Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2, Sloka 57

Newsletter on Bhagavadgita by Dr. P.V. Nath

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Sloka 57

YAHA SARVATRANABHISNEHAS TAT TAT PRAPYA SHUBHASHUBHAM
NABHINANDATI NA DWESHTI TASYA PRAJNA PRATISHTITA.

He who has no attachment to anything and anywhere, who does not rejoice or hate, his wisdom is fixed.

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Anabhisneha: without attachment.

Let us not forget that “Sthitaprajna” is he who has achieved in reaching the “Self-state.” Whatever qualities we attribute to the “Atman” is to be found in the “sthitaprajna.” Equanimity is his hall mark.

Another point of importance to note is the word “Yaha.” It means “who”. It implies that the Lord is not referring to any individual in particular. Caste, creed, nationality or sex are not a barrier to learn the sacred text. We should look at such statements as referring to “Universality” of the message from the Gita.

“Maya” or delusion is the tool of the Lord. He is beyond maya and it has no control over Him. On the other hand, it has a firm control on all of us. To come out of the clutches of maya is possible only when we lose our individual identity and become one with the “Atman.”

Sthitaparajna has achieved the state wherein he has no attachment to anything and anywhere. It applies both to the people around him and to the situations he faces in life. He remains as part of the society and not an escapist by nature.

Many a times frustration makes one feel like running away from people/situations. Mere detachment is only a negative existence of escaping from life. Running away is not a sign of true detachment. It is actually a hidden sign of cowardice. Facing the challenges in life and clearing the vasanas from the past is the way forward. Challenges in life should be met with courage, equanimity and the knowledge of the Self.

On the other hand to live in attachment is like being a slave to the pleasures of life.

This sloka is in reply to Arjuna’s question: “How does a sthitaprajna speak?”
Sthitaprajna speaks through his actions. He does not show signs of depression or excessive elation whatever may be the situation he faces.

As we have discussed before both depression and elation reduce the efficiency of work. After having been born on this earth, we have certain duties to conduct and thereby clear the existing vasanas and move forward towards achieving union with the “Parabrahman.” This should be our goal in life.

Arjuna wanted to escape from the war and its consequences. He thought that life in forest would be peaceful.

He does not hate:
It is a very important quality to develop for the spiritual seeker. We must learn the art of forgiving. The sanskrit word for forgiving is “Kshama.” We will have an opportunity to learn more about this in chapter 12 when we will discuss about qualities of a true devotee of the Lord.

Copyright for the texts on Bhagavad Gita by Dr. P.V. Nath, UK.
Questions concerning the text please direct to Dr. Nath at “snath@btinternet.com“.

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