Looking for happiness without peace?

Acharya Prashant
7 min readOct 13, 2020

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

नास्ति बुद्धिरयुक्तस्य न चायुक्तस्य भावना ।

न चाभावयत: शान्तिरशान्तस्य कुत: सुखम् ।। 66 ।।

nāsti buddhir-ayuktasya na chāyuktasya bhāvanā

na chābhāvayataḥ śhāntir aśhāntasya kutaḥ Sukham

For the unsteady, there is no intellect (buddhi), and there is no contemplation (bhāvanā) for the unsteady man. And for an unmeditative man, there is no Peace. How can there be happiness for the one without Peace?

~ Shrimad Bhagwad Gita, Chapter 2, Verse 66

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Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! This verse relates buddhi with bhāvanā. What exactly is meant by bhāvanā here, and how does it lead to Peace? Also, in this verse Shri Krishna first talks of buddhi and bhāvanā, and then he mentions Peace or Śhānti, and ultimately he speaks of happiness. But in our daily activities, we wish to achieve happiness directly. Is this verse indicating a major flaw in our view of the world?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Okay, let’s go step-by-step.

First one — “This verse relates buddhi with bhāvanā. What exactly is meant by bhāvanā here, and how does it lead to Peace?”

The verse says, “For the unsteady, there is no intellect (buddhi), and there is no contemplation (bhāvanā).” For the unsteady, there is neither buddhi nor bhāvanā. And ‘buddhi’ here refers to, has been rather translated as, ‘intellect’, and ‘bhāvanā’ as ‘contemplation’.

They refer to two parts of the same thing.

The one who is unsteady is not steady where he must be. He’s steady really somewhere else. He has taken roots somewhere else.

He’s not centered where he must be. Instead, he has found an alternate and false, and worthless center.

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