namasté & hello,
from the post above,
śreyo hi jñānam abhyāsāj jñānād dhyānaṃ viśiṣyate |
Now what rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi¹ offers is quite profound as you would think. On the surface it looks pretty straight forward yet to click down into the
‘cream’ of what he says also takes another master, abhinavaguptaji and his offer of the bhāgavadgītā termed the bhāgavadgītārthasaṁgraha
dhyānāt karmaphalatyāgas tyāgāc chāntir anantaram || 12.12
When we look to this śloka found within the bhāgavadgītārthasaṁgraha¹ , we are told by svāmī lakṣman-jū who is doing the translation for us that ‘knowledge is better than doing practice’. But there is a ~catch~ to this and it is not what it appears to be. How so? Jñānam is āveśātama or knowledge is entry into God consciousness i.e. fixing the mind on the point of God consciousness. That is why it is better than practice (abhyāsācchreyaḥ).
If there is knowledge, dhyāna ( meditation) becomes successful and by dhyāna karma phalatyāga you can leave aside all of the asking of fruits from your actions.
This aligns nicely to what rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi said in the last post above:
karmaphalatyāgaḥ niṣkama (some spell niskama) karma as of a jñāni , or action without desire, is superior to knowledge with practice.
In the final analysis this is called yoga in action. Rāmaṇa mahaṛṣi says it is equal to the jñāni who acts without desire and it is superior to knowledge with practice. Why so? Because the jñāni is stabilized in God Consciousness. There is also another name used for this jñāni and it is stithiprajñāna or sthita+pra+jñāna ...
sthita स्थित (standing) + pra प्र (filled, excessively) + jñāna ज्ञान (knowing, highest knowledge)
Hence it is that being that is firmly standing in the highest knowledge and that is of Self, Being, brahman. That is why knowledge (code for stithiprajñāna) is better than practice.
When one is standing (sthita) and firmly established in Self/Being then actions are considered karma and kriyā yoga. This person has now taken to heart kṛṣṇaḥ-jī’s most sublime instuction that he offers in chapter 2 of the bhāgavadgītā : yogasthaḥ kuru karmānī - established (or steadfast) in yoga ( union) perform actions (karma) ||2.48
In my humble opinion, this is the cornerstone of the bhāgavadgītā.
- bhāgavadgītārthasaṁgraha = bhāgavadgītā + artha + saṁgraha = the song of the Lord + aim, purpose + sum, completely, entirely
- What abhinavagupta-ji does is sum up (saṁgraha) the purpose (artha) of each chapter , or concluding remarks. He also adds a view more verses to the overall śastra ( 716 vs. the classical 700 verses). His translastion ( bhāṣya or commentary) is from the point of view of trika śāstra or non-dual kaśmir śaivism which on occasion is called svātantryavada
because you are identical with śiva