Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2, Sloka 56, part 1

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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Sloka 56


He whose mind is not troubled by sorrow, who does not go after pleasures, who is free from attachment, fear and hatred is called a sage of steady wisdom.


Let us remember that these qualities are that of a perfect master of wisdom. Such knowledge does not come overnight. We, the ordinary mortals cannot avoid but go after pleasures and cannot escape sorrows in life due to the attachments we develop to our own physical body and the objects around the world. As the sastras declare, we have to undergo many births before we can dream of reaching this state of perfect wisdom.

This section of this chapter is not for the seekers in the earlier stages of spiritual sadhana. Like young children, we need to be bribed with sweets so that we like the spiritual science and become seekers after “Eternal Truth.”

Three qualities of Sthithaprajna are brought out in this sloka:
1)      Dukheshu anudvigna manaha
2)      Sukheshu vigata spruhaha
3)      Veetaraga bhaya krodhaha.

1) Dukheshu anudvigna manaha:

Whose mind does not get troubled by the sorrows.

In the context of past, present and future this aspect refers to “Past and present.”

The mind as we know is like the band master. We are what our minds are.

It is a fact of life that each one of us goes through various experiences in life and some experiences hurt and bring sorrow in our life. There cannot be one individual who can say that he has not experienced sorrow in his/her life.

There is an episode in the life of Buddha worth recollecting at this stage.

When Buddha left His palatial residence he went and meditated under the shelter of the Bodhisatva tree. Enlightenment dawned in course of time. His fame spread far and wide. Once a woman in great distress at the death of her young child came to him and begged him to bring the child back to life.
Buddha agreed to do so but only after she fulfilled one condition. He requested her to get a fistful of rice from a household where there was no death.
The lady went out in great delight. She did not consider this as a great problem. Soon, she realised that there was no household which did not go through death in their family at sometime or other.

The moral of the story is: everyone will experience sorrow sometime or other in their life. The period of grief varies from individual to individual depending upon their outlook. If everyone would be in grief indefinitely, the world cannot progress. The sorrow has also a beginning and an end with a peak in somewhere along the curve. We all have to put in our input in moving the wheel that makes the society move forwards.

The intellect has to remind the mind that it has to get on with the duties to the body, to the family, friends and the society.

###   will be continued   ###

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