Making of a jnani

August 29, 2022 07:01 pm | Updated 07:01 pm IST

How does one become a true jnani, is a very relevant inquiry for all spiritual aspirants, says Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, pointed out Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal in a discourse. The teaching focuses on the difficulties and challenges in this path to wisdom.

The main reason is the deluding influence of Maya on all beings that thwarts their attempts to overcome their “deha vasana,’ the natural tendency to think that one’s real self is the sarira rather than the indwelling atma. This is strong in all of us. Unless the vision of one’s identity with the self is established firmly in the consciousness, one is nowhere near attaining jnana. This state of jnana comes in stages to one who strives with determination and Krishna Himself says that maybe after many births of striving perhaps one may attain it. In the Brahma jnana experience, Brahman is realised as the very sustaining essence in each and every object of this entire creation. It also is the culmination of bhakti and jnana. The mental ability to dissociate the self from the sarira comes with practice and by means of persistent analyses of the self’s role in one’s daily routine.

One way taught by the Upanishads is to understand that we are all subject to the three states of being, namely waking, jagruth, sleep, swapna and deep sleep, susupta avastas. There is the fourth state, turiya which is realisation. One can see that the self is not a part of these states. It remains a witness and is unaffected by all these. The analogy of the Self as the effulgent light is used to illustrate this truth. The light, inherently devoid of any colour appears as red, blue or green when seen through coloured glass. Some kind of mental effort is needed to understand the true nature of what is perceived as coloured light is actually an appearance. 

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