நீ வர வேண்டும்
மெய்யான உன்னடி நாட
காத்திட நீ வரவேண்டும்!
To have a relationship with you
In my inner feeling
I need your grace
In this false life
To seek your true feet
I need more grace
I am an unlearned fool
I don’t find any other way
I need your grace
Without rejecting even for a moment
You should come to protect
This crying baby
“jnanavahinha sarvamathena muktim bhajati na janma satena,” (all the sampradaya claim that without knowledge [one] cannot attain mukti even after taking hundreds of births) says Sri Adi Sankara in Vivekasudamani. Avidya is the main cause for one not to receive mukti. By removing avidya by jnana one can have the realization that ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ (I am Brahman).
I too liked this formula that proper knowledge is important for us to understand not only mukti but also scripture. Of course we need not agree with Sankara’s approach about receiving that jnana. However the need for ‘jnana’ is vital for me too.
But for me, this jnana is to have a correct understanding about our bhakti and Muktiveda. Otherwise this lack of jnana (viz., ignorance, avidya) will keep us trapped in our own blind faiths and superstitions. At the same time, as I said already, all of our understanding about our bhakti won’t be rationalistic to others and also to us (both initially and also several times in our journey with the Lord). We begin with faith and wait upon the Lord to reveal more.
However mere reading or collecting information alone won’t make one a true ‘jnani’ (wise man). That is why traditionally in India, particularly on a spiritual journey ‘vidya’ is differentiated from ‘jnana’. Jnana is bestowed on us only by the grace of the Lord. Though Sankara interpreted the ‘mat prasad’ in Katha Upanishad (2:20) about the grace of the atman, other theistic Vedanta schools (correctly) interpreted it as the ‘grace of God’ or not through human knowledge. That is why no matter how learned someone becomes, she will remain an ‘unlearned fool’ without having this ‘jnana’ which is a gift from God. That is why several unlettered saints were celebrated as true jnanis as they claimed to have attained it not through any study of scriptures but through intuition.
Whatever may be our intellectual understanding of Muktiveda, we need to seek the relationship with the Lord within us which alone bestows His knowledge. Otherwise we will remain only fools not learning from the Lord.