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NONDUALITY: JNANESHVAR

This material is edited by Jerry Katz and reprinted with permission of the author.

The book from which these excerpts are taken, is entitled "Jnaneshvar: The Life and Works of the Celebrated Thirteenth Century Indian Mystic-Poet," by S. Abhayananda.

You may purchase this book from Vedams Books from India: https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no21432.htm

S. Abhayananda's website is www.swami-abhayananda.com

I encourage you to buy this great book. Nearly half the book details Jnaneshvar's life and times. There are also translations of works unavailable elsewhere. If you like what you read here, you will find yourself much more immersed in the expressiveness of the full work.

Update: You may receive this and other books by Swami Abhayananda as free ebooks. Click here for info.


Avinash Sathaye tell us that "Jnaneshvar underwent the Samadhi state as described in the Hatha Yoga. He walked into a cave prepared for his final resting place, sat down, went into a trance and the cave was sealed. The place is a place of pilgrimage and worship, even today."

S. Abhayananda also describes Jnaneshvar's Samadhi, using methods of historical fiction, so that human activity a few days prior to, during and after the Samadhi are described; he terms Jnanaeshvar's entry into the cave or crypt self-immolation and spends many chapters describing the holy war which strongly defined the historical setting in which Jnaneshvar's life and works and Samadhi occurred.

Overall, with extreme care, with a sense of play, of popular poetry, of 'real' poetry, of history, war, politics; with knowledge of transcendence of all that is -- with all that -- and, therefore, with a sense of the far and extreme reaches attained by the pendulum of human attention, S. Abhayananda has gifted us with an in-depth look at the life and times and rare poetry of Jnaneshvar.

Half the book tells of the life of Jnaneshvar, the thirteenth century Indian mystic-poet. Years, names, and maps are based on historical fact (and supported by a bibliography), yet freshened and brought to life by incorporating -- without diluting or misrepresenting history -- dramatic elements reserved for historical fiction.

Such dramatic elements are nothing more than fully appropriate, expected, contextual bridges within an historical narrative, that take the forms of conversations and descriptive transitional passages.

__________________________________________________________________

Amritanubhav (The Nectar of Mystical Experience)


Chapter One: The Union of Shiva and Shakti

From Abhayananda's (the translator and author) Introduction to Chapter
One:

"This, the opening chapter of Amritanubhav, is undoubtedly one of the
most strikingly beautiful poetic expressions of duality-in-unity ever
written. In it, Jnaneshvar, the poet, portrays, with symbol and
metaphor, that mystery which remains forever inexpressible in the
language of philosophy and logic."

The following is a selection of a few of the 64 verses from the first
chapter:

I offer obeisance to the God and Goddess,
The limitless primal parents of the universe.

They are not entirely the same,
Nor are they not the same.
We cannot say exactly what they are.

How sweet is their union!
The whole world is too small to contain them,
Yet they live happily in the smallest particle.

These two are the only ones
Who dwell in this home called the universe.
When the Master of the house sleeps,
The Mistress stays awake,
And performs the functions of both.

When He awakes, the whole house disappears,
And nothing at all is left.

Two lutes: one note.
Two flowers: one fragrance.
Two lamps: one light.

Two lips: one word.
Two eyes: one sight.
These two: one universe.

In unity there is little to behold;
So She, the mother of abundance,
Brought forth the world as play.

He takes the role of Witness
Out of love of watching Her.
But when Her appearance is withdrawn,
The role of Witness is abandoned as well.

Through Her,
He assumes the form of the universe;
Without Her,
He is left naked.

If night and day were to approach the Sun,
Both would disappear.
In the same way, their duality would vanish
If their essential Unity were seen.

In fact, the duality of Shiva and Shakti
Cannot exist in that primal unitive state
From which AUM emanates.

They are like a stream of knowledge
From which a knower cannot drink
Unless he gives up himself.

Is the sound of AUM divided into three
Simple because it contains three letters?
Or is the letter 'N' divided into three
Because of the three lines by which it is formed?

So long as Unity is undisturbed,
And a graceful pleasure is thereby derived,
Why should not the water find delight
In the floral fragrance of its own rippled surface?

