Your Interconnectedness & Attributes of a Jnani (Wise Person) (114)


Lesson 114 shows it's impossible to ‘detach' since you're part of the system (grand order). Then attributes of a wise person: free of hatred, friend, lack of ‘mine' notion, mental shock absorber, accomodative, has forbearance, completely satisfied and mastery over mind.

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 12, Verse 13, 14


  • CH12 is highlighting the need to understand our interconnectedness with the world. Because this is a prerequisite to a healthy, integrated person called a jñāni (mentioned in V13-19).
  • What does Interconnectedness mean? You are an essential link in the grand scheme of things. Thus you are not outside the “system” (called Īśvara’s grand order).
  • Knowing this has 4 effects:
    1. You don't fight the system.
      • From standpoint of SVADHARMA, this means:
        • You focus on what you CAN do RIGHT NOW, instead of on helplessness/powerlessness.
          Meaning, I have a unique role to play. Which involves: (1) letting the script change, (2) negotiating conflicts between roles, (3) avoiding spill overs.
      • From standpoint of SĀMĀNYA DHARMA, this means:
        • Subserving likes/dislikes to universal values.
          “Subserving” doesn’t mean “You should/shouldn’t”. But rather understand, if go with what you like over dharma, there's a cost (seen/unseen).

          • Seen: Conflict within you. What if I'm found out? Low self-esteem (know I can't do what I know to be right). Over time, stop trusting life (everyone's a crook). Non-receptive to help.
          • Unseen: Effects come in future.
          • If mistake cultural values as universal, then will think your country has values, while others don't. Then end up looking down on others.
          • You have free will to defy the cultural norms (as they may be inefficient or even adharmic).
    1. When acknowledge interconnectedness, want to investigate the system. Meaning you’re more likely to turn each day into an opportunity to align further with the order.
      • This means realizing you’re given 3 capacities at birth: iccha, jñāna, kriyā śakti (Desire, Know, Do).
      • Investigating into and aligning with the order leads to ACTIVE participation.
        • What is participating NOT (in reference to Covid for example)?
          • Intellectual criticism. Criticizing government, spreading theories, criticize system. And it seems as if one is participating. Easiest thing to do is criticize the world.
        • What IS participation?
          • Finding solutions within your own sphere of influence.
          • Therefore criticism transforms to Problem Solving mode. That alone unleashes your creativity. Whether you solve or not, is unimportant. Rather the creativity that comes from willingness to participate, is the reward.
    1. I don't have to fix the world, because it's already intelligently put together/sustained. World has existed without you, and will continue after your departure. World doesn't need your help.
      • Hence, all we can do is align to the grand order and contribute our svadharma.
    2. There's no possibility of “detachment”. Because:
      • You're part of the interconnected whole.
      • All that is here is Ishvara manifesting as orders. Where's question of “detaching” from Ishvara.
      • “Detachment” is a popular notion, said to be taught by BGita. It’s mostly interpreted as “non-participation, non-involvement, staying away from”.
      • Why you CAN’T detach from world?
        • Physically: You're constantly drawing from the world. Dependent on it’s laws for your physical survival.
        • Emotionally:
          • Incorrect notion:
            • Need to be in a stable neutral mode (equanimity). EG: Kids approach you for cuddling, and you remain neutral.
          • Corrected notion:
            • Having mindfulness (alertness), without judging the situation. Meaning you're not entangled. Objectivity.
            • What is entanglement in reference to loving a person?
              • The more I love a person, the more I want them to match my internal fancy of how they should be.
              • Leads to manipulation. So love becomes source of entanglement (suffering).
              • Then we make conclusion “Since love is causing suffering, let me get detached or NOT-entangled in love”.
              • SOLUTION: Don't get rid of love. But investigate the tendency to control, which is the cause of suffering.
    • Recognizing your interconnectedness makes you a focused contributor, not a detached being.
    • Meaning, priority becomes “What can I do for others?”. Instead of “What others should do for me?”.


  • Verse 13-19 expounds characteristics of a wise person (jīvanmuktaḥ, jñāni, sthita-prañja, parā bhakta).
  • Krishna says jñāni is dearest (closest) to Me, because there’s no distance between jñāni and Īśvara.
    • For example, lovers often say “We are very close”. Meaning, there’s high amount of devotion/love between us.
      • Therefore, when devotion/love increases, the distance towards the devoted, decreases.
      • Meaning:
        • Smaller the distance, greater the love.
        • No distance = infinite love.
          • No distance is only possible between self and Īśvara, never between self and any particular object in the world.
          • That’s why partners often complain “I wish he/she was closer to me”.
  • Why knowing attributes of a jñāni is helpful?
    • Because even a jñāni has to exhaust prārabdha karma. Meaning he/she too undergoes each day pleasant/unpleasant experiences.
    • We want to know: What is jñāni’s attitude towards experiences? How handled? How responds?

