Chandran, Nanda (NBC) Nanda.Chandran at NBC.COM
Mon Jan 19 11:38:44 CST 1998

Can somebody knowledgeable help me out on a couple of questions that I have?

1.      Are the Puranas in Sanskrit? Or are some of them in Tamizh (Skanda
Purana?) ?
2.      Is the use of flowers as a form of worship not present in Vedic

        Because e-mail can be altered electronically,
        the integrity of this communication cannot be guaranteed.

>From  Mon Jan 19 13:02:38 1998
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To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Organization: Home Personal Account
Subject: Sthitaprajna - Part 1
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Gita Essence- The Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi)- Part 1 of 9 parts

     Every verse in Gita contains a compelling message and certain
message is often repeated to highlight a theme or to display its
significance. Divinity is beyond time and humanity is ever bounded by
time!  As a human, I have the privilege to make mistakes and I chose
this selective group of verses for my discussion.  Gita identifies the
person with the True Human Nature by the Sanskrit name Sthitaprajna
(Perfect Yogi).  The verses 55 to 72 in chapter 2 discusses  the virtues
of Sthitaprajna in greater details.
      According to Gita,  Sthitaprajna attains the Universal Wisdom of
Eternal Peace by abandoning the illusory pain and sufferings.  The Lord
insists that eternal peace, happiness, discriminating intelligence and
concentration can be realized only by freeing the mind from sensory
perceptions.  Gita does not claim that the task is easy and it gives
complete guidance for achieving the True Human Nature in chapters two to
18.  Gita asserts that it is achievable for everyone who is willing to
take the necessary efforts, discipline and dedication.  The Grace of God
always comes with true dedication, discipline and devotion. In Gita,
action is much more important than prayer and Bhakti is an  expression
of the completion of obligations. The reward for the action is the
action itself! For a devotee, the action is the prayer and the prasad.
The Grace of God is life,  associated  actions and the
     Gita describes the relationships between sensory perception, ego,
human intelligence and divine intelligence.  According to Gita,  the
sensory perceptions are the barriers for gaining the divine
intelligence.  Ego is the byproduct of sensory perception. Ego distracts
human intelligence to lose its discriminating power. Consequently the
intellect misidentifies SELF by body, mind and intellect.  The
distractions  are eradicated only through spiritual practice (sadhana)
outlined in Gita.  Those who follow the spiritual life understand their
obligation and perform their role without anticipating rewards.
    Sthitaprajna perceives the world without conflicts and sorrows and
accepts the world as it is!  For such  persons the world is always
perfect and they always recognize that should be prepared to change
their attitude according to the needs of the world.  Mahatma Gandhi once
said,  "The only change that the world needs, is you!" For a
Sthitaprajna like Gandhi, the "attitude" of the perceiver is more
important than the perceived object. The attitude determines the
outcome:  those with positive mental attitudes do not worry about the
rewards or punishments from their actions. The discussion contains eight
additional parts and this division is necessary to meet the regulation
of electronic posting.  I want to dedicate this article to the great
sage Vedavyasa, the assembler,   compiler and the propagator of  the
Hindu Scriptures including the Bhagavad Gita.

Ram Chandran
Burke, VA

>From  Mon Jan 19 13:08:21 1998
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To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Organization: Home Personal Account
Subject: Sthitaprajna  (Perfect Yogi) - Part 2
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Gita Essence - Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 2 of 9