It is in this manner I bow
To the inseparable Shiva and Shakti.

A man returns to himself
When he awakens from sleep;
Likewise, I have perceived the God and Goddess
By waking from my ego.

When salt dissolves,
It becomes one with the ocean;
When my ego dissolved,
I became one with Shiva and Shakti.

___________________________________________________________________________

Chapter Two: Salutations to Sri Nivritti

From Abhayananda's (the translator and author) Introduction to Chapter
Two:

"Jnaneshvar had experienced the 'vision of unity', had realized the Self
of the universe; and he attributed this attainment to the initiating and
nourishing grace of his brother, Nivritti. ...the relationship between a
disciple and his Guru is one of utter, uncompromising, devotion.
Jnaneshvar felt this kind of devotion to Nivritti, and looked on him as
the very manifestation of God, a living form of the one formless Reality
in whom resided the power of grace." In this second chapter, "Jnandev
offers his fervent paean of praise to the Guru, worshipping him as the
very embodiment of God."

What follows are a few of the 80 verses of Chapter Two:

I bow to my Guru, Nivritti,
Who, by slaying the elephant of Maya,
Has made a dish of the pearls
Taken from its temple.

It is by his grace
That all the moon-phases of sadhana
Culminate in the full moon of realization.

The water of his grace
Washes the soul so clean
That he regards even Shiva as unclean,
And does not wish to be touched
Even by him.

Alone, there is no happiness.
Therefore, the pure Consciousness
Assumes the forms of Guru and disciple.

He has attained the great status of Guru
By possessing no status.
His wealth is his ability
To rid us of what does not exist.

He is like an astrologer whom Shiva,
Weary of assuming individual forms,
Has commissioned to find an auspicious time
For the regaining of his own state.

Though present, he is not seen.
Though he is light, he does not illumine.
Though he always is, he is not in any place.

He is indescribable.
In his unity, where there is no duality,
Words become silent.

How can he destroy what does not exist?
How can he be called "the Destroyer"?

By these verses I have made a finish of duality,
And also honored my beloved Sri Guru.

How wonderful is his friendship!
He has manifested duality
In the form of Guru and disciple
Where there is not even a place for one!

He becomes as vast as the sky,
Including the entire universe within himself.
Within him
Even darkness and non-existence dwell.

The words, "Guru" and "disciple"
Refer to but one;
The Guru alone exists as both these forms.

The moon spreads her soft light,
Pervading the entire sky.
It is she herself
Who enhances her own form.

Nivritti is not an object of knowledge
Which requires various proofs
To show that it exists;
There is no doubt that he is the Guru.

Salutations to the holy feet of the Guru
Whose actionlessness is absolute,
Without any trace of activity.
______________________________________________________________

From Abhayananda's (the translator and author) Introduction to Chapter
Three:

"In the Third Chapter, Jnaneshvar attempts to exose the error of
confusing relative knowledge with the absolute Knowledge, which is
synonymous with the Self."

"In the Shaivite philosophical tradition, the subtlest level at which
thought emanates from that perfect Knowledge is called 'Para',
corresponding to the subtlest body of man, the supra-causal body. This
is where all thought-impulses begin.

"At a less subtle level, called 'pashyanti', which corresponds to the
causal body, the thought takes form.

"And at the level call 'madhyama', corresponding to the subtle body, the
thought is fully formulated and may be heard within.

"This thought is then uttered at the gross level, called 'vaikari', and
emitted as speech. These are the four levels of speech; they are the
consecutive degrees of expression of relative, or dualistic, knowledge.
But this knowledge is not the absolute Knowledge; it is but a pale and
dim reflection."

Chapter Three, a sampling:

It is true that these four levels of speech
Are conducive to soul-liberation,
But with the destruction of ignorance,
These also are destroyed.

Salt dissolved in water
Continues to exist as taste;
Sleep dispelled continues as wakefulness.

In the same way, although the four levels of speech
Are destroyed along with ignorance,
The continue to live as knowledge of Reality.

In the same way,
Ignorance, while it remains,
Is the cause of false knowledge;
And when it vanishes,
Is the cause of true knowledge.

But, living or dead,
This ignorance entangles the individual
By binding him
With either slavery or a false sense of freedom.

