Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Qualities of Sthitaprajna

The sthitaprajna is like the vijnani. The sthitaprajna's experience of samadhi is sahaja, or spontaneous and effortless. The sthitaprajna is a free soul, ever steady in knowledge of Self. The sthitaprajna sees the presence of God not merely in the good and noble but also in the wicked and ignoble. The state of steady wisdom is a state of transcendence that does not overlook, rationalize, or destroy the lower values of life but fulfills them all, just as adulthood does not deny childhood but completes it.

A sthitaprajna is also known as a jivanmukta, or one who is truly free while still living. Although the realization of truth is private and cannot be communicated to others, the sthitaprajna can be identified by his or her actions, habits, and character as a tree is known by its leaves, flowers, or fruit. The Bhagavad Gita describes the character of the sthitaprajna as the following:

1] The sthitaprajna is dvandatita, or free from the conflicts of the pairs of opposites, such as pain and pleasure, virtue and vice, honour and dishonour, and good and evil. In short, the sthitaprajna is free from all attachments and aversions.

2] The sthitaprajna demonstrates the reality of the Self the divinity of all beings, and the unity of all existence through his or her conduct.

3] Steady in wisdom, the sthitaprajna enjoys the constant bliss of the Self, irrespective of the changing phenomena of the universe . The rise and fall of mind and pain and pleasure of body never make the sthitaprajna waver in steadiness of wisdom.

4] Though behaving like an ordinary person, the sthitaprajna is ever conscious of the reality of oneness.

5] Though engaged in actions, being free from ego and free from motive, the sthitaprajna is not a doer of actions. Though having a physical body, the sthitaprajna is merely a dweller within the body and is unidentified with it.

6] Firmly grounded in the wisdom of the one Self, the sthitaprajna is at peace and ease with everything in all situations.

7] The wisdom of the sthitaprajna is wisdom of a cosmic oneness with all beings that cannot be contained in any temple or exhaustively described by any scripture.

8] The sthitaprajna is not bound by the injunctions of the scriptures, the traditions of society, or the laws of ethics. Yet the sthitaprajna's freedom does not impose itself on anyone, nor does it violate the rules of morality and ethics.

9] The sthitaprajna does not belong to a particular culture, sect, nation, or society; the sthitaprajna is for all beings of all times.

10] Whatever the sthitaprajna does is conducive to the welfare of all beings. When the sthitaprajna does good, he or she has no expectations or desires. The sthitaprajna's very nature is to do good.

11] The sthitaprajna is a seer of truth, no longer its seeker. The sthitaprajna is not just pure but purity itself. A person conscious of his or her purity is also conscious of impurity. The sthitaprajna is not just holy but holiness itself, not just a knower of truth but the very embodiment of truth. The Bhagavad Gita declares: "The yogi who is happy within, who rejoices within, and who is illumined within attains freedom in Brahman, himself becoming one with Brahman."

12] While steady wisdom indicates seeing action in inaction and inaction in action, it does not stand for a philosophy of inaction. The sthitaprajna continues to act, lest by following his or her example, the vast majority of people should be led to practice inertia in the name of spirituality.

13] The sthitaprajna lives on the borderline between absolute and relative consciousness.

14] The sthitaprajna is a jnani, a bhakta, and a yogi.

15] Ever established in the state of yoga, the sthitaprajna remains in constant union with God and, at the same time, is the ideal exemplar of karma-yoga, demonstrating steady wisdom through every action.

16] The sthitaprajna's knowledge of Ultimate Reality is universal and dynamic.

17] The sthitaprajna's spiritual vision is integral and all-embracing.

18] For the sthitaprajna, God is both immanent and transcendent at the same time. Dedicated service is as important as offerings of worship, and meditation is no less an action than everyday activity

Source: Unknown

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