How a Jnani Sees (Vision of aEnlightened / Self-Realized Person) (38)



Lesson 38 revises 4 stages of any seeker (sadhaka) towards Liberation. Then we elaborate how Jnani (wise person) sees and lives in the world – compared to ignorant person (ajnani). Differences are demonstrated with logic and examples. Emphasis is on practical living of a Liberated jivanmukta (one with vision of Oneness).

Source: Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 5 – verse 17, 18, 19

Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 5 Theme:

    • jñāna-yoga leads to Total inner renunciation/detachment.
      • 2 types of renunciation:
        1. Outer: Practiced to some extent. One will always have something in life. Thus can't renounce everything.
        2. Inner: (A) Discover higher nature Ātma (B) How Ātma, my true identity, is NOT associated to anything.
    • To help understand Ātman, we compare it to Space. (NOTE: Ātman is what accommodates the Space, thus Space is Anātman).
      • Space is: (1)  Intimately close to everything.  (2) Not connected to anything. It's not tainted by what it's intimate with.
      • Nature of 1/2 are called: asanga (independent) svabhāvaḥ (intrinsic nature). Thus asanga-svabhāvaḥ is describing Ātman (“I”).
      • We can equate asanga-svabhāvaḥ to movie screen. Despite picture of water/fire, neither affects the screen upon which it's shining on. Screen remains untainted / uncontaminated / same, before the movie and after the movie.
      • Conclusion: When I recognize my asanga-svarūpam (independent nature), the direct knowledge is: I know I accommodate everything , but not related to anything.
      • The conclusion above is what a true sannyāsī understands and what true sannyāsaḥ (renunciation) is. We're not talking about modern hippie lifestyler sannyāsī's with a guitar, van and cool dreadlocks to give impression of “I'm so spiritual“.


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 5, verse 17 REVISION:

tadbuddhayastadātmānastanniṣṭhāstatparāyaṇāḥ |
gacchantyapunarāvṛttiṃ jñānanirdhūtakalmaṣāḥ ||

Those who the knowledge of that (Brahman,) who have that (Brahman) as the Ātma, who are established in that (Brahman,) who have that (Brahman) as the supreme goal, and whose impurities are completely destroyed by knowledge attain the goal of non-return.


    • STAGE 1: See value for the vision. Kṛṣṇa calls this: parāyanā
      • Obsession for Self-Knowledge. Like holding head under water for too long, and being obsessed with just the single breath.
    • STAGE 2: Knowing Ātma as consciousness in body. “I am body, I have Ātma”.
    • STAGE 3: Learn to identify with Ātma as myself. “I am Ātma, I have incidental body”.
      • This stage is about owning and claiming your identify. Taking a stand in Awareness.
    • STAGE 4: Owning and claiming from stage 3, eventually becomes spontaneous. Just like actor knows behind mask, she is constantly playing roles on the stage, without ever losing oneself into the role. Else won't get paid and will be boo'ed by the audience. Similarly, ignorant jīva is ongoingly boo'ed by the world which results in suffering, because jīva forgot it's true nature, thus is not performing one's svadharma.
      • Success of all 4 stages = Constant effortless awareness: jñāna-niṣṭhā (Committed absolutely to Knowledge of Self as the Self)
      • How to know if firmly established in Ātma as Ātma? Is it accessible during crises? Do you forget about Vedānta during crises? Do you say “I don't have time for this spiritual stuff while my relative is dying?”. One who is firmly established, doesn't suddenly discard Self-Knowledge as unimportant, during times of even the worst imaginable crises.
    • BENEFIT of 4 Stages: While living, I am jīvanmuktaḥ (liberated while living). After Body-Mind death, I am videhamuktaḥ (free from rebirth).


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 5, verse 18:

vidyāvinayasampanne brāhmaṇe gavi hastini |
śuni caiva śvapāke ca paṇḍitāḥ samadarśinaḥ ||

The wise (people) see the same (Brahman) in a Brahmin who has knowledge and humility, in an elephant, in a dog, and in a dog-eater.