If freedom itself is a kind of bondage,
Why should the word, 'freedom', be given to it?

If someone bewails
The loss of a broken vase which never existed,
Would we consider that person wise?

Sadashiva
In the Shiva Sutras,
Has declared that knowledge itself is bondage.

If the Self, which is pure Knowledge itself,
Requires the help of another knowledge,
Would that not be like the Sun seeking help
Of another light?

Could one who was ignorant of his own existence
Wander about to various countries in search of himself?

Also, if the Self,
Who is himself pure Consciousness,
Thinks, 'I am conscious of myself -- I am He!'
Such knowledge would be bondage.

This kind of knowledge is deplorable,
Since it conceals the original Knowledge
And fosters the illusion of freedom.

Therefore,
When the ego of the individual is destroyed,
And ignorance vanishes,
The four levels of speech --
Which are ornaments of the four bodies --
Also vanish.

When ignorance, being utterly dejected,
Enters the fire of Consciousness
Along with her organs,
Nothing remains but the ashes of knowledge.

Though one's shadow may not be seen at noontime,
Still it remains under one's feet.

The requirements of the four levels of speech
Cannot be satisfied even by their self-sacrifice.
I have satisfied them by bowing my head
At the holy feet of the Guru.

When the four levels of speech are destroyed,
They remain as that knowledge
Which is itself a kind of ignorance.
______________________________________________________

Chapter Four: Knowledge and Ignorance

From Abhayananda's (the translator and author) Introduction to Chapter
Four:

"Chapter Four is a continuation on the same theme (as Chapter 3). The
understanding of the nature of reality which arises through discursive
thought dispels ignorance, says Jnaneshvar, but that knowledge is,
itself, an illusory knowledge compared to the Knowledge which is
synonymous with the absolute Self. The knowledge consisting of logical
reasonings and proofs may produce intellectual understanding, but that
is merely the other side of the coin of ignorance; such word-knowledge
can never produce Knowledge; i.e., the revelation of the Self."

Chapter Four (excerpts):

By looking in a mirror, one perceives his own identity;
But that identity was already there.

In the same way, relative knowledge gives the understanding
Of the identity of the world and the Self --
But it is like using a knife
To cut another knife.

Fire, in the process of annihilating camphor,
Annihilates itself as well;
This is exactly what happens to knowledge
In the process of destroying ignorance.

The cresting of a wave is but its fall;
The flash of a bolt of lightning
Is but its fading.

Likewise, knowledge,
Drinking up the water of ignorance,
Grows so large
That it completely annihilates itself.

This absolute Knowledge is like
The intrinsic fullness of the moon,
Which is unaffected
By its apparent waxing and waning.

Likewise, that which is Consciousness Itself
Does not possess the quality of being conscious,
And is, therefore, not conscious of Itself.

If absolute Knowledge required the aid
Of some other kind of knowledge to know Itself,
It would be nothing but ignorance.

Of course, light is not darkness;
But, to itself, is it even light?

If there is a pot, a pot is perceived,
And if the pot is broken, its brokenness is perceived;
If there is no pot at all,
Is not its absence perceived as well?

It can be seen, therefore,
That he who perceives that there is nothing
Does not himself become nothing.
The Self has this same unique kind of existence,
Beyond both existence and non-existence.

The ultimate Reality
Is neither an object to Itself
Nor is It an object to anyone else.
Should it then be regarded as non-existent?

In a tank the water may be so clear
That it appears non-existent;
Though one who looks into the tank may not see it,
Still it is there.

Similarly,
The ultimate Reality exists in Itself,
And is beyond the conceptions
Of existence or non-existence.

When a jar is placed on the ground,
We have the ground with a jar;
When the jar is taken away,
We have the ground without a jar;

But when neither of these conditions exists,
The ground exists in its unqualified state.
It is in this same way
That the ultimate Reality exists.


Amritanubhav (The Nectar of Mystical Experience)

Chapter Five: Existence, Consciousness, Bliss (Excerpts)

These three attributes, Sat, Chit, and Ananda
(Existence, Consciousness, and Bliss),
Do not actually define Brahman.
A poison is poison to others,
But not to itself.

