Self-Realized vs. Ignorant (jñāni/ajñāni) & Is Īśvara (God) Responsible? (34)


Lesson 34 begins introducing attributes of a jnani (Liberated person while living) for preparation of jnana-yoga in Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5 verses 13-21. Then we examine if world's condition (dharma/adharma) can be ascribed onto Brahman and/or Isvara (God).

Terms used in class:

  • ajñāni: One whose “I” is placed in aham kāra (karta/bhokta). Focus is on attributes of body-mind, at exclusion of Knowledge of ātma.
  • jñāni: One whose “I” is placed in ātma. The unspoken, un-verbalized, non-intellectual direct knowledge of a jñāni is: “Attributes of body-mind are known in and by my presence”. Word “my” refers to ātma.
  • karma-abhimāna-saṃnyāsa: Renunciation of pride of action.
  • Īśvara: all knowledge, all power. That which provides potential for material world to exist. Meaning Īśvara is independent of the world (jagat). Yet the world (jagat) is depended on Īśvara. For example, if we take away just one aspect of creation, desire (power which gives birth to form and transforms one form to another), then jagat is impossible. Īśvara is described as…
    1. jagat karnam: world creator
    2. karma phala data: Giver of results of one's actions
    3. dharma rāja: King of Dharma.
      • Dharma: all-knowledge, all-power manifesting as absolute harmony with the environment. If this harmony is disturbed (eg: Lying – then immediately effects are felt in form of lowered self-esteem, self-disgust, guilt, blame, self-suffering… immediately or in future) – then it causes discomfort to the disturbER and disturbED.
  • sākṣī-bhavaḥ: eye-witness to __. Meaning the eye-witness is apart from __. Meaning __ depends on the eye-witness, yet the eye-witness doesn't depend on __.
    • “eye” is not referring to visual sense (physical or mind's eye) which relies on the subtle body subtle body (sūkṣma-śarīra). It's referring to Brahman “I”.
    • “witness” means: non-experiencing witness. Because if it's experiencing witness, that would equate to aham kāra witness (IE: subtle body; sūkṣma-śarīra).