    • Talks about transformation brought into one's life from full assimilation of jñāna-yoga.
    • Jñāni (liberated person) looks at people and creation differently then ajñāni (ignorant person).
    • Vedānta says: One's problems are NOT because of people and world. Why? Because jñāni's see same world as a perfectly relaxing place, and “enjoy” ānanda within it.
      • Thus problem is not world + people, but PERSPECTIVE of world + people.
      • Meaning Vedānta is legitimately shift's one's PERSPECTIVE to match that of a jñāni, by means of jñāna-yoga (the same means how jñāni shifted their perspective).
    • World is like a mirror. I see only myself in the world. Way I look upon the world, depends how I look at myself.
      • EG: If care much about looks, then highest value in the world will FIRST go towards physical looks of other people.
      • Similarly, Īśvara (God) is looked upon according to one's personality.
        • EG: If physically oriented, then God is a physically beautiful form, like the sun.
        • If emotionally oriented, then God is a reverential emotion, like compassion.
        • If intellectually oriented, then God is worshipped as ALL-KNOWING (omniscient).
        • If I see myself as saguṇa jīvaḥ (jīva with guṇās), then I see God as: saguṇa Īśvaraḥ
        • If I am nirguṇa-caitanya (Consciousness without guṇas), then Īśvara is also nirguṇa.
      • Jñāni's look upon themselves as Ātma. Which means also look upon world as Ātma, with incidental body or superficial coating worn by Brahman.
    • Benefit of Self-Knowledge: sama-darśinaḥ (those who see the SAME). “See” is not referring to seeing all physical things same. But understanding all physical things to be of one essential nature, Consciousness.
    • vidyā-vinaya-sampanne brāhmane: Brāhmaṇa is one who is rich in Knowledge, because of one's humility.
      • Humility/Humbleness: #1 trait for Self-Knowledge. One can't receive knowledge if one puts oneself HIGHER then Knowledge. Just like water from the mountain (knowledge from the guru) can only nourish river (student), if river is humble towards the mountain.
    • Gavi: Cow. Sāttvic animal. One reason it's worshiped in India. Also all deva's supposed to be in body of a cow. In some villages, people will do pradakṣiṇam (clockwise circumambulation around the cow. Basically using cow as symbol of Higher).
    • Hastini: Elephant. Worshipped as embodiment of vināyaka (Birth of Gaṇeśa). Another sacred animal in India.
    • Śvapakaḥ: uncultured person. Dog-eater. Meat is not eaten in India because it respects the tradition of ahimsa (non-injury).
      • Also meat/liquor should be avoided if one adores a sharp, energetic mind. Meat may give energy to physical body, but it's tama guṇa for the Intellect (which needs maximum sattva guṇa for Self-Knowledge assimilation).
    • To a jñāni, differences in above listed (brāhmaṇa, gavi, hastini, etc) are all known to be superficial (anātma).
      • Thus jñāni vision is focused on Ātma.
      • The vision of samadarśaṇam (all is same) is in he subconscious background of jñāni's mind. Meaning wise person sees transactional world (vyāvahārika) differences, but also recognizes sameness (samadarśaṇam) in all objects.
      • Wise person also treats each object differently (different relationship to each), without losing vision of samadarśaṇam.
        • EG: Person treats GOLDEN bangle differently to GOLDEN necklace. Thus each ornament is treated according to it's form. But vision of the SAME GOLD is never NOT forgotten in any bangle, no matter what the relationship is with it.


Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 5, verse 19:

ihaiva tairjitaḥ sargo yeṣāṁ sāmye sthitaṁ manaḥ |
nirdoṣaṁ hi samaṁ brahma tasmād-brahmaṇi te sthitāḥ ||

Here itself birth is overcome by them whose mind is established in sameness. Brahman is indeed the same and defectless. Therefore they are established in Brahman.


    • Philosophical debate between whether liberation is for (1) While living, OR (2) after death.
      • After death: Described as going to some place after body-mind dies. EG: (viṣṇu/śiva/brahma/heaven/xyz) loka (place) prāptiḥ (arrival).
        • This is how Liberation (some also call this “Salvation”, however we'll never use this word, as it implies being saved by someone else) is understood by most religions/spiritual schools.
      • While living: Advaita Vedānta. Liberation is possible here and now. Why? Because the SAME Consciousness pervades all loka's.
    • Who qualifies for Liberation HERE and NOW? taiḥ sargaḥ jitaḥ
      • taiḥ: (1) abedha-dṛṣṭi: vision of oneness (2) sama-dṛṣṭi: equal vision/regard for all. Summary: taiḥ = jñāni
      • sargaḥ: punarapi (again) jananam (birth) punarapi (again) maraṇam (death). Meaning: saṃsāra. Meaning: cycle of birth and death.
      • jitaḥ: conquer
      • TRANSLATION SUMMARY: Wise person whose conquered cycle of birth/death also qualifies automatically for liberation here and now.
    • We compared ajñāni wave to jñāni wave. See video.
    • Jñāni's understanding: Because focus is shifted from anātma to ātma, I am no longer subject to Birth/Death. I am permanent, unceasing existence.
      • EG: In sleep, ātma is NOT transacting through the body. During sleep, ātma transaction ends, but ātma continues to survive. Meaning, the end of transaction of the world, is not end of you (ātma). Else no person would want to sleep, out of fear of going out of existence during sleep. But we all go to sleep only because we know we do NOT go out of existence during sleep.
      • EG 2: During death, physical body goes away, and I (Ātma), will stop transaction through the physical body, but I (Ātma) CONTINUE TO SURVIVE.
    • yeṣāṃ manaḥ sāmye sthitam: One whose mind is established in sama-darśaṇam.
    • I AM:
      • I: cit-svarūpam. Conscious entity alone can say “I”. Thus whenever we say “I”, we're acknowledging our cit-svarūpa (Consciousness-nature). Without being conscious FIRST, we're unable to acknowledge anything else afterwords. EG: If branch falls off in forest, and there's no “I” (conscious entity) to acknowledge this event, then did the branch really fall?
      • AM: sat-svarūpam: Existence. “Am-ness” is our sense of Existence. 
      • Thus common nature to all is: sat-cit.
    • Brahman: means “big”. But this isn't “big” related to a noun. Just “big”, left to accommodate whichever noun (object) is accommodated by it. Even to say “entire universe and beyond”, still has to be accommodated by Existence (Brahman). Thus nothing is ever bigger then Brahman.


