Dear devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Life is not a bed of roses. It is full of uncertainty. We all yearn for happiness, for which we strive so hard. Despite working hard it ever remains elusive.

I am a devotee of Lord Krishna. I chant 16 rounds and experience the divine bliss too, but when waves in the form of happiness and distress thrash upon me, the mental stability rarely remains. This is because, I am on the path of ‘pravritti’(material dealings). Everyday, I have to encounter bad and good people, success and failure, fame and censure. If I were on the path of ‘nivritti’ (renunciation), I could have enjoyed far more bliss of Krishna’s divine murti.

My query is, how to maintain equanimity (‘Sthitpragnata’) of mind a la Maharaja Janak despite remaining on the path of ‘pravritti’.

I kindly request spiritually advanced devotees to comment as to how they maintain equanimity in all situations?

Your servant,

Veeral Gandhi

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  • Thank you Zola Prabhu ji and Rashmi Mataji for your satisfactory explanation. Thank you for taking your time and efforts to guide me on the spiritual path. 

    Hare Krishna!

    Veeral Gandhi

  • E-Counselor

    Hare Krsna Veeral Prabhu,


    Your question is very good and Zola Preetam prabhuji's answers are equally good. I am simply making an attempt to answer in my own words what has already been mentioned.

    Pls read and meditate on Bhagavad Gita - 2.14 - matra sparshatu kaunteya.... It has helped me a lot - in all moments of distress as well as happiness. Krsna is telling us to become titikshu - tolerant. We have to tolerate the waves of happiness, distress, desire, anger and hunger. It is a journey, not a destination prabhu.

    You have taken a very good example of Maharaj Janak. It is a good idea to meditate on mahabhagwats and devotees and try to imbibe what we can learn from them. Like Maharaj Janak, you should try to do your duty of studying in student life, as a duty, without expecting results. I know it is difficult and painful, but then what you want is beyond this universe. You want the Supreme Personality of Godhead - that is more difficult than clearing an exam. So the hard work required in spirituality is lot more.

    You have to basically arrive at how to go about your worldly acitivities and how to keep God in the middle of everything you do. How to remember Him 24 by 7. Chanting is one very good way and the beginning actually, which you are already doing. Apart from that, you should make it a point to read Gita and Bhagavatam daily. It would be better if you are part of a study group or bhakti vriksha - if its there in your city. You should associate with devotees regularly, not the Maharaj type super senior devotees, but some less senior devotees. My experience is one learns more when one sees that the devotee next to me is leading a normal 'karmi' life like me, still manages to pack in so much bhakti related activities in a day, let me also try to learn and imbibe. Then we learn more. Otherwise, when we see a temple brahmachari or a Maharaj, then we think that when we reach their level, then we should be so renounced. No, its not like that. YOu can be renounced in your life today itself, if that is what you want.

    This you have to figure out for yourself. What I know is that this struggle is dear to Krsna. It is pleasing to Him that you are making an attempt to give up maya and trying to choose Krsna over maya.

    I hope I have made some sense.


    Your servant,



  • Hare Krsna
    Caitanya Mahaprabhu went on to teach that for each and every moment he is engaged in fruitive activity, the conditioned soul forgets his real identity.
    Actually the living entity is not intended to achieve success in religious rituals, economic development or sense enjoyment.
    One's real desire should only be to achieve the stage of loving transcendental service to the Lord. The all-attractive features of Lord Krsna help one in attaining this transcendental service and to this effect He has also presented voluminous Vedic literatures.
    Equanimity in all situations will come as we become less forgetful. Then one is not elated when there is happiness and not overwhelmed in sorrow.
    • Hare Krsna
      The Srimad Bhagavatam largely advocates the nivritti marg and it is on that basis that I made my earlier reply.
      Kings such as Janaka are self realized souls who performed their duties just for leading people on the right path. He is a natural leader. It is said by Krsna that whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.
      A person in such a position regards honest well-wishers, affectionate benefactors, the neutral, mediators, the envious, friends and enemies, the pious and sinners all with an equal mind.
      That is one key for reaching the Supersoul. To such a tranquil mind happiness and distress, heat and cold, honor and dishonor are all the same.
    • Hare Krishna !

      Thank you Zola Prabhu for taking your valuable time to explain me how to become ‘sthitapragna’.  I sincerely value your kind efforts.

      On a personal note, I have never been overly ritualistic. Although, I value the necessity of money in life, I am not greedy. I consider economic development as the basis of Dharma. Without economic progress, a society can not even progress spiritually. Poverty is the root cause of all evil. Similarly, I do not support greed either. Further, I am not attached to sensory pleasures as well. I remain within the limits of Dharma.  

      Further, when I say that I yearn for a state of equanimity in all situations, it does not mean that I am overly materialistic.

      Yes, I agree that a devotee’s highest aim in life should be to develop transcendental love towards Krishna. But, having this aim does not mean that only a Sadhu can develop such a state. Even a person who is on the path of material dealings can develop transcendental love towards Krishna and he need not take a vow of poverty. I mean one can attain a well rounded life like Maharaja Janak without renouncing material dealings.

      Hence, I want a practical solution to my query.

      Your servant,

      Veeral Gandhi

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