Transcending the Pairs of Opposites

A discourse given at a recent meeting by the Warden of Shanti Sadan

We often find that certain great qualities are spoken of in pairs. Thus we speak of truth and beauty, peace and goodwill, wisdom and compassion, and in the Chinese tradition, benevolence and righteousness. The Sanskrit word for a pair is ‘dvandva’, related to the word ‘two’ or dual. We also recognise that this word ‘dvandva’ comes in the Bhagavad Gita in a different sense. Here it means the pairs, not of complementary qualities, but of opposites. Such opposites are love and hatred, joy and grief, pleasure and pain, honour and disgrace. These reflect the ups and downs that inevitably form part of our experience in the world; our challenge is how we may maintain a tranquil and balanced mind in the midst of these so-called pairs of opposites.

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This article is from the Spring 2018 issue of Self-Knowledge Journal.