the Gita, is a thing to be practised in this life. It is not a means for attaining merit in the next, irrespective of what you may do here. That would be a negation of religion.
Harijan : April 14, 1946.
74. CHARACTERISTICS OF A STHITAPRAJNA
THAT ideal is not meant for Jnanis only, it is for all-even ordinary lay people.1 Lord Krishna himself is depicted in the Mahabharata as a charioteer actually driving a team of white horses, while his pupil Arjuna, to whom the Gita discourses are addressed, is pictured as being plebeian in his mental make-up and outlook.
What, then, are the characteristics of a Sthitaprajna ? He is one who withdraws his senses from the objects of the senses behind the shield of the spirit, as a tortoise does its limbs under its shell.
A man whose wisdom is not steady is liable to be betrayed into anger, evil thoughts or abuse. On the contrary, the man with the steady wisdom will remain equally unaffected by adulation or abuse. He will realize that abuse fouls only the tongue that utters it, never the person against whom it is hurled. A man of steady wisdom will, therefore, never wish ill to anyone, but will pray even for his enemy with his last breath.