What is the practical and scientific importance of static consciousness (STHITPRAGANATA)?
Article by : Shilpa Shah, Director in-charge, HKBBA College
There is hardly a person in Hindu society who does not know about STHITPRAGANATA as almost every chapter of the invaluable scripture of Hinduism, the Bhagavad Gita, directly or indirectly mentions what a human being should be like. How should he live life? Do’s and Don’ts, What is there to gain and what to give up in life? In the every chapter of Bhagavad Gita directly or indirectly, there is discussion of ideal man, that is nothing but understanding of man with perfection. Don’t you think in today’s modern age also even if we consider this thing in practical or scientific terms, we need a man with perfection (ideal man) or man of ethics (virtuous man). We all know that every society needs a good man, an ideal man, a perfect man or a great man. Because without it, true peace, love, affection, selflessness, success and prosperity in the society or relationships is not possible. That is why it becomes necessary to understand about STHITPRAGANATA or static consciousness. One has to understand that how much static consciousness is needed in the society and how useful static intelligence is for one’s own self-welfare, progress or success from a practical or scientific way (विज्ञान means specialized knowledge because “वि” means विशिष्ट that is special and ज्ञान means knowledge that is understanding) So let’s first understand static consciousness in that scientific point of view.
STHITPRAGANA or a man with static consciousness means one whose intellect has become stable. In a word स्थितप्रज्ञा PRAGYA (प्रज्ञा) means egoless intellect and STHIT (स्थित) means stability. The person who has become stable in egoless intellect is actually a man with static consciousness or STHITPRAGANA. Don’t you think that the main reason behind all the pains of modern life is ego, arrogance and superiority complex? In that sense, today’s modern society needs a more stable man as he is the only one who can remove the personal problem and the pain of the entire society as a whole. A person who is stable in egoless intellect can remain in equilibrium in any situation, without losing mental stability or balance. Don’t be overwhelmed by happiness and don’t be overwhelmed by sorrow, think from a practical or scientific point of view, you don’t think everyone needs such special qualities, virtues or skills in every moment of life. PRAGYA (प्रज्ञा) in another sense means deep sense or wisdom or conscience. Thus a man who has stability of common sense, wisdom or conscience is called a static mind. The greatest need in today’s modern age is wisdom and discretion as there is scarcity of it in modern age.
Moreover, conscience or wisdom is not only momentary but also constantly required, which is the true identity of a perfect of ideal man. The ideal man or man of perfection or perfect man who has attained the ultimate wisdom and who sees or feels the whole existence or the living being only as a witness but does not give any good or bad reaction about it. We normally look at every element of existence through the colored spectacles of our individual prejudiced likes and dislikes that is why the whole world seems conflicted, rage hatred arises and the soul becomes restless. In the second chapter of SRIMAD Bhagavad Gita, the characteristics of a stable man have been explained in detail. ARJUNA’s question was what is the characteristic of a Siddha person who has attained divinity in Samadhi, how does a stable-minded man speak, how does he sit, how does he behave i.e. what is his behavior as one has to make a role model in life or learn something from him Or if we want to bring his qualities into our lives, we have to know or understand him first. That can be achieved if we know.
In response to which Lord Krishna explained that one who gives up all the desires in the mind and is satisfied with the soul in the soul, that is, instead of engaging in worldly attachments, one who remains steadfast in the self, sincerely tries to know and experience the real form of the soul He does not have anxiety in his mind when he gets sorrows (i.e. why does it happen to me, what has happened to me, why does God give all sorrows to me, my fate is bad, etc.) is called anxiety which usually happens to all of us. as well as those who are completely indifferent despite having all material happiness and whose rage-hatred, fear and anger have been destroyed are stagnant (Normally every one of us has likes and dislikes on many things or persons in our life and besides getting angry in small things is a characteristic of a normal person, common man is surrounded by many kinds of fears like fear of death, fear of disease, fear of losing property, relationship Etc. When a true STHITPRAGANA man has the absence of such rage-hatred, fear or anger) a man who is everywhere unloving, does not rejoice or mourn by getting auspicious or inauspicious thing, his intellect is said to be stable. We have a lot of affection for many things, subjects, individuals, on which the happiness of our life is based.
