This chapter is the English translation of Gujarati Book
Title - Sadhak and Sathi
Author - Shri Atmanandji (Dr. Soneji)
CHAPTER - 9
Every person in his lifetime almost constantly feels pleasure
and pain by experiencing happiness and sorrow, respect and
disrespect, interest and lack of interest, cold and heat and so
on. Unruffled by all these, when one tries to live in a spirit
of peace with a balanced mind, one is said to practice
In the present context, it is proposed to think over and analyze
the subject from a philosophical point of view. Real equanimity
can be attained to at a very high level of spiritual
development. Its genuine attainment is possible only when an
aspirant has passed through various stages of spiritual
IMPLEMENTING THE MEANS OF EQUANIMITY:
Genuine equanimity cannot dawn in the life of an aspirant until
the knowledge of the self (Atma-jnana) is attained. The very
basis of equanimity is pure thoughts and feelings, which in
turn, are dependent on self-knowledge. Now, if knowledge of the
self is to be acquired, a clear distinction between the self
and non-self with its practice in day-to-day life is imperative.
The three best means to accomplish this task are:
1. Company of noble persons and saints.
2. Cultivation of specific virtues.
3. Self contemplation (meditation).
Each of these means should be grasped thoroughly. As the
synergistic combination of the above three is practiced,
discriminative power evolves, resulting in self-contemplation
and self-realization. With that, the Sadhana of equanimity
develops more and more. It is thus necessary that every
aspirant cultivates universal friendship with all living beings,
becomes indifferent to sensual objects of the world, gives up
evil thought processes, and attains equanimity by vision and
contemplation of the absolute Reality.
When a saintly aspirant attains this state and progresses
further, he experiences a unique inner peace and oneness with
his soul. This is the best and the most praiseworthy attainment
of a spiritual life known as equanimity.
Knowledge and detachment are the horses of the chariot of this
great hero. Humility is the charioteer, discrimination is his
body-guard, forgiveness is his armor, patience is the shield,
austerity and self-control are the bow and arrow, and pure
intellect is his sword.
When the well-organized army of this well-equipped soldier
attacks the fort of the enemies, their armies break down and run
away in the very first attack. As all the enemies, such as
passion, arrogance, anger, greed, lust, and jealousy, start
running helter-skelter, their commander-in-chief, that is,
infatuation gets absolutely confused. In no time, he is
compelled to surrender to this great soldier, the victorious
aspirant (Sadhaka), the city of equanimity and flees away
Thus every aspirant has to put in great and firm effort in order
to win over his original abode of equanimity. This equanimity
is known by several names such as equality, quietude, Samadhi,
Yoga, tranquility of mind, the state of self-experience,
self-realization, and Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
AN EQUANIMOUS PERSONALITY:
The vision and speech of a person who has attained equanimity
undergoes a basic and complete transformation. Consequently,
divinity is reflected within him at all places, at all times and
in all activities of his life. In his heart, he experiences
that all the living beings in the world are alike to his own
self, and this feeling and experience of his is reflected in the
day-to-day activities of his life.
As he has realized his own self (Atma) to be the best and the
highest, he experiences no attraction or attachment towards
worldly objects. He might be garlanded with flowers or rocks,
respected or insulted, given a gold or a copper coin, a sandal
or cow dung may be applied to his body, and he is neither
pleased nor displeased. To him, a residence in a palace or a
crematorium, forest or a magnificent house, are just the same.
However he prefers to reside in a lonely place where his spirit
of non-attachment remains undisturbed and intact. There he
experiences constantly the proximity of his true and real self
in the form of true knowledge and divine bliss. He experiences
his supreme self repeatedly. The hard fact is that there are no
words to describe the loftiness and greatness of this superhuman
being with magnanimous and divine knowledge. However, his real
personality is far beyond speech and mind.
These are grand ascetic persons endowed with equanimity. The
land on which they place their foot-steps, verily becomes a holy
land and therefore it becomes a place of pilgrimage.
