Tuesday, May 27, 2014

[gita-talk] Cheerfulness of Mind (Gita 17/16)


Shree Hari 
This brings closure to this topic.  Thank you,  Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram 

Gita 17/16 talks of "Cheerfulness of Mind" -    "Manahprasaadah" .   Swamiji also often mentions 'prasanna raho.'  What exactly does this mean?  How to attain this state?   

Thank you,   

Thank you to all.  I appreciate all the help you have given me.   I will visit this mail often.  

thank you,  Bina.  


साधक समझता है कि ''मनको प्रसन्न रखनेकी कामना'' ही मनको प्रसन्न रखनेमें रोड़ा (hindrance) है। 
स्वामीजीने मनको ''अपना'' नहीं समझनेका निर्देश दिया है। मनको प्रसन्न रखनेकी कामना (यदि कभी) 
पूरी हो जाय तो साधकको अवश्य अवगत कराइयेगा। 

I heard swamiji's lecture 1995  December 19 @ 5 am  where he brings out two points 

Your prasannata is in   1)  ashray of Paramatma and 2)  Seeing to the welfare of all (sarva bhuta hite ratah)



Respected Sadaka Bina Ji,
It is really great of you to ask such an important question in two portions, the second one is really a class!
Q.1    What exactly does this mean?  
Ans.  This verse describes various trainings (Tappasyas) of the mind  a) achieving goodness through self satisfaction; b) Mental purity due to the absence of lust, anger and greed; c) Silence externally which should /
         would reflect internally as well; d) Self control to remain away from unrighteousness activities and keep focussed on realization real self the Par-atma.; e) Maintenance of purity within and purity of the ultimate purpose
        of life.
        In summary Lord Krishna says the above 5 exercises of Mind are its Tapasya!
Q. 2  How to attain this state?   
Ans.  Rational and  Logical thinking and self interrogation is the only way coming to my mind so as to attain such a state of Mind!! Look at the following reasoning's which might be useful to you and others as well:
a)     "Remember as you sow so shall you reap" proverb is very much relevant to one's day to day activities in life. Whatever successes or failures you face in the life are due to your own proper inputs or short comings respectively. In some cases you would have to believe that some past balances of deeds are carried with you which only can explain: your failures in spite of best inputs or, even success with negligible inputs! So you keep on training your mind that whatever comes in  life to you is due to your own present or past actions.(Karmas)
b)    The next logical training you ought to give to your mind is the lesson of CONTENTMENT. Meaning, in whatever situation you are in, keep on making your mind understand that you did not get less than what you got, not worse than what you achieved. Giving a clear example: Somebody would curse destiny that he got only half a glass of milk while some other person would thank God that that he got at least half a glass of milk. This is called positive attitude. Don't bother for what you did not get but enjoy for what you got.
The Contentment in non way and never means that you should leave striving for better and better but, very much means that you should not get discouraged with failures. Otherwise how can you try again?? This is precisely the real interpretive meaning of KARMANE VA ADIKARASTER……… Lord Krishna can never be so illogical and ask you not to bother for FALA but, keep on Acting like a mad person. That way direct meaning would be Actions is impossible in the absence of FALA while Lord Krishna is asking you do such act!!
c)     It is every body's (Jeevas) nature that others should do good to him so naturally he too should think of doing good to others. There is a famous saying existing in major religions of world "DO UNTO OTHERS WHAT YOU EXPECT OTHERS SHOULD DO UNTO YOU!
d)    Think always SO WHAT !!?? Even if you get all the worldly comforts and pleasures; THEN WHAT!! Understand, you would soon realise that everything PHYSICAL is temporary. The only permanent is what you call you as YOU. Start concentrating on that YOU which is nothing but Vasudeva only ( Ishwar Sarva Bhutanam, Hradesharjan tishtate….
            Narayana, Narayana
     Kuldeep   K. Kaul

yes in chilhood i had read smile always and be cheerful it is simple
just switch on and off like we do mobile or any gadget the same way we
have to switch on and off our mind, when we are dead tired and if we
keep on concentrating on body level it will not help just go to bath
have hot water bath and hit the sack and the sleep tonic will refresh
you rejuvenate you to smile again

similarly in all situations of life we always expect success and
results fast and full fill our wants fast if not we will be un happy
if we think of opposite oh, its okay i dont have any desire and i am
contented with what i have i will smile like the child MANDASMITA does
the child keep on worrying and un happy no, when nappy is changed it
will smile when stomach is full with milk it will smile when it see
mother, father, brother, sister and everybody it will smile it will
not discriminate if we do that again we we will be un happy and cant
smile hence be like a child with out ego
Swami Krishnanand 


