Guiding Light: Udasin, purposive stita-pragya

Dr. S. AinavoluUpdated: Tuesday, December 06, 2022, 11:07 PM IST
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Pragya is what drives the human journey and stita is focused or centred around a cause. So, stita-pragya defines the person who is anchored, is not easily perturbed and who is not drawn from one extreme to the other.

The human journey is comparatively long with an average life span crossing even 80 years across geographies. The embeddedness in the society and economic ecosystem presents various challenges to the participants. The members face personal and social challenges that include survival, growth, success, and fulfillment. To what extent one gets entangled in the issues is dependent on the severity or even the pull of the issue, the aptitude, and ‘asakti’ (material interest) of the individual concerned.

Adi Shankaracharya cautioned us about the slipperiness of the most important dimension of ‘Kaala’ (time) that moves away in a cyclical fashion without our understanding. His Bhajagovinda stotram nudged us to focus on ‘beyond the obvious’ by cautioning ‘dinayaminyav sayam-prataha’, meaning the day and night cycle happens regularly, and so are the seasonal cycles thus reducing our lifespan. It is getting embroiled in mundane, material issues and also spending a lot of time thinking about associated developments and happenings that cause worry.

It is said that one has to perceive the present time as the ‘present’. The present is actionable, it is the time one works on real goals. Grieving the past and dreaming about the future wastes time, and ultimately takes away the precious ‘present’ from us. ‘Vartaman’ is present time and ‘vartaman me varto’ is solid and valid advice, meaning ‘act in the present’. Being in the present time gives balance.

Sant Shrichandji established Udasin sampradaya in which the dedicated order of Saints works for the betterment of the community, the ‘Sangat’. Hand-holding the householders in material and helping them align with better things in life happens through wise counsel and deeply thought-through option evaluation. Guru helps the seeker with satsang, seva, and sadachar. Living in a connected sangat facilitates the life journey. Guru offers advice and also support. Not rising and falling with every tide helps householders conserve resources, focus their energies on apt goals, and live a less intense and sustainable life. Life becomes a fulfilling journey.

Dr S Ainavolu is a professor at VPSoM, DYPU, Navi Mumbai. Views are personal. You can read more at https://www.ainavolu.in/

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