Camphor is white;
Not only that, it is soft.
And not only that, it is fragrant as well.

Just as these three qualities signify
One object -- camphor, and not three objects;
So the three qualities,
Sat, Chit, and Ananda,
Are contained in one reality.

It is true that the words,
Sat, Chit, and Ananda,
Are different,
But the three are united in one Bliss.

When water is falling in drops,
We can count them.
But when the water is gathered
In a puddle on the ground,
It is impossible to count the number of drops.

In the same way,
The scriptures describe Reality
As Sat, or Existence,
In order to negate Its non-existence.
They call It Chit, or Consciousness,
In order to negate its unconsciousness.

The Vedas,
Which are the very breath of the Lord,
Declare It to be Ananda, or Bliss,
Only in order to negate the possibility
Of pain existing in It.

Thus the word, Satchidananda,
Used to refer to the Self,
Does not really describe Its nature,
But merely signifies
That It is not the opposite of this.

The fact is, if we try to know That,
The knowledge itself is That.
How, then, could the knowledge
And the object of knowledge remain separate?

So the words Sat, Chit, and Ananda
Do not denote That;
They are merely inventions of our thought.

These well-known words, Chit, Sat, and Ananda,
Are popularly used, it is true;
But when the knower becomes
One with That to which they refer,

Then they vanish
Like the clouds that pour down as rain,
Or like rivers which flow into the sea,
Or like a journey when one's destination is reached.

Of course, what exists cannot be said not to exist;
But can such existence be called "Existence?"

In blissfulness
There is no feeling of unhappiness;
But can it, for that reason, be called "Bliss?"

Existence vanishes along with non-existence,
Consciousness along with unconsciousness,
And bliss along with misery;
In the end, nothing remains.

Discarding the veil of duality
And all the pairs of opposites,
That alone remains
In Its own blessed state.

If a face does not look into a mirror,
There is neither a face before it
Nor behind it.
Likewise, He is neither happiness nor misery,
But pure Bliss itself.

Even before the sugar cane is planted,
The juice is within it;
But its sweetness is unknown --
Except to itself.

Pure Consciousness is beyond
Both generalizations and particular statements;
It remains ever-content in Itself.

After such a discourse,
That speech is wise
Which drinks deeply of silence.

Truly, there is neither bondage nor freedom;
There is nothing to be accomplished.
There is only the pleasure of expounding.
____________________________________________________________

Chapter Six: Inefficacy Of The Word

From the author/translator's introduction:

"Jnaneshvar appears to have demolished the old concepts of Shankara and
the Vedantists, but the astute student will easily perceive that, when
all the destruction is through and the dust has settled once more,
Jnaneshvar has brought us to the same destination to which Shankara led
us."

"Like all others before or after him who had succeeded in unwrapping the
jewel of Self-knowledge, Jnaneshvar, in his attempt to reveal that jewel
naked of wraps, succeeds only in presenting it wrapped in yet another
fabric of mere words. Yet, his words, like those of other great teachers
in possession of that jewel, possess an intrinsic transparency through
which the lustre of Truth shines forth, exciting us with its beauty and
inspiring in us the desire to make it our own."

Chapter Six: Inefficacy Of The Word (excerpts)

The word is the flower
Of the sky of the Infinite;
Its fruit is the universe.
There is nothing
That cannot be determined by the word.

However, the word,
So well-known as a reminder,
Cannot coexist with the Self.

However, there is a case where the word is
useful as the destroyer of ignorance;
But I'm afraid to even think about this.

For it is foolish to say
That the word destroys ignorance,
And then the Self becomes conscious of Itself.

If ignorance was something
That could be destroyed by the word,
Then could we not set fire
To an imaginary city-in-the-sky?

A shadow does not exist where it does not fall;
But it also does not exist where it does fall.

If ignorance were as real as it seems,
Men would have been drenched
By the rain painted in a picture;
Fields would have been irrigated with it,
And reservoirs would have been filled.

Why should anyone bother to manufacture ink
If it were possible to write
With a preparation make from darkness?

If there is one who still has a desire
To destroy this ignorance,
He may, at his leisure,
Peel the skin off the sky,
Or dry out the night to make a blackboard,

Or he may squeeze the juice out of a yawn,
And, mixing it with laziness,
Pour it in the mouth
Of a man without a head.

