Faith

Hallmarks of a Jnani

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Every one of us has two options to pursue — either the worldly (Pravritti Marga) or spiritual attainments (Nivritti Marga). Though we know that the former entangles us to the cycle of birth while the latter leads us towards liberation from Samsara, it is generally difficult to opt for spiritual gain. Even if this path is chosen, it is still more difficult to remain steadfast in it. In a lecture, Sringeri Jagadguru Sri Sri Bharati Tirta Mahaswamiji stressed the importance of the scriptures and the role of Acharyas such as Adi Sankara in leading humanity towards the search for the Truth of one’s Self (Atma Tatva).

A sincere follower of the Nivritti Marga is easily identified by his attitude and lifestyle. He is devoid of the sense of “I” and “Mine”— a trait that generally attaches itself to all very easily. It is through great effort that one rises to the level of relinquishing the feeling that “I am doing this act,” when performing one’s actions. Neither is it possible for many of us to accept that such and such are “not my possessions,” when one owns them. For instance, one’s car or a house or personal belongings cannot be disowned. But what is called for is the mental detachment that one gradually develops towards one’s actions and possessions. It would approximate to the attitude of a custodian who feels compelled to take care of a possession for a certain period of time, without owning it. Ownership creates bondage and hence has to be relinquished.

Secondly, the tendency to think of worldly attainments as permanent (though we know them to be temporary) is strengthened with the lack of a sense of discrimination.

The dichotomy between the body and the Self is not perceived and we begin to think of the body as the Self, and interpret worldly success as enjoyment. In such a state of mind, honour, praise and fame bring joy while disappointments kindle anger or jealousy. The fact that these are temporary is eschewed and the yearning for these becomes strong.

A mind which has a sharpened sense with regard to the Atma, remains unaffected by praise or blame and maintains Samadrishti that is celebrated in the Bhagavad Gita.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 7:00:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/hallmarks-of-a-jnani/article3658607.ece

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