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The Nature of the Jnana Pada

Trilogy Commentaries, DWS Sloka 40

"Jnana is the fruition of yoga tapas... It is when the yogi's intellect is shattered that he soars into Parasiva and comes out a jnani." Gurudeva gives a sense of ways of realizing Parasiva. In Shum realization of Parasiva is described as imkaif: awareness aware of itself, dissolving. Gurudeva's definition of jnana and the jnana pada, gaining wisdom from the experiences we have practicing these steps.

Master Course Trilogy, Dancing with Siva, Sloka 40

Tirumantirum Chapter 5.9, Verse 1481

Unedited Transcript:

Good morning everyone.

Continuing this morning, we previously did the charya, kriya and yoga padas and this morning we're wrapping that subject up with the jnana pada. Starting with Gurudeva's sloka from Dancing with Siva.

"What Is the Nature of the Jnana Pada?

"Jnana is divine wisdom emanating from an enlightened being, a soul in its maturity, immersed in Sivaness, the blessed realization of God, while living out earthly karma. Jnana is the fruition of yoga tapas. Aum Namah Sivaya.


"The instinctive mind in the young soul is firm and well-knit together. The intellectual mind in the adolescent soul is complicated, and he sees the physical world as his only reality. The subsuperconscious mind in the mystically inclined soul well perfected in kriya longs for realization of Siva's two perfections, Satchidananda and Parasiva. Through yoga he bursts into the superconscious mind, experiencing bliss, all-knowingness and perfect silence. It is when the yogi's intellect is shattered that he soars into Parasiva and comes out a jnani. Each time he enters that unspeakable nirvikalpa samadhi, he returns to consciousness more and more the knower. He is the liberated one, the jivanmukta, the epitome of kaivalya--perfect freedom--far-seeing, filled with light, filled with love. One does not become a jnani simply by reading and understanding philosophy. The state of jnana lies in the realm of intuition, beyond the intellect. The Vedas say, 'Having realized the Self, the rishis, perfected souls, satisfied with their knowledge, passion-free, tranquil--those wise beings, having attained the omnipresent on all sides--enter into the All itself.' Aum Namah Sivaya."

Read that last one again: "...those wise beings, having attained the omnipresent on all sides--enter into the All itself."

Gurudeva gives us a few different ways of getting a sense of realizing Parasiva. I choose two of them to share. First one is the oldest one, 1959, talk at the San Francisco Center from "The Self God."

"If you visualize above you nothing, below you nothing, to the right of you nothing, to the left of you nothing, in front of you nothing, in back of you nothing, and dissolve yourself into that nothingness, that would be the best way you could explain the realization of the Self. And yet, that nothingness would not be the absence of something like the nothingness inside an empty box, which would be like a void. That nothingness is the fullness of everything, the power, the sustaining power of the existence of what appears to be everything."

Then the second explanation:

"The Self is so simple; you have to be so simple to realize the Self. Not simple minded but so unattached. Awareness has to be able to move so nimbly through the mind like a graceful deer going through the forest, so deftly through the mind that none of the sticky substance of the mind, so to speak, sticks onto awareness and holds it steadfast for a period of time. And only with that agility can you move awareness in quickly into the source in on itself until you come out having realized the Self. It is an experience you come out of more than go into. If you were to explain Self Realization in another way, look at it in this way. Right out here we have a swimming pool. Beneath the surface of the water we will call that the Self. The surface of the water, just the surface of it, we will call that, the depths of contemplation. That pure consciousness, that most super rarefied area of the mind, the most refined area of the mind of pure consciousness. And, we're going to dive through pure consciousness into the Self. You will call the physical body awareness, the body of light and it's going to dive into the Self, into the depths of samadhi. But to do that it has to break the surface, has to break pure consciousness..."

Skipping forward here.

"...Then you laugh and you jump in. As your hands and head go into the water they disappear. As the body breaks the surface it disappears. As the legs go in they disappear. And we are looking at the surface of the swimming pool and don't see you there anymore. You just disappeared, the whole body. As you come out of that samadhi first the hands and head come up and begin to appear again, then the chest and the entire torso. Then as you climb up from the pool the legs reappear and finally the feet appear again. You are just the same as you were before but you are all clean on the inside. Awareness has a new center. The center is way down in the bottom of there, someplace that you can't even talk about. You have realized when you come out that you have realized the Self. "

Then we have the Shum-Tyeif Language approach. The realization of Parasiva in Shum-Tyeif is described as imkaif. This is the definition:

1: Pure awareness aware only of itself, dissolving.
2: The intense state of kaif when awareness withdraws all energies from all bodies into a peak experience.
3: Kaif eliminates itself or the locus of awareness dissolves, as the superconscious being of man, lamf, returns to its source.
4: This experience may be brief.
5: Imkaif does not name what is found from the experience, it only names the entrance and what happens to kaif.

