Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 18 Mar 2024


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Swami answers devotees' questions on the concept of Sthitaprajna

1. Can salvation be obtained by a soul without any reference to God?

[Smt. Priyanka, Ms. Thrylokya and Shri PVNM Sarma asked:- In the Satsanga on Maha Shiva Ratri, You told that if a soul has only external bonds with the worldly bonds and not internal bonds in the mind, such a soul need not be tested and gets spontaneous salvation. Here, there is no reference to the devotion with God. Hence, it means that salvation can be obtained by a soul without any reference to God. Please comment.]

Swami replied:- How dare you people ask like this? One may eat food in a vacant plate, one may do the marriage without a bridegroom and one may see the cinema without current, but, no one can get salvation from worldly bonds without the grace and will of God. The actual giver of  salvation is God Himself. Moreover, is it possible to not have the internal bond even if the external bond is formed? The mind always has the nature of bonding with something. If that something is again a worldly object, how can you get salvation from the world? If you say that some person became mad of a prostitute and got detached from all other worldly bonds and such detachment can be called as salvation from the world–this is absurd. The reason is that when the person has formed the strongest bond with a worldly item called prostitute, how can you say that such person got salvation from all the worldly bonds? Therefore, salvation from all the worldly bonds is possible only when a soul is completely devoted to God, who is beyond this world.

The worldly bonds should be spontaneously dropped out due to the attachment to God and such dropout of the worldly bonds alone can be called as salvation. Without attachment to God, the detachment from the world is not only impossible but also meaningless. It is impossible because since the mind has the nature of attachment to something, such detachment from the world will not be for a long time. It is meaningless because you are losing God as well as the world so that no enjoyment with anything becomes possible, which is meaningless. Neither you get the divine nectar nor do you drink coffee–this is a horrible state of loss on both sides. If the divine nectar is available, due to its excellent taste, coffee is rejected–in this incident, there is some logic and some justice. If divine nectar is not attained, let Me at least enjoy the coffee. Hence, detachment from worldly bonds without attachment to God is not only impossible but also is meaningless or useless.

While mentioning the above concept of the soul called Sthitaprajna, I have mentioned King Janaka as an example having only external worldly bonds without any internal bond with the world. The entire internal bond of King Janaka was only with God. Due to this, all his worldly bonds, which are only external are spontaneously dropped out. This is the state of King Janaka, who is the best example for Sthitaprajna. He was the disciple of a Sadguru called Sage Yaajnavalkya. The Sadguru being the contemporary human incarnation of God for King Janaka tested him on one day. King Janaka was completely immersed in the Satsanga of Sage Yaajnavalkya regarding a debate and deep discussion about God. Then, as per the plan implemented by the miraculous power of the Sage, a soldier came crying that the entire Mithila city was burnt in severe flames of fire.

All the wealth, issues and wife of King Janaka were burnt and this was conveyed by the soldier. By the miraculous power of the Sage, the soldier saw such a scene as a divine illusion. Hence, the soldier was sincere. On hearing this horrible heart-attacking news, King Janaka just smiled saying that if the Mithila city is burnt, nothing of him is burnt (Mithilāyāṃ pradagdhāyāṃ na me kiñcana dahyate). Here, there is a competition between the bond of King Janaka with God and the three strongest worldly bonds, which are wealth, issues and spouse. Before the strength of the bond with God, the three strongest worldly bonds were defeated. This means that King Janaka was so much attached to God that all his worldly bonds were spontaneously dropped out. I thought that everybody knows this story of the example given by Me and I thought that Sthitaprajna means that soul for which all the worldly bonds are dropped out due to his/her extreme attachment to God. Therefore, I did not mention about God separately, thinking that everybody knows this famous story. The worldly bonds of King Janaka were dropped out due to his complete absorption in God and not due to his absorption in a prostitute!

King Janaka was ruling his kingdom, attending his spouse and children and was doing all his duties like a normal householder. But, the difference between Janaka and a normal householder is that the worldly bonds of Janaka were only external whereas the worldly bonds of an ordinary soul are both external and internal. The reason is that the ordinary soul is not internally absorbed completely in God like Janaka. You may ask that how one can have only an external bond with the spouse and children without internal love. When the duties are performed perfectly by Janaka, there is no difference between Janaka and an ordinary soul (Kuryāt vidvān tathā'saktaḥ…- Gita) externally. The spouse and children will not operate the heart of Janaka and complain that there is no love in the heart for them! They are thinking that Janaka loves them like any other ordinary soul. Since there is no effect in performing the duties towards the spouse and children, they are under the illusion that Janaka is loving them fully like any soul entangled in a family. By this, the family will not suffer at all to complain about the absence of love to them in the heart of Janaka. You need not worry that you are cheating your family in this way. The reason is that the Veda says that every family bond is only cheating. The wife loves the husband not for his happiness but for her happiness derived from the husband and vice versa. Every worldly bond is like this only (Ātmanaḥ kāmāya sarvaṃ priyaṃ bhavati - Veda).

