On Shrimad Bhagwad Gita: What is common between saint and sinner, animal and man?

Acharya Prashant
6 min readSep 30, 2020

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

विद्याविनयसम्पन्ने ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि ।

शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पण्डिता: समदर्शिन: ।।

vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini

śhuni chaiva śhva-pāke cha paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśhinaḥ

The learned ones look with equanimity on a Brahmin endowed with learning and humility, a cow, an elephant, and even a dog, as well as an eater of dog’s meat.

~ Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 5, Verse 18

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Question: In what way is the vision of the learned one equal towards all of them? And is this sense of equanimity different from numbness or insensitivity?

Acharya Prashant (AP): Obviously, when you look at these different beings with a worldly eye, all you see is differences.

So, there is the learned Brahmin, and there is the cow, the elephant, the dog. And then there is the eater of the dog’s meat. So these five entities have been mentioned, and it is said that the one who is really learned looks equally upon all of them. The questioner is asking: “What is this equanimity and how is this different from numbness or insensitivity?”

Looking at differences is an intermediate state of consciousness.

The lowest state is when you do not see any differences.

For example, a drop of rain. It was raining this afternoon. And the droplets made no difference between the Ganges, a shrine, a dog, and cow dung. Did it matter to the drop?

Some of the drops fell into the Ganges, some landed on the shrine’s spire, some landed on your head maybe. Some of them did land on your head. And many drops would’ve landed on cow dung. That is not equanimity, that is deadness. That is a lack of consciousness. That is the lowest level of consciousness. The drop is endowed with…

Acharya Prashant