What is this nishthanishtha is a crucible, or either one value or a set of values, which you adopt to govern all your activities and pursuits in life. If you are a nishthaavaana or a nishthah, then you will always find, the mind, the intelligence, the will, everything in you, will always be wanting to ensure that whatever you do, think, and speak is governed by the nishtha values.
|Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio|
Today I thought, as Ma suggested, I will tell you something about nishtha. In Bhagavad Gita, the word nishtha appears in the third chapter.
लोकेस्मिन्द्विविधा निष्ठा पुरा प्रोक्ता मयानघ ।
ज्ञानयोगेन सांख्यानां कर्मयोगेन योगिनाम् ।।
lokesmin dvivdha nishtha puraa proktaa mayaanagha
jnaanayogena saankhyaanaam karmayogena yoginaam
Bhagavad Gita 3.3
In this world, Arjuna, altogether there is only one nishtha - that nishtha has got two facets or phases. Initially it is karmanishtha, thereupon it is jnaananishtha. So he uses the word dvividha nishtha, the same nishtha, but in two stages or two phases. That is the only nishtha so far as spiritual wisdom and pursuitare concerned in this world. Initially, the seeker will have to be associated with some karma or the other. When dispassion, discrimination, etc. become sufficiently settled and strong in him, then he can drop the karmic involvement and take to the jnaananishtha hundred percent.
In Bhagavad Gita, in the 18th chapter, Sri Krishna refers to this jnaananishtha as:
निष्ठा ज्ञानस्य या परा ।।
nishtha jnaanasya yaa paraa
Part of Bhagavat Gita 18.50
“I shall tell you the Supreme jnaananishtha in a very brief manner”, he says. And in three verses, he explains it.
What is this nishtha? nishtha is a crucible, or either one value or a set of values, which you adopt to govern all your activities and pursuits in life. If you are a nishthaavaana or a nishthah, then you will always find, the mind, the intelligence, the will, everything in you, will always be wanting to ensure that whatever you do, think, and speak is governed by the nishtha values. Suppose you say, “I am a bhaktinishthah, then everything will have to be subjected to and governed by the devotional principle.What is the devotional principle? Everything including the world, mind, body, etc. belongs to God. The world is completely Godly and whatever is done by anyone, anywhere, is part of this Godliness.
The mind will not accept it. The intelligence will argue against it. But ultimately you have to arrive at a position that everything is Godly belonging to God.
Suppose you have an adverse plight, you’ll have to think that also has been brought about by God. Suppose you want redemption from it, the redemption also will have to be provided for by God. So the complete resignation to the thought and process of devotion, that is called bhaktinishtha.
What is jnaananishtha? jnaananishtha is one where the place occupied by devotion will be occupied by wisdom, jnaana. What is that jnaana? That “I am the Soul and the Soul is above and it transcends body, mind, intelligence and ego. It is different from the body and transcends mind, intelligence and ego. And this Soul is totally unlike the body. So if the body is born, the Soul is unborn. If the body is growing, the Soul does not grow. If the body will die, the Soul will not die. So I am the Soul, immortal. And as such I am independent, I am free, I am not conditioned by any physical state, mental state, or intellectual state, or ego state.” You may have to constantly about this Truth…
नैव किञ्चित्करोमीति युक्तो मन्येत तत्त्ववित् ।।
naiva ninchitkaromeeti yukto manyeta tattvavit |
Bhagavad Gita 5.8
A man who knows the Truth, will never think “I am doing something.” At the same time, you will find
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेषु वर्तन्त इति धारयन् ।।
indriyaanindriyaartheshu vartanta iti dhaarayan
Bhagavad Gita 5.8, 5.9
This kind of a feeling and realization is not when you bodily keep quiet. No. The body and the senses will be active as regularly as possible. That is why Gita puts a number of words like gacchan - going, sitting, opening the eyes, closing, eating, hearing, seeing. Whatever you do, the senses are interacting with the objects. While this interaction is going on, at that time, while they are on, the knower of Truth will still feel naiva kiñcitkaromīti. “I am the Soul and the Soul is non-active; it is all pervading; it is still; there is no vibration or movement in it at any time.” So this kind of a notion will always be guiding you. Whenever he slips from it, he will have to bring it back and be fixed on it.
bhaktiniṣṭhā, jñānaniṣṭhā. Similarly Gita uses a word called yuktaḥ. What is meant by yuktaḥ?Sufficiently controlled, moderated and integrated. What is this integration? The senses, mind, intelligence, ego and the Soul - all of them will have to be integrated. The sensory activities will have to be properly governed and guided by the mind. The mind has to be directed by the intelligence.
