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Qualities in Bhagavad Gita

Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

16 August 2021

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All these qualities originate from the Soul – the Ātmic dimension of the mind. You may follow any of the four approaches, all these qualities will enrich you and make you fulfilled.

Respected Swamiji,

…I can recollect at least four places in the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna lists specific qualities:

Sthita-prajna and Sthita-dhee in Chapter 2
Devotee dearest to the Lord in chapter 12
20 qualities representing Jnāna in Chapter 13
Gunāteeta traits in Chapter 14.

Do all of these refer to the same state of spiritual attainment or do they refer to different stages in the spiritual sādhana? The qualities are no doubt wonderful that everyone must cultivate. But, there is an overlap among the four lists. Are these generic qualities or is there a specific reason why Krishna lists certain qualities in each context?…

Dear –

All these qualities basically represent a Knower, call him/her sthita-dhee or bhakta or Jnāni or Gunāteeta. If we look into them in detail, there is a lot of overlap, but there is some difference in emphasis also amongst the four groups. It is in harmony with the context, according to the sādhana prescribed in each section/chapter.

What should be the behaviour of a sānkhya practitioner, how a true devotee should behave, what a Knower should take care of, and what responses of the mind one attempting to become a Gunāteeta should focus on …. etc.

All depict the characteristics of a Knower. Whatever are the characteristics of a Knower, cultivation of those characteristics is the sādhana of a seeker. If you pursue any of these qualities to the ultimate level, it will represent the Ātmic dimension.

See the attached slide. All the rivers are coming down from the glacier on top. As you climb up along any of the rivers, all the other rivers come closer and closer to you. Finally, as you reach the top, all the rivers merge – it is the Source from where all the rivers originate.

Similarly, all these qualities originate from the Soul – the Ātmic dimension of the mind. You may follow any of the four approaches, all these qualities will enrich you and make you fulfilled.

Hope it is clear…

With love,
Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

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“Whatever are the characteristics of a Knower, cultivation of those characteristics is the sādhana of a seeker.”

“If you pursue any of these qualities to the ultimate level, it will represent the Ātmic dimension.”

“All these qualities originate from the Soul – the Ātmic dimension of the mind. ”

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