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 12, Verse 13:

Resuming V13 from previous session.

adveṣṭā sarva-bhūtānāṃ maitraḥ karuṇaḥ eva ca ।
nirmamaḥ nirahaṅkāraḥ sama-duḥkha-sukhaḥ kṣamī ॥ 12-13
(My devotee) is a non-hater of all beings, is friendly, compassionate, free from ‘mine-notion, free from ‘I’ –notion, same in comfort as well as discomfort, and forbearance.

  • First characteristic of a wise person is…
  • HATE: sarva-bhūtānām adveṣṭā, lack of hatred towards sentient/insentient beings.
    • Hate is experienced when your core values (what you strongly stand for) are violated or seemingly threatened. Then justifying the feeling, instead of analysing it’s cause.
      • It can come from own background, unprocessed past emotions.
    • Solutions to resolve feelings of hatred:
      • Best you can do is change your perspective towards the person.
      • Send them a prayer to change for the better. Bless them. Then let Īśvara do the rest.
      • Use “hate” as reminder to get curious about your own thought processes.
      • Acknowledge it’s your own unwillingness/stubbornness to not see object from another angle.
    • SUMMARY:
      • Wise person may disagree with person’s behaviour, strongly condemn it, even take the daṇḍa But underneath, wise person is capable of including everyone in his prayers. Meaning doesn’t psychologically reject anyway.
  • FRIEND: maitraḥ, friend to all. Meaning, innocently wishes to contribute whoever is willing to receive.
    • Helping is spontaneous, because:
      • It’s motivated by one’s own fullness.
      • Not bound by own rāga/dveṣa, thus more available to Īśvara’s
    • What is a friend?
      • GUIDES: One who guides/directs you, if knowingly/unknowingly going the wrong track.
      • SECRETS: Feel comfortable sharing your secrets, knowing they’ll remain confidential.
      • PRESENT IN NEED: When things go sour, friend doesn’t suddenly fade into the background, worried you’ll ask him for a loan. Friend is available in need.
      • EMPATHY: Sensitive mind in reference to your turmoils. Meaning wants to find solution immediately because can’t stand your pain.
  • “MINE”: nirmamaḥ, free from need to claim external objects as “mine” (belongs to me).
    • Jñāni’s understanding is:
      • Since “mine” is always in reference to objects associated to this body, and “I am free of this body”, it means I don’t possess anything. Even at birth, jīva had little concept of physical body. It came to associate body as “mine”.
      • The world of objects which I claim as “mine” was present even before I was born. Thus to claim anything as “mine”, implies I am it’s creator/sustainer.
      • If the mind got amnesia, it would immediately forget what is “mine’. Thus it’s dependent on memory.
      • CONTRADICTION: If object is “mine”, then it can’t be “me”. Because…
        • To claim something “mine”, implies existence of a subject prior to the object.
        • I was present even when that object wasn’t considered “mine”.
  • “I-SENSE”: nirahaṇkāraḥ, free from putting “I” in the body-mind complex, thus free from sense of “doer”.
    • The doer is body-mind. Meaning all puṇya/pāpa-karma belongs to body-mind and not ātmā.
      • That’s why jñāni is not reborn. Because “I” no longer mistake myself as THAT which has to enjoy/suffer consequences of it’s past actions (being the body-mind).
    • Jñāni’s understanding is:
      • Even this mind (consisting of thoughts) can’t be “mine”. If it was “mine”, I’d be the master of it. Because who would optin for a blunt, slow, turbulent mind!
  • EQUANIMITY: Sama-duḥkha-sukha: equal in pleasant and unpleasant situations. Cultivated a mental shock absorber.
    • What contributes to a mental shock absorber?
      • Everything in life undergoes 6-fold changes.
      • Knowing it’s unrealistic wanting world to match your expectations.
        • 4 outcomes: (1) Get exactly (2) Opposite (3) More of (4) Less of.
      • Flexibility to adapt.
      • Take results of actions as prasāda (blessing from the grand order, which you can learn from).
    • What is an equanimous mind of a jñāni?
      • METAPHOR: Father scares son with mask. Son screams in fear by sight of a stranger. When father removes mask, son finds it amusing and is relieved. Son then wants daddy to put mask on again because it’s amusing.
      • In same way, once the world is known to be only Īśvara, then you’re able to enjoy a certain objectivity towards it.
        • Meaning world has less capacity to produce extreme highs/lows.
  • ACCOMODATING: kṣamī, one who is accommodative. 2 ways to explain:
      • When unpleasant occasion arises, there is tendency to change it, so it’s favourable to me.
        • Done in 2 ways:
          • Preyaḥ (not accounting the whole, only myself). Impulsive. Immediate. Manipulative.
          • Śreyaḥ (account the whole). Reflective. Considers well-being for all parties.
        • Which ways comes faster? Preyaḥ.
          • Therefore, kṣamī is postponing this impulse. Because…
            • Haven’t considered unknown factors.
            • Person many retaliate.
            • preyaḥ has unpleasant repercussions I’ll have to face in future.
      • From standpoint of jñāni, why is forbearance natural?
        • Once ātmā is assimilated, the one common thread is fullness, which stays unaffected in all uncomfortable situations.
      • Kṣamī is forbearance. Not giving into need to complain in uncomfortable circumstances. But rather getting into PROBLEM SOLVING mode.
      • What is the most uncomfortable circumstance which can happen to you? Death.
        • Therefore, spend time coming in terms with the inevitable death.
          • EG: Read about NDE’s, understand your body has died many times, body-mind undergoes mini death each night, you’ve died countless times in former lifetimes, appreciate fact that it’s impossible to go out of existence.
      • Kṣamī is also interpreted as forgiveness.
        • Forgiveness is letting go of need to hold onto things which you perceived “hurtful”.
          • How to forgive? Understand everyone is born ignorant. Any foolishness is owning to this universal fact.

