Monday, September 07, 2009


This is a word that commonly occurs in spirituality - it is generally translated as equipoise. One of the definitions given for yoga in The Gita is Samadrṣti. People usually translate it as accepting the good and the bad with equal balance. This could be right but we need to pay some attention.

I think, when we classify things as 'good' and 'bad', we are already getting caught in the problem! Labels are useful for practical purposes but problems crop up as labels almost instantaneously cross the boundary and become emotional labels as well. When we classify things emotionally as 'good' and 'bad', then there is no way we can be at equipoise with both of them. Because, by definition we desire the 'good' and abhor the 'bad'. So, in the case where 'good' and 'bad' are emotional labels, a more precise translation of Samadrṣti would be 'not really caring for both good and bad'.

Of course, when we use the labels purely for practical purposes, Samadrṣti can be translated without loss of meaning as maintaining equipoise with good and bad.

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