What’s in your Yoga?

In the fifth chapter of Siddha Siddhānta Paddhati, Goraksha Nath gives a long list of all yogic practices, all kinds of worshiping, and meditations, and finishes stating that the state of Parama Pada “can not” be attained through them.
nānantopayayatnebhyaḥ prāpyate parama padam SSP 5 || 59 ||
-In the next verse he states that all of those practices are focused on the body and cannot lead to the true yogic state of parama padam.
etāni sādhanāni sarvāṇi daihikāni parityajya paramapade’daihike sthīyate siddhapuruṣairiti SSP 5 || 60 ||
– The only way to achieve this ultimate state is to give up these bodily practices and be established in the state of Siddha Pursha instead. 5.60
The same can be said in the Bhagavad Gita
In chapter 14 verse 1, Krishna says: O Arjuna, knowing which even an ardent seeker of spirituality finally gained release from cycle of birth and death forever… such a path of jnana (wisdom) can only be known by one who practiced austerities of highest order. A Muni indulging in silent contemplation on God Almighty finally reached God.

siddhasya lakShaNAni sAdhakasya sAdhanAni
Bhagavad Gita 2.54 – 2.72

The characteristics of a siddha puruSha, a jIvanmukta, a Self-realized saint, are verily these Adhana, the means, or the practices of the seeker. Their behavior and conduct are indicators of their deep abiding peace that stems from the firm knowledge of their Self.
Arjuna asked Krishna

sthitapraj~nasya kA bhAShA samAdhisthasya keshava

sthitadhIH kiM prabhASheta kimAsIta vrajeta kim  .. 2.54


O Keshava, what is the description of man of steady wisdom who is Self-absorbed? How does the man of steady wisdom speak? How does he sit? How does he move about?

Who is a sthitaprajna? He is a sage who has the steady knowledge that ‘I am indeed the Supreme brahman.‘ What are the lakshanas, characteristics or traits, of such a person? What marks him out from the samsari, the man mired in this dualistic world of pleasure & pain? We all tend to glamorize such saintly people. We expect long hair and a long beard! Perhaps he is a yogi who sits in deep meditation in padmasana, the lotus-posture. Perhaps he has stopped eating post Self-realization! Maybe he has attained special powers. We almost always look for some extraordinary characteristic in them.
However that is not true. A sthitaprajna, the sage, can be in our midst in the most ordinary garb without any siddhis or superpowers. So Arjuna seeks to know from the Lord on how to recognize the traits of a realized saint & model his own actions and conduct accordingly.
The words sthitaprajna, samadhisthah and sthitadhih are synonymous. They refer to abrahma nishtha, one who has gained the knowledge of His own Self after steadily progressing through the paths of karma and upasana before entering the jnana marga, the path of knowledge.
Arjuna asks of the Lord ka bhasha what are the characteristics sthitaprajnasya of such a sage.
He also wants to know kim prabhasheta how will the Sage talk? We are reactive in our responses to people. When others praise us, we come out with agreement & appreciation and when we are maligned, we despise others talk. How does the Sage respond?
The next question is kimasIta how will the sage sit?
And vrajeta kim? How will he walk?
By asking these questions Arjuna hopes to gain an insight on how the Sage behaves & conducts Himself. How does He differ from the unenlightened? What pointers can we take from Him and model ourselves on Him?
In the verses from # 55 to the end of the 2nd chapter, the Lord answers Arjuna. The very characteristics of the illumined sage becomes the means for the seeker. These characteristics are to be acquired through well directed efforts on the part of the seeker.
And the Lord replies…
श्रीभगवानुवाच
The Lord said:
प्रजहाति यदा कामान्सर्वान्पार्थ मनोगतान् .
आत्मन्येवात्मना तुष्टः स्थितप्रज्ञस्तदोच्यते .. २.५५.

prajahati yada kamansarvanpartha manogatan

Atmanyevatmana tushtah sthitaprajnastadochyate .. 2.55
O Partha, when one fully renounces the desires of the mind and remains exclusively contented in the Self alone through the Self, then He is said to be a man of steady wisdom.
Meaning:
प्रजहाति prajahati Renounce or discard यदा yada when कामान् kaman desires सर्वान् sarvan all पार्थ partha O Partha मनोगतान् manogatan of the mind आत्मनि Atmani in the Self एव eva only आत्मना Atman by the Self तुष्टः tushtah satisfied or contented स्थितप्रज्ञः sthitaprajnah of steady wisdom तदा tada then उच्यते uchayte is said to be or called

हे पार्थ! यदा ( नरः) मनोगतान् सर्वान् कामान्
प्रजहाति, आत्मनि एव आत्मना तुष्टः (भवति) तदा स्थितप्रज्ञः उच्यते
In this verse Bhagavan mentions two traits of the sthitaprajnah. They are

  • Self sufficiency or Self contentment and
  • Renunciation of all desires.

The first characteristic that the Lord mentions is that the jnani is self-sufficient. He does not need anything external for his happiness. There is no emotional dependence on other people, places and objects for his happiness. Therefore the Lord says that He, the sage, is Atmani eva atmana tushtah. He is satisfied in Himself by Himself.
Not only that, He has prajahati sarvan kaman, renounced all desires, by putting an end to their root cause. A person uses a crutch when he has lost the use of a leg. In the absence of his leg the crutch becomes part of him or completes him. Without the crutch he will fall if he tries to walk. Most of us use external people, places and objects as crutches to complete ourselves. A common to say of one’s “love”is “He or he completes me!”
{Someone once humorously remarked that marriage is a mathematical mistake! The person feels incomplete. So the search for a ‘better-half’ begins. The thought is ‘Now I am ½ happy. I will acquire a better-half and together we will become whole, complete and One – fully happy!‘ The problem is that post-marriage it is not ½ + ½ but ½ * ½ = ¼!! After the birth of the first child it becomes ¼ * ½ = 1/8. After the second child…!!! External dependencies and their impact on one’s happiness!!!}
Desire is a symptom of the feeling of incompleteness. The root cause of this symptom is the primal ignorance, avidya. To remove this lack we grasp at external objects.

In the case of the sage, this primal ignorance of the Self has been destroyed completely. In other words, avidya – being the cause of kama – when removed, also effects the removal of kama. The sthithaprajnah never sees Himself as incomplete. He knows His purnatvam. The shanti patha mantra purnamadah…boldly talks about the fullness of the Supreme State.

Om purnamadah purnamidam purnat purnamudachyate

purnasya purnamadaya purnamevavashishyate
The word purnam means ‘completely filled’ – absolute wholeness lacking in nothing whatsoever! When there is no lack at all, where is the question of harboring any desire to fill a void! So all kama (desires) are born out of a sense of incompleteness or a feeling of lack in one self. These desires are manogatan, in the mind.
So Krishna says yada, when, these two are present (that is: when one is completely independent & contented in oneself by oneself with no emotional leaning on things external for happiness AND when one completely renounces all desires in the mind) tada then sthitaprajnah a man of steady wisdom uchyate he is said to be!

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