I am not different from you. Now three parallel perceptions or attitudes I have about me in relation to you, my object of devotion, he says.

    All of you will do well to reflect upon this statement. We are after all embodied. In the state of embodiment, everything is separate from us, different from us, every object. Similarly we also feel God is different from us. I am a humble servant of God and I would like to serve my Lord throughout. Then when you think about what is this ‘I’ etc. initially the idea of jīva or jīvatva arises. There you find I am like a spark from the source fire. At other times when you can yourself deeply or listen to or read the scriptures you will find the essence of jīva and the essence of God are the same. So there is a feeling of oneness about God.

    I have already started discussing the tenth chapter of Bhagavad Gita for Muktisudhakaram. One verse has always struck me as very singular.

    अहं सर्वस्य प्रभवो मत्तः सर्वं प्रवर्तते ।
    इदि मत्वा भजन्ते मां बुधा भावसमन्विताः।।
    ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
    iti matvā bhajante māṁ budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ
    (Bhagavad Gita 10.8)

    Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate – I am the source for all. From me alone everything is activated and is able to act. Behind all actions, good or bad, inner or outer, anywhere, anytime, I am the one who is the activator. From me proceeds all kinds of activities.

    Iti matvā bhajante māṁ – Thinking in this manner, reflecting in this manner, contemplating in this manner, budhāh bhāva-samanvitāḥ, bhajante, intelligent people, wise people connected with me through their bhāva, attitude of the mind, they worship me. So the process or manner of worship is not external with flowers, idols, pudding, milk, honey, incense stick. No, that’s not.

    Bhāva-samanvitāḥ bhajante, they simply sit and think, everything is originating from God, everything is propelled by him. Any idea to the contrary is not entertained, it is eliminated. And this idea becomes stronger, deeper, more and more wholesome and finally ever present and always present and all fold. This kind of a notion comes.

    budhāh bhāva-samanvitāḥ. This is called bhāva-samanvitatva, not pushpa-samanvitatva, pāyasa-samanvitatva, (but) bhāva-samanvitatva. Budhāh bhāva-samanvitāḥ. That is why you will find good sages and saints, they will not have any particular routine in their life. Just like every other person, they also go to sleep, they wake up but in their mind, in their intelligence, in their actions you will find always they will be revolving around this God or the self. Invariably they will be exponents, they will be writers, they will be seekers, may not be platform seekers but always they will radiate the message that all are God, always it is so, never becomes otherwise, this kind of a feeling. So this worship is very important and such people, they progress and reach me and come to me. Remember this verse,

    ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
    iti matvā bhajante māṁ budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

    Iti matvā, one has to reflect in this manner, reflect, think about. Then this bhāva-samanvitatva comes and that is the manner in which they worship me mentally and intellectually.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.



Poojya Swamiji says that the real focus

  • of devotional practices is not God, but the devotee's own mind and behaviour;
  • of karmayoga is not action but the attitude of the mind with which an action is performed;
  • of knowledge is not knowledge, but the purification and expansion of the seeker's mind.

Swamiji's Teachings


Poojya Swamiji says that the real focus

  • of devotional practices is not God, but the devotee's own mind and behaviour;
  • of karmayoga is not action but the attitude of the mind with which an action is performed;
  • of knowledge is not knowledge, but the purification and expansion of the seeker's mind.


NSJi-HmPgSwami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

Swami Nirviseshananda Tirthaji, a renunciate disciple of Poojya Swamiji, is known for his scientific expositions which are a source of inspiration to seekers.  Read More...


Ma Gurupriya

A disciple of Poojya Swamiji, Ma is the loving mother of Poojya Swamiji's devotees around the world. Devotion and service remain the predominant forces shaping Ma's life.  Read More...

Short Description

Answers questions like what a seeker wishes to know about the supreme spiritual state. They are also meant to throw light on how a Knower distinguishes himself from the rest of mankind, both in the matter of inward absorption and external interactions. Where lies the difference between a spiritual Knower and a non-Knower? Do spiritual life and its fulfillment pose a conflict to the life in the world? Will life in the world and the interactions it warrants bring about any dislodgement for the Knower from this inward state? Will the world also find the Knower’s presence and movements any disturbance or disharmony? Or, these will be enriching to the world too? How does the Knower ensure that his pursuit of activities in the external world does not disturb him, instead it turns out to be a great enrichment to his life of spiritual enlightenment?


The following article is reproduced from the English Monthly Vicharasetu – March 1998 published by the Ashram

Krishna has, in a way, completed his exposition of Sankhya and Karma yoga, their sadhana and goal alike. He has also shown when the saadhaka would reach his goal and what, in a nutshell, is the ultimate fruition of yogasadhana. Krishna’s description would naturally have their relevance and purpose, only when Arjuna, to whom they are addressed, is able to grasp what he heard and express his reaction to the message. Arjuna’s response shows that he did grasp Krishna’s teaching. That is why he asks:

स्थितप्रज्ञस्य का भाषा समाधिस्थस्य केशव ।
स्थितधी: किं प्रभाषेत किमासीत व्रजेत किम् ।। 

                                                                                                      Bhagavad gita (2.54)

Arjuna’s questions are basically two; but they cover the entire range of Yoga and its practical fruition. Equally so, they bring forth the nature of the Knower’s inward and outward life. It is very significant that Arjuna uses the word sthitaprajnain his first question, whereas he uses sthitadheein the next.

How can the samadhistha sthitaprajnabe described, is what Arjuna asks first. “How will the sthita-dhee speak? How will he be resting. And how will he move about in the world and interact with people?” – he asks next.

This portion of the second chapter of Bhagavadgeeta is called sthita-prajna prakaranaIt is a very deep and subtle enunciation which brings great value and clarity to the whole spiritual and philosophical exposition of our land. In many of the unique excellences which Geeta has, this is a significant one. It shines distinctly with all its emphasis and revelation. The manner in which Krishna answers Arjuna shows how well a dialogue can be conducted, even in a battlefield. Generally subtle philosophical discussions are held in calm environments and leisurely spells. In spite of the fact that the situation here is entirely different, neither Krishna nor Arjuna has allowed fullness and sublimity of the discussions and the messages imparted to suffer the least.

The first question of Arjuna has its special note: sthitaprajnasya samadhisthasya ka bhasha– “What is the description of the sthitaprajna seated in samadhi?” In other words, how would Krishna describe the Yogic Knower absorbed in samadhi?” One’s prajna (consciousness) becomes sthita (steady and still) only in samadhi. At all other times the prajna will remain active, generating thoughts and reflections. So the sthitaprajna will not be able to speak or describe his state himself. His sthitaprajnata has to be described by another person, who knows about it well. By wording the question in this manner, Arjuna shows how keen he was in listening to Krishna.

Vedavyasa, too, is showing his great insight and purpose while penning the whole dialogue. More than sketching the biography of the rulers and the ruled of his time, the Sage intends to lay down before the people of the land a message that would last for all times. The intricacies of human behaviour, the sublime purpose of all our interactions, the hidden potential the human personality contains and hosts within itself, how this can be brought to manifest in all relevance and usefulness, ultimately how the individual has the full scope to outlive and assimilate all challenges and inputs from the world around him, these and allied questions are clearly set forth in the narrations of Vedavyasa, whatever be the scenes and events before him.

Philosophy is truly a complement to our external life. It is not to be read and reflected in the leisure of retirement. Instead, it is to be read and applied to the actual needs and riddles of life right from early stages. Arjuna’s enquiry focuses these points with an emphasis that is hardly found elsewhere.

In the next question of Arjuna, he has used a different note and basis. The sthitadhee can speak himself, because he is no more in his sthitaprajna state of samaadhi. His speech naturally will strike a difference from that of the rest. What is that difference? Sthitaprajna will be still and absorded into himself. The sthitadhee is not so. He can be quite vocal and even eloquent. Arjuna wants to know how will the sthitadhee take his rest. In other words, what will be his mind like when he stops his activities any time and withdraws into restfulness? Will his mind be brooding and bothering in the same way as that of the ordinary people? Or there is a clear distinction? And lastly, how will he move about, conduct his vyavahara, without causing any disturbance to his own sthitaprajnata treasure. He can even be a greatly helpful source for others. With his unique attainment, he can immensely contribute to the inner welfare of others around.

On close analysis, Arjuna’s questions cover what a seeker wishes to know about the supreme spiritual state. They are also meant to throw light on how a Knower distinguishes himself from the rest of mankind, both in the matter of inward absorption and external interactions. Where lies the difference between a spiritual Knower and a non-Knower? Do spiritual life and its fulfillment pose a conflict to the life in the world? Will life in the world and the interactions it warrants bring about any dislodgement for the Knower from this inward state? Will the world also find the Knower’s presence and movements any disturbance or disharmony? Or, these will be enriching to the world too? How does the Knower ensure that his pursuit of activities in the external world does not disturb him, instead it turns out to be a great enrichment to his life of spiritual enlightenment?

In short, Arjuna is requesting Krishna to give a full description of the sthitaprajna state, samaadhi, and also about the sthitadhee state. One refers to the individual’s inward absorptional state and the other to the interactional life of the Knower.

By getting ample clarification in this manner about both aspects of Yoga – the absorptional and interactional aspects – the study and pursuit of saadhana will stand to derive more depth and comprehensiveness. So Arjuna’s enquiries are quite timely, relevant and useful to all seekers of spiritual wisdom and yoga. We have quite a number of Upanishads, where Self-knowledge and Self-Knowers are presented and explained. But the words sthitaprajna and sthitadhee are not mentioned in them. These two concepts, especially the background in which they are presented here in Geeta, throw special light on the whole subject of Self-knowledge and Self-Knower.

Krishna always deals with Arjuna’s enquires and questions carefully and well, thereby fulfilling the questioner as well as enriching the subject of discussion greatly. After Krishna began his exposition from the 11th verse of this chapter, this is the first significant question Arjuna raises. Briefly but fully Krishna gives his answer:

प्रजहाति यदा कामान् सर्वान् पार्थ मनोगतान् ।
आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्ट: स्थितप्रज्ञस्तदोच्यते ।।

                                                                                                  Bhagavad gita (2.55)

When one renounces all desires born of the mind and rejoices by himself on his own Self, he is considered a sthita-prajna.

Krishna emphasizes here only two points in describing the sthita-prajna state. All the desires have to be renounced. After so renouncing, the seeker must be able to take his repose on his own Self within. And in so doing, he must find all the delight and fullness he seeks and yearns for. Leave everything and all, and rest upon your own inward Self. Such restfulness must be delightful, so much so that the seeker will not feel like having anything else for his satisfaction.

The mind has first of all to be disconnected from all the desires it fosters towards things of this world or the other world. Any desire is a desire indeed. And it has the sure effect of disturbing the mind. The only way to make the mind undisturbed is to keep away all desires. In any kind of desiring, the mind gets drawn outside.

A question may arise now: Is the desire for Self-realization also to be renounced? Well, if it is a desire, that is not good. In trying to realize the Self, why should one foster anything like a desire at all? In looking at your body, is there any question of desiring at all? To look at your own mind likewise, does not imply any desiring. So too, to look at the Self within and try to realize what it is, why should any desire be there? Generally you desire to get at some place away from where you are, or you desire to get an object which is different from you. Where the thing sought is different from you, a desire for it is possible and relevant. But in striving to realize your very Self, the Self that you already are, where is the need for any desire at all? You can have an urge for it, an impetus or compulsion for it. That is no desire.

Desire is something that pulls or pushes the mind away from its centre and leads it elsewhere. But here the process is just reverse. The mind, if at all, must get to its own centre, its own essence and being. That process is certainly different from desiring.

Krishna clearly states that after the mind gets rid of the desiring habit and desires, it should become self-seated and in that self-seatedness, the seeker should find all the delight he needs, to make him remain immersed within himself. This point is quite important and clear.

Every day we go into deep sleep for several hours. In sleep (sushupti), the mind itself ceases to be, it becomes extinct, not to speak of the desire it generates. Unmindful of the body, mind and intelligence, the sleeper sleeps to get lost into himself. In what way does this deep sleep state (sushupti) differ from sthita-prajna state? In the suspension of desires, in their disappearance for a while, sushupti and sthita-prajnata may be held to be the same, or nearly so. Even to say this is not true, because sushupti is a biological development. When the body gets tired after being wakeful and active, the biological system sends it to sleep, a state of utter restfulness. It is not something that we generate. Sushupti is a regular state we have just like wakefulness, as a counterpart of wakefulness. Like dream and wakefulness, sushupti is also a state, repetitive in nature, and even periodical. All the three appear in sequence and complement one another. By sleeping for hours together, no special change is brought to the mind, its structure and function. Also, it is not a condition that one should leave all his desires, in order to get into sushupti.

In sthita–prajnata, the whole development starts with an effort – the clear discrimination to eliminate desires; and as a result desires become extinct in the end. It is not then like one slipping into sushupti to forget everything and remain dead to the world and environments for a while. The similarity between sushupti and sthitaprajnata is that in both there is no awareness of the objects outside. The difference between the two is that in sushupti one becomes unconscious of himself, whereas in sthita-prajna state one remains fully conscious of himself. In addition, the sthita-prajna enjoys full delight born of himself, his Self.

What is such an awareness-full, delightful withdrawal? And why are people missing it throughout their life? Can the Self of one bring such an all-inclusive delight, as to exclude the need and company of all things, which he otherwise interacts with? All these questions have their full answer in the sthita-prajnata the seeker is able to gain within himself.

Explained just in 32 poetic letters, Krishna’s description of the “samadhistha-sthitaprajna” is verily a synopsis of all that the Upanishads point out, explain and reveal in various ways.

Our consciousness generally moves about in three states, each different from the others. Wakefulness is the state in which grossness and externality prevail. Only when one wakes up, his waking consciousness brings in the presence and perception of the external objects, including earth, water, fire, air and space. So the entire gross world is a result and outcome of our wakefulness, wakeful consciousness.

But does this wakefulness remain unbroken forever? In fact, whenever wakefulness takes place, it can only be from and after sushupti (deep sleep). Jagrat (wakefulness) cannot be except as a contrast and succession to sushupti. If jagrat is broadbased, external and gross, sushupti is just the opposite of these. In sushupti one remains drawn into himself, subtle and internal, so much so that he does not even know that he is. None says, or can say, that ‘I am sleeping’, ‘I am in sushupti’. The awareness of sushupti comes to us only after we wake up from it. Wakefulness alone is the state in which we have ‘current awareness and knowledge’.

Inasmuch as we have this sushupti state, just like the jagrat state, and that also lasts every time for hours, can we allow the waking state all its seeming value and relevance as we do now? In judging the value and truth of existence of objects, we cannot become blind or partial. A judgement based solely on our jagrat state will not be adequate. The parallel state of sushupti should also become equal ground in making our assessment. And sushupti completely negates the entire waking state realities. If the existence of objects including our own body was absolute, then when we, the perceivers, go into sushupti state, how does none of these objects, including our body, seem to exist and get felt at all? Does the object world come first before us, or we first wake up ourselves, and then alone perceive the gross existence?

Our waking or sleeping does not depend upon the existence of anything other than ourselves. The inward states are brought about by every individual himself. As we wake up ourselves, so also do we get into sleep all by ourselves. Whether any object exists outside or not, one can and does slip into sushupti. Do not people sleep while travelling? Even when some one dear and near is present nearby and a dialogue goes on with him, sometimes one slips into sushupti, to the surprise of all concerned!

Similarly wakefulness also sets in all by itself. One wakes up himself, as he went into sleep, and then begins to feel the presence of his body and the rest of objects around.

There is another state in between, the dream state, svapna. Svapna is a sate in which the dreamer, unlike in sushupti, wakes up into a new world, similar to the waking world but different from it, to enjoy and suffer the activities and interactions taking place exclusively there. The dream objects, interactions and the resulting experiences often, rather invariably, invalidate and contradict the wakeful objects and interactions with them and the resulting joy and suffering. This is similar to the waking world invalidating and contradicting the dream world. But the waker and dreamer are the same. Naturally the truth of both the states – jagrat and svapna –– perceived by him remains the same, because, the test of any existence is its experience by oneself. Waking world derives its status because it is perceived by us. Dream too has its similar status on the ground of being perceived by us.

Besides these two mutually invalidating and contradictory states is the sushupti state, in which both the waking world and dream world are completely negated, and the waker and the dreamer remains all by himself, to be the only subject, devoid of all object connections and consequences. The waking and dream objects together with the interactions and resulting experiences subsist solely on the subject waker and subject dreamer. Without the subject, neither can ever be. Whereas in sushupti, the subject sleeper remains all by himself. Like the objects depending upon the subject (in jagrat and svapna) the subject does not depend upon the objects (sushupti)

Sushupti is thus the full and independent state of the subject. It is this subject alone that brings about by itself, for itself, in itself, the wakeful and dream state, without any kind of linkage with anything else. In waking the grossness and externality of objects prevail, whereas in svapna, the objects remain within the body and as such are subtle in nature. Even the externality we experience during dream reigns within the body. Dream is in fact a sheer expanse within the gross body. Yet the objects of dream are felt to be external. The internal dreamer and waker, produces, all in himself, the externality in both states.

The comparison of the three states goes a step further. Only in jagrat we have the awareness that ‘I am awake’, ‘I am doing this, experiencing this....’. While dreaming,  the dreamer does not feel that ‘I am dreaming’. It is instead to him a waking state itself. Only when he wakes up, he realises that he was in a dream state. So in dream he does not have the current awareness about what he is, as happens in waking.

In sushupti, it is not at all so. He does not have any awareness at all as he will have in waking or dream. Unaware of anything outside or inside, doing nothing, knowing nothing, he sleeps, to feel on waking up that he was sleeping. It is this lack of awareness that poses the problem, the only problem, in understanding the ‘I’, the sleeper, dreamer and waker. This constant ignorance is what the sthita-prajna state removes outright.

The subject, the Self, reveals itself in all its fullness and delight. ‘Atmani eva atmana tushtah’ denotes this self-revealing and self-delighting situation. Thus, in this single verse, Krishna presents not only the yoga state of fullness but also the spiritual and philosophical goal discussed and revealed in the Upanishads and allied scriptural texts.




In this discourse based on Yogavasishtha Ramayana Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha outlines the destination of every Human Being.


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