Who is a Jnani? – Br. Shankara

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July 12, 2020

July is a month for study of Jnana Yoga (Advaita Vedanta). As a jnana yogi, you practice discrimination, reason, detachment, and satyagraha (insistence on Truth).

The goal is freedom from limitation (moksha). Our teachers say that all miseries in life are caused by seeing inaccurately. An earnest and persistent jnani may break through this misapprehension (maya) and see only the Divine Presence everywhere, in everything and everyone.

Who is a Jnani? This isn’t a trick question. Sage Vasistha, Adi Shankaracharya, and Sri Ramakrishna each gave a reasonable, specific definition for who follows the path of knowledge — Jnana Yoga. Their answers are read and discussed in this talk.

You may be surprised at what else is offered as a response.

“We are all so much more,
but we settle for less …”

This is the core message of Vedanta, of Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother, and Swami Vivekananda: We are so much more than we know, but we settle for less, for second best. We get stuck.

“Arise, Awake!” Vivekananda thundered “… Stop not till the goal is reached.”

“Go Forward!” wrote Swami Premeshananda

So, who is a Jnani, according to our greatest spiritual teachers? And what do we know about the path of discrimination and detachment, that we can share? That’s what we explore here.