Their presence is always surrounded by an atmosphere of peace,
equanimity, friendship, and sacredness. It becomes almost a
magical atmosphere surcharged with such holiness that even the
most wicked people and violent animals give up their wickedness
and violence and adopt a spirit of unity and friendship. These
truth seeking aspirants who are inspired by the keen and pure
desire to seek knowledge and bliss of the self, resort to their
vicinity and company. There is no surprise if they win eternal
bliss. We, the ordinary people of the world, deserve only to
take the dust of their feet on our heads with a spirit of great
GLORY OF EQUANIMITY:
1. May my soul work hard to attain to a spirit of equanimity
which is possible by abandoning attachment to the body and by
becoming completely detached from all desires, passions and
2. All worldly desires get dissipated by resorting to the spirit
of equanimity; ignorance vanishes and the mind comes under
control. Therefore let one, be devoted to equanimity.
3. By resorting to the spirit of equanimity, one wins firm and
steady happiness, attains the state of eternity, and
shatters all the bonds due to Karmas.
4. The Yogi, who is steady and firm in equanimity, keenly feels
that this world is mad, misguided, deluded, and asleep.
5. The state of the soul, bereft of infatuation and agitation is
the very secret of Supreme Reality; again it is only that
who is called equanimity that can lead to liberation
(Nirvana). The noblest souls therefore worship and take
recourse in this equanimity which is of the nature of supreme
righteousness and eternity.
LIVING EXAMPLES OF EQUANIMITY:
Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak was a lawyer and disciple of Mahatma
Gandhi who significantly contributed in the struggle for freedom
in India. He was famous as a great patriot, scholar, and
philanthropist. Utter devotion to his country, simplicity,
modesty, religious learning, study of the scriptures, and many
other virtues made his life full of fragrance.
One day he was busy solving an important problem in his office,
it was not easy because the problem was highly complex. Deep
concentration was necessary. A servant arrived and told him
that his son was in a critical condition and so he should run
home. However, Tilak was busy with his work.
After some time, his partner himself came and told, "Well Tilak,
your son is in a very serious state. Please run home
Tilak replied, "Well! In the morning I have explained
everything to the doctor. He is treating him. What good can I
do?" The partner left.
When Tilak returned home after completing his work, his son was
dead. Tilak changed his clothes and prepared to go to the
crematorium as if nothing had happened.
Not becoming overwhelmed with sorrow on the death of his eldest
son was no small matter. Only rare persons who constantly
practice equanimity can keep such great equanimity intact.
About a hundred years ago in the state of Orissa, India; a
robber named Ramkhan, had spread terror. Nobody dared even to
refer to his name. People were terror stricken and used to
tremble by just a reference to his name. Every one wished to
be freed from the terror of this robber.
Mahatma Harnath was a great saint of the area. He gave courage
to the frightened people and said, "Well brothers, no sinner is
bad, only sin is bad." With these words, he took the track into
the forest where this terrorizing robber lived.
With an extremely peaceful composure, detached and fearless
vision, and the luster of celibacy, the Mahatma proceeded to the
forest where the bandit lived. As he reached the place of his
residence, the eyes of Ramkhan fell on the Mahatma and he was
immediately transformed. The emotions of the robber to whom
killing people was just a game, were transformed. He said, "O
great saint! I have committed countless crimes. Now you have
come and with you has come the time of my uplift." With these
words, he fell down at the feet of the Mahatma.
The Mahatma raised the robber and embraced him with love. He
said, "Well brother, all sins are destroyed by resorting to the
path of God. This leads a person to Supreme eternal delight.
May you therefore resort to atonement of your misdeeds, improve
your life, and get engrossed in the adoration of the path of
Ramkhan became a monk and passed the rest of his life in the
name of God. This shows that even the lowest of the low get
uplifted by the life of these souls endowed with equanimity;
sinners can be purified.
This is a living example of this reality.
Mahatma Gandhi looked upon Shrimad Rajchandra as his spiritual
preceptor. Shrimad Rajchandra had a diamond business in Bombay,
but often he used to visit small towns for Yogic practices.
In 1954, he came to Kavitha, a small town in the state of
Gujarat for his spiritual progress (Sadhana) in seclusion. He
preached twice during the daytime but resorted to silence in the
At nightfall, he used to sit in meditation all alone in the
adjoining fields or on the river bank. He put just one cloth on
over his body even in the severest cold. In this state of
meditation mosquitoes used to bite him; but he withstood this
with his equanimity. Mostly, he would even be conscious of the
mosquitoes, but the fact betrayed itself when red swellings
appeared on his body.
In this manner, Shrimad Rajchandra revealed great soul force by
resorting to equanimity even under adverse circumstances, and in
the end took to the highest Samadhi. This is indeed, an other
worldly power of equanimity.
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