In the introduction to Merging with Siva, Gurudeva makes a statement that relates to this:

"This is to explain that the mind cannot realize the Self. Awareness cannot realize the Self. Consciousness cannot realize the Self. There can be no name for the Self. To name it is to disqualify it into form. This is why in the incomparable Shum language it has no name only imkaif, awareness aware of itself, dissolving. Like any other realization it does have it's aftermath and impact on all five states of mind."

That's one way of identifying it particularly in its initial experiences of it. "...Like any other realization it does have its aftermath and impact on all five states of the mind."

So I thought of an analogy. You have two individuals standing in front of a fairly good sized pond of water with some rocks on the side. And one of them faces away from the water and the other one either throws a pebble out or doesn't throw a pebble out. And there's enough background noise so that the person with his back to the pond can't hear anything. So he turns around. And, how does he know if the pebble was thrown, cause he didn't see it? By the ripples, right? If the pebble was thrown there'll be ripples coming out from the place where it went into the water. So, that's the aftermath. In other words, you didn't see the experience but you're able to observe the aftermath of the experience. So it creates ripples in the mind; the experience of Parasiva creates ripples in the mind. The mind changes in subtle ways. So if you get used to that you can tell by the way the mind changed what happened.

As Gurudeva says:

"Like any other realization it does have its aftermath and impact on all five states of the mind."

Four subpadas of jnana. So as I mentioned in the, mentioned before, Gurudeva's explanation of jnana is different than the most common.

"The cleaning of the meditation room or portion of a room and the collection of all the necessary substances for worshiping one's guru and deities relating to meditation constitute charya and jnana. Offering a prayer, a chant or a short puja to one's guru in the guru's lineage. After beseeching the grace of any deities your guru has asked you to worship prior to meditation is kriya in jnana. Asana; proper meditation posture, pranayama; regulated breathing, pratyahara; sense withdrawal, dharana; concentration, dhyana; meditation and savikalpa samadhi which leads to experiencing nirvikalpa samadhi constitute yoga in jnana. Experiential knowledge gained by these practices is jnana in jnana. Anubhava unarchchi in Tamil.

And that relates very nicely to what we read earlier, Gurudeva's explanation in the Dancing with Siva verse we read at the beginning captures this idea:

" Each time he enters that unspeakable nirvikalpa samadhi he returns to consciousness more and more the knower."

So that's the idea of jnana. Jnana in jnana we're gaining wisdom from the experiences that we have in practicing these steps.

Saiva Neri Course, Sri Lanka School System. Saint Manivasagar the Swami Acharya who exemplifies the jnana pada.

And we have a verse from Tirumantiram:

"The San Marga has emerged to enable the sadhakas to become Siva himself..."

So San Marga of course is the marga that relates to the jnana pada. So it's also, you could also say the jnana pada has immerged to become Siva himself.

"...Sadhakas who follow this path should first assume His form through the process of nyasa..."

That's what we do in the puja, at the beginning.

"...Then he should sever the five bonds (anava, karma, impure maya, pure maya and tirodhayi). Next, he should attain a liberated state (even while in his embodied state) attainable by being in absolute silence. Raising himself to a higher plane he should attain the intuitive experience of pure consciousness and then the experience of ineffable bliss."

I have a quote from Siva Jnana Mapadiyam, Sivajnana Munivar:

"By thus practicing regularly the charya kriya and yoga the initiated Saiva gets ripened. His inner awakening takes place and he realizes firmly that the actual nature of Siva is the supreme indivisible all pervasive effulgence of Satchidananda and that the various physical forms grow subtle in the subtlest that Siva takes for his sake, (individual self's sake) that is progressing systematically in order that the Self can do the worship and other acts of devotion."

Thank you very much. Have a wonderful day.

We have a flag raising in a few minutes. Those of you who are free to attend.

Photo of  Gurudeva
Contemplation is man's power over his mind as he begins to go within himself. Concentration is man's power over his mind as he goes through life working out life's problems. And meditation is man's wisdom.