Constant Equanimity & Unswerving Devotion to Lord (139)


Lesson 139 is Value 14, 15, 16. Absence of Obsession. Having equanimity throughout situations. Devotion to Lord (self).

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 9, 10.


  • Value 13: asaktiḥ: Absence of Sense of Ownership.
    • If forget Trusteeship, consequence is Ownership > leads to excessive pride, entitlement and giving things imagined meaning.
  • Value 14: anabhiṣvangaḥ: Absence of Obsession to Wife, Son, House.
    • What is anabhiṣvangaḥ?
      • (Caring, guiding and nurturing)love your beloved… while keeping in mind they too are entrusted this lifetime to exhaust their prārabdha-karma.
      • If forget, love is blended with sense of ownership (need to control).

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 9:

asaktiḥ anabhiṣvaṅgaḥ putra-dāra-gṛha-ādiṣu ।
nityam ca sama-cittatvam iṣṭa aniṣṭa-upapattiṣu ॥
…absence of sense of ownership, absence of obsession towards son, wife, house and the like, and constant evenness of  mind regarding the gain of the desired and not desired…

Value 14: anabhiṣvangaḥ: Absence of Obsession over Wife, Son, House (anything beloved)


  • What is “Absence of Obsession”? Not mixing up “love” and “control”.
    • What is “control”?
      • When we place our well-being in the other. Meaning, “I want her/him to be like X, so I can feel good”.
        • Also called dependency, a subtler version of controlling.
      • How does DEPENDENCY show? Creating artificial vulnerabilities.
        • Meaning, unwilling to address issue oneself. EG: Finances, computers, emotions. Thereby becoming dependent and puts unnecessary pressure on the other.
          • Add to complication, the other enjoys being dependent upon, interpreting it as “she loves me”.
        • CORRECTION: Being vulnerable to ask for help is OK. But create not a relationship dynamic that thrives on being vulnerable. Else encourages subtle control, but also denies you from getting to know the topic you're delegating to the other.
    • What is control? (a) Dependence on another (b) Withdrawing privileges from the dependent (c) Insisting they change for your sake.
      • CORRECTION: (Resolve excess control / neutralizing obsession & dependence)
        1. Accommodate the fact that his/her understanding is DIFFERENT to yours. And will NEVER be exactly same. Thus give them a little bit more space to be themselves. At same time honestly state your thoughts.
          • Indicator of evolution: Capacity to give your beloved the space to be who they are… without implicitly/privately wishing they change (per your understanding).
        2. If find yourself saying, “I need this person. I’ll feel abandoned/weak without them”, then recognize every adult is capable of managing own life.
        3. Sannyāsa thinking: “I’m fine with or without people”. Absolutely speaking, everyone is dispensable.


Value 15: nityam samacittatvam: Constant Equanimity

* Starts at: 22:12

  • What is superficial equanimity?
    • Dividing world into 2 emotions:
      • Positive. EG: happiness, empathy.
      • Negative. EG: jealousy, sadness.
    • Tendency is to move towards Positive, and avoid Negative. Because of this social categorization, we create artificial Positive composure.
      • Consequence: Whatever “negative” bury, keeps resurfacing even louder in future.
    • HENCE FIRST STEP: STOP categorizing emotions into Positive/Negative.
      • EG: To demonstrate, here’s a common Stoic STORY that’s considered wisdom (but actually it’s reinforcing passive acceptance without looking into situations):
        • Horse ran away from one family in a village. Villagers concerned about the father. Father says, “Good or bad, who knows!”. Horse brought back 4 more horses. Villagers congratulate. Father says, “Good or bad, who knows!“. Then son fell off horse and broke leg. Villagers sympathize. Father says, “Good or bad, who knows!”. Now king of country recruited all young men in the village for army, except broken-leg-son. Villagers says “How lucky you are!”. Father says, “Good or bad, who knows!”.
    • Instead see emotions as an indicator.
      • They indicate 2 things:
        1. Indicator naturally provided by Īśvara’s order. Something needs to change.
        2. Indicator produced by imagining a problematic future.
      • Which one do we need “equanimity” towards? #2. Because #1 is natural (vyāvahārika).
  • What is Equanimity?
    • When something surprising happens, initially there’s an impulsive/reaction (What!).
      • However buddhi quickly comes to rescue and takes in the fullness of what’s going on (So what!).
        • This way, one retains one’s identity throughout.
  • What does “What/So-What” MEAN?
    1. “What!”
      • Personal interpretations about WHAT-IS. Impulsive/Mechanical thinking.
        • EG: See someone’s tears, and one interprets, “They’re sad”. But they could be joyful/onions.
    2. “So what!”
      • MEANING 1:
        • Buddhi assessment follows immediately after the raw reaction, then REFINES it.
          • Must train yourself. Because even brightest minds in field-X, can lack the “So what!” outside their field (juveniles).  Meaning it’s isolated professionalism.
        • SUMMARY: Applying buddhi to assess/inquiry into your experience, NOW, NOW, NOW. Because we never have complete data.
      • MEANING 2:
        • Whatever happens is perfectly ordained by the grand-order, owing to cause-effect relationship (prārabdha-karma).
        • Therefore we take on a Karma Yoga attitude towards everything.
          • Involves constantly reminding oneself that every experience is Īśvara prasāda (God’s gift for sake of self-growth).
  • Applying what/so-what:
    • Step 1: Dissolve jīva’s superimpositions / impulsiveness / subjectivity.
      • Area of: Personal-development.
      • Else biases will project notions onto Self.
    • Step 2: Appreciate the apparent-ness of this world.
      • Area of: Quantum Physics / Science.
    • Step 3: Capture final-reality.
      • Area of: Upaniṣads.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13, Verse 10:

mayi ca ananya-yogena bhaktiḥ avyabhicāriṇī ।
vivikta-deśa-sevitvam aratiḥ jana-saṃsadi ॥
…an unswerving devotion to me that is not connected to anything else, the disposition of repairing to a quiet place, no longing for the company of people…

Value 16: ananya-bhakti: Unswerving Devotion to Me (Lord)

* Starts at: 46:10

  • Common Objection in Vedanta: If I am not away from Ishvara, why should I pray/devote to Ishvara?
    • Because long as alive, individual has limited power/knowledge. Thus remains entirely in hands of Intelligence.
      • Governed by many orders making it possible for him/her to stay alive.
        • EG: Psychological, biological, chemical, gravitational, electrical, karma/dharma.
    • Furthermore, a wise person would not ask such a question, but resort to attitude of gratitude for being finally pulled out of saṃsāra by this Intelligence. How?…
      • Stage 1: Relationship with world has to change by seeing presence of Ishvara everywhere. This involves…
        • Settling accounts with the world.
        • Understand that anything that doesn't seem to be in order (EG: Violence)… actually IS in order. Because NO effect happens without a corresponding cause. Therefore one comes to see an order in the APPARENT disorder. Knowing this, we need to ACT to create favorable causes in the future. How?
          1. Tapas: Deliberately abstaining from damaging behaviors, by introducing practices which make one less impulsive.
            • Important because most humans start out impulsive (see/hear something and thoughtlessly react). EG:
              • If given immediate small gain or future big gain, most choose immediate.
              • After breakup, person immediately gets another relationship. So starting point is a need, rather then assessing whether he/she needs one.
            • Example of Tapas:
              • pratipaksha-bhavana: When unfavorable thought/person comes to mind, deliberately find something admirable.
              • Fasting.
            • Extreme version of tapas:
              • Only does tapas.
              • Refuses to speak, to avoid mind disturbances. Dulls the brain (tamas due to inertia). Being quiet doesn't make one wise. Thinking clearly
          2. Prayerfulness: Adds favorable causes to future effects out of your control (adhibhautika). In modern-language, “Law of Attraction”.
          3. Japa. Returning to object of concentration for extended time.
          4. Keeping in mind: Ishvara is karma-phala-data (giver of results of actions). Thus gladly accept whatever happens as perfectly ordained by His grand order (despite not understanding how).
            • This is the only way to have unforced “Equanimity” in prior V16.
          • These are examples of devotion-in-action. Whatever comes, it's a gift (prasāda) of God.
      • Stage 2: Coming to intimately know that Ishvara and I enjoy the same final reality.
    • Both stages are called ananya-bhakti (unswerving devotion).
      • Stage 1: Lord is the centre of my life.
      • Stage 2: Lord alone IS.
  • What is ananya-bhakti?
    • Living a reverential life. You're swimming in God. Every role is played within Īśvara sṛṣṭi.
      • Meaning one sees the world as a sacred This compels one to (1) Lighten up (2) Find cheer in ordinary things (3) Be curious (4) Gratitude.
    • Therefore God becomes your only refuge… best friend, lover, child, mother, father.
    • Value 1: amānitva: Absence of demanding validation/respect.
    • Value 2: adambhitva: Absence of pretense (making up stories).
    • Value 3: ahiṃsā: Deliberation of thought/word/action.
    • Value 4: kṣānti: Accommodation / Glad Acceptance of WHAT-IS.
    • Value 5: ārjava: Straightforwardness (Alignment of thought/word/action).
    • Value 6: ācāryopāsana: Service to teacher.
    • Value 7: śauca: Inner & outer cleanliness.
    • Value 8: sthairya: Steadfastness (Persistence).
    • Value 9: ātmavinigraha: Mastery/Management of the Mind.
    • Value 10: indriyārtheṣu vairāgya: Dispassion Through Objectivity.
    • Value 11: anahaṅkāra: Healthy “I-Sense”.
    • Value 12: anudarśana: Reflecting on 5-fold limitations.
    • Value 13: asaktiḥ: Absence of Sense of Ownership.
    • Value 14: anabhiṣvanga: Absence of Obsession over Wife, Son, House.
    • Value 15: nityam samacittatva: Constant Equanimity.
    • Value 16: ananya-bhakti: Unswerving Devotion to Lord.


Keywords: isvara-srshthi, jiva-srshti


Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission.

Recorded 17 Aug, 2021


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