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Sthiti In Hinduism

Sthiti in Hinduism is literally a situation or state. The term stithi is a noun which indicates an action root stha – ‘to stand’, ‘to stay’ or ‘to be stable’. Literally, it means the act of standing, standing firm or stable. In early literature on cosmology, the term sthiti is used in the sense of continued existence of creation. The term sthiti also denotes a situation or state, position or abode. At a further, stage anything stable, for instance, the Earth, came to be signified by the term sthiti.

The following are the different connotations of sthiti as ascribed in the lexicon:

Sthiti stands f or maryada (settled practice), dharana (maintenance/sustenance), nivesha (settlement) and racana (disposition). Srishti, sthti and samhara are generally conceived to be a process continuing its regular course of movement, starting from the emptiness of a positive content which causes multifarious forms to shine forth in the midway of its movement and which finally recedes and rests from where the process started.

In the Bhagavad Gita, the idea of creation, maintenance and dissolution has been presented in the following verse –

Unmanifested are the beginnings of contingent beings, manifest their middle course, unmanifested again their ends – what is the cause of mourning here? (Bhagavad Gita 11.28)

The sthiti in Buddhism describes that either the activity of the other characteristics is exercised simultaneously, or their activity is exercised in succession. In the first hypothesis, whereas duration makes dharma last, old age makes it perish and impermanence destroys it. In the second, dharma lasts, ages and perishes at the same time.