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 12, Verse 14:

santuṣṭaḥ satatam yogī yata-ātmā dṛḍha-niścayaḥ ।
mayi arpita-manaḥ-buddhiḥ yaḥ mat-bhaktaḥ saḥ me priyaḥ ॥ 12-14
That devotee of Mine whose mind and intellect are fixed upon Me ( and) who is ever contented, tranquil, self-restrained (and) with clear knowledge is dear to Me.

  • FULLNESS: santuṣṭaḥ, completely satisfied.
    • How is a wise person satisfied with own body-mind:
      • Understanding is: Body-Mind is an instrument gifted by Īśvara, and sculpted according to my sañcitta-karma. Therefore any seeming imperfections are beyond your control. Thus all you CAN do is contribute within your sphere of influence using what you’ve been given.
        • Inner knowing is, my truth is infinite/eternal. Thus nothing can take away nor give more then I already am.
    • How is wise person satisfied with the world:
      • Everything is undergoing evolution/maturity according to Īśvara’s law of dharma/karma. I will contribute where I can. So it’s not that jñāni sees no problems with the world. Rather the focus is on contribution.
  • UNITED: Yogī, ever united with Me, because jīvanmuktaḥ’s identity is not-different to Īśvara’s, being Brahman.
    • What got jñāni to this point of evolution?
      • Applied 5 sādhanas.
      • Exercised viveka which produced vairāgyam which sharpened viveka, which qualified mind for pramānam.
  • MIND MASTERY: Yatātmā: mastery over processes of mind.
    • Owing to prior sādhana practice, wise person is (as though) one’s own psychologist.
  • ASCERTAINED: Dṛḍha-niścayaḥ: Jīvanmuktaḥ’s knowledge of “I” is free from doubts. Meaning, it’s solidly ascertained, firmly established.
    • Meaning, relationship to desires/actions is different. They are exercised in name of dharma, because dharma is Īśvara, and I am not different from Īśvara. Whereas before jñānam, desire/actions are in name of dharma/artha/kāma, for MY sake.
  • BMI RESOLVED: mayi arpita-mano-buddhiḥ: mind and intellect is resolved in Me.
    • Jñāni’s buddhi understands that the very buddhi and manaḥ is also Īśvara’s intelligent/material cause.


Keywords: jnana, kriya, ksami, kshami, papa karma, para bhakta, prarabdha karma, prasada, preyah, punya, raga-dvesa, raga-dvesha, sakti, samanya, sanchitta, sancitta, shakti, sreya, sreyah, sthita prajna

Credit for help in Bhagavad Gita teaching given to Swami Dayananda (Arsha Vidya), Paramarthananda & Chinmaya Mission.

Recorded 23 Feb, 2021


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