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BG Chap 18 - The different types of jñānīs

One type practices jñana mixed with bhakti to attain liberation. But they consider the form of the Lord as false created by māyā, and that the body of the Lord is made of the guṇas. Although they may think themselves liberated, they are condemned. The second type executes jñana alone without bhakti, and obtain only suffering as their result.

Those who do not worship Kṛṣṇa, and those who worship but also disrespect Him have all their knowledge destroyed and fall. The form of Kṛṣṇa is sac-cid-ānanda, and can be seen only by His mercy. There are many statements in the śrutis and smṛtis to indicate the Lord has a transcendental body. The Gopāla Tāpanī Upaniṣad says displaying His form of sac-cid-ānanda, the Lord is sitting at the base of a desire tree in Vṛndāvana. In Bhāgavatam it is said that the Lord showed His transcendental form to Kardama which can be understood only thru the Vedas. But the jñānīs quote the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 4.2 that says ‘Know this nature to be māyā, and the possessor of māyā to be the Lord’ to indicate that the Lord is also a creation of māyā. However, this means the māyā the Lord is conjoined with is His personal, internal energy, which is also called māyā. The word māyā refers to the cit śakti arising from the svarūpa of the Lord, and thus Viṣṇu is also called māyāmayam. The verse in Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad could also mean that Durgā is māyā and Śiva is the possessor of māyā. Thus, even if these jñānīs attain the status of jīvan mukta, they fall down due to their offense against the Lord. If one rejects bhakti along with jñana, one cannot attain liberation, but one can only imagine that he is liberated.

A third type of jñānī practices jñana mixed with bhakti, while thinking that the personal form of the Supreme Lord is sac-cid-ānanda. Such jñānīs gradually attain bhakti after the influences of avidyā and vidyā cease to act on them. They are jīvan-muktas and are of two types. Some of them perform devotional service for the sake of attaining sāyujya. These achieve transcendental realization of the supreme entity and sāyujya within that Supreme. They are certainly praiseworthy. The others (fourth kind) are very fortunate souls. By some trick of fate they get the association of sober, pure devotees. By the influence of such devotees, they give up their desire for liberation. Like Śukadeva and others, they drown in the sweet taste of the mellows of devotional service. They are supremely praiseworthy. Thus there are four types of jñānīs – two, reproachable, fall; and two, praiseworthy, cross saṁsāra.