[Advaita-l] Definition of Jnanin

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Jun 1 06:43:12 CDT 2011

> Dear Sriram,
> As mahaswamigal was completely absorbed in Brahman, he was non-different
> from Ambal and her devotee. Ambal was responding to her devotee's devotion
> in the form of mahaswamigal. Is that right? I don't know if it is possible
> to speculate on the activities the lord or jnani accurately but it is what
> it appears to be.

We could say that Ambal chose to bless that archaka with a lesson on the
need for more devoted service to Her.  For this She chose the medium of the
Sringeri Acharya described in the incident.  There is another incident where
this very Acharya admonished an archaka who caused the vigrahas to clash
with each other making a metallic noise while giving them a ceremonial
abhishekam and wiping.  The Acharya drew the archaka's attention to the fact
that these vigrahas had 'life' and aught not to be treated as mere metallic

> My questions is what happens to karma, yoga and bhakti on attainment of
> jnanam. If it is sublated why does the Lord and acharyas define the highest
> bhakta as jnani and jnani as a great bhakta?
> Best Regards
> Rajaram V.

The karma, yoga and bhakti of a jnani practiced before jnanam will not
vanish in the sense of disappearing from his psyche.  Sublation means only
their being rendered unreal from his jnanam-point-of-view.  Of course, karma
of the sanchita type will become ineffective in the sense that it will not
bear fruit in a coming birth as such a birth itself is not there for him.
Bhakti, of the highest kind, the fourth type as per the Gita, is the one
directed at the Self, Atman, with no difference between the bhakta and the
object of Bhakti that is Bhagavan who is in truth the Self.  Since the jnani
has been able to accomplish such a bhakti he is called the highest bhakta
and the one with such a bhakti is called a jnani.  All other types of bhakti
presuppose a difference between the bhakta and Bhagavan.

Of course a Jnani can engage in a bhakti with the 'bheda' bhava fully
conscious of it.  द्वैतं बन्धाय बोधात्प्राक्, बोधे सति पूजार्थं कल्पितं
द्वैतम् अद्वैतादपि सुन्दरम्  are said to be the words of Sri Madhusudana



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