    What is the right path of our life?  The seers who wrote the
Upanishads have this excellent answer: " Life is a bridge; enjoy while
crossing it; but don't build a castle on it."   The creator of human
life gave the positive mental attitude as a gift to the new born child.
This gift has helped the child to accept everything from everybody.  We
better remember and learn from the child to accept life, the gift of
God.   With positive mental attitude, we can accept the realities of
life without resistance and fear.   We become the witness of our own
life and can probably accept joy, sorrow, good, bad, tall, short,
beauty, ugly, light, dark, past, present and future.  We can stop asking
instantaneous explanations for everything. We do not want to accept the
world as it is and we crave for the world to change! Positive mental
attitude will help us to change our life without forcing others to
change.  Realities are painful, but we it is up to us to avoid
sufferings!  Every religion wants to help people to remove negative
tendencies. Religions do play an important role to cope up with
uncertainties and unforeseen events in everyone's life.
     Every verse in Gita discusses the importance of removing the
negative tendencies.   A perfect yogi (Sthitaprajna) possesses the
positive mental attitude and Gita describes his (her) qualities in
chapter 2, verses 55 to 72.  In Verse 54, Arjun asks Lord Krishna to
describe the characteristics of the Perfect Sage (Sthitaprajna).
Sthitaprajna represents the qualities of the realized human soul.  Lord
Krishna explains his answers in verses 55 to 72.  The person who
realizes the  true nature becomes the Sthitaprajna.  In Gita, Arjun's
enquiry started with one question, followed by more questions such as -
"Who am I? ";  "Where am I? ";  And "What am I?"  Gita is a manual and
not a road map for salvation.
   The path to self-realization can't be shown but can be experienced.
Gita contains solutions and puzzles for seekers with different levels of
maturity and  capacity.  The manual of Gita can help us  to solve the
puzzles in our life  and help us to undertake challenging steps forward.
But when we reach the highest level, we  regain our True Human Nature
and all our actions become spontaneous and judgements become
unnecessary! Spontaneity is the law of the nature.  The flowers bloom
without us asking and the trees surrender and sacrifice all their
possessions (fruits, stem, leaves and roots). The flower plant, the
fruit true, animals and other creatures including the human beings have
to live, grow and disappear according to the laws of the nature.  The
True Human Nature emerges when the mind becomes pure without duality and
the life in the universe is free from conflicts contradictions.
Gita begins with "DHARMA" (chapter 1, verse 1) and ends with "MAMA"
(chapter 18, verse 78). According to Swami Chinmayananda, the word
combination "Mama Dharma" has special significance.   Mamadharma stands
for Swadharma which means that each of us has the freedom to define  our
moral rules and ethics of living. We are obligated to complete the
duties that are necessary for our living without violating our
Mamadharma.    Dharma, a Sanskrit word,  means duty or pursuit of social
and personal ideals of behavior. Its literal meaning is "that which
sustains." Every thing that goes with the natural order or state of
things is dharma. The dharma of fire is to heat, dharma of a flower is
to bloom and dharma of a human is "eternal bliss."
     Mamadharma plays a pivotal role in determining the Hindu way of
life.  It  implies that an individual has the obligation to conduct his
(her) duties at a level much higher than the social norms.   Social laws
suggest the minimum standard of Dharma where as Mamadharma requires the
individual to seek the highest standard of Dharma!  Though the
knowledge of right and wrong are relative and subjective, no one has any
excuse committing a crime!  Dharma holds one up to the highest
conception of  "Right," and expects everyone to do the "Right" for
rights sake, and not for the sake of obeying the law.  The conception of
right requires us not to judge others because the standard of ethics
varies by individuals.  Both "right" and "rights" also vary by
individuals!  We get the right to judge others when we reach the highest
level of  spiritual maturity.

>From  Mon Jan 19 13:10:06 1998
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Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 13:10:06 -0500
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To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Organization: Home Personal Account
Subject: Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 3
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Gita Essence - Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 3 of 9

    Bhagavan Shri Krishna points out in verse 55 that a stable human
behavior implies separation of  "SELF" from the mind! When the mind
engages in desires that are free from success and failures (pleasure and
sorrow),  it gets freedom from desires. Mahatma Gandhi, a perfect sage,
has shown that unselfish service to the people can free the mind from
desires and can help to realize the SELF.   Gandhiji was a soft talker,
a fast walker and never a quitter!    Gita provides a brilliant logical
description of a perfect sage with necessary guidelines to become
Sthitaprajna.   Gita does not rule out setting up goals for any action
but asks us to develop an attitude  to accept success and failures
without emotional outbursts.
          No single individual has any control over his (her) action in
this world. For example, an individual who takes a flight requires the
collective actions and cooperation of  visible and invisible entities of
the  world.  The actors, their actions, the results of such actions are
inseparable!  Is it possible for anyone to identify the cause and effect
of the flight?  The answer is obviously no! Any individual contribution
to any cause or the effect is infinitesimal and every invisible actor
and action is equally important.  How do we determine success and
failure? What is success? What is failure? What is the time period of
our enquiry?  All such questions will have plenty of answers but no
unique solution. The mind that fails to understand the chain of actions
and reactions  rejoices over success and regrets over failures.  The
duality of success and failure is the creation of the mind which
indulges in endless loops of desires, successes and failures. When the
mind perceives success or failure, it fuels desires that encourage the
ego which propels more desires. Then Desires take a permanent shelter
in the human mind, pushing the SELF out and inviting the ego (self)
         Do we behave like a perfect sage at any time in our real life?
The answer is Yes! We as adults while playing a game with our little
child behave like a perfect sage. We  temporarily regain our true nature
and express our unconditional love to the child and have no problems in
winning or losing.  At the same time, success or failure of the game
affects the child and the child shows its emotions. !   The coaches of
all major sports repeat the message of Gita to the players as follows!
"Play to win, but don't worry about the results and do not allow your
emotion to drain your energy!"  This bottom line message is the central
theme of Gita.  Gita asks us to pursue our life with higher goals and
higher motives while performing the duties.