'Is this mostly a mind related thing?  if it is mind related, then we have nothing to do with it.   If not mind related, then is it connected to the "self" (swayam)?   Can this state be achieved?  or it just is.'
Binaji, it is certainly related to mind plus other factors as detailed below.
Antahkaran is divided into ' Mind, intellect, consciousness and ego'. Prasannata or cheerfulness is the result  of Manolaya or dissolving the mind or in other words coming out of duality and see the truth underlying entire phenomenal existence, transforming intellect to Pragna by careful and consistent training of mind - details are in last 18 verses of Ch.2 of Geeta, Chitta or consciousness is to be turned inwards - verse 21  Ch.6, mentions a Yogi who is undergoing practice of turning consciousness inwards as ' Sukham Atayntikam Yat-tad, Budhhigrahyam, Atindriyam', he experiences immense happiness, which is beyond senses but can be felt by purified intellect and purification of 'Ahamkar' to Asmita. All these four dimensions when purified, result in experience of Prasannata. In short it is not entirely limited to mind, but certainly mind is one of the components which is to be attended to in our journey towards Prasannata. 
In short, it is the result of purified and disciplined consciousness - such state being achieved by rigorous efforts and also once achieved, it requires maintenance cost also.
Jayantilal Shah 


Hari Om

This refers to a really good supplementary Q of the Questioner.

Yes ! Gita has called , defined  and termed - MANAH PRASAD ( cheerfulness) SAUMYATVAM ( gentleness) , MAUNAM (calmness) , AATMA VINIGRAHA ( contemplation) and BHAAV SANSUDDHI ( purification of thoughts) - these five as austerities or penances  of MIND viz mind related austerities. 

First Q is are these mind related ? Answer is Yes ! Here MAUNAM also is not pertaining to speech, it pertains to calmness of mind, because in entire Gita, Lord has always preferred " BHAVA" ( inner sentiment) to ACTIVITY . Hence MAUNAM is also pertaining to mind. On rest, there is no doubt. It is role of mind to become happy in adversity and in not letting outer circumstances to vitiate it. MAÑAN is done by renouncing the independence of mind, hence it is mind related, because by letting mind free , the contemplation does not take place, rather BHOG takes place. Not letting any ill-will for any one is again mind related. 

Then the Questioner makes remark / conclusion that if these are mind related then " we have nothing to do with it" !  Why ? How  it has nothing to do with you, whatever you may consider yourself to be - Jeeva ( embodied soul)  and/or AHAM and/or KARTA  and/or Sadhak and/or owner of mind/body and/or associate . In all the cases, it has everything to do with you. We have a duty towards our mind, intellect, body even if they are not " me" and "mine". You can not allow your body or speech or mind to go hay-wire by not doing your duty towards them. Sure, they are not you, they are not yours , but they have been given to you by God for a purpose. You can not ignore them. You have "serve" them , considering them to be " other" , just you have to "serve" all others, say family members, society, home, things etc. 

Next Q is , if they are not mind related , then are they SELF related ? This Q again is bit typical, in the sense that it is presumed that there can be a scenario where something may be mind related but not Self ( Jeeva) related ( if not vice-versa) . But in reality, they are not independent. Where is mind, if there is no Self ? ( self can exist without mind, but mind can not exist with out Self). The very existence of Inert Mind is related with connection of it, giving importance/existence to it by Sentient Self ( Jeeva). If there is no Jeeva, where is mind ? Hence, everything which is related with mind, becomes automatically related with Jeeva. It is duty of Jeeva to purify mind from ill-will. It is duty of Jeeva not to let mind travel uncontrolled. JUST AS : If army wins, King wins, if army loses, King loses. Here Jeeva is the King,( KARTA) and mind is " army" ( KARAN ). Hence you can not distinguish, so long as you are Jeeva. If you are not Jeeva, but pure sentient SELF, then this Q or even the need/reference of Gita will not arise. 

