We are all ignorant about our true nature. Because we are ignorant, we have an ego. Whenever we have an ego, we are vulnerable and can thus be manipulated; by pleasing us or gratifying the ego, others can get whatever they want out of us and by attacking the ego, they can hurt us. We become subject to hurt and guilt.
Is it possible to become a – स्थितप्रज्ञ – sthitaprajna if one is a common man, an ignorant man affected by samsara, a vulnerable man? The answer is yes. That is the purpose of the teaching.
What is meant by sthitaprajna – स्थितप्रज्ञ? Prajna – प्रज्ञा – means wisdom and sthiti – स्थिति -means abiding. So, a sthitaprajna is a person of abiding wisdom. What is this wisdom? It is the knowledge that one is brahman – ब्रह्मन् – or that one is limitless, the truth of the Self. One who has a spontaneous or abiding knowledge that he is brahman – ब्रह्मन्, limitless. free, and complete, is called a sthitaprajna, a man of abiding wisdom. It is possible for a person to become that because the knowledge of our being brahman is everybody’s birthright; nobody can deny us that knowledge.
One would need to ’become’ brahman, only if there were a distance between the seeker and the sought. If we were not brahman, then, in order to become brahman, we would need to perform certain actions, and it is possible that we may not be successful. But the fact is that we already are brahman; it is simply a matter of discovering this. God has given us the intellect with which to discover this fact. We are also given the scriptures, wherein this teaching is provided. By dutifully following what we learn from the teachers and abiding by the teaching of the scriptures, we lead a certain ‘way of life, called yoga. We can initiate the process of self-growth or emotional maturity by exposing ourselves to the teaching. Therefore, to answer your question, yes, it is possible to gain the knowledge and it is possible to gain abidance in the knowledge if we persevere in this pursuit.
Can we become sthitaprajna? We have no choice but to become that! We cannot accept ourselves unless we become sthitaprajna, and we cannot be happy or comfortable with ourselves unless we abide in the knowledge that we are whole, complete, and free. Therefore, nobody has any choice but to become sthitaprajna, if not today, then tomorrow. That’s what we want. Since we are limitless, there is no avoiding the fact that there is a natural love for the limitless. We cannot be satisfied with being anything less than limitless and will, therefore, be driven by our desire to be limitless. We have to discern what we are seeking, and understand that there is a method and a process to fulfill that desire. This must become clear. Our lives will then become a pursuit of inner growth and learning, and a process of attain’ the goal of limitlessness.
Swami Viditatmananda Sarswati