Bhagavad Gita (Topic-wise) Pt 23


Part 22

6 Moksha
6-1 Preparation
6-2 Jnana, Jnani, and Jnana-Phala

6-2-15 Jnana-Phala 6(27 to 32), 13(27 to 35), 18(49,54,55)

6-2-15-1: 6(27 to 32)                                                                                                         A person who has realized Brahm and has transcended passions (born of rajas) by meditation claims the bliss of Brahm which is manifested in peace and serenity of mind. He does not forget his true nature of bliss in the face of adverse situations. He sees the non-dual Brahm in all beings. There is no duality, no fear. Differences are superficial and mithya. He cuts the veil of differences with the sword of knowledge. In his vision, God is in all beings and all beings are in God. Gold pervades all ornaments and all ornaments are in gold. A jnana-yogi is the highest devotee of God because he knows God fully, the God that is not different from him. He is not separate from God. His mind is so expanded that he does not see any difference between himself and other beings. ‘Other’ has disappeared from his vocabulary. He has the same response to others’ sorrow and joy as his own.

6-2-15-2: 13(27 to 35)                                                                                                       13(27) says that all worldly objects, living and non-living are born of the union of consciousness principle and matter principle. Whereas the matter principle is different for different objects, consciousness is the same in all objects. Different matters are on account of different combinations of three qualities. When a jnani sees the differences in objects, he is aware that behind the differences, there is a common thread of one consciousness. He sees oneness despite multiplicity. He is a true seer. Others are ignorant because they do not see correctly.

Consciousness is the higher nature of God. And a jnani sees God in all beings, animate or inanimate. In simple terms, everything is divine and God is the Self, Atma. Just as there is one water in and through changing impermanent waves and bubbles, in and through the changing bodies and mind, there is the unchanging God. As one sun illumines the universe, one existence-consciousness illumines all moving and unmoving things.

In the vision of a jnani, God alone is and the material objects seemingly exist and are of lower order of reality as they borrow existence from God. The God-vision is supreme. A jnani knows that the Self neither does action nor instigates action. It only supports the action of the mind-body system. Prakriti in the form of mind and body is the doer and the Self is witnessing consciousness and non-doer. While worldly actions take place with the support of Brahm, Brahm is not tainted and is indestructible. It is like a subtle space that is not polluted by the activities of the world. When a person sees that consciousness and matter are of two different orders of reality and from the vantage point of Consciousness, matter is as though non-existent, he is liberated from the bondage of matter principle and abides in consciousness.

6-2-15-3: 18(49,54,55)                                                                                                     One who has self-mastery, whose intellect is detached from everything, and who is free from desires attains the supreme goal of actionless- ness through renunciation. He is a jnani and Self-realized, knows the identity of Self and Brahm because the essential nature of Self is Consciousness and that of Brahm is Existence which is the same as Consciousness. He sees every activity and experience as a manifestation of the same Brahm. He knows that as Brahm he is complete and does not lack anything. He knows God completely, both the lower nature and the higher nature of God. Nothing remains to be accomplished. One is said to be free from duties from whom duties have departed because of realizing that the actionless Brahm is his Self. He attains Godhood.

6-2-16 Duties of a Jnani 3(17,18,21 to 26,29)                                                                  In earlier verses of chapter 3, Sri Krishna says that a person must engage in action to perform his duties. Now it is clarified that this injunction does not apply to a jnani who is established in Self because he has reached the highest goal, is complete, and always satisfied. He has no duties. Such a person has nothing to gain by action or by refraining from action. Generally, people get contentment by acquiring an external thing. But a jnani without depending on it, is contented with the Self. He remains detached from everything. The idea is that, for a man who is a knower of the Self, there is no duty to undertake.

A jnani may be a sanyasi or grihastha. A grihastha jnani lives in the world and is seen to be engaged in action. There is a difference between the action of a jnani and that of an ajnani. A jnani does action out of fulfillment. An ajnani does an action for fulfillment. The jnani enjoys every bit of action. Naturally,  the action of a jnani is qualitatively superior. It is a misconception that a jnani does not do action. He does action for the welfare of the world. The case of Janak is illustrative. He was a jnani and a king and ruled the kingdom. There is another reason for a jnani to perform actions. He is a role model for others and sets a benchmark. Whatever he does is likely to be followed by others.

A jnani is a worldly person externally but internally he is free from the world. Sri Krishna has nothing to accomplish in three worlds, yet He is engaged in action. Not only this, if He does not act, there will be chaos and confusion in the world. Just as ignorant people act and are attached to the results of action, a wise man should act without attachment for the welfare of the world and to maintain harmony. This highlights the difference between the action of an ignorant person and that of a wise person.

There is a word of advice for a wise person. Though he is superior to common persons, he is not supposed to create confusion in them. Instead, he should inspire and gradually uplift them from where they are. A jnani should be a good guru. A jnani who knows that worldly objects and experiences are different permutations and combinations of three qualities transcends three qualities. In contrast, ignorant persons live within the realm of three qualities. An ignorant person should not be demeaned and unsettled because everyone is ignorant to begin with. Every jnani has a past and an ajnani has a future.

Contd Pt 24

One thought on “Bhagavad Gita (Topic-wise) Pt 23

  1. Dear Bimal,

    As you know (and I keep pointing out to everyone), I am pedantic when it comes to speaking about Advaita. This is essential if we are to avoid confusion. Accordingly, just reading the opening section of your post, my thoughts were that it sounded more like Viśiṣṭādvaita than Advaita. I would have to reword some sentences:

    “God is in all beings and all beings are in God.” This implies that there ARE ‘beings’ (and plural as well!) and ‘God’. None of these are the case in Advaita. In reality, there is no creation, no ‘beings’ at all; there is only (ever) Brahman. All ornaments are not ‘in gold’, they ARE gold.

    A jñāna-yogi does not ‘know’ God. You could say that he knows that he IS God, from a vyāvahārika perspective if you like, but it is much safer (and more correct) to say that he knows that he is Brahman.

    “He does not see any difference between himself and other being.” As before. He now knows that there are not really ANY beings. ALL this, verily, is Brahman.

    I know that many Gita commentaries use the same sort of explanations. The problem is that some of those are written by and for Viśiṣṭādvaitins and some are written by and for Dvaitins. I also know that you are perfectly well aware of the above. The problem is simply that some readers will not be and may end up (still) confused or even believing an interpretation which is not in accord with Advaita.

    Your later explanations largely correct any early, potentially misleading ones, but some readers may (inexplicably!) just read the opening para on the home page and not bother reading any more.

    Best wishes,

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