Upekkha

Definition - What does Upekkha mean?

Upekkha is a term that refers to the Buddhist concept of equanimity. Rooted in insight, upekkha is a perfect balance of the mind that is calm and even, particularly in difficult situations. It is one of the four brahmaviharas, or Buddhist virtues and meditative practices.

Upekkha is a Pali word that translates as “indifference” or “disregard,” but as a Buddhist concept, it is neither. Instead, it is even-mindedness, non-attachment and serenity, and it conveys that everyone should be treated impartially. In Sanskrit, it is known as upeksha.

Yogapedia explains Upekkha

The other brahmaviharas are:

  • Metta, which means "loving kindness."
  • Karuna, which means "compassion."
  • Mudita, which means "empathetic joy."

Collectively, they are considered the qualities of authentic love. Upekkha and the other brahmaviharas are not just concepts in Buddhism; Patanjali discusses the importance of these same four states of mind in his Yoga Sutras.

By practicing upekkha and other brahmaviharas, it is believed that the yogi may be reborn in the Brahma realm, or heaven, in the next life. To cultivate upekkha, the yogi must give up attachment to possessions, to egoistic thoughts of self and to intentions to which he/she clings. Upekkha, therefore, allows a loving connection without possessiveness.

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