Can this state be achieved or just is ? - this is next Q. If it is un achievable, then why Lord Krishna would talk about it ? Why verses upon verses are given in Gita for austerity, renunciation of desires, purification of mind, speech and body, annihilation of AHAM  etc ? What is not achievable in these ? Calmness of mind, remaining happy in adversity, absence of ill will etc - are these not achievable ? How they are not achievable ? In fact, they are very well achievable, and we must achieve them. Gita wants us to go ahead and achieve them. Hence they are not " just is" ! There is no scope of " just is" in Scripture like Gita. 

Really good Qs. Such Qs should be asked in this Forum.

Jai Shree Krishna

Vyas N B 

Sadhak Sanjivani Chapter 14 verse 24-25 Appendix --
Flaws such as attachment and aversion neither abide in the non-Self nor in the Self nor they are the intrinsic characteristics of mind but they abide in the ego (identification of the Self with the body). In fact there is no real identification but it is merely assumed out of in-discrimination. It means that there are no flaws in the Self but a man assumes them in the Self because of in-discrimination. He realizes that the flaws appear and disappear, while the Self ever exists as it is; but he does not attach importance to this realization. If he discriminately realizes that the Self is free from these flaws, he will not become their experiencer (happy and sad). 

The above passage from Sadhak Sanjivani explains how to be "prasanna". 

1) Flaws like non-cheerfulness of mind appears and disappear. Self ever exists in its original perfect state. Do not attach importance to appearance of flaws. They will disappear after some time. Ignore them. Let them go. Accept that you are free from these flaws.
 2) Sometimes, sadhak sees the identification of the Self with the body as flaw and tries to eradicate it. Swami states that there is no real identification but it is merely assumed out of in-discrimination.What I have understood that this assumption goes away when we accept that there is not real identification. Whether we identify with body or not, the Self always remain as it is. When you accept this fact, then automatically you will be with the Truth.

Accept that you are free from the flaws. Do not attach importance to appearance and disappearance of flaws. Since you are in this assumed reality, work hard and do your duties to help people to be happy, healthy, full of knowledge and without misery as explained in sarve bhavantu sukhinah ..... . Following these statements of Swamiji has made me cheerful and happy.

Murari Das


Prasannata is one of the by-products of Pure Bhakti. The next question is - How to attain Pure Bhakti? 

Some of you may already know the answer, that is ... Pure Bhakti can be attained by constantly drinking the nector of Srimad Bhagavata Purana. The question may arise - how and why?

As you may already know, Sri Veda Vyasa Bhagavan has divided Veda into four Vedas, has written Brahma Sutras, many Puranas, many upa-puranas and also written Maha Bharata, but he was still not happy/satisfied. He was feeling anguish that something was still missing. 

It is then that Sri Narada Maharshi appears before him and advises him to write a Purana that preaches Pure Bhakti. It is then that Sri Vyasa Bhagavan wrote Srimad Bhagavata Purana and taught it to his son Sri Suka Maharshi, who preaches it to King Parikshit in seven days.

Bhagavan Sri Krishna is in the form of Srimad Bhagavata Purana, saving His Bhaktas in this Kaliyuga.

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. Sri Krishnaya, Govindaya, Gopi Jana Vallabhaya Namaha.

Humbly submitted.



Shree Hari  Ram Ram  

Binaji,   I am quoting from Sadhak Sanjivani.  I think after reading this you should get the essence -

Cheerfulness which is caused by contact of persons, things, and circumstances etc., is not permanent, but short-lived.  Cheerfulness which is revealed by giving up evils,  remains permanent, and the mind becomes serene.  

Methods to remain cheerful -  
1) be free of attachment and aversion to persons and circumstances
2) not be partial out of selfishness and pride
3) be full of divine traits such as compassion, forgiveness and generosity
4) have feeling for the welfare of all beings
5) balanced diet and regularity;  whose nature favors living in solitude; who is reserved, temperate in sleep and recreation;  accordance to ordinance of scriptures;  such an aspirant gains cheerfulness of mind very quickly,  

Meera Das,   Ram Ram  


Thank you !  But still need more clarity !!!  
Swamiji in Gita Prabodhani says under chapter 17 verse 16 -

Mana ki prasannata, somya bhaav, mananasheeltaa, manka nigraha and bhaavonki bhalibhaanti shuddhi -  is tarah yeh man-sambandhi tapa kahaa jaata hai.

Is this mostly a mind related thing?  if it is mind related, then we have nothing to do with it.   If not mind related, then is it connected to the "self" (swayam)?   Can this state be achieved?  or it just is.  