The love of God on the devotee alone is not cheating because the blissful God is not in need of happiness from any soul. In this way, there is no loss at all for a Sthitaprajna. Moreover, another advantage is that if anything happens to the spouse and children based on their fate, Janaka will not be pained at all for them due to the internal detachment from them. Even if somebody is pained, is there any recovery of the loss? Hence, there is no benefit of the pain. Moreover, the pain will bring several diseases and health will be spoiled, which may lead the soul to death by heart-attack. Not only absence of benefit, but also presence of serious loss is appearing due to this blind fascination to worldly bonds in the mind. Therefore, the message is that you should not have fascination for anybody or anything in the world and at the same time, you must do all your duties perfectly like a fascinated soul trapped by the family. This analysis helps the soul to become a Sthitaprajna as proposed by God Krishna in His Gita. People can easily misunderstand a Sthitaprajna as an atheist even in the Gita since the point of his devotion to God was not explained. Sthitaprajna means the person in whom all the awareness (soul) is completely situated in God (Sthitaprajñā sarvā Bhagavati yasya saḥ sthitaprajñaḥ). If you define this as the place in which awareness is merely situated, you have to say that the awareness is situated in his brain-nervous system. If so, that is common to all normal human beings. Then, what is the specialty of a Sthitaprajna? Hence, you should not say that the awareness in a Sthitaprajna is in his body. Even Shankara said that awareness is situated in one’s self or Brahman as per His Advaita philosophy. Even here, you must note that the awareness is in God (Brahman) only, which is a common point since it is not told to be in the body.

2. While doing the duties, love and fascination may appear in the soul.

[A question by Ms. Thrylokya]

Swami replied:- Doing the duties is inert work and awareness does not exist in it. Love and fascination belong to awareness. Awareness is the internal soul. If love and fascination rising in the internal awareness happen to be the cause for your external work of the duty, such a person can’t be called as a Sthitaprajna. If the love and fascination in the internal awareness is totally on God only and if the external duties are performed without any connection with the internal love and fascination, such a person alone can be called as a Sthitaprajna. In the case of an ordinary soul, the love and fascination rising in the internal awareness or soul become the reasons for performing the external duties. You cannot say that performing the external inert duties without the internal love and fascination is not possible, it is not correct. If the internal love and fascination are attracted by the most powerful and most attractive God, the external inert work can be done without linking to the internal awareness because action is inert. For example, a person riding on a bicycle will be doing the external inert riding work mechanically while singing a song on which his love and fascination are totally absorbed. Similarly, one can do the routine duties while the internal love and fascination are totally dedicated to God. This state can be proved in any practical test conducted by God Datta as we have seen the above case of King Janaka so that it is proved that Janaka was not having mere theoretical devotion but also the real practical devotion as a proof. Hence, a Sthitaprajna is given salvation directly without test for any worldly bond since no worldly bond really exists in the internal awareness of the soul. The three tests for the three strongest worldly bonds are done for the other ordinary souls only, which are trapped by the three strongest worldly bonds. Only such ordinary soul has to take a female birth finally so that the soul can be tested for her bond with spouse and child along with wealth. In fact, all the Gopikas passed in the test of bond with spouse, but, almost all failed in the test of joint-bond of child and wealth. So, every soul need not go for the final female birth since the Sthitaprajna souls are not at all tested in these three strongest worldly bonds.

When God Rama lost Sita in the forest, He was weeping aloud. Then, Lakshmana told Him, “O Brother! Stop weeping. By weeping, Sita cannot be found and hence, there is no benefit. Not only is benefit not there, but also there is additional loss by weeping. By weeping, You will lose energy becoming weak and will be unable to search for Sita”. Lakshmana is the incarnation of Adishesha and Patanjali is also the incarnation of Adishesha. Hence, Lakshmana is Patanjali. Patanjali defined Yoga in his Yoga Sutras that Yoga means resisting the mind to contact with the external world (Yogaḥ cittavṛtti nirodhaḥ). By contacting the external world with the mind, you will develop an internal bond of awareness (love and fascination) with the external world by which you will enjoy as well as weep. In fact, God Rama tested the knowledge of Lakshmana by weeping for Sita.

3. Do You mean that the sages born as Gopikas were not in the state of Sthitaprajna already?

[A question by Smt. Priyanka]

Swami replied:- The story proves that except twelve Sages, all other sages failed especially in the bond with issues. A Sthitaprajna can be a sage but every sage need not be a Sthitaprajna. God Kaalabhairava is in the form of a dog, which does not mean that every dog is Kaalabhairava. God Krishna is a human being, but every human being is not God Krishna. The sages approached God Rama for the test of the bond with spouse thinking that the joint-bond with children and with wealth is very weak and need not be tested. They mistakenly thought that if the test of the strongest bond with spouse is passed, the total salvation is spontaneously attained. But, in the next birth, when they were born as Gopikas, almost all of them failed in the joint test of children and wealth (butter) only. They realised that the bond with issues is the strongest and is unconquerable. Even Sage Vyaasa, the King of Sages, also failed in this bond with issues by running after His son, Sage Shuka, who was leaving the house for the sake of God. Even though Shuka was a great sage, he was sent to King Janaka by His father, Sage Vyaasa, to get a pass certificate for salvation from King Janaka, the examiner. This shows that a Sthitaprajna like King Janaka became the examiner of the greatest Sage, Shuka.