That the word should be so great
As to become the revealer of the Self
Is truly absurd.

Is there a place where one can marry himself?
Has there ever been a time
When the Sun eclipsed itself?

The ultimate Reality
Does not prove or disprove Itself
With the help of some other kind of knowledge;
It is self-evident, being the knower,
And is beyond proof and disproof.

Right understanding shows that the word
Cannot in any way approach the Self.

Just as it is meaningless to say
That a dragon is coming,
Or that the sky is clinging to your palm,

So also, the word, with all its associates,
Becomes a meaningless babbling --
Like a picture with all the colors painted wrong.

Just as a cloudy day vanishes
When the clouds disappear,
So do both knowledge and ignorance vanish
When the word disappears in the universal
Deluge of Consciousness.

 


Chapter Seven: Refutation of the Doctrine of Ignorance

What follows are a few of the 295 verses from this longest of chapters:

The word, "ignorance," is meaningless
If the Self is pervaded by it,
And yet remains as It is.

Since ignorance is contrary to Knowledge,
It cannot retain its existence
Within Knowledge;
Nor can it exist independently.

If a fish made of salt
Were to become alive,
It could live neither in the water
Nor outside the water.

Therefore, such statements as,
"The Self shines when ignorance is vanquished,"
Should not be heeded by the wise.

I am afraid to believe in this ignorance,
Since it is neither the cause of anything,
Nor the producer of any effect.

The pure Self
Does not even admit the name "Self!"
How could ignorance expect to find room there?

How can there be ignorance in the Self
Where there is not even room
For calling it "the Self"?

The village of understanding
Cannot be illumined in any way
By the existence of ignorance.

The Self does not become anything.
He does not know what He is.
All the means of knowledge vanish in Him.

Innumerable forms and visions arise,
But it is one pure Consciousness
Which is the substance of all.

Supreme Consciousness regards the objects of the world,
Once created,
As old and uninteresting,
And therefore presents to His vision
Ever-new and freshly-created objects.

In mathematics,
When one is subtracted from one,
What's left is zero --
And then that is erased.
The same thing happens
When the seer and the seen unite.

Every moment a particular quality is swallowed up
And its opposite emerges.
This is the opening and closing
Of the eye of Reality.

Whether a person is awake or asleep,
He is the same person.

In the same way,
The Self may be revealed or not revealed;
He does not become greater or lesser.
He always remains as He is.

The flame lights the fire;
But can it be regarded
As something different from fire?

Whatever form appears,
Appears because of Him.
There is nothing else here but the Self.

Whether He is the seer or the seen,
It doesn't matter;
There is only the Self
Vibrating everywhere.

Here, speech is prohibited;
Knowledge is not allowed.
Pride of experience can gain no entry.

Who, then, is that mean person
Who has designated Him as "ignorance"?
Really!
Is it not like saying the Sun is tied up
In a sack of darkness?

The scriptures declare with assurance
The everything that exists
Is radiating with His light.
Is it said for no reason?

The light of the Self
Is Itself the cause
Of the appearance of His beauty
Which He Himself is enjoying.

To ignore this Truth,
And to regard ignorance as the cause
Of the Self's appearance to Himself
Is utterly unreasonable.

Ignorance cannot be found to exist
By any means.
No matter how we may search for it,
That search proves futile.


Amritanubhav (The Nectar of Mystical Experience)

Chapter Eight is very brief, 19 verses, and I'll quote it in full,
including the author/translator's Introduction:
_________________________________________________________________
Chapter Eight: Introductory Note

Having established the non-existence of ignorance in the absolute
Consciousness, Jnaneshvar reiterates once more the obvious corrolary to
this assertion: that knowledge, which is the complement to ignorance,
does not exist in that state either. These two, knowledge and ignorance,
exist only relative to each other; they are both illusory, and disappear
in the unitive experience of the one Self.

Chapter Eight. The Refutation of Knowledge.

As for ourselves,
We possess neither knowledge nor ignorance.
Our Guru has awakened us
To our true identity.

If we attempt to see our own state,
That seeing itself becomes ashamed.
What,then, should we do?

