Equanimity is the state of mind that implies to be in equilibrium in every situation. The principle of Equanimity is of great importance whether it is a normal life or a spiritual life. In spiritual life, Equanimity is the foundation which paves the way to liberation or nirvana.
The mind of a human being is fundamental, however, it is the prominent cause for our happiness and misery. By observing the mind, we can be able to understand how it works. Usually, the mind has a tendency to languish either in the past or in the future. The past is already gone and shall never return. The future is nothing but mere your imagination which is not “Real”. The mind doesn’t want to be in this very present moment where you and your physical body is. However, the moment of right now is very real one. The real struggle starts here onwards because the body is in the present state however the mind is either in past or in future time-frame.
Equanimity of mind
The mind has a tendency either to roam in the past or in the future. In the past, if it reminds any sad moment it tries to make aversion from it, and if it is a pleasant moment it tries to make craving for it. Similarly, In the future too, if it reminds pleasant and sad moments, it makes craving and aversion accordingly. To make aversion and craving is the ultimate cause of your ‘Happiness’ and ‘Sorrow’. When there is craving, the mind seeks it more and more because it gives pleasure. Simultaneously, when there is aversion, the mind hates it because it causes painful experience.
Equanimity yoga is based on the scientific principle of equanimity. Yoga is the union with the Ultimate Truth. If someone practices yoga to be in the neutral state of raaga(craving) and dwesha(hatred), it ultimately leads to the equanimity yoga. The happiness and sorrow depend upon the experience and feeling associated with it. If we observe the pendulum, we can understand it easily. The needle of the pendulum starts from the extreme left, then comes to the middle and finally goes to extreme right. Again it completes the reverse process. At the extreme left due to maximum craving, there is a state of ‘maximum happiness’. Similarly, at the extreme right due to maximum aversion, there is a state of ‘maximum misery’. However, we forget that between these two extremes there is a mid-point where there is no craving and aversion and that’s why there is no happiness and sorrow. This is the principle of equanimity.
All the yogis and ascetics have this great quality. Lord Buddha preached this middle state as Majjhimāpaṭipadā ( the middle path). This is the source of absolute ‘ Bliss or Pleasure’. The path of ‘eternal pleasure’ starts from here. Normally people understand the state of happiness as a state of pleasure. However, the state of happiness must have to bring a state of sorrow as it is based on the concept of dualism. However, the pleasure originated from the principle of equanimity is eternal, and in the continuum. The pleasure which is mentioned as ‘ananda’ in Satchitananda (truth, consciousness, bliss) is eternal which is based on equanimity.
Being in this middle state, neither happiness nor sorrow shall be able to deviate you from the great state of equanimity . Happiness and sorrow are the part of human life which is regulated by several factors. The majority of human being are nothing but simply living in the slavery of mental doldrums deflected by happiness and sorrow. Here, the man with the right wisdom is equanimous in both the conditions. He enjoys the ultimate pleasure of being in the state of liberation.
Equanimity in Gita
Liberation, salvation or Nirvana is a state where someone remains unaffected being a ‘Sthitpragya’. Lord Krishna preaches Arjuna in Bhagvad Gita stating that:-
दुःखेष्वद्विग्नमना: सुखेषु विगतस्पृह:।
वीतरागभयक्रोध स्थितधीक्षैनिरुच्यते ॥
It clearly states that One whose mind remains undisturbed amidst misery, who does not crave for pleasure, and who is free from attachment, fear, and anger, is called a sage of steady wisdom.
Lord Buddha was such a great man of steady wisdom. When Angulimal (a dacoit) met with lord Buddha with a sword in one hand to kill him, at that very moment lord’s smiling face caused Angulimal to bow down on His feet.
In the recent past, a husband killed his wife because there was less salt in the dinner. One actress committed suicide because her career was started to fallen. Bangalore being a ‘silicon valley’ also reported as ‘suicide capital’ of India. Youths find themselves not equanimous with competition stress, job stress, and emotional instability. A trivial instability or deviation in their life make them quit this precious life. This is a great downfall to humanity.
Ways to maintain equanimity
The human being with few steps in life can follow this great principle of equanimity. One day a good meal makes you very happy while on another day a bad meal makes you very sad. However, you must try to be equanimous in both the state. A good result in any examination makes you very happy while a poor result makes you like a dead man. However, one must try to be equanimous in both the state. Someone feels very happy when anyone praises you. You become angry when someone criticizes you. You must be equanimous in both the state.
Your mind is nothing but an accumulation of thoughts. Experts estimate that average 50-80 thousand thoughts emerge on your mind every day. If a pleasant thought emerges, it makes you happy. If a sad or negative thought emerges, it makes you unhappy or anxious. You must be equanimous in both the state. By practicing these small steps in daily life, have the potential to activate ‘steady wisdom’ which ultimately brings the great quality of ‘equanimity’. The equanimity makes your life balance and establishes you to remain equanimous in any situation whether it is happiness or sorrow.
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