Author Topic: JnAna itself is Bhakti: Krishna  (Read 1496 times)


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JnAna itself is Bhakti: Krishna
« on: April 19, 2012, 05:05:04 PM »
More than the idea that bhakti is an important accessory for jnAna, Lord Krishna has shown that  jnAna itself is Bhakti. He mentions four categories of devotees and in naming them he lists ‘ArtI, jijnAsu, arthArthI and jnAnI’ (B.G. VII – 16: Arto jijnAsur-arthArthI jnAnI ca bharatarshabha). ‘Arta’ means the distressed sufferer. ‘jijnAsu’ means the one desirous of knowledge, that is, the one who wants to know the Truth and makes effort to know. ‘ArthArthI’ means one who desires wealth, money, possessions, property, power etc. The fourth is  JnAni himself. The formal order among these should be ArtaH, arthArthI, JijnAsu and jnAnI. For the purpose of metre requirements, the order has been changed in the Gita verse. Our business here is the mention, namely, the jnAnI as the topmost devotee.  Why can’t we take him as a dvaita (dualistic) JnAni? – may be a quixotic question here.  But this has been met with already by the Lord’s statement in the next verse : He has one-pointed devotion (*eka-bhaktiH*). The Lord caps this by the further statement *JnAni-tvAtmaiva me mataM* (JnAni and Myself are One – that is my final opinion). Later when he dwells on ‘bhakti-yoga’ itself and teaches the upAsanA (dualistic saguNa upAsanA) he only uses the words *atIva priyaH* (XII – 14 – 20) (most dear to Me), he never says “he is Myself”; from this it is clear (when he talks about this  JnAni here) he refers only to the advaita-JnAni. In the teaching of bhakti-yoga he says: “The nirguNa-SAdhanA gives difficulties (klesha) and dukha (unhappiness) for those who are conscious of their body” and then goes on to teach the saguNa-upAsanA.

In other words, for those who are too conscious of their body, the jnAna path is not easy to attain  and that is why he teaches the saguNa upAsanA to them; not with the idea that the saguNa upAsanA is superior to the jnAna path. Let that be. Later when he starts talking about the qualities of the  Bhakti upAsaka from  the shloka *adveshhTA sarva-bhUtAnAM …* (The one who has no hate towards any being ,,,,) through seven or eight shlokas and winds up the chapter with “Such people are dearest to me”,  it will be clear to any neutral observer that whatever qualities he has described here apply only to a  JnAni. Nowhere has he said in Bhakti yoga, about revelling in the multifarious qualities of Bhagavan, weeping, laughing, dancing, singing, going into unconscious trance, establishing relationship with God through various moods like, servitude, filial affection, etc. or enjoying the ritual bathing (abhisheka) or decoreating the deity, etc. The qualities that He enunciates, viz., love and  affection to all beings, getting rid of the feelings of ‘I’ and mine, equanimity with respect to happiness and misery, fear and delusion, contentment with whatever one gets and being independent of possession and property – all these qualities are only those of the JnAni! There is also one shloka which describes devotees:

Mac-cittA madgata-prANAH bodhayantaH parasparaM /
Kathayantashca mAM nityaM tushhyanti ca ramanti ca // B.G. X – 9

Those who have turned all their mind toward Me, who have reposed their very lives in Me, who are constantly enlightening each other and talking about Me and for whom that is the satisfaction and that is the delight!  But note that this statement does not come in Bhakti Yoga or about those generally termed to be bhaktas.  It comes under ‘ VibhUti Yoga’ where the Lord’s Glory and Power is declared to be manifested in the whole universe. In short He says those who see such Godly Power and Glory in everything repose their mind and life in the Lord and revel in thinking and talking about Him. However they are not dry philosophers, but ‘bhAva-samanvitAH’, that is, knowledgeable people (budhas) who are involved in God with Love. In other words they are like  JnAnis as described by the Acharya. Further on when the Lord continues, He does not propose to give them Bhakti Yoga. He specifically promises to Grace them  with the path of  JnAna, that is,   buddhi yoga;  and burn any remnants of darkness of ignorance in them by the Lamp of Wisdom (jnAna deepena).

In the final chapter also He says “bhaktyA mAm abhijAnAti” – by bhakti one knows Me right;  and thus emphasizes the  jnAna angle. The root ‘jnA’ gives rise to both the words ‘jnAnaM’ as well as ‘jAnAti’.  ‘Through Bhakti one knows Me as I am, thereby enters Me and by My Grace obtains the eternal Immortal position’  -- so ends His message in the advaita fashion. In pursuance of the same, while giving it to Arjuna, He says ‘Adopt Buddhi Yoga’ – not Bhakti Yoga! Thus there is no ringing of bells, no offering of flowers, no relationship in several moods. However it is the mood of Love with which one gives Himself up to the Universal Life-Source and this  apex bhakti is what plays an important role in the path of jnAna. 

(Kanchi Maha Swamigal)

           (Ra. Ganapthy’s ‘Deivathin Kural’ (Vol.6) English rendering : V. Krishnamurthy)

Salutations to Bhagavan
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta


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Re: JnAna itself is Bhakti: Krishna
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 06:25:48 PM »
Dear Nagaraj,

Sri Bhagavan has also said the same. He also said that Bhakti is Jnana matha.

Arunachala Siva.