You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : May 1998

Re: who is a "gnyAni"?
Date: Thu May 14 1998 - 21:37:39 PDT

Sri M.K. Sudarshan <> "R.Balaji"  wrote:

> Those of you who have even a passing acquaintance with the
> "Bhagavath-gita" would certainly have come across a very famous line
> Ch.VII.Ver.17 : "priyo hi gnyAninO-athyartham-aham sa cha mama
> I".
> [...]
> 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
> 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
> to the great "gnyAni-varga" which Sri.Mukkur Swamy casually referred
> in my last meeting with him?
> [...]
> (1)what are the qualities and traits of a true "gnyAni"?

When Sri KrshNa says "priyo hi gnyAninO-athyartham-aham sa cha mama
priya-ha",  [Bh G 7.17] what kind of jnAni is He referring to ?
Well, He clarifies that in the first half of the same verse -
"tesam jnani nitya-yukta eka-bhaktir visisyate" - jnani (one who is in
full knowledge of the Absolute)  who is constantly enganged in
_devotional service only_ !

Let us  also look at verses 7.16 thru 7.19  together:

. catur-vidha bhajante mam janah sukrtino 'rjuna
  arto jijnasur artharthi jnani ca bharatarsabha [Bh. G 7.16]

catuh-vidhah -- four kinds of; bhajante -- render services; mam -- unto
janah -- persons; su-krtinah -- those who are pious; arjuna --  O
artah -- the distressed; jijnasuh -- the inquisitive;
artha-arthi -- one who desires material gain;
jnani -- one who knows things as they are; ca -- also;
bharata-rsabha -- O great one amongst the descendants of Bharata.

" O best among the Bharatas, four kinds of pious men begin to render
  devotional service unto Me -- the distressed, the desirer of wealth,
  the inquisitive, and he who is searching for knowledge of the
Absolute. "


.  tesam jnani nitya-yukta eka-bhaktir visisyate
   priyo hi jnanino 'tyartham aham sa ca mama priyah  [Bh. Gita 7.17]

 tesam -- out of them; jnani -- one in full knowledge;
 nitya-yuktah -- always engaged; eka -- only;
 bhaktih -- in devotional service; visisyate -- is special;
 priyah -- very dear; hi -- certainly;
 jnaninah -- to the person in knowledge;
 atyartham -- highly; aham -- I am; sah -- he; ca -- also; mama -- to
 priyah -- dear.

 " Of these, the one who is in full knowledge and who is always
   engaged in pure devotional service is the best. For I am very dear
   to him, and he is dear to Me.

.  udarah sarva evaite jnani tv atmaiva me matam
   asthitah sa hi yuktatma mam evanuttamam gatim [Bh. G 7.18]

udarah -- magnanimous; sarve -- all; eva -- certainly; ete -- these;
jnani -- one who is in knowledge; tu -- but;
atma eva- just like Myself; me -- My; matam -- opinion;
asthitah -- situated; sah -- he; hi -- certainly;
yukta-atma -- engaged in devotional service; mam -- in Me;
eva -- certainly; anuttamam -- the highest; gatim -- destination.

"All these devotees are undoubtedly magnanimous souls, but he who is
situated in knowledge of Me I consider to be just like My own self.
Being engaged in My transcendental service, he is sure to attain Me,
the highest and most perfect goal. "

.  bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate
   vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah  [Bh. Gita 17.19]

 bahunam -- many; janmanam -- repeated births and deaths;
 ante -- after; jnana-van -- one who is in full knowledge;
 mam -- unto Me; prapadyate -- surrenders;
 vasudevah -- the Personality of Godhead, Krishna;
 sarvam -- everything; iti -- thus; sah -- that;
 maha-atma -- great soul; su-durlabhah -- very rare to see.

" After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge
  surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and
  all that is. Such a great soul is very rare. "


Also, later in chapter 13.3, the Lord defines what jnAnam is:

. ksetra-jnam capi mam viddhi  sarva-ksetresu bharata
  ksetra-ksetrajnayor jnanam yat taj jnanam matam mama  [Bh. G 13.3]

 ksetra-jnam -- the knower of the field; ca -- also; api -- certainly;
 mam -- Me; viddhi -- know; sarva -- all;
 ksetresu -- in bodily fields;  bharata -- O son of Bharata;
 ksetra -- the field of activities (the body);
 ksetra-jnayoh -- and the knower of the field; jnanam -- knowledge of;
 yat -- that which; tat -- that; jnanam -- knowledge;
 matam -- opinion; mama -- My.

"O scion of Bharata, you should understand that I am also the knower
in all bodies, and to understand this body and its knower is called
knowledge. That is My opinion. "


- Ram