Bhagavagd Gita - Session 17- Track 1708

Now, this Knowledge: how is one to attain? Karma of course is the path, by which you come to know this, because sarvaṁ karmākhilaṁ jñāne parisamāpyate, all action ends in this knowledge. So if you go on doing action rightly, then you get this Knowledge. But this Knowledge can also be attained by a special process of Knowledge itself: jñāna also ends in jñāna; not only karma ends in jñāna, jñāna also ends in jñāna. And therefore now, there is an exposition of how you are to attain to that Knowledge by the process of Knowledge. What is the difference between Karma yoga and Jnana yoga? In Karma yoga you use action as the means of arriving at Knowledge; in Jnana yoga you use Jnana itself as the process, as the instrument of Knowledge. Now, this Jnana yoga is now expounded and that is why the whole chapter is designated ‘Jnana Yoga’. Actually, exposition starts only now of Jnana yoga, till that time, it is only Karma yoga; but now is the culmination comes to Knowledge and then, having explained what is the ultimate result of Karma, Karma yoga, now the exposition of Jnana yoga starts.

So now, let us see:

tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā |

upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ jñāninas tattvadarśinaḥ ||34|| (IV)

How will you come to know Knowledge? praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā; this is also a very famous sentence of the Bhagavad Gita. If you want to know, paripraśnena, you should question and question again, and again, and again, paripraśnena. Actually since we have started the whole Bhagavad Gita, we are doing this process of paripraśnena, again and again. I am expounding one thing, then again I am expounding again, and expounding another again, and expound the same thing again: there are so many repetitions because they are necessary. Without repeating, without repeated questioning, at every times a question arises, and we need to reiterate the same thing, but in the context of that question: therefore paripraśnena.

But paripraśna with what attitude? praṇipātena: with submission. There is a difference between questioning with the attitude of doubt, for the sake of questioning. You question because it is the fashion to question; a statement is made and he says: how? Why? What? Anybody can ask very easy questions, and you seem very intelligent. If you ask the question why, what, and how, which you can raise in regard to any statement, which is made, it is the easiest thing the human mind can do. But that questioning should be praṇipātena sevayā, it must be with the attitude of submission, which is keen to answer, which is keen to get the answer. In the fashionable questioning, you are not keen to find the answer; you are only trying to show your superiority by putting the maker of the statement that he cannot answer your question: that is all.

But a real questioner is one who is really in need of an answer. You cannot live without the answer. Mere questioning is not important, this is the finding of the answer that is important, and that finding of the answer comes only when you have this attitude: praṇipātena, when there is the submission, you really want to know, because without knowing you cannot remain. Like Arjuna had to find the answer, therefore he submits to Sri Krishna: his questioning is not an idle question, it is not a sceptic’s question, it is a questioner who wants really the answer so he arrives at a resting place.

And how do you know this praṇipāta is a sincere one? It must manifest in sevayā: unless you do service, unless you want to give your body, life, mind, everything in submission, your questioning is still idle question. So, this attitude of praṇipāta, of your submission is in sevayā. Therefore in these 3 words Sri Krishna has explained how you attain to Knowledge, with what attitude you can attain to Knowledge:

tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā |

upadekṣyanti: they will then give you advice, they will tell you what it is; te jñānaṁ jñāninas tattvadarśinaḥ ||: those who are tattvadarśinaḥ, those who have seen the essence, fundamental Reality, those who have seen the Sat, they are jñāni, and if you approach them with praṇipātena, with seva, with paripraśna, then they will tell you and you will attain to Knowledge.

yaj jñātvā na punar moham evaṁ yāsyasi pāṇḍava |

yaj jñātvā, what is the criterion that you have attained to Knowledge? The criterion that you have attained to Knowledge is that having Knowledge, attained to that Knowledge, na punar moham evaṁ yāsyasi, you will have no bewilderment: this will be the test, as long as you have bewilderment, as long as you have perplexity, know that you have no Knowledge. That is why intellectual answers do not satisfy us; because this Knowledge is that Knowledge, it is like a cure, so that having taken the medicine that is the real cure, the problem does not remain, so:

yaj jñātvā na punar moham evaṁ yāsyasi pāṇḍava |

O Arjuna, you will not afterwards enter into any kind of moha, any kind of perplexity.

yena bhūtāny aśeṣeṇa drakṣyasy ātmany atho mayi ||35|| (IV)

This is again one of the most important statements, very short but you might say the whole Knowledge is described here; jñāna vijñānena saha, all that is to come later on, is given in one line here, yena bhūtāny aśeṣeṇa drakṣyasy, you will then see; bhūtāny aśeṣeṇa, then nothing more remains, no remainder remains: all the bhūtā(s), everything that you see in the world, you will see. See how? ātmany: you will see all that in the Self. When you see everything in the Self even that is not enough, you will see the Self is basically ‘the Immobile’. It is mobile also, but the essence the tattva is immobile: you will see all this in ātmani, you will see that all this has come from the Immobility. But it is not enough; atho mayi, then you will rise to a higher level and you will find that all this, is not merely immobile, you will find Me, who is both ‘Mobile and Immobile’: you will find that they are all in Me.