>From  Mon Jan 19 13:11:42 1998
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Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 13:11:42 -0500
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To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Organization: Home Personal Account
Subject: Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 4 of 9
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Gita Essence - Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 4 of 9

        Verse fifty six describes characteristics of the mind of the
perfect sage.  Verse fifty seven reinforces the qualities of the perfect
sage with additional attributes.  The mind of the perfect sage  is
steady and calm.  The sage possesses the discriminating wisdom to
witness and experience events.  The sage of settled intelligence frees
his mind from eager desire and will have no passion, fear and anger.
Should we rejoice when "good" happens and should we regret when "bad"
happens?  Dr. Radakrishnan points out that we don't praise the flowers
when they bloom and condemn when they fade! We should learn to accept
our role as a witness and recognize that we have no means of judging the
actors and results of an action!
         Verse fifty eight illustrates the behavior of the perfect sage
using a compelling example.  Bhagavan reminds us that "steady and
discriminating wisdom" imply that we have to act instantaneously.   What
does the tortoise do when it sees an external interference to its path
of movement?  It moves quickly inside its protective shell! The perfect
sage also acts like the tortoise and withdraws the senses from the
objects of pleasure!  Gita contains plenty of  hidden treasures such as
this example of the tortoise.  Animals in general always look for a
shelter outside  rather than inside.  During crisis times,  monkeys
climb over the top of trees and  rats and rabbits jump and run toward
holes and gaps.   A tortoise is on the other hand tucks "in" instead of
running.  Bhagavan implicitly reminds that all external objects are
obstructions to the spiritual path. Spiritual seekers have to look
inside for protection!
      The example of the tortoise is also important for another reason.
Try to recollect the moral of the famous Panchatantra story about the
tortoise and the rabbit. Tortoises are slow and steady  and rabbit is
fast and volatile.  According to the story, "slow and steady" tortoise
wins the race!  The rabbit is a subtle reference to the material life
style and tortoise is the reference to the spiritual life style.
Material life style can yield many successes but ultimately ends in
failure. The slow and steady spiritual life style can bring the ultimate
success.  When tortoise tucks inside the shell, it shuts up all external
contacts and hence protected!  The spiritual seekers can learn a lot
from the tortoise to turn their attention inside and withdraw external
sensory perceptions.

>From  Mon Jan 19 13:13:33 1998
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Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 13:13:33 -0500
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To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Organization: Home Personal Account
Subject: Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 5 of 9
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Gita Essence - Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 5 of 9

