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errata : who is a "gnyAni"?

From: R.Balaji (
Date: Sat May 09 1998 - 04:03:11 PDT

sri lakshmi-nrsimha parabrahmaNe namaha
sri vedanta gurave namaha

Dear "bhAgavatOttamA-s",

I think this message got truncated and garbled halfway through its
composition and was mistakenly mailed earlier. Please ignore the earlier
one and substitute this one in its place.

Here is the correct version of the same. Pardon me for these
adiyEn, sudarshan.

I reported to you all in my last post about a very peculiar expression
used by Sri.Mukkur Swamy during my meeting with him. You will recall the
expression "gnyAni-varga".

I find this phrase delightfully intriguing and I thought I will share my
thoughts (whatever they are worth) on it with good friends like you all
on the list.

The nearest that one can get, I think, to an English translation of the
expression "gnyAni-varga" is : "the sub-specie of humans that are
seekers of knowledge". I know those of you who are familiar with
Sanskrit will say my phrasing is very clumsy but I believe it will do
quite nicely for the immediate purpose at hand viz. (a) to define
and (b) to understand what according to our ancient scriptures and
"sAstrA-s" constitutes the human sub-specie called "gnyAni".  

In the parlance of our present times, a "gnyAni" would tend to be
loosely identified as an "intellectual", "a scholar" or a person who is
known to be dedicated to the pursuit of the highest truths in his own
special field of inquiry or discipline". By the prevailing standards of
the "loukika" world at large, any person who strives strenuously,
through intellectual ardour, tears and sweat, to arrive at an objective
and comprehensive understanding of the world around him/her is a
"gnyAni" -- a man of knowledge.

It gives me great pleasure now to announce to you all that if we were to
apply the above criteria to ourselves everyone of us eminently qualifies
for the grand designation --"gnyAni"! We could boldly and certainly
claim to be admitted as a member in the specie whose zoological
nomenclature (we learn from Sri.Mukkur Swamy) is : genus homo-sapien
"gnyAni-varga"!! (How nice it would be, I catch myself imagining here,
how nice it would be if I could see my name on my business card read as
: "M.K.Sudarshan,"GnyAni", rather than the plain and pedestrian
"M.K.Sudarshan, B.Com.FCA,AIA"!!).

Leaving jokes aside for a moment, let's now turn to what our Great Lord
Krishna has to say on the matter.

Those of you who have even a passing acquaintance with the
"Bhagavath-gita" would certainly have come across a very famous line in
Ch.VII.Ver.17 : "priyo hi gnyAninO-athyartham-aham sa cha mama priya-ha

This statement of the Lord is a categorical affirmation of His first and
foremost preference for the sub-specie of "gnyAni-s" amongst the men of
this world! 

The Lord says, "I am very dear to the "gnyAni" and he too is very dear
to me!!". A little later in the same Chapter in Verse 18 the Lord
further heaps encomiums on the "gnyAni" by identifying him/her as a
biological rarity ... a virtual "mahAtmA" --- "mahAtmA sudurlaBha-ha",
is the term He uses for the "gnyAni"!! There is no doubt at all that the
Lord thought no end of the "gnyAni"; He puts him/her on a
more-than-human pedestal and glorifies him/her as verily the Jewel in
the Crown of His own Creation!

Now we must ask ourselves the following questions: (a) would we all
really qualify as "gnyAni-s" going by the yardstick of the "loukika"
world? (b) Would we all be so fortunate enough to be so "dear" to the
Lord that He hails us as ""mahAtmA sudurlaBha-ha"? (c) Do we all belong
to the great "gnyAni-varga" which Sri.Mukkur Swamy casually referred to
in my last meeting with him?

Let's try and answer these questions in the next post.

srimathe srivan satagopa sri narayana yathindra mahadesikaya namaha