There are three states…since I am talking about the methods, I am analysing this aspect of the states through which you pass when you move in the path of equality. Just as you begin to have more and more knowledge of Karma, the beginning, the middle and the end, similarly you begin to understand what equality is. And you cannot understand equality unless you pass through three states: first is the state of endurance. This is called in Sanskrit: titikṣā: endurance. Whatever comes on you, you endure quietly: whether it is śītoṣṇa, whether it is cold or heat; whether it is good luck or bad luck, good fortune or misfortune, success or failure; whether it is wood, piece of wood that you get in reward or a piece of gold you may get in reward, you should be able to endure, and you should have no personal reaction to it. This is one of the great states that you achieve by endurance.
As yet we are not asked to understand why should there be these opposites at all in the world: this knowledge will come later on. But while you are doing Karmayoga, first you should be able to endure quietly. It says whenever anything happens to you, you endure. In other words, you should have ‘will’, which is capable of not being troubled by whatever happens under any situation, you remain completely quiet: that is the first thing. Our normal thing is immediately to react favourably or unfavourably, but to react very, very quietly, and to enter into great quietude.
The knowledge as to why you should be very quiet will come later on, because that is a secret. The real reason as why you should be quiet is: in this world, nothing happens without a very special reason. Nothing happens whether good fortune or misfortune: nothing happens in the world, unless it is a part of a big design of which the Divine Himself is the author. This is the real reason. We may not like what is happening, and we may not even know what the Divine’s design is, and also, we do not know whether what has happened is the last word.
Normally when we react to an action, we feel as if it is the end of the world: a misfortune has come, and we don’t see that it is some great fortune in the making. That also we don’t see. I fail in the examination, and I don’t see that this failure is a door opening to something unexpected: a great fortune will open out of my failure. This I don’t normally see and therefore I react and I do not become quiet. I don’t try to understand; I don’t have the patience and therefore, even the good fortune, which is going to come out of it and I even spoil a good fortune, which is likely to come: that is why this is an aspect of knowledge.
But in the beginning Sri Krishna says that, “You should be completely equal minded.” And He even says that, “whether good things happen or bad things happen, the first thing is: samīkṛtvā, be absolutely equal minded, do not be troubled.” That is called sthitabuddhi; the Buddhi which is absolutely sthira, stable.