        Verses fifty-nine to sixty-one elaborate the dangers of going
after external objects for internal pleasure.  Gamblers, smokers,
drinkers find it hard to quit their habits.   Our problem is not the
object but the taste that we have developed through our senses for the
objects!  The evolution of the desire for the objects originates when
the tastes for the objects enter into the mind.   When the mind
meditates on the   "SUPREME," even the tastes for the objects, will
disappear!  Gita reinforces the importance of the control over the mind
and senses for removing the desires.  When senses are left loose, they
propel the mind to go after the objects and controlling the mind becomes
more difficult.  The floating mind remembers the tastes of object and
drives the senses toward the objects!  To stop the car on the high way,
we have to apply the brakes to all the four wheels!  When one of them
fails, we can get into serious problems.  Until we close all the doors
and windows of the house, we have no way of heating the house at the
desired level!  To shut the desires, we have to close the body, mind and
intellect!  The senses of the Perfect Sage are under control and the
sage remains firm in Yoga on the Supreme.   Verses 62 to 64 elaborate
the dangers of indulging the mind on sense objects.  When we start
drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, we register the taste of coffee
in our mind and soon, we get addicted to coffee. When we miss our
morning coffee, we become angry.   One of my friend, who worked for the
state government in India, was a heavy drinker.  His wife had a tough
time because he physically and mentally abused her when he was drunk.
The problem with drinking is twofold.  The mind gets agitated with or
without the drink and is a no-win situation. My friend beat his wife if
she hid the liqueur bottles beyond his reach and  also beat her after
drinking his liqueur quota.  One day after a heavy dose of liqueurs, he
died in front of his house  ran over by a truck!    The reference
"pranasyati" in verse 63 is subtle.  The drunkard loses his "buddhi"
instantaneously due to addiction and when  the desire is fulfilled,  he
loses his "buddhi" and "identity."  When "XXX" drinks and walks on the
road, the reference changes to "drunkard"  and an abrupt death of the
identity "XXX."  XXX  no more behaves like XXX but only as a drunkard!
When we attend parties, we can easily see difference between behavior of
a normal and drunkard person.  One need not be a drunkard to lose the
identity.  Last time, when I visited India, I tried to buy my airlines
ticket in Delhi.  The clerk demanded additional twenty dollars bribe to
confirm the reservation.   When I refused to pay the bribe, the clerk
was angry and abusive.  The corrupt clerk lost his true identity and
became a "corrupt" person.  This desire induced corruptive behavior was
responsible for him to lose his buddhi and respectable personality.
Does Gita assert that we should not eat, touch, smell, hear or see? The
answer is obviously no!  The message is about developing a flexible
mental  attitude.  When I feel thirsty, I have the natural instinct to
drink some liquid that could be water,  juice, coffee, tea, coke, or
sprite,  etc. .  If I desire to extinguish my thirst only by drinking
coffee then I have the "attachment" problem.  If I am flexible enough to
drink any available drink to quench my thirst then I have "no
attachment." Gita only advises us to be "flexible" in order to be
successful and we need to discipline ourselves to be flexible.  The
flower plants need water and food to grow and yield beautiful flowers
and they don't demand "specific drinks or food!" We need to discipline
our self to eat food without "attributes." Gita did not contend it is
easy and does not describe prescriptions.  This is our job to develop
our own ethical values (Mamadharma) and discipline our life.   Swami
Chinmyanada explains the role of Gita in shaping our daily life in the
book, "A Manual of Self-unfoldment," published by the Chinmaya Mission.
Gita strongly suggests us  not to have any preconceived notions!
Prejudices reflect our attachment to objects and they initiate hatred
and anger. The moment we allow the sense organs to take control, we lose
our discriminatory power, the gift of God and destroy our identity!
When flowers bloom, they don't get any pleasure!  They give pleasure to
the surroundings! They use their sense organs to eat and drink
(fertilizer and water!) with no preconception to the food they eat, the
air they breathe, the light they catch, the wind they touch or the water
they drink! Any person who can give happiness to all without prejudice
will certainly attain tranquility.  Will anybody ever challenge that
this is not true?   Let me clarify what I mean by "flexible."
Flexibility means developing an attitude to be happy with what we have
and not to demand objects that we don't have.  Also, we do need to
develop skills and attitude to encounter different environments.  Let me
give a recent experience of my son who filled up an application for a
summer job.  There were lots of questions in the application form to
evaluate his work habits.  Persons with greater number of skills with
the flexibility to undertake more tasks in a diverse work environment
get selected for a job.    Vasana is a complex terminology and requires
careful scrutiny.  It is almost impossible to explain what it really
means because it is highly personal!  The presence or absence of an
object is not a necessarily a cause for Vasana but the root cause is the
attachment to the object. Attachment is a twin evil. When we become a
slave to an object our liking, we create hatred toward other objects.
Due to our attachment to french fries, we show our dislike for
broccoli.   Some childhood Vasanas are no more a threat to matured
adults. The Hindu Trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Siva are symbolic
reminders to the endless cycle of the creation, perpetuation and
destruction of Vasanas.  A simple method to destroy a Vasana is to
develop a Vasana for another object.  Ideally, we have to find a way not
to create any Vasana.   According to Gita, if we divert our attachment
toward the Supreme we can get liberation from the cycle of creation,
perpetuation and destruction.

