Constant Integrated Awareness #
(Making of a Sthithaprajna )
3 x OMs
Discussion Questions #
- What does “Constant Integrated Awareness” mean to you ?
- How is it related to – “Awareness of one’s own Self (Atma)”?
- How can we cultivate and inculcate – “Constant Integrated Awareness”?
- How are you working on developing mental equipoise/equanimity in all aspects of your life ?
- What does rolling the mind in the “reverse direction”, in the direction of the Atma, mean to you?
- Offering your mind to SAI ? How do you do that?
- What steps are you taking to “Control Senses” ?
- Ceiling on desires ?
- Focus your thoughts on SAI as often as possible during course of the day ?
- What disease(s) is Swami referring to when we are totally engrossed in worldly objects and it’s effects? How can we begin to extricate ourselves from their pernicious grips?
Sthitaprajna is a Sanskrit term that means “contented,” “calm” and “firm in judgment and wisdom.” It is a combination of two words: sthita, meaning “existing,” “being” and “firmly resolved to,” and prajna, meaning “wise,” “clever” and “intelligent.” In the Bhagavad Gita, sthitaprajna refers to a man of steady wisdom. The yogi is described as a sthitaprajna when he “renounces completely all the desires of the mind, when he is fully satisfied with his mind fixed in Atman.”
Excerpts From Swami’s discourses and the Bhagawad Gita #
Prajnana is the unchanging and eternal principle that is in you at all times and under all circumstances.
People call it supreme knowledge, but the correct translation for this term is Constant-Integrated-Awareness.
This Constant-Integrated-Awareness is present all over the body.
How it is that man is not able to recognize such all-pervasive divinity, which exists in all the three periods of time, past, present and future?
It means that the same divinity is present within and without. That all-pervasive God is present within and without. That which is seen, heard and experienced outside is nothing but the reflection, resound and reaction of the inner being. When reality is within, why crave for its reflection outside?
– “The life principles of Man.” 9 October, 2001, Prasanthi Nilayam
prajahāti yadā kāmān sarvān pārtha mano-gatān |
ātmany evātmanā tuṣṭaḥ sthita-prajñas tadocyate || 2-55 ||
When a man casts off desires of the mind, O Partha, and is satisfied in the knowledge and awareness of the Atma only, then, he is said to be a man of steady wisdom.
Performs all actions with intention of pleasing God firmly established in the Atma – awareness of one’s own Self. This type of action is a characteristic of a Stithaprajna or a person who has mental equipoise
– Verse 55, Chapter 2, Bhagavad Gita, Sankhya Yoga
duḥkheṣv anudvigna-manāḥ sukheṣu vigata-spṛhaḥ |
vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhaḥ sthita-dhīr munir ucyate || 2-56 ||
He whose mind is not perturbed by misfortune, who does not hanker after pleasure, who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom
– Verse 56, Chapter 2, Bhagavad Gita, Sankhya Yoga
yaḥ sarvatrānabhisnehas tat tat prāpya śubhāśubham |
nābhinandati na dveṣṭi tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā || 2-57 ||
He who is everywhere free from attachment, who does not rejoice at receiving good, nor grieve at obtaining evil, is steady in wisdom
– Verse 57, Chapter 2, Bhagavad Gita, Sankhya Yoga
“A Stithaprajna is a person who has mental equipoise. He knows neither the pain of grief nor the thrill of joy. He is not repulsed by one or attracted by the other. He will not retreat before pain or turn toward pleasure.
Krishna explained to Arjuna that a Stithaprajna has an even mind that is neither elated by joy nor dejected by sorrow. He dwells always in the Spirit without giving way to grief, lust, fear and delusion. His vision beholds the Spirit everywhere. Krishna pointed out that Arjuna would be able to realize His true nature when he became a Stithaprajna
The main characteristic of a Sthithaprajna is to take heat and cold, happiness and sorrow, honor and dishonor and profit and loss with the same sense of equanimity and constantly engross oneself in the awareness of one’s own self. To experience such a sense of equanimity is the nature of a Sthithaprajna. He is only aware that all the perishable material enjoyments will ultimately vanish.”
– Bhagawad Gita – Part II – Divine Discourses of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba – Page 53-54
It is first necessary to recognize the dosha (fault) in an object. All the material objects in this world are liable to undergo change, death and decay at one time or another. We do not find anything except Panchabhutas in the whole of this Universe. Whatever is existing outside is available in you also. That being the position, how foolish it is to wish for something that is already existing in you? You must aspire for a thing which you do not have. There is only one thing in this universe which is beyond the Panchabhutas – that is Divinity. Therefore, aspire for Divinity, keep it as your goal and perform the duties ordained on you.
yadā saṁharate cāyaṁ kūrmo ’ṅgānīva sarvaśaḥ |
indriyāṇīndriyārthebhyas tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā || 2-58 ||
When, like the tortoise draws in its limbs, he can also withdraw his senses from sense everywhere, he is steady in wisdom
– Verse 58, Chapter 2, Bhagavad Gita, Sankhya Yoga
rāga-dveṣa-vimuktais tu viṣayān indriyaiś caran |
ātma-vaśyair vidheyātmā prasādam adhigacchati || 2-64 ||
But the disciplined man, moving among objects with his senses under control, free from attraction and repulsion, attains serenity.
