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Brahmi Sthiti – The State Of Being Brahman – God In Hinduism

In Hinduism, Brahman is the sole reality underlying the world of objects and experiences and Brahmi means pertaining to Brahman. Sthiti means state. Brahmi Sithi is the state of being Brahman or God.

According to the Vedanta School of Indian philosophy, Brahman is the only thing that exists, without there being anything else at all (ekameva na advitiyam). The atman (real self) is Brahman. It is  not separate from it (Ayam Atma Brahma). There is no plurality of any kind. In Vedanta philosophy, the following statement is oft-quoted: “brahma satyam jagan mithya jivo brahmaiva naparah.” (Brahman is the sole reality, the multiplicity of objects of experience is merely a construct. The self is Brahman; it is in no way separate or different from it.

In the Bhagavad Gita, the word Brahma is used at several places as a compound word:

  • Brahmi sthiti (II.72) – The state of being Brahman.
  • Brahma Nirvana (V.24-26) – Merging into Brahman, leaving no trace behind.
  • Brahma Sanatanam (V.31) – The eternal Brahman.
  • Brahma vid (V.20 – The person who has realized Brahman.
  • Brahmanisthitih (V.20) – Established into Brahman.
  • Brahmayogayuktatma (V.20) – A person who has completely united with Brahman.
  • Brahma Bhuta (V.21, V.27) – A person who has become Brahman itself.
  • Brahma – Sampsparsa (V.28) – The unity with and the feel of Brahman.
  • Brahmabhuyaya (XV.26) – To become Brahman itself.

All these words are indicative of brahmi sthiti (the state of Brahman), being one with Brahman, merging into Brahman, and so on. It means losing one’s separate identity as an individual, as a person having limited existence, independent from others. In waking life, human beings are always conscious of their individuality, qualities, attitudes, character and so on. But in brahmi sthiti, this feeling of separateness is lost completely.

In the Bhagavad Gita, some other words and phrases synonymous with brahmi sthiti are also used, such as:

  • Amar tattva (immortality) (II.15)
  • Anamaya pada (unsmitten, pure state) (II.51)
  • Shanti (peace II.71)
  • Param shantim (to the highest state of peace IV.39)
  • Akshaya Sukha (unending bliss V.21)
  • Yasmin gata na nivartanti bhuyah (that place from which there is no return to the world of pain and suffering (XV.4).

All these show that Brahmisthiti is a state of freedom from suffering, ignorance, and re-birth, a state of bliss, self-knowledge, or self-realization. This state is called jivan mkuti in other schools of philosophy.

In Yoga Upanishads, this state has been given names, such as:

  • brahmadhigama (merging with Brahman) (Amritabindu Upanishad (VII.10)
  • Brahmabhava (releasing Brahman) (Tejobindu Upanishad I.38-39)
  • Brahmabhava (getting filled with experience of Brahman) (Darshana Upanishad IV.63)

How is such a state reached by an aspirant? The way to the state, as explained in the Bhagavad Gita, lies in various situations like:

  • titiksha (perseverance)  while one goes though matra sparsha (sense contact) (II.14); equanimity with respect to smattva (opposites( (II.48);
  • renouncing the fruits of one’s deeds (II.51),
  • being asakta (unattached) (III.39),
  • stability of mind (sthirabuddhi) (V.20) and
  • cutting the Asvatha tree of life by the cycle of asanga (detachment) (xv.3)