Please help, Bina


Hari Om

To maintain "cheerfulness of mind" is an AUSTERITY as per Holy Gita, and rightly so. It is an austerity of mind. This austerity is achieved by many methods, some of them being - 1. Do not allow a like or a dislike developing in you vis-a-vis any worldly thing, circumstance, situation, incidence, time, place, etc 2- Do not indulge in any disparity of sentiment, any in-equality due to selfishness or pride. 3- Keep your mind always always filled with mercy, compassion, forgiveness, kindness etc 4- Let all become happy- preserve this sentiment always in your mind etc

Jai Shree Krishna

Vyas N B 


prasannata means "being receptive and hence ready to act; it also means being tranquil" equivalently "Sthita pradnya", Yukta etc are synonyms. Cheerfulness is inadequate to describe this state

krishna Samudrala


Subject of Cheerfulness has been first taken up in Ch.2, Verse 65. Verse 62/2 discusses cause - effect sequence by which cheerfulness is lost. Verse 62 and 63 describe step-wise falling of the soul beginning with interest in  sense objects including mind. When mind gets deeply immersed in any subject of sense pleasure, it gets attached. Attachment gives birth to desire and when desire is not fulfilled, as it is likely to be, it generates anger. Habit of losing temper every now and then, results in weak and gross state of consciousness. Such a state results in loss of awareness, which in turn destroys Discriminating Intelligence, and ultimately becomes victim of illusion and delusion, fear and many other negative states of mind.

Ultimately all our powers are destroyed, one becomes victim of disease and decay. This process of sequential degeneration of life forces, can be reversed by Pratilom  i.e. by first weakening the force of craving and aversion, then Samyam or withdrawing interest in sense objects, by bringing mind under our own control, and cultivating positive outlook. Result of all these positive virtues is  CHEERFUL state of mind.

It is cheerful state of mind, which results in end of all sufferings and stead-fast intellect. This is the Penance described in 17/16. Cheerfulness is not a state of excitement. 

Jayantilal Shah


Dear Sadhakas,
Hare Krishna.

This is in response to a question from a fellow Sadhaka, regarding cheerfulness of mind. 
For the mind to be cheerful, it should be peaceful. The only way that can be achieved is through 
Devotional service. 

Lord Krishna says in Bhagavadgita,
" Maccitta madgataprana,
  Bodhayantah parasparam,
  Katha yantascamam nityam,
  Tushyanti ca ramanti ca."
      (Gitaji 10, 9)

Which means,

'The thoughts of pure devotees dwell in Me. Their lives are dedicated to Me. 
They derive great satisfaction and bliss from enlightening each other and conversing about Me all the time. '
This is the only Slokam in Bhagavad Gita in which the two words, Happiness and bliss are mentioned , side by side. 

Devotional service in the name of Chanting gives us Happiness, makes us very Cheerful, gives us peace of mind and obviously takes us back to His Kingdom in the end. 

Thank You. 

Prasad A. iragavarapu, MD


साधककी समझ है कि अप्रसन्नताका अभाव ही प्रसन्नता कहा गया है। 
आप कभी अप्रसन्न नहीं हुये क्या? बस, समझ लीजिये। 
प्रसन्नता शब्दोंमें व्यक्त नहीं की जा सकती। फिर उसकी परिभाषा कैसे हो?


Prasnna Raho/ Khush raho.... is the slogan, a reminder to each other to be happy, to start with happiness, with happy thoughts.. This is linked to the wisdom of life... 

Basic human aspiration is to be continuously happy and prosperous.. happiness is our inherent nature...
happiness is what is naturally acceptable to us..  So it is in our interest to be happy, to operate from the quality of self, in every situation... This ensures a joyful, happy, peaceful, fulfilled, meaningful life....

Sushil Scheel


View Source
This state is the goal. It is symptom is advancement in spirituality. Measure your success in spiritual endeavors by how much happy you are. 

Being happy is not so difficult. You just need to change your attitude. Work hard and do your best. Then, don't sweat about it. Understand transient nature and let go of negativity. From spiritual perspective, know that you are always part of God no matter what. So you have already attained what you need to. Accept your spiritual nature. See God in all and have respectful, loving, nonjudgmental and caring attitude towards all. 

Murari Das


Shree Hari 

Please read Sadhak Sanjivani Gita 17/16 and please share what you have learned with the group.  

Gita Talk Moderators,   Ram Ram  


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