– Verse 64, Chapter 2, Bhagavad Gita, Sankhya Yoga
prasāde sarva-duḥkhānāṁ hānir asyopajāyate |
prasanna-cetaso hy āśu buddhiḥ paryavatiṣṭhate || 2-65 ||
In that serenity all his un-happiness is destroyed; for the intelligence of the tranquil-minded soon becomes steady
– Verse 65, Chapter 2, Bhagavad Gita, Sankhya Yoga
Control of senses is absolutely essential for every individual. Look at this paper. It is now in its normal form. If it is rolled up and kept for some time in that state, it cannot regain its original form. When we want to bring it to its original and natural state, we must roll it in the reverse direction. So, from our childhood, knowingly or unknowingly, we roll our mind with the pull of sensory and worldly desires. If we roll it up in the reverse direction, in the direction of the Atma, it will regain its original form. So we shall be able to gain control over the senses when we turn the vision inwards since it had been all along focussed on external phenomena.
– Summer Showers 1979, P 33
tasmād yasya mahā-bāho nigṛhītāni sarvaśaḥ |
indriyāṇīndriyārthebhyas tasya prajñā pratiṣṭhitā || 2-68 ||
Therefore, O mighty armed, his wisdom is steady whose senses are completely restrained from their objects
– Verse 68, Chapter 2, Bhagavad Gita, Sankhya Yoga
A Stithaprajna’s intellect is steady because the senses do not harry it. Conquest of senses is essential for Sadhana, but that is not all. As long as the objective world continues to attract the mind, one cannot claim complete success. “Arjuna! Establish mastery over the senses; then you need have no fear, for they become serpents with fangs removed.” Desire has no limit, it can never be satiated
If we go into depth and make an enquiry whether we are actually enjoying sensual pleasures or the senses are enjoying us, we will realize the truth that it is only the pleasures that are enjoying us. As a result one becomes a Rogi (one afflicted with a disease). Poor Man! He does not realize the truth that these worldly pleasures are only transitory and impermanent. A Sthithaprajna lives in the awareness of Atmathatwa and ignores the worldly pleasures.
yā niśā sarva-bhūtānāṁ tasyāṁ jāgarti saṁyamī |
yasyāṁ jāgrati bhūtāni sā niśā paśyato muneḥ || 2-69 ||
When all beings are experiencing night, the man of steady wisdom is awake. When all beings are awake, the Atma-perceiving man of steady wisdom is asleep
– Verse 69, Chapter 2, Bhagavad Gita, Sankhya Yoga
Ordinary men are vigilant in affairs that concern the senses that arise out of this world. Wakefulness for them is the care they bestow on worldly pursuits. But the Stithaprajna is alseep – meaning he’s deriving happiness from inactivity of the senses and vigilant – not yielding to the senses and catering to them. He will not awake, even by mistake, in the sensory world, where the ordinary man is most vigilant.
Lord Rama – a Sthithaprajna ( Various excepts from Swami) #
Take Lord Rama as a great example.
Everything was ready for his coronation; but, at the last minute, when he was exiled and had to go to the forests, the populace of Ayodhya wailed in uncontrollable anguish; but Rama moved out of City and kingdom, with as much joy and equanimity as he had, when he moved towards the throne for the coronation!
He suffered, with perfect equanimity, grievous hardships, in order to preserve the plighted word of his father. His sincere persistence in carrying on the promise made by His father is an inspiration and an example to every son of man.
His very appearance cast a charm on all who saw him. Love, Beauty and Virtue emanated from Him and spread all around him. He treated the Vanaras (monkey–tribals) with as much affection as He had towards His brothers, Bharatha, Lakshmana and Shatrughna. (Bhagavata Vahini p.178)
Rama was not elated when his father proposed to enthrone him; nor was he depressed when, even as he was being led to the throne, his father proposed that he spend fourteen years as an exile in the forest! He was cool when Parasurama challenged him to battle, for having bent and broken the bow of Siva, as when he broke it and won the hand of Sita. (SSS Vol.6 p.140)
Everyone has to face the consequences of his actions, whoever he may be. No one can know what lies ahead for him in future. But this much is sure that everybody has to reap the consequences of his actions. Even the mighty Rama suffered the pain of separation from his consort Sita and cried like an ordinary person. (Telugu poem) (SSS Vol. 39 p.62-63)
Today devotees tend to get elated when they experience pleasure and get depressed when they face adversity. This is the result of attachment to the body. In Rama’s days, there was not this body consciousness. People were indifferent to the body. They were
immersed in Atmaanandam (the bliss of the Spirit). Rama acted his role without attachment to the body. (SSS Vol.30 p.95)
Rama adhered to truth at all times “Sathyam nasti Paro dharmah.” For him observance of truth was the highest Dharma. He clung to Dharma tenaciously and believed that truth would be triumphant at the end. Rama was steadfast in his observance of Sathya and Dharma. (SSB 2002 p.107)
- Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2 – The Yoga of Wisdom
– Translated by Camille Svensson with comments taken from the writings of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
- Bhagavad Gita – Part II – Chapter 4 –
The Characteristics of a Stithaprajna –Divine Discourses of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
- Gita Vahini – Chapter 5
- Bhagavata Vahini
- Sathya Sai Speaks