629 – Equanimity

National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit


Aspiring for equanimity or level-headedness (“sthita-prajña” ) is one of the basic tenets of Sanathana Dharma.

Lord Krishna, in Bagavad Gita, describes “sthita-prajña” as a  state of mind where both loss and gains do not affect an individual. People are generally happy to see things through,  when the going is good. But in trying times, happiness just disappears and mental distress dominates. It is here that Krishna advices that a  balance is required to be maintained.

Shloka 2.56 defines one such attribute of a “sthita-prajña”.

து³꞉கே²ஷ்வனுத்³ விக்³னமனா꞉ ஸுகே²ஷு விக³த ஸ்ப்ருஹ꞉ .
வீதராக ³ப⁴யக்ரோத⁴꞉ ஸ்தி²ததீ⁴ர் முனிருச்யதே ||

A sthita-prajña, has no craving for sense enjoyment and has no hankering for them. He is free from desire, fear and anger.

Desire is craving for objects not yet obtained.

Fear is mental agitation produced by the awareness of factors which cause separation from objects that one loves, or by encountering that which is undesirable.

Anger is a disturbed state of mind which produces aggression directed at another sentient being who is perceived as the cause of separation from the beloved object or when confronting what is undesirable.

A sthita-prajña, is indifferent to pleasure and pain, and does not feel either attraction nor repulsion when involved with, or separated from objects. He is one who neither delights in the former, nor is repulsed by the latter. Such a mental state is possible only by people who have attained established wisdom.

Thiruvalluvar in his couplet 629 says that a balanced person is one who is indifferent to both happiness and misfortune and accepts both with equanimity.

இன்பத்துள் இன்பம் விழையாதான் துன்பத்துள் 
துன்பம் உறுதல் இலன்

Inbatthul inbam vizhai-yaadhaan thunbatthul
Thunbam urudal ilan

பரிமேலழகர் உரை: 

இன்பத்துள் இன்பம் விழையாதான் – வினையால் தனக்கு இன்பம் வந்துழி அதனை அனுபவியாநின்றே மனத்தான் விரும்பாதான்; துன்பத்துள் துன்பம் உறுதல் இலன் – துன்பம் வந்துழியும் அதனை அனுபவியாநின்றே மனத்தான் வருந்தான். (துன்பம் – முயற்சியான் வரும் இடுக்கண். இரண்டையும் ஒரு தன்மையாகக் கோடலின், பயன்களும் இலவாயின.).

Sanskrit Translation by Shri S.N. Srirama Desikan

ஸுகா²னுப⁴வ வேலாயாம் மனஸா யோ ந தத்ஸ்ப்ருஸே²த் |
து³கா²னுப⁴வ வேலாயாம் து³:க²ம்ʼ தம்  நைவ பா³த⁴தே  ||