THE TEACHING IN BRIEF: SELF-KNOWLEDGE AND EQUANIMITY
10. The Ideal Teacher
23. Reining in the organs is certainly not easy. It is, in a way, easier to stop using them altogether. Things like fasting, observing silence etc. are not really very difficult. On the other hand, as is quite evident, is not everybody giving free rein to his organs? But it is most difficult to practise restraint like a tortoise. It draws in its limbs completely in its shell whenever it senses danger and uses them whenever it is safe to do so. Likewise, one should refrain from using the organs for sensual pleasures and make proper use of them in the spiritual pursuit. This is extremely difficult and requires herculean efforts, and also wisdom. Even then, one may not always succeed. Are we then to despair? Certainly not. A spiritual seeker should never lose hope. He should try everything in his capacity, use all his ingenuity; and when he reaches the end of his tether, he should seek the love of the Lord—supplement his efforts with devotion. This is the valuable advice the Lord has given while describing the attributes of sthitaprajna. This advice is given in just a few words, but these few words are far more valuable than volumes of sermons; for, the element of devotion has been introduced precisely where it is needed. We shall not here go into a detailed discussion of the attributes of the sthitaprajna. My intention is to draw your attention to the exact place of devotion in the spiritual pursuit lest we should forget it. God alone knows who could reach the ideal of the perfect sthitaprajna; but the figure of Pundalik is ever in my mind as an example of the sthitaprajna who is completely dedicated to service.
24. The Second Chapter ends with the description of the sthitaprajna’s qualities. We can summarise this by the formula—
It is bound to lead to brahmanirvana, or moksha, i.e. liberation of the Self and its union with the Brahman. What else could be the final result?
References and Context