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Ashtottaram 3: OṀ JNĀNABHŨMYAI NAMAH:

Knowledge illumines everything and hence is compared to light

By Dr. Devakinanda Pasupuleti

Ignorance is compared to darkness because we see nothing clearly in darkness, even though it’s right in front of our eyes. Symbolically, knowledge is like light, that which illumines everything.

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Ashtottaram 3

                3) OṀ JNĀNABHŨMYAI NAMAH:

ॐ ज्ञानभूम्यै नमः

OṀ (AUM)-JNAA-NA-BHOO-MYAI — NA-MA-HA

(Jnānam: Knowledge about the Self, soul, and God)

The Brihadāraṇyakopanishad instructs us “OṁTamasoma Jyotirgamaya”. Every Hindu and Vedic devotee prays to God to lead them from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge. “Nahi Jnānena Sadruśham, Pavitra Miha Vidyate (there is nothing as pure as knowledgein this world)” and; “Jnanāt eva kaivalyam (moksha is only through knowledge) —– these are the words of our Vedic ṛishis. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Shri Krishna said that all yogas are for the sake of Jnāna yoga only and a Jnāni is closest to Him. Our spiritual gurus assert that no power is equal to the power of spiritual knowledge.  The meaning of Bhārata, as stated before, is one who is interested in knowledge (illumination). That’s why Hindus give importance to the knowledge over authority and power. From ancient times our kings bowed to knowledge, not the other way around.

knowledge is like light
In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Shri Krishna said that all yogas are for the sake of Jnāna yoga only and a Jnāni is closest to Him. Wikimedia Commons

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Wealth that promotes knowledge and knowledge that increases prosperity is the motto of our culture. Our land is the land of knowledge for a jnāni, for whom there are no fruits of actions and there is no bondage. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Shri Krishna says that a Jēvanmukta (liberated while living) performs their actions without a notion of “I”. That means, there is no ego involved in their actions, and no- “me, myself and I” in their decisions. He performs his actions dispassionately with detachment. Believing that you are only your body, mind and senses is ignorance; this leads to the cycles of repeated births and deaths. Knowing and experiencing that “you are divine”– that is liberation.

Our land which is the vehicle and means for this knowledge – “that you are divine and the Self is eternal”, — is “Jnāna Bhūmi”.

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