The intelligence has to reflect upon the Soul, and always imbibe and carry the wisdom of the Soul. And all these should be together. It is not that they are divergent - the mind in a direction, intelligence in another, ego in another, and senses in a still different direction. It is not so. So, the niṣṭhā is something very important. Any human being, if he is going to be worthy of himself,especially, according to moral and ethical and spiritual standards, he must have niṣṭhā in his life. There cannot be any waveredness. There cannot be an unnecessary divergence. There must be a convergence in him. This niṣṭhā is very important.
I would like to say, that which guides you in your life, governs you in whatever you do is called niṣṭhā. This niṣṭhā will have to be continued and preserved till the fall of the body. That is called niṣṭhā.Without having a niṣṭhā, I don’t think your inner personality will get refined … will become sublime … will become beautiful … will become orderly and harmonious. Whatever you speak, you have to be careful about. Unless you are careful, there is no point in speaking much. So when somebody asks you, “Will you do it for me?” say “yes” or “no”. If you say “yes”, do it; if you say “no”, get away from it.
You cannot say “yes” and then go on postponing it, postponing it, and postponing it, not doing it. So, there must be some truthfulness, some integrity, by virtue of which whatever you speak is always whatever you think, and is always whatever you will do. So there must be an integration of the physical action and interaction with whatever you speak and whatever you think. This kind of a coordination and integration is not easy. This is what is meant by yuktatā.
yukta āsīta matparaḥ (Bhagavad Gita 2-61), yogayuktaḥ, niṣṭhāvāna, niṣṭhaḥ. That can be bhaktiniṣṭhā, jñānaniṣṭhā, vairāgyaniṣṭhā, yoganiṣṭhā, all are niṣṭhāas, and the qualities of niṣṭhā are always relating to your mind and intelligence. Mind and Intelligence are the two importantfactors or constituents in your inner personality which have to be refined, integrated, and unified. So the word niṣṭhā is very important.
Before coming away from Calcutta, many years back, the thought of sannyāsa, embracing sannyāsa, and coming away was there. So I happened to read many of our shastras, and then one important point that always appealed to me was Gaudapaada’s Kaarika. It says that
tattvamādhyātmikaṁ dṛṣṭvā tattvaṁ dṛṣṭvā tu bāhyataḥ |
tattvībhūtastadārāmastattvādapracyuto bhavet ||
(Gauḍapādiyakārīkā prathamamāgamaprakaraṇam 38)
What is actually the niṣṭhā? The upanishads are quite emphatic about speaking about the Soul. There is a reference to jīvanmukti, videhamukti, ātmajñāna, sthitaprajña, sthitadhī, so many things are mentioned. Ultimately what is it? Gaudapada says, “Know the Adhyatmic truth.” What is that? “That you are the Soul, which is imperishable, unborn, and undying. This doesn’t need anything. It is always blissful. Know that!” What is that external truth? The external truth is that this imperishable Soul is apparently associated with a perishable body. The body is perishable. The entire world and its objects also are perishable. The only imperishable element is, if at all, within the body, denoted by the term “I”, carrying forth the perceptions. Never foster that the body you are. No. “I am not the body. But the body is perishable. It is available to me to access the Soul.“
tattvībhūtaḥ-What should be your feeling about the Soul?“I am the Soul.”Become the Soul. To knowGod is to become God. To know the Soul is to become the Soul.
tadārāmaḥ-Rejoice, delight and exult in this realization that you are the Soul.
tattvād apracyuto bhavet - Never slip or fall from this Truth, from its realization. Always look insideand make sure that your mind and intelligence do not fall from this perception or realization, and then take to yatiḥ yādṛcchiko bhavet. Become an ascetic and live on chance. This is what he said.
So these words of Gaudapaada, in the Karika, on Mandyukopanishad, gave me a very good, what shall I say, assurance, or a confirmation, or maybe an exhortation even. This is how one should be a full-fledged seeker of truth.
यदिर्यादृच्छिको भवेत् ।।
yatiḥ yādṛcchiko bhavet
(Gauḍapādiyakārīkā prathamamāgamaprakaraṇam 37)
So that yādṛcchikatā becomes the niṣṭhā for a true seeker and a renunciate. Similarly for a gṛhastha, his own niṣṭhā is there to look after the family, ensure the welfare of the members of the family, do everything for it, sacrifice maximum, and then go ahead. When the time comes, take to renunciation, which is an obligation in order to fulfil your own life in this world.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
* * *