Bhagwad Gita Sloka 2.57 (Parisamvad)

Bhagwad Gita Transcribed from Parisamvad at The Yoga Institute.

Chapter 2, Sloka 57

In the material world, one who is unaffected by whatever good or evil he may obtain, neither praising it nor despising it, is firmly fixed in perfect knowledge.

Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra:

In all these ancient writings, the emphasis is on a balanced mind. This was given more importance than anything else. The highest in yoga is such a mind that is steady. Getting excited, angry is not a good state. It disturbs the mind – then decisions are not correct, thinking is not correct. Momentarily we enjoy that state but in reality it is hurting us. A true Yogi just watches, observes, doesn’t go out to stop anyone. These things are seen in the life of great Yogis. The teacher of the Founder (Shri Yogendraji) would just watch and not even comment. Some people make mistakes, his other Chelas would say all this is wrong, but he would say nothing. Let them act, let them suffer and then they themselves will learn. They have that kind of mind, that kind of Karmas when they are acting. When a person is in an excited state, what he says has no meaning. So the ultimate in yoga is to become a good observer, watch this world, which is not going after your wishes, many wrong things are happening, but you can’t do anything. You can’t go to each one and say, ‘This is wrong, don’t do this.’ Get into the condition where you observe and understand and leave it there.

“We are talking about a person who maintains Sthitprajna – absolute steady state of mind – no thoughts – one-pointed. The question is how would he behave? In this Sloka they say that he is not attached to anything – total Vairagya. For him, good and evil are the same. With both, good behaviour and bad behaviour, he will not react. This is a very very important point. The moment bad comes in front of us we are protective, because we are attached to our body, our peace, our happiness, our health. So we are very protective towards our body, our self. A Sthitprajna is not even attached to his body. His behavior is very different, there are so many stories.

Shivaji’s Guru, Ramdas was once travelling in the sun and felt thirsty. There was a sugarcane field nearby and he plucked one sugarcane and started chewing it and quenched his thirst. At the same time, the owner of the field came and when he saw Ramdas, who appeared like the beggar, eating the sugarcane, he got very angry. “How dare you eat my sugarcane?” He got so angry that he took a stick and gave him a good thrashing. Ramdas didn’t say anything and came home. The news spread and when the news reached Shivaji, he was very angry. He ran to his Guru and when he saw his condition he was very very sad. He asked, who did this to you? Ramdas had not even seen the face of that man. He was not concerned. Ultimately, that man was found and brought to Shivaji. Ramdas was asked what punishment should this man be given. Ramdas very politely said, please give him 2 more fields so that he can cultivate more sugarcane. Shivaji was shocked. Ramdas explained that the loss of 1 sugarcane made him so angry, naturally he must be very poor and needy. Don’t punish him, remove his poverty. Only a balanced person can think like that. We always have a tit for tat for that attitude.

You see, it is a very different state. We have to learn something out of all this. Becoming totally detached is difficult. We are all humans – it is the act that is bad, not the person. So don’t develop opinions, don’t hate people. Try and remain neutral. Don’t judge people. Even the worst person can change and become a good human and a good person can also change into a bad human. The suggestion is be objective. A balanced person is not attached to anything – total Vairagya – he alone is Sthitprajna. In our life, someone behaves rudely, we remember forever, someone speaks lies we remember forever. We don’t leave those thoughts from our mind. We can’t forgive and forget. We need to develop a deep understanding of life. There is a larger process and the world is moving according to that larger process. We have a limited job and we have to just attend to that. Good has to exert. We should not tolerate nonsense. Good has to do its role. We need to develop compassion for all.

About Parisamvad

On every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, The Yoga Institute, Santacruz holds Parisamvad sessions – Free interactive sessions that are open to all. These session begin at 7:20 am and end around 7:45 am.
The Tuesday Parisamvad is dedicated to explanation of the the Bhagwad Gita by our esteemed Gurus, Dr. Jayadeva and Smt. Hansaji.
All are welcome to attend.

Click Here to learn more about The Yoga Institute, Santacruz, Mumbai.

(Shloka and its English translation taken from
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