In this illuminating segment, Poojya Swami Bhoomananda Tirthaji discusses the pinnacle of yoga. We speak of samatva (equanimity). But what does this samatva translate to in our daily life?
The answer comes in 3 shlokas that Swamiji discusses with great depth and clarity.
The first is verse 2.52:
यदा ते मोहकलिलं बुद्धिर्व्यतितरिष्यति ।
तदा गन्तासि निर्वेदं श्रोतव्यस्य श्रुतस्य च ॥ ५२ ॥
yadā te moha-kalilaṁ buddhir-vyatitariṣyati
tadā gantāsi nirvedaṁ śrotavyasya śrutasya ca
“When your intelligence has passed out of the quagmire of delusion, you shall become indifferent to all that has been heard and all that is to be heard.”
In this verse Swamiji emphasizes the term moha-kalilam (quagmire of delusion). When Arjuna asked Krishna to station his chariot in front of the Kaurava’s army, seeing his beloved kith and kin he became overpowered by kārpaṇya (narrow-mindedness). This was Arjuna’s quagmire of delusion. Wrong thinking gives rise to this quagmire – the slush that yields beneath your feet – making it almost impossible to take the next step. Yoga enables us to transcend this quagmire of delusion.
With yoga we develop an enlightened indifference to whatever has been heard, and remains to be heard. The poise and stability of the intelligence, coupled with the supremely peaceful state of mind, makes us completely unaffected by whatever has been read, and no longer curious to know anything further.
The next part of the transformation is described in verse 2.53:
श्रुतिविप्रतिपन्ना ते यदा स्थास्यति निश्चला ।
समाधावचला बुद्धिस्तदा योगमवाप्स्यसि ॥ ५३ ॥
śruti-vipratipannā te yadā sthāsyati niścalā
samādhāvacalā buddhis-tadā yogam-avāpsyasi
“When the intelligence, which is now vacillating between the conflicting notions of the scriptures, remains firm and unshakable, that state is called Yoga”
Swamiji emphatically declares that yoga is not Self-realization or Self-seatedness. Yoga is the stable and un-flickering nature of our very intelligence. It is when our inner personality is so unshakable that it will not be dislodged by any kind of input from the world.
Even if we meditate and get absorbed for 1000 days, Swamiji says, when we take up the interactions we still feel dislodged. That dislodgement will not be there when we have the surety, stability, poise, composure and inner fullness that yoga brings.
But is that all? Swamiji says NO! What is more, is described in verse 2.70:
समुद्रमापः प्रविशन्ति यद्वत् ।
तद्वत्कामा यं प्रविशन्ति सर्वे
स शान्तिमाप्नोति न कामकामी ॥ ७० ॥
āpūryamāṇam acala-pratiṣṭhaṁ samudram-āpaḥ praviśanti yadvat
tadvat kāmā yaṁ praviśanti sarve sa śāntim-āpnoti na kāma-kāmī
“A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desired experiences – that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but is always still – can alone attain peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy his desires.”
Who is the man who will attain perennial contentment, placidity and quietitude? Just as the sea receives the waters of multiple rivers without its own salinity being altered, the wise man interacts with the world, allowing the inflow of all inputs, remaining completely unaffected.
We must evolve from our limited, constricted “well-dimensional” mind, to that of a “sea-dimensional” mind, exhorts Swamiji. Every situation has a fulfilling role, and must be faced with neither fear nor reluctance.
Rivers are nothing but the vapours from the sea that rise up, get condensed and return to the sea. In the same manner, it is our own mind’s projections that come back in the form of impacts.
Swamiji’s “very special discovery” is that the mind finds it difficult to bear its own products, which are nothing but the mind itself! How foolishly we carry on through life never realizing this fundamental truth!
The manifold responses of the mind are nothing but the same mind, therefore no reaction or assimilation is required. The man who knows this attains peacefulness, not he who goes on hankering after desires.
This is why Swamiji calls the Bhagavad Gita an “interactional gospel”. It takes us to the point of no longer being deluded by whatever is known or to be known, with a clear mind and doubt-free intelligence, stable and poised in the world with its myriad of inputs.
The conclusion of Sri Krishna’s proposition comes in verse 2:72
एषा ब्राह्मी स्थितिःपार्थ नैनां प्राप्य विमुह्यति ।
स्थित्वास्यामन्तकालेऽपि ब्रह्मनिर्वाणमृच्छति ॥ ७२ ॥
eṣā brāhmī sthitiḥ pārtha naināṁ prāpya vimuhyati
sthitvāsyām anta-kāle’pi brahma-nirvāṇam ṛcchati
“That is the supreme spiritual state, attaining which a man is no longer deluded. If one is thus stabilized even at the hour of death, he attains supreme freedom.”
And this is the finale – progressing from the meditative, absorptional state of ātma-stithi, to the interactional, permanently fulfilling brāhmī sthiti, after attaining which there is nothing more to be attained.