Keywords: anatma, anatman, atma, atman, bhagavad gita, brahmana, brahmane, darshina, darsina, drshthi, drshti, drsti, gunas, ishvara, isvara, jita, jnana, jnana , jnani, krishna, maranam, nirguna, nishtha, nistha, parayana, pradakshina, pradaksinam, prapti, praptih, saguna, samadarsana, samsara, samye, sannyasah, sannyasi, sannyasini, sattvic, shiva, shvapaka, siva, svabhava, svabhavah, svapaka, svarupa, svarupam, taih, vedanta, vidya, vishnu, visnu, yesam, yesham

Recorded 26 Feb, 2019


  1. thank you for another wonderful lesson; to answer your question if there are other teachings regarding liberation while still alive: of course there are, just different terminology, like “union with God”, “deification” and so on. Also, a careful study of the lives of so called saints will reveal that they had all the characteristics of the jivan-mukta; they started from a dualistic “relationship” with God to end up in Oneness; the preparation exactly the same (Karma and Bhakti Yoga), methodology certainly different (esp. in Christianity it is the path of the heart – total surrender to the Supreme Being) but the end result the same.

  2. Hi Andre,

    In the first video above, around 1.14.12, you say : I am conscious of my Existence and because I am conscious of my Existence I am able to validate everything else. Because « I » the « Chit Swarupa » is Conscious of my « AM-ness », of my Existence, that enables me to say “I am fill in the blanks” : I am Black or I am White or I am Sick or I am thin or I am Studying, etc. In other words « I am » means « I am Sthula and Shukshama Sharira ».

    If I have understood right, then ” I am ” is giving validity to ” Sthula and Shukshama Sharira”, because in all previous videos, I have learnt that Sthula and Shukshama Sharira belong to MITHYA, and they do not belong to I/me.

    That means I first have to validate my Existence as « I », then the « Conscious principle » has to make a statement to identify itself as Conscious in order to give validity to Sthula and Shukshama Sharira, Tiredness, Energetic, Cool, Uncool, etc.

    I am getting confused when you equate “I AM” with the “two Shariras”. Thank you.

    1. Confused mind is speaking Nicholas. Follow me…

      You don’t have to do anything to be Aware. Because you are Awareness. Even 1 + 1 takes effort, as it already involves the mind. Being aware is the most effortless thing. Because your nature is Awareness.

      Whatever thinking is happening now from reading these words, in whose presence is the thinking happening? In your presence.

      In whose presence are you reading these words? In your presence.

      In whose presence is your mind trying to figure this out? In your presence.

      In whose presence will your mind cook up another doubt? In your presence.

      What is this presence? The final reality.

      Got it? So there’s nothing you need to do about the presence. Because you ARE the presence. The presence Exists and the presence is Aware.

      Even your attempt to analyze what this sentence is trying to say, in whose presence is that analysis happening? In your presence. The presence is the final reality.

      What specially is trying to figure out the final reality? The mind (sukshma sharira). That mind keeps on trying to turn this presence into some object, as if it’s not here right-now.

      And yet, the whole thing is happening in your presence.

      Is this clear so far? Whether yes or no, what questions arises now in your mind?

  3. Hi Andre,

    I guess I’m beginning to understand. And here’s what I’ve figured out.

    The principle of “I” in “I AM” is consciousness. The “AM-ness” is existence. The “I AM” gives LIGHT to the MIND so that it can function. The mind is a bundle of thoughts. The objects called THOUGHTS in the mind are revealed by the light of Consciousness. However, the “I” principle or “Consciousness” must not be confused with the “objects” it reveals in the “mind”. The mind is also an object for the Consciousness. The “Mind” or the “Sukshma sharira is neither the “Consciousness” nor the “I” principle.

    I hope I am correct. Thank you Andre.

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