Fortunately,
Our Guru has made us so vast
That we cannot be contained
Within ourselves.

Our identity is not limited
Solely to the universal Self,
But we are not disturbed
By perceiving our separative existence;
We remain, after final liberation,
The same as we were before.

The word that can describe our state
Has not yet been uttered.
The eyes that can see us
Do not exist.

Who could perceive us,
Or enjoy us as an object of enjoyment?
We cannot even perceive ourselves!

The wonder is that we are
Neither concealed nor manifest.
Ah -- how amazing it is
That we even exist!

How can mere words
Describe the state
In which we are placed by Sri Nivritti?

How can ignorance
Dare to come before us?
How can illusion
Come into being after its death?

And can there be any talk of knowledge
Where ignorance cannot gain entrance?

When night falls,
We light the lamps;
But what is the use of such efforts
When the Sun is here?

Likewise,
When there is no ignorance,
Knowledge also disappears;
Both of them have gone.

Actually,
Knowledge and ignorance are destroyed
In the process of discerning their meaning.

Both the husband
And the wife lose their lives
When each cuts off the other's head.

A lamp held behind a person
Is not really a light;
If it's possible to see in the dark,
It's not really darkness.

We may call that which is utter nescience
"Ignorance,"
But how can we call by the name of "ignorance"
That by means of which everything is known?

Knowledge turns into ignorance,
And ignorance is dispelled by knowledge;
Each is cancelled by the other.

Thus, he who knows does not know,
And even he who does not know, knows.
Where, then,
Could knowledge and ignorance dwell?

Since the Sun of Self-realization
Has arisen in the sky of pure Consciousness,
It has swallowed up
Both the day of knowledge
And the night of ignorance.


Amritanubhav (The Nectar of Mystical Experience)
Chapter Nine.
The following is from the author/translator's introduction:

"For Jnaneshvar, liberation is certainly not merely a dry, intellectual,
unity-awareness; it is the enjoyment of the bliss, or love, of God. It
is a Knowledge-Love; not a love based on the duality of lover and
beloved, but rather an inner joyfulness that arises with the sense of
union with the Beloved. ... The lover and Beloved are one, to be sure;
yet the enjoyment of love continues. This is Amritanubhav: the nectar of
the experience of our own divine Self."

Chapter Nine: The Secret of Natural Devotion (Excerpts)

...as a slab of gold might become
Articles of jewelry
For the sake of beauty

Just so, the one pure Consciousness becomes
The enjoyer and the object of enjoyment,
The seer and the object of vision,
Without disturbing Its unity.

Similarly, the auspicious drums
Of ever-new experiences
May be sounding,
But in the kingdom of Stillness,
Nothing is heard.

One who has attained this wisdom
May say whatever he likes;
The silence of his contemplation
Remains undisturbed.

There is really no action or inaction;
Everything that is happening
Is the sport of the Self.

The undivided One
Enters the courtyard of duality
Of His own accord.
Unity only becomes strengthened
By the expansion of diversity.

Whether he walks in the streets
Or remains sitting quietly,
He is always in his own home.

He may perform actions,
But he has no goal to attain.
Do not imagine
That if he did nothing,
He would miss his goal.

He does not allow room
For either remembering or forgetting;
For this reason,
His behavior is not like that of others.

God Himself is the devotee;
The goal is the path.
The whole universe is one solitary Being.

It is He who becomes a god,
And He who becomes a devotee.
In Himself,
He enjoys the kingdom of Stillness.

What's the point of worshipping with rice
An idol of the Goddess
That's made out of rice?

Fire is naturally hot;
Why should we consider heating it?

No matter where he goes,
That sage is making pilgrimage to Shiva.
And if he attains to Shiva,
That attainment is non-attainment.

How amazing!
That in such a state,
Moving about on foot
And remaining seated on one place
Are the same.

If Shiva Himself appears before him,
It is as if he has seen nothing;
For God and His devotee
Are on the same level.

O blissful and almighty Lord!
You have made us the sole sovereign
In the kingdom of perfect Bliss.

You do not receive anything from anyone,
Nor do You give anything of Yourself
To anyone else.
We do not know how You enjoy Your greatness.

