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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.
The entire spiritual life, whether you read it or understand about it, the different aspects of spiritual life, the characteristics of a seeker, the limbs of sadhana that one has to do, if at all one attains siddhi what will it be like, and what is a siddha like - a man who has attained the Self, all these are descriptions beautifully presented in our scriptures. But one point that we should know about it is why are all these descriptions made? It is for each seeker to know about them. The intention is never to find out who is a siddha, whether he really is one or not. It is not to examine and verify another's credentials, merits or attainment.
स्वसंवेद्यं न तु परप्रत्यक्षम् ।
The entire spiritual life and the attainment, the joy it gives, the freedom it generates and the source, the purity it brings about, all these are only self-experiential. They are to be experienced by oneself.
न तु परप्रत्यक्षम् - they will not become very evident to the others because this is an inner science and an inner experience. It is always for oneself.
Sri Krishna describes in the second chapter of Bhagavad Gita, the स्थितप्रज्ञ लक्षण, the characteristics of a man of stable or steady wisdom. The other description he gives is स्थितधी, a stable intellected man. One is स्थितप्रज्ञ , and the other is स्थितधी. Is there a difference between the two and if so, what is that?
Now Sankara would put it, यानि स्थितप्रज्ञस्य लक्षणानि तान्येव साधनानि। Whatever is given here as the लक्षण, the characteristics, the distinguishing features of a स्थितप्रज्ञ or स्थितधी, why are they mentioned? Because they are the ones that the seeker has to practice earnestly and consistently. It is just like learning to cycle. One who wants to learn cycling, he gets upon the cycle and starts pedaling. Right from the beginning it is a pedaling. A man who knows cycling will help him in tell him, "Do this way, do this," etc. Initially he does it without any mastery, without any familiarity. The trainer prevents him from falling; otherwise he would have fallen a number of times. After hours of cycling with trial and error, what is he doing? He is still pedaling, but earlier he did not have a balance, he did not know how to move about. Now he is having perfect balance, and in any manner he can move about on the cycle with facility and skill. The learner has to practice right from the beginning what the expert is doing. The same applies to writing, driving, etc. etc. This is what always happens.
यानि स्थितप्रज्ञलक्षणानि तान्येव साधनानि। Whatever the लक्षण of स्थितप्रज्ञ, they are themselves sadhana for the seeker. Why I am mentioning this. Everything has to be applied and verified oneself ... oneself ... oneself.
सत्त्वानुरूपा सर्वस्य श्रद्धा भवति भारत । (भगवद्गीता 17.3)
What does it mean? The attention, application, assiduous nature of it, this will depend upon the inner constitution of an individual. What is meant by inner constitution? The way in which his mind is, his intelligence is. We have inherited a certain mento-intellectual constitution at birth. Then after birth, from the environment these are being acted upon. Initially the environments are provided by the parents and the elders. When you go to the school, the school will have a certain environment. What is the difference between a good and brilliant school, and not so? Because in a particular school, you will have sufficient discipline and the level of students will be better. Even now we are speaking very highly of IIM, Ahmedabad. One student was telling me "I thought I was a brilliant one and rank holder. When I went to IIM, I found that I am surrounded by many students most of whom are far more brilliant than I am. So I feel, I am pushed out". This is the difference! Environments make a lot of difference. So, inherited mento-intellectual constitution, this is being moderated, improved, or otherwise by the environments, and when you become an adult, you already have something in you and that will start expressing. Okay, find out whether it is sattvic, rajasic or tamasic. After finding it out, you decide this much is tamas, this much is rajas, and this much is sattva. After finding it out, what are you to do? You decide whether you want to be more & more sattvic. That is what the sastras would like you to be. Now, in order to bring about more sattva, what will you do? You will jump, run, what? So, you should know what are the sattvic characteristics. So, the sattvic characteristics are clearly mentioned. Try to emulate them, copy them, incorporate them in your system, and if you start incorporating and pursuing them for a while, you will find the rajasic constitution of yours changes into sattvic. It is so subtle that people are not able to value it. Sometimes, I feel it is like throwing gold coins before swines. You should understand how to improve. Improvements will not come simply by breathing and exercises. Improvements will have to come in the way of a qualitative change.
This is what happened in the Kurukshetra battlefield when Arjuna presented a proposition before Krishna saying the whole war is sinful, sinful, so "I am afraid, I will not fight". Krishna did not say anything, simply heard him, and then he presented his point of view. In a matter of something like 64 letters he had uttered, Arjuna found "whatever I thought was wrong. Here is a right evaluation presented by Krishna." Suddenly his grief stopped and he became an enquirer. From the emotional resistant level, he suddenly rose to the enquiry and investigative level. This is the difference. Now, are you people sensitive like Arjuna? Will you take to whatever is desirable with a sense of reception, astuteness, and application. This is a very very important point.
I have been speaking for the past 56 years and there are some people who heard me initially and who continue to hear me even now. But I am sometimes wondering whether they really take to it with the alacrity, with the astuteness, with the sensitiveness, with the reception that are called for? So, the sastras are giving you very good scope – this is how it is, this is bad, this is good. If you are bad, think about good. Remember good. Reflect upon good. Start doing a little good and then that it will grow. There is nothing that cannot be grown in us. Our habits can be changed; our thought processes can be changed. Our attitudes can be changed, objectives can be changed, reactions and responses can be changed, but it calls for sensitiveness. You should understand that this is an inner, invisible process but provided you are astute, I think, it can be done.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.