  • Step 2 of jñāna-yoga: Learn to IDENTIFY with Consciousness as Myself.
    • “I am the consciousness pervading the body”
    • Body temporary gift from Isvara. Can use it as MEDIUM OF TRANSACTION. Can't hold onto it permanently.
    • Called: Shifting the “I”.
      • Benefit: If give importance to my physical personality, I'll look upon others physical features.
      • If I see myself as Consciousness (through knowledge; else lip service), I'll see you as Consciousness. Vision of Oneness.
  • 2 self:
    • Lower: Ahaṇkāra. (Due to grammar rules, will see this written as: Ahaṃkāra, or without any rules: aham kāra)
    • Higher: Ātman, Awareness.
    • Self-Inquiry: Word “Self” just means it's about the Subject (you) and not the Object. Example, scientists perform Object-Inquiry, thus come up with answers to the material universe – like galaxies, black holes, distance, space, time, particles, etc.
      Imagine you're a scientist whose mission was to answer, “Out of WHAT did the Big Bang come from?”. You'd begin asking many questions from every possible angle. This questioning and answering process based on your own effort is “Inquiry”.
      Another example is Paraphrasing. Imagine being given a book to present in your own words and answer complicated questions about the book's content to a tough class. What would happen? You'd go over the book and make sure each sentence is understood from many angles. How? By posing questions in order to discover the meaning of the message. This will obviously involve consistent intellectual/emotional brain power. 
      That's right. Discovering God isn't just “feeling love for all”, but using the privilege of sophisticated intellect given to only humans. Why would one resort to only Emotional or only Intellectual. Both need to be used, especially in stage of jñāna-yoga (the means to the end; mokṣa)!
      If only emotional is needed, then you'd be an animal in this lifetime (horny rabbit, alpha bulldog, sneaky snake, graceful antelope, cunning fox, protective rooster, etc).  😀
    • When body dies, Awareness keeps shining, but no longer reflecting on medium (jīvātma). Thus can't express itself anymore.
  • Consciousness is like space. Like space, all movement/objects are within it, yet it doesn't affect Consciousness.
    • Thus Consciousness = akarta, abhokta and no karma-phala.
  • Jñāni claims Ātma as Self, lower ego becomes insignificant to him/her.
    • Looks ahaṇkāra from mountain of Ātma. From mountain, tree (complexity of human being) isn't big. Sees wider. Clarity. Objectivity.
    • How? Shift “I” from body to Ātma. Look at body objectively. “One amongst millions. Bodies come/go.
    • Benefit? Puṇya/pāpa = insignificant.
  • Difference jñāni and ajñāni?
    • ajñāni: Assumes body-mind.
    • Jñāni: ‘I am' in the body. Pervading it. Blessing it.
      • Claims Ātma as oneself.
      • Doesn't renounce action. But pride (abhimana) on action.
      • Action renunciation is: karma-abhimāna-sannyāsa.
        • How? By devoting all actions to the field, with cheerful acceptance of karma-phala.
        • What is the Field? The environment. Īśvara.
  • Verse 13:
    • Body compared to small kingdom.
    • Skin: wall of protection.
    • navadvarani: 9 gateways (for interaction).
      • 7 entrance gates: interaction with world. Pair of nostrils, ears, eyes, and 1x mouth.
      • 2 exist gates: anus, genitals
      • Blood vessels: roads
    • Who is the king? Ātma. Blessing body = body functioning.
    • Jñāni is master of the body.
      • sākṣī-bhavaḥ: (being an eye-witness): illuminator. Since light only illumines, it's not involved with jagat (the illuminated).
    • “…Neither performing action…
      • Direct: Doer (Karta)
      • Indirect: Instigator (kāra-yitā). Instigating one to do action. EG: Hail instigates run for cover.
    • Question arises: If Ātma isn't doing any action. Does Ātma instigate one to do action?
      • One complains “We're puppets. Every action is done by Bhagavan!“.
        • EG: Person action of crime, instigated by Īśvara, isn't Īśvara indirectly responsible?
      • ANSWER:
        • Isvara NOT: impersonal power, like car fuel.
        • Ātma NOT: illumining light. (EG: Don't blame space for dictator being accommodated to do evil. But either blame directly Dictator or indirectly the influencing party. Space remains unaffected).
  • VERSE 14:
    • If Ātma doesn't do anything (V13), how do all these actions happens?
    • Inate nature of body-mind to do action.
    • EG: Electricity blesses appliance through which it functions. Doesn't produce sound/rotation.
      • Speaks/fans nature is to express once blessed.
      • Inate function of speaker/fan is to sound/rotate, once blessed by electricity.
  • VERSE 15:
  • Like space unaffected by objects and their actions in it… Ātma neither pāpa/puṇya.
  • Warning thinking can do anything:
    • Criminal: Only witness to crime. Don't punish me! | Judge: I'm only arresting your body.
    • Criminal was partially identified. If was full, crime would've not happened. Nothing to gain. Rāga/dveṣa belongs to body. Jñāni is already happy, with/without.
  • Takes years to disassociate from body-mind. Be Humble. Even glad it's a slow process. Why should the best be easy – else it encourages laziness and quick-fix mentality – which always encourages tamsa-karmani (lowest grade of action)! 
    Keep head low. Do the best you can whenever possible. Don't speak about your spiritual efforts to others. A humble spiritual aspirant is one who pursues God without having need to announce to the world “Look at me, I'm pursuing God!.
    Do your duty in the society, but never forget amidst all duties “The highest purpose of human birth is to know thySelf while cheerfully serving God's creation… because the True “I” is already full, whole and complete… thus demands nothing from the world”.
  • People deluded = suffering (incomplete). Body identification = ignorance of Higher Self.


  • Karma Yoga: Something to do.
    • To practice, need: Knowledge of Karma, Karma-phala, attitude of action.
    • In this stage, Ātma knowledge is not needed.
  • Jñāna Yoga: something to know.
    • Knowledge of Ātma: jīvātma-paramātma-aikya(identity/sameness)-jñānam (individual/universal consciousness = SAME)
  • Order: Karma Yoga Practice > Purify mind > Jñāna-yoga (13-21) > Leads to mokṣa
    • Any other  Knowledge is not called Knowledge. But details about particulars (because doesn't last).
    • In our class, when we refer to Knowledge, we're speaking of that which IS always present, with or without creation.

Recorded 29 Jan, 2019

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