>From  Mon Jan 19 13:14:39 1998
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Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 13:14:39 -0500
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To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Organization: Home Personal Account
Subject: Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 6 of 9
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Gita Essence - Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 6 of 9

Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) has no attachment or aversion and has the
Purity of Spirit (verse 64).  Sthitaprajna  attains the  "WISDOM" which
is free from illusory sorrows (verse 65).   Bhagavan insists that we can
attain peace, happiness, discriminating intelligence and concentration
only  by freeing the mind from sensory perceptions.  When the mind
indulges in sensory perceptions, we lose our sense of balance and mental
peace (verse 66).   Sthitaprajna implies realization of the "Absolute
Reality," though such realization may be possible, it can't be
described.  Gita stresses  that sensory perceptions are the concrete
walls between the human and the Divine.  Unless we break the concrete
wall, we can't visualize Divinity.  Sensory perceptions create the
illusion of  joy, sorrow, good, bad, like and dislike.     Verse 67 is a
beautiful poem with deep insights and it illustrates the destructive
power of the rowing senses.  What will happen to ship without the
navigator on the deep sea? Powerful wind that carries the ship will
cause the ship to capsize.  Similarly, the sense organs without any
control  will make life helpless and purposeless.  Ships in deep seas
are subject to unexpected dangers from the strong currents of the wind.
Human lives without any control on senses are likely to lose peace by
the formidable influence of sensual pleasures. Verse 68 reinforces the
message that the perfect yogi has complete control of the senses over
the sense-objects.
    Subtle messages in Gita require background knowledge on Hindu
scriptures!  Vedavyasa, the author of the Gita verses in written form,
has skillfully organized a Hindu Philosophical Course with theoretical
and applied components.  He has discussed the  philosophical concepts in
Bhagavad Gita and the practical aspects of Mahabharat and Puranas.
Characters of episodes in Mahabharat and Puranas became role models to
illustrate the  conceptualized Dharma and values in Gita.  Vyasa knew
that uniform ethical behavior (dharma) was necessary to protect law and
order in the society.  Yudhistra, the hero of Mahabharat rigorously
obeyed Hindu Dharma and values that represent the ^Ñgood'.   Dhruyodhana,
the villain embodied Adharma (opposite of Dharma) and a symbolic
representation of ^Ñevil.'  Vyasa dramatized the nature of good and evil
using episodes through the roles of heroes, villains and supporting
characters.  Public learnt 'good' and 'evil' using the Puranic stories
and chose and practice what they liked (Swadharma).  The genius in Vyasa
has composed an objective Gita, a subjective Mahabharat,  and
informative volume of eighteen Puranas to establish and preserve the
Hindu Dharma and Values.  Vedavyasa, the greatest intellect and
revolutionary of all times, had the VISION to protect and preserve the
Hindu Culture.  He completed this monumental task with utmost care and
with artistic perfection.  Moral standards and Values of the Hindu
Civilization, established by great sages such as Vedavyasa was
responsible for helping India withstand the invasion of foreign culture
and religions.

>From  Mon Jan 19 13:15:40 1998
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Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 13:15:40 -0500
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To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Organization: Home Personal Account
Subject: Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 7 of 9
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Gita Essence - Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 7 of 9

   The message of verse 69 is portrayed in an episode that contrasts
between the mental attitudes of 'dharmic' Yudhistra and 'adharmic'
Dhruyodhan:  Lord Krishna commissions Dhruyodhan to spot a good person
and summons Yudhistra to locate a bad person.  After several weeks, both
Dhruyodhan and Yudhistra came back without success!  Dhruyodhan couldn't
find a single good person and Yudhistra didn't see a single bad person!
Dharmic and Satvik people like Yudhistra always see light in utter
darkness.  Adharmic and rajasik people like Dhruyodhan can see only
darkness even in splendid daylight!  Verse 70 can be illustrated using
the contrasting personal qualities of Yudhistra and Dhruyodhan!
Dhruyodhan's only desire was to acquire the kingdom at any cost within
his life time.  He became angry when there were obstacles.
Consequently, he lost his buddhi, his friends and relatives.  Some may
argue that Bhishma and Karna remained on his side until their death.  A
careful analysis will demonstrate their dislike of his attitudes and his
adharmic behavior.  Bhisma and Karna who never lost a war chose to lose
and die than to remain on his side!  Dhruyodhan's materialistic desire
became the cause of his death and the death of his relatives and
   Yudhistra on the other hand did not have any materialistic desires.
He displayed equanimity and was admired by everyone including his
enemies!  He showed no distress when he lost everything including his
kingdom, brothers and wife!  He was willing to relinquish his
materialistic possessions including a princely lifestyle.  Without
reluctance, he fought the war against his own relatives and friends.  He
had no likes or dislikes and was free from sorrows.  Lord Krishna was
always on his side because he was a sthitaprajna!
   Verse 70 defines the nature of a person who suppresses all troubles
of earthly existence. Dr. Radhakrishnan points out the following
beautiful quotation from the Upanishad:
mano hi dvividham proktam suddham cassuddham eva ca
asuddham kamasamkalpam suddham kamavivarjitam
English Translation by Dr. Radhakrishnana: " The human mind is of two
kinds, pure and impure.  That which is intent on securing its desires is
impure; that which is free from attachment to desires is pure."
   The pure mind, is like the mind of Yudhistra and the impure mind is
like that of Dhruyodhan.  Impure mind contains full of desires and ego
while pure mind has no desires.  Impure mind directs one for
self-destruction where as  pure mind steers one to the
self-realization!  Purity is synonymous to Truth and neither of them can
be visualized but experienced.  When impurities are removed, Purity is
perceived, similar to realizing Truth after negating lies!  It is like
practicing Dharma by abandoning Adharmas! Asuddham, Asathya and Adharma
are easily recognizable than Suddham, Sathya and Dharma respectively!
There are other word combinations in Sanskrit with similar logical
structure which include "Krama and Akrama,"  "Dhirya and Adhirya,"
"Sowkya and Asowkya," "Sowkarya and Asowkarya," "Kala and Akala," etc.
NASA scientists have studied and recognized the importance of Sanskrit
language structure for computer applications.  An interesting article in
the magazine Nature, discusses the application of Panini's grammatical
structure of Sanskrit for computers.  According to this article, the
logical structure of artificial intelligence problems can be analyzed
using the grammatical structure Sanskrit.

>From  Mon Jan 19 13:16:45 1998
Message-Id: <MON.19.JAN.1998.131645.0500.>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 13:16:45 -0500
Reply-To: chandran at
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Organization: Home Personal Account
Subject: Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 8 of 9
Comments: To: Advaita List <Advaita-L at>
Comments: cc: Social Religion Hindu <ghen at>
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Gita Essence - Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 8 of 9

    Verse 71 contains the essence of the Vedantic philosophy in a
nutshell.  This verse in poetic form uses a powerful simile to describe
the qualities of the True Nature of the Jiva in no uncertain terms.
English Translation of verse 71 by Dr. Radhakrishnan: "He unto whom all
desires enter as waters into the sea, which, though ever being filled is
ever motionless, attains to peace and not he who hugs his desires."
   The science of Vedanta expressed in Gita combines both the scientific
rationale and the mystic experience.  We can possibly apply scientific
rationale to explain rains, rivers and oceans.  Science explains why
water is essential for the survival of  life in this planet.  Scientists
also predict the time, location and the amount of rain falls with a
higher level of  precision than ever before.  They can also explain why
rain waters fill the rivers and why rivers can't be recognized when they
reach the ocean.  But science has its own limitations.  When scientific
explanations stop, mystic experiences start.  Some of us while standing
at the banks of the river, we experience inner peace and tranquility.
The reasons for inner peace and tranquility is beyond the scope of
science.  When we stand before the Ocean, we are able to witness the
boundless beauty and wonder of the nature filled with Divinity.
   Science identifies water as the material connection between rain,
river, ocean and  life.  The subtle connection between material objects
and life is  mystic. Mysticism can be experienced but can never be
explained!  Scientists will be able to prove that there can be no life
without water. But scientists could not disagree with the Vedantic claim
that  there is no life without consciousness!  When rivers reach the
ocean, rivers lose their identities.  When we realize Brahman, we become
Brahman.  Ocean is a good visual image of infinity, it is motionless,
silent and serene. Ocean is always full and we can neither overfill nor
empty the ocean!
    The nerve center for human desires is the mind which undergoes
changes with spiritual growth.  Rain waters represent the desires.
River represents spiritual life. .  When we adopt the spiritual path of
life, we divert our desires to satisfy community  We are able to evolve
a sense of direction and a destination.  The waters of the rivers flow
through the planet for the survival of humans, animals, plants and
insects.  The spiritual person also proceeds the life with the only
desires and actions for the betterment of the society.  When the
spiritual person reaches the ultimate destination, (Brahman) he (she)
loses the identify.  The spiritual person attains Brahman with
fulfilment of all desires and reaches the motionless state of the Ocean.
  In verse 72, Lord Krishna suggests that it is never too late to reach
the divine state!  The subtle message is to remind us that we are better
off to try today than to wait until the day of death!  Wisdom (divine
state) is the means of liberation but this wisdom is not exclusive of
devotion to God and desire-less work.  The Brahman is revealed only with
total devotion and unselfish service like that shown by Hanuman to Lord
Rama.  Unselfish service and total devotion are always united and can
never be separated! Dr.Radhakrishna refers us to a quotation by
Dharmmapada, a disciple of Lord Buddha: " Health is the greatest gain,
contentment is the greatest wealth, faith is the best friend and nirvana
is the highest happiness."
   Vedanta describes two types of visual perceptions:  VISION and
ILLUSION.  What one sees through the physical eyes (sense organs) is an
illusion.  Vision is an experience from the spiritual eye.  Everyone has
the spiritual eye but no one wants to open it!  According to our
scriptures, Lord Siva symbolically has three eyes:  two physical eyes
and the spiritual eye on the forehead.  When Siva opens his spiritual
eye, the world of illusions is destroyed! Blindness is a reference to
the blockage of one's spiritual vision.   Mahabharat describes physical
and spiritual blindness beautifully using three major characters

>From  Mon Jan 19 13:17:45 1998
Message-Id: <MON.19.JAN.1998.131745.0500.>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 13:17:45 -0500
Reply-To: chandran at
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Organization: Home Personal Account
Subject: Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 9 of 9
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Comments: cc: Social Religion Hindu <ghen at>
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Gita Essence - Sthitaprajna (Perfect Yogi) - Part 9 of 9

   Dhrtarashtra, the king of Hastinapur was born blind.  He was
physically and spiritually blind.  His wife, Kanthari who chose to tie
her physical eyes with a cloth was physically blind but had the
spiritual vision.  Their son Dhruyodhan, the crown prince, had physical
eyes but was spiritually blind. Dhrtarashtra had the best opportunity to
avoid sensory perceptions, but he chose to live in the world of
illusions.  Dhruyodhan who had no control over his sensory perceptions
was totally blind and destroyed!  Kanthari, who had full control over
her sensory perception, was able to open her spiritual eye.  Opening of
a spiritual eye symbolically represents total control over sensory
    Skeptics, who live with a materialistic outlook, may question the
practicality of Gita for daily progress.  Vedavyasa has ready answers
for those skeptics in Gita, and they should invest their time to find
out the answers.  There is no such thing as a free lunch in Gita.  If
the skeptics invest their time to understand and follow the directions
of Gita, they can reap the benefits.  The returns for their time spent
to read Gita is greater and long-lasting than the returns from reading
Wall Street Journal.  Vyasa was very careful to discriminate between
divine (infinite) and human (finite) qualities.  Sthitaprajna, an
absolute measure is a divine quality that can be attained only at a
divine state.
    Gita describes three finite dimensional human qualities: (1) Satvik
- illumination, goodness, and non binding, (2) rajasik - passion,
attachment and agitated mind, and (3) tamasik - inaction, ignorance and
illusions.   According to Gita, these three modes are present in all
human beings, though in different degrees.  Satvik people are free, calm
and selfless.  Rajasik people wish to be always active and cannot sit
still and their activities are tainted by selfish desires.  Tamasik
people subject their life to continuous submission to surrounding
environment and they are confused and dull.  Gita asserts that a
predominance of one or a combination of one or more of these
characteristics determine human behavior.
    Episodes in Mahabharat and Puranas describe roles that require
various combinations of satvik, rajasik and tamasik qualities.    The
roles and intrinsic qualities of Dhrtarashtra, Kanthari, Kunthi,
Yudhistra, Arjun, Bhim, Nagul, Sagadev, Dhruyodhan, Dutchadhan, Vithura,
Karna, Sanjay, Yudhistra, Kanthari, Bhishma, Dhrona, etc. determine
whether they are satvik, rajasik or tamasik.  These episodes dramatize
the intrinsic qualities of those characters to the readers and help them
to evaluate and choose qualities for their personal behavior!  The
absolute quality, stithaprajna, represents Pure behavior that can be
attained by removing impure qualities.  Each character in Mahabharat
including Dhruyodhan could become a stithaprajna if they remove their
impurities.  Who can challenge this contention?
    It is possible to conduct training courses to upgrade people from
tamasik to rajasik, and from rajasik to satvik.  With rigorous practice
and determination, we can become satvik and maintain our satvik nature
for any specified time period!  No training or teaching can ever be
possible to move people from satvik to stithaprajna.  The movement from
human to Divine is a quantum jump. It requires discipline, devotion,
dedication and determination.
  Application and practice of  modern economic theory can bring measured
happiness for a measured amount of time.  However, practice of the
spiritual life stipulated in these verses can take us beyond the finite
dimensional material happiness to eternal happiness.  Hindus believe
that Gita is a revelation from Lord Krishna and as such full
comprehension is possible only with His grace.  Each individual has the
freedom to choose the level of comprehension as desired.
    In conclusion, the knowledge of "SELF" can come only from within and
not from outside.   In chapter 18, verse 72, Lord Krishna asks Arjun
whether he has removed his delusions and illusions? Verse 73 contains
Arjun's reply and he uses two profound words: "Smrtir Labdha" (memory
regained).  The human life is the Grace of God and the seeker forgets
this Truth and seeks to remember the forgotten Truth.    Spontaneity is
rule of the Nature and every species other than the    human beings
follows this rule. For human beings, Nature is the best  training ground
to understand spontaneity.   The flowers bloom in the    morning
spontaneously without anyone asking! The flowers do not get any  reward
for their actions nor do they expect any rewards! The presence of
flowers brings divinity this may explain why we use flowers in all
occasions of joy or sorrow.  Trees and plants do not store their wealth
but share their possessions.   Animals live, learn from and obey the
Nature.  Animals only take what they need from nature, nothing more and
nothing less!   The rivers and streams continue  to flow day and night
and supply water to plants, animals, birds and the humans.  The Hindu
spiritual masters understood the Nature and want us to go along with the
Nature.  When we regain the Sthitaprajna we obey   the law of nature and
enjoy our life renouncing castles, dreams and worries of the mind.

>From  Mon Jan 19 14:30:07 1998
Message-Id: <MON.19.JAN.1998.143007.0500.>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 14:30:07 -0500
Reply-To: chandran at
To: "Advaita (non-duality) with reverence" <ADVAITA-L at TAMU.EDU>
From: Ram Chandran <chandran at TIDALWAVE.NET>
Organization: Home Personal Account
Subject: Re: Rig Veda
Comments: To: "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at>
Comments: cc: Advaita List <Advaita-L at>
MIME-Version: 1.0
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>  On Mon, 12 Jan 1998, Ram Chandran wrote:
> > I recommend the translation : Vedic Experience, By Professor Raimon
> > Panikkar. This is one of the finest translations to the English
> > Language, done by Professor Raimon Pannikar

Jaldhar H. Vyas wrote:

> This person is a Christian priest and his views are untrustworthy for
> Dharmic people.
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

Namaskar Jaldhar:

I am not surprised to see the above statement.  The entire script for
the TV series "Mahabharat" was written by a Muslim scholar.  I am glad
that he did the script because it couldn't be any better!

Vedas are like the US Constitution and are subject to interpretation.
Please do not use the Holy Scriptures inappropriately to advance your
prejudicial statements and  judgements.   Family traditions and practice
of Vedic rituals vary across India and across time.  There seem to be
lots of confusion between chanting and understanding of Vedas.  Our
Vedic and cultural traditions have undergone changes  after the foreign
aggression and domination of India over the past thousand years. All
your viewpoints relate to rules and regulations of conducting Vedic
rituals and cultural traditions.  I do not want to debate on the issues
related to superstitious beliefs and ritualistic religious practice in
this spiritual forum. I just want to pray God to help me not to judge
and offend people on the basis race, religion and sex.

Om Sahanaavavatu,  Sahanaubhunaktu.
Sahaveeryam Karavavahai
Maa Vidvishaavahai
OM Shaantih!.   OM Shaantih!!.  OM Shaantih!!!

English Translation:
May the Lord protect us, may he cause us to enjoy,
May we exert together,
May our studies be thorough and faithful,
May we never quarrel with each other,
OM Peace !  OM Peace!!  OM Peace!!!

With my regards,
Ram Chandran
Burke, VA

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