Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 20 Mar 2024


What is the difference between a Sthitaprajna and Gopikas?

[Ms. Thrylokya asked:- Swami, You told that there is no need of any test for a Sthitaprajna. But, King Janaka was tested by the Sage Yaajnavalkya. What is the difference between a Sthitaprajna and the Gopikas?]

Swami replied:- It is true that there is no need of testing a real Sthitaprajna since the reality is always known by the omniscient God. The public may be cheated by a false Sthitaprajna, who is doing the external duties saying that those duties have no link with his internal love and fascination present on God. To distinguish a real Sthitaprajna from false Sthitaprajna, though not for God, at least for the sake of the public, the test is necessary even for a Sthitaprajna. You may argue that the omniscient God is having the power to give salvation from worldly bonds and for this, proof before the public is not necessary. But, the test is necessary for the sake of the public, which may say that God favoured the false Sthitaprajna by partiality. For this purpose, God conducts the tests even though He knows whether a devotee is real or false. Moreover, by the test, the tested devotee will recognize his/her real state and proceeds for rectification if the devotee is proved to be false. Otherwise, the devotee may be thinking himself/herself as a real devotee and will not try for self-rectification. Therefore, King Janaka was tested severely unlike the Gopikas.

In the case of Janaka, the wealth, issues and spouse were turned into ash as per his understanding at that time and in such a case, any false devotee will cry with extreme love and fascination for these worldly bonds. In this extremely severe test, the reality present in the heart will certainly come out and the false devotee will certainly weep too much and will become unconscious. In the case of the Gopikas, the tests did not involve such a serious situation. Their children will not be burnt into ash if their share of butter was stolen by God Krishna!

Not only this, when the daughter of King Janaka, Sita was abandoned by God Rama, based on false rumors, King Janaka did not utter even one negative word against God Rama. The devotion of Janaka to God Rama was very much real in his heart.

While God Krishna was staying in the village, the Gopikas acted like a Sthitaprajna by hiding the climax devotion towards God Krishna in their hearts and were doing the external duties mechanically without any link to the inner awareness. When God Krishna left the village, they became mad and were staying in the forest of Brundaavanam without performing their household duties. This means that they could not control their divine madness for God. In the case of a Sthitaprajna, he/she controls the madness for God and continues to perform the external duties with full detachment. This again shall not mean that the love and fascination for God in the case of the Gopikas is greater than the love and fascination for God of a Sthitaprajna. The strength of the madness is one and the same in both cases.

The difference is that the Gopikas have a less controlling capacity of divine madness whereas a Sthitaprajna has more controlling capacity of divine madness. Ex.:- The intensity of madness maybe ten units in both cases. The Gopikas have eight units of controlling capacity and a Sthitaprajna has twelve units of controlling capacity. This is the difference between the Gopikas and a Sthitaprajna. Due to this difference only, Gopikas could not continue their worldly duties whereas a Sthitaprajna would continue to do the worldly duties. There is no trace of difference between these two cases as far as the intensity of divine madness in their hearts is concerned. The purity of the devotion in both cases is also one and the same, which is that the love and fascination for God in both cases is without any aspiration for fruit in return from God. Due to the same level of divine madness, the highest fruits are given to a Sthitaprajna also by God. As far as the inner devotion to God is concerned, there is no difference between the twelve Gopikas and a Sthitaprajna. A Sthitaprajna is also given the highest fruit and this point is mentioned in the Gita, which says that the souls of the Sthitaprajna state like King Janaka also became fruitful through this path of doing worldly duties with full detachment (Karmaṇaiva hi saṃsiddhim, āsthitā Janakādayaḥ). Here, the word ‘samsiddhi’ means to become fruitful.