4. We heard that King Nero also played on his fiddle while the Rome city was burning. Is he also a Sthitaprajna?

[A question by Prof. JSR Prasad]

Swami replied:- If he is a devotee of God and if he was playing a devotional song on the fiddle, he is certainly a Sthitaprajna. But, if he is playing worldly music on the fiddle, he is not a Sthitaprajna because the love and fascination for worldly music is also a worldly bond only and hence, he cannot get salvation from all the worldly bonds.

5. While being Sthitaprajna, can we do the service of God also in the same manner?

[A question by Ms. Thrylokya]

Swami replied:- Is your mind functioning well? Sthitaprajna means doing external inert work without its link to the inner awareness (love and fascination). This state is applicable to worldly work to be done as a duty. You are doing the external service and sacrifice for God in which your inner love and fascination are completely involved. Doing the external inert duty while the inner love and fascination are concentrated on God is like riding the bicycle mechanically while the mind is absorbed fully in singing a sweet song. Doing God’s service in which the internal love and fascination are fully involved is just like riding the bicycle with full concentration on riding as in the case of a cycle race.

6. If people serve others for their own happiness or for others happiness, are these cases of true love in the world?

[When I told that all worldly bonds are cheating bonds only, some people replied that they are doing the service to others for the happiness of others only. Some other people said that they are serving others, which gives happiness to them. Isn’t it true love in the world? How do You explain these two?]

Swami replied:- Both of your cases will disappear if the serving person gets misery due to doing service to others. As long as misery does not attack, these two types of hypocritic statements come from the mouth of anybody. In the case of God, a Sthitaprajna continues to do service to God even if he/she gets any extent of misery due to climax love and fascination to God. In the case of worldly duties also, a Sthitaprajna will not be bothered at all about the worldly misery since such inert external work has no link with his inner love and fascination. When Hanuman was searching for Sita, He was attacked by the thought of suicide-misery since He was very much vexed in the search. Still, He continued His search for Sita till Sita was found. In the case of Prahlaada, a lot of misery attacked this devoted boy, but, Prahlaada did not go back. Miira was asked to drink a cup of poison by her husband due to his misunderstanding of her devotion to God Krishna. Miira drank the cup of poison without withdrawing her devotion. Therefore, true love is possible only in the case of God.

7. Can I say that among all the Gopikas, only twelve are Sthitaprajna?

[Smt. Chhandaa asked:- Padanamaskaram, Swami. In continuation to answers about Sthitaprajna, can I say that among all the Gopikas, only 12 Gopikas, who are in Goloka are Sthitaprajna? And rest of the sages were not.]

Swami replied:- The twelve Gopikas are almost equal to Sthitaprajna except the difference that the twelve Gopikas passed the tests of the three strongest worldly bonds whereas a Sthitaprajna has no test for any worldly bond because the worldly bonds are only inert and external without any link to the inner awareness. Tests are only for the souls having the external worldly bonds linked with their inner love and fascination. All Gopikas were tested and twelve among them passed the tests. A Sthitaprajna need not be tested at all and the pass degrees are conferred on them.

8. Why was Janaka not given the the highest fruit?

[King Janaka is the best example for a Sthitaprajna. No doubt, He is higher than the greatest sages as he became the examiner even for sage Shuka. For a long time, I have this doubt. In today's perfect context, let me ask You, if it so then why was he not given the higher than the highest fruit? Or maybe he was given. Please clarify this. At Your divine lotus feet always, Chhanda.]

Swami replied:- Fruit is declared only for the candidates, who passed the test. What fruit you can declare for a candidate, who is conferred with the pass degree without the test? Such Sthitaprajna souls are conferred salvated souls living with God accompanying Him to earth to assist the mission of the incarnation. They belong to the category of God Hanuman, who reached the highest Brahmaloka.

9. Was King Janaka not having real love on his daughter Sita?

[Shri Abhiram asked: Was King Janaka not having real love on his daughter Sita? King Janaka made Sita to stay in his house for one month after marriage. Does this not show that King Janaka was having internal bond of love and fascination towards his issue?]

Swami replied:- King Janaka is quoted as Sthitaprajna by God Krishna Himself in the Gita (Karmaṇaiva hi saṃsiddhim…). As a Sthitaprajna, he has no love on wealth, issues and spouse. He was having only love and fascination towards God Rama. After marriage, it is the ethical tradition that both daughter and son-in-law must stay in the house of the father-in-law for one month. Such ancient tradition existed and even God Shiva lived in the house of His father-in-law for one month (Māsamātramavasadvṛṣadhvajaḥ– Kumara Sambhavam). There is no speciality in this tradition.