We should all cultivate the special qualities of such a STHITPRAGANA or ideal man to be happy in the sense that affection with subjects is a characteristic of the common man. When there is not the slightest attachment to the world, the most restrained man who does not absorb the subjects by the senses does not enjoy the subjects of the five senses (such as renunciation of taste by the tongue, renunciation of all pleasures by the body, renunciation of entertainment by the eyes and ears) then life is naturally quiet. And when senses become unstable makes our life restless and conflicting. For a person who wants to understand the true nature of life, who wants the welfare of the soul and who is trying to be free from all sorrows, it is necessary for him to subdue all the senses and meditate, because the intellect of a man who has all the senses under his control can only remain stable. To the man who contemplates the subjects, attachment is naturally born in those subjects, attachment produces the lust and disruption of desire gives birth to anger, anger leads to stupidity, stupidity leads to amnesia, amnesia leads to destruction of intellect i.e. cognition. With the destruction of the intellect, the man falls from his excellent position. In fact, the state of the soul is excellent and advanced, but the relentless desire and unique attachment of the subjects make it fall. But the seeker of the independent conscience gets the spiritual bliss of the conscience even though he wanders in the subjects through the subdued senses without raga-DVESHA.
That is, one feels freedom from the mind even though lives in the world. The happiness of the conscience destroys all its sorrows. Even so, we all experience that problem or difficulty has a direct relationship with the mind so that happiness is natural for the one who is free from the mind. The intellect of the happy man immediately moves away from all sides and becomes perfectly stable in soul. The man who has not conquered the mind and senses does not have a definite intellect. Which is very much needed in life. It is a well-known fact that in life, decisions need to be made at every second, which requires decisive intelligence. Moreover, in view of the fact that every kind of success and moral decision is indispensable for the happiness and peace of life, it is also worthwhile to acquire the characteristics of a stable man that is STHITPRAGYA. There is no spirit in the conscience of a man who is a slave to the senses and without a definite intellect and it is not possible for a man without a spirit to find peace. And how can a man without peace find happiness? For just as the wind pulls a boat floating in the water, so the senses wandering in the subjects rush the intellect of man. The intellect of a man whose senses are in every way deprived of the subjects of the senses is stable. The night that is the time of sleep for all animals is the time of awakening for those who know the essence of God, and the time when people wake up for the attainment of perishable worldly happiness is the night for those who know the essence of God. That is, when people are running after worldly happiness, the wise man is engaged in SADHANA for attainment of divine power with full awareness. Thus the night of the common people is a time of awakening for the discreet and prudent man. Just as the waters of many rivers are absorbed in the ocean full of unchanging prestige from all sides without distracting it, in a same way all the subjects of senses are absorbed in the STHITPRAGNA man without causing any disorder.
That man only enjoys peace, never the one who wants the worldly desires. The man who gives up all desires and wanders without affection, without ego and without wishes, deserves the same peace, that is, he attains the same peace.
The Gita gives a goal to the one who is constantly striving for a better life and the state of static consciousness is goal setting. By which a person understands what he should do? And what should be obtained? Moreover, it is almost impossible to reach the goal by one’s grace, so the Gita emphasizes karma and hard work. Selfless and noble deeds is the first symptom of STHITPRAGNA. Lust causes disease, fear, anger, craving, affection, etc., which causes a feeling of happiness and sorrow. So don’t make any wish, hand over everything to God and accept whatever you get as God’s gift, then no one can stop life from becoming calm, healthy and happy. The ideal man does not slip into happiness and does not get discouraged in sorrow. When a person pulls all his senses out of the subjects, he is automatically freed from sorrow and pleasure because happiness or unhappiness is connected with the subjects, if the subjects go, the pleasures and sorrows also go away. But this attention towards subjects can only decreases when the attention towards God increases. For which one has to be constantly engrossed in the love of the Lord, in the knowledge of the God, in the work of the Lord and in the thought of the God. Subjects are not bad but constant contemplation of subjects (excessive interest in them) creates attachment and opens the door to the process of destruction. Suffering is not going to go away from the world as happiness and sorrow are the enduring values of life but if we change the way we look at sorrow, that sorrow cannot make us sad.
Life needs both happiness and misery. It is important for everyone to understand that if the opposition is removed, the whole existence will be shaken. The earth is surviving in the sky as the sun is pulling the earth towards itself and the earth is trying to move away from the sun. This is the whole balance due to the opposite attention. In the same way, happiness and sorrow are the balance of life. Both of these are God’s test and we have to pass both. In the end, the STHITPRAGNA man must attain divine position that is supreme soul. Thus the man with the stable consciousness is the ideal idol of the Gita through which such a valuable lesson is found that the seeker should never be disappointed, he should try all the tricks and should take a support of devotion when he feels lacking in it.
In short, the traits or stamina of a STHITPRAGNA man and static consciousness are essential to make life calm, healthy, happy, successful and prosperous in every phase of life, in every moment, in every relationship in practical and scientific terms.
Shilpa Shah, director in-charge, HKBBA College