“jnAni” And The World

Here is a great and profound Talk by Swami Sarvapriyananda who patiently, taking all the time in the world and repeating himself for the sake of the audience, explains the process of perception and realization of the Self. The Video is over 1 hr 39 mins. It is enough to watch the first 56-57 mins. The rest is Q&A; a couple of questions are good.

If one carefully watches this Video, it will not be possible to hold on to the notion that a jnAni, who “understood” what is brahman, not in theory but really, would “still see objects as ‘objects’ but just the difference is that he now (after the “realization”) knows them to be unreal.”
The Self-realized individual sees himself/herself (i.e. brahman = Awareness) everywhere.

The Swami quotes “अनुभवमात्रं परं ब्रह्म” but was unable to recollect the source. With a slight variation, the quote, IMHO, is from Yogavasishta. The full verse is:

अदृश्यो दृश्यते राहुर्गृहीतेनेन्दुने यथा |

तथाऽनुभवमात्रात्मा दृश्येनाऽऽत्मा विलोक्यते || — verse 3, sarga 118, Ch 6, book 2, Yogavasishta.

Meaning: The invisible soul is known in the knowable mind, which is actuated by it (the soul); as the invisible node of Rahu, becomes visible to us in the eclipse of the moon (which is affected by it). —English translation by Vihari-Lala Mitra (1891)

It’s a Video to immerse oneself fully; so I suggest, you ditch your coffee cup too, or finish the coffee before you click “Play.” Enjoy.



4 thoughts on ““jnAni” And The World

  1. In the Q and A Swamiji mentioned about Dalai Lama the 14th one said he will keep on coming back to earth till the entire earth is liberated. I wonder what vedantin’s view is on this. Does anyone know how to contact swamiji?

    • The last time I checked, Sarvapriyananda could be reached with queries at: askswami@vedantany.org.

      Unlike Mahayana Buddhism (especially in East Asia) or tantric nondualism, classical Advaita Vedanta doesn’t present a non-dualistic vision in the sense of accepting the world as a facet of the real. The Advaitin does not reverse his flight from the terrors of time and nature, as do the bodhisattvas of the Mahayana, who commit themselves to remaining in the rounds of samsara for eternity. We never find in traditional Advaita a vision of the world as the moving expansion of the Divinity, as is found, for example, in Sri Ramakrishna’s nondualism. “O Mother,” he sings, “Thou art verily Brahman and Thou art verily Sakti ….Thou art the Absolute and Thou dost manifest Thyself as the Relative”. Ramakrishna compares the jnani lost in the unity of the attributeless Brahman to a person who has climbed to the roof of a house and forgotten the steps altogether. However, for Ramakrishna, the vijnani, which has its parallel in the Buddhist ideal of the bodhisattva, “realizes that the steps are made of the same materials as the roof: bricks, lime and brick-dust. That which is intuitively realized as Brahman, through the eliminating process of “not this, not this”, is then found to have become the universe and all its living beings. The vijnani sees that the Reality which is nirguna, without attributes, is also saguna, with attributes.”

      On this view, Jnana is based on analysis and negation: it divides reality into the real and the unreal, matter and spirit, knowledge and ignorance. Vijnana is based on syntheses and affirmation. It is, if you like, a more complete form of experience, more integral. Says Sri Ramakrishna: “But vijnana means knowledge with a greater fullness. Some have heard of milk, some have seen milk, and some have drunk milk. He who has merely heard of it is “ignorant.” One who has seen it is a Jnani. But he who has drunk it has vijnana, that is to say, a full knowledge of it. After having the vision of God one talks to him as if He were an intimate relative. That is vijnana.”

  2. Vijay,

    The liberation of all the beings on the earth, IMHO, is not a valid concept in Advaita. The cycles of creation-dissolution-creation of the apparent world continue as long as there is ignorance and ignorance is ‘beginningless’ (anAdi) per Advaita. An individual may, however, step out of the cycle and for him/her the world ceases to be. Moreover, even if you, by a queer possibility, succeed in liberating everyone on the earth, what will happen to the creatures in the bhuvah, suvah etc. upper Lokas and atala, vitala etc. lower worlds?

    Re: Contacting the Swami. I remember their web site has a Contact form. I don’t know how well it works.


  3. Some Friends asked me why I consider the Swami’s Talk so very important.

    Well, the basic message of Non-duality (Advaita) consists of 2 steps:
    i) “pratyabhijna” – Recognition that what is all is Awareness;
    ii) “pravilApana” – Deliquescing (melting away) all the apparent objects and the world as that Awareness.

    “jnAna niShTha” is staying as that Awareness 24/7/365. One who remains as that Awareness is a “jIvanmukta.” There is nothing more to Advaita than this.

    [Unfortunately, the word Jivanmukta has almost become an “honorific” these days – almost like politicians using Dr. as a prefix to their names.]

    The Swami Ji very ably and directly showed how everything reduces to Awareness (Knowingness, the True “Me”) in the first part of the Talk. This is “pratyabhjna.”

    The later part of the Talk demos viewing everywhere and everything as “Me, the Awareness.” This is (pravilApana – Deliquescence).

    A sincere seeker has to achieve “jnAna niShTha” (making an effort initially, if required). Once stabilized as that Awareness, s/he is completely “fulfilled” transcending happiness and unhappiness and remains as Supreme Love.


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