As the Guru, you are the greatest of the great;
But You are also very light,
Capable of buoying up Your disciples,
And thus saving them from drowning in the world.
Only by Your grace can these dual qualities
Of Yours be understood.
_______________________________________________________


Chapter Ten: Blessings to the World (Excerpts)

The lamp's light is meant
For the entire household;
The vastness of the sky
Is for the sake of the whole world.

...it is no secret
That all this is the gift
Of your blissful divinity;
I have nothing of my own.

All that we have said
Is already self-evident.
Can words illumine the self-luminous?

If it be said
that there was then no need
To begin to write such a work as this,
I would have to reply that
We are describing what is already self-evident
Only out of love for it.

It may be that we have tasted it before,
But there is a new delight
In tasting it again.
To speak of what is self-evident
Is therefore unobjectionable.

We are immersed in the one perfect 'I';
We are pervading everything.
Therefore, we can be neither concealed
Nor revealed by anything.

What can we offer ourselves
In the form of exposition?
Would the Self be unexposed
If we were to remain silent?

My speech is therefore the same
As the deadest silence.

Even the ten Upanishads
Cannot approach this silent speech;
There, the intellect becomes
Absorbed in itself.

Jnandeva says,
"This is the sweet Nectar
Of Mystical Experience.
Even those who are liberated
Should have a drink of it."

Some souls have attained Liberation,
Some are seeking Liberation,
And some others are still in bondage.
These remain different in understanding
Only so long as they have not tasted
This Nectar of Mystical Experience.

Just as the streams
Which come to play in the Ganges
Become the Ganges,
Or as darkness going to meet the Sun
Becomes the light of the Sun;

Or as we may speak of different metals
Only so long as they have not been touched
By the philosopher's touchstone,
Which turns them all to gold;

So, those who enter deeply into these words
Are like rivers which, mingling with the ocean,
Become one.

Just as all possible sounds
Meet in the sound, AUM,
So there is nothing else,
In all the universe,
But the Self.

It is impossible to point to anything
That is not God.
Truly, everything is Shiva.

Jnandeva says,
"May everyone in the universe
Enjoy this feast of the Nectar
Of Mystical Experience."


Additional verses:



Jnanadev says:
"I honor the primal pair of Shiva and Shakti
Who, by swallowing up the sweet dish of name and form,
Reveal their underlying unity.

Embracing each other, they merge into one,
As darkness merges into light
At the breaking of dawn.

All levels of speech
Merge into silence
When their true nature is realized,
Just as the ocean and the Ganges both merge
Into the primal waters
When the universal Deluge comes.

---------------------

I offer salutations to him
Who comes to the aid of the Self
Which is suffering limitation
In the wilderness of ignorance.

When he is absent,
One wears the lovely cloak of appearance;
When he appears,
The cloak of diversity vanishes.

When knowledge discovers him within,
He swallows up the knower;
And still he does not become impure.

Though I try to bow to him,
He does not remain before me
As an object of my worship.
He does not allow any sense of difference.

Although the Guru and disciple appear to be two,
It is the Guru alone who masquerades as both.

If a person awakes in a solitary place
When no one else is about,
Then one may be sure he is both
The awakened and the awakener.

--------------------------

A flower fades
After it gives birth to the fruit;
The fruit is gone
After it gives up its juice;
And the juice is gone
After it gives satisfaction.

A hand is often drawn back
After the offering of oblations;
A melody ends after giving enjoyment.

A mirror is put aside
After showing to a face its reflection;
And a person goes away
After having awakened one who is asleep.

Similarly, these three,
Chit, Sat, and Ananda,
After awaking the seer to his Self,
Disappear into silence.

-----------------------------

If one strikes one's shadow,
One strikes only the ground.
Nothing is damaged by slapping empty space --
Except one's own arm.

One may eagerly seek
To drink the water of a mirage,
Or to embrace the sky,
Or to kiss one's own reflection;
But all these efforts will be in vain.

The logic that tries to destroy ignorance
Is in the same category.

Since ignorance is non-existent,
There can be no question of destroying it.
And since the Self is self-evident,
What is there to be proved at all?

-------------------------------------

Nonetheless,
Some say ignorance exists in the pure Self
As fire exists in wood
Before two pieces of it are rubbed together.

But the pure Self
Does not even admit the name 'Self!'
How could ignorance expect to find room there?

Can a flame be snuffed out
Before it was lit?
Or can we leave the shade of a tree
That has not yet sprouted?

Or smear salve on a body
That is not yet born?
Or cleanse a mirror that is not yet constructed?

Or skim the cream
From milk that's still in the udder?

So, likewise,
How can there be ignorance in the Self
Where there is not even room
For calling it 'the Self'?

----------------------------------

The eastern sea and the western sea
Are different
Only so long as they do not mingle.
But once they have intermingled
There is only water.

Every moment, new triads
Of perceiver, perception and perceived,
Are emerging.
Does each one need to be analyzed?

Every moment,
A particular quality is swallowed up
And its opposite emerges.
This is the opening and closing
Of the eye of Reality.

How amazing it is
That when the eyelids are open,
The Self becomes a perceiver
Who vanishes when the eyelids are closed.

The natural state of the Self
Lies between the destruction
Of the perceiver and the perceived
And a new revival of them.

It is like the natural state of water
When the wave that has arisen subsides
And a new one has not yet arisen;

Or like the state
In which our sleep has ended,
But we are not yet fully awake.

It is like the state of the sky
When the day has ended,
But night has not yet come,

Or like the state of the prana
When one breath is finished
And a new one is not yet taken in;

Or the state of one whose senses
Are all enjoying their objects simultaneously.

This is what the ultimate nature of the Self is like;
So, how can there be
Either seeing or non-seeing?

-------------------------------------

A Shevanti flower bursts forth
With a thousand petals,
Yet it does not become anything
But a Shevanti flower,

Similarly, the auspicious drums
Of ever-new experiences
May be sounding,
But in the kingdom of Stillness,
Nothing is heard.

All of the senses may rush simultaneously
Toward the multitude of sense objects,
But, just as, in a mirror,
One's vision only meets one's vision,
The rushing senses only meet themselves.

The sensible universe is only the vibration of the Self.

One who has attained this wisdom
May say whatever he likes;
The silence of his contemplation
Remains undisturbed.

His state of actionlessness
Remains unaffected,
Even though he performs countless actions.

Whether he walks in the streets
Or remains sitting quietly,
He is always in his own home.

He may perform actions,
But he has no goal to attain.
Do not imagine
That if he did nothing,
He would miss the goal.

He does not allow room
For either remembering or forgetting;
For this reason,
His behavior is not like that of others.

His rule of conduct is his own sweet will.
His meditation is whatever he happens to be doing.
The glory of liberation
Serves as a seat cushion
To one is such a state.

God Himself is the devotee;
The goal is the path.
The whole universe is one solitary Being.

------------------------------------------

O blissful and mighty Lord!
You have made us the sole sovereign
In the kingdom of perfect Bliss.

How wonderful
That You have awakened the wakeful,
Laid to rest those who are sleeping,
And made us to realize
Our own Self!

We are Yours entirely,
Out of love,
You include us as your own,
As is befitting Your greatness.

You do not receive anything from anyone,
Nor do You give anything of Yourself
To anyone else.
We do not know how You enjoy Your greatness.

As the Guru, you are the greatest of the great;
But You are always very light,
Capable of buoying up your disciples,
And thus saving them from drowning in the world.
Only by Your grace can these dual qualities
Of Yours be understood.

Would the scriptures have extolled You,
If, by sharing it with Your disciple,
Your unity were disturbed?

O noble One!
It is your pleasure
To become our nearest and dearest
By taking away from us
Our sense of difference from You.

 

***********

END


The is a Holiday gift to HarshaSatsangh and Nonduality
Salon. More verses from Amritanubhav (The Nectar of
Mystical Experience), by Jnaneshvar.


Jnanadev says:
"I honor the primal pair of Shiva and Shakti
Who, by swallowing up the sweet dish of name and form,
Reveal their underlying unity.

Embracing each other, they merge into one,
As darkness merges into light
At the breaking of dawn.

All levels of speech
Merge into silence
When their true nature is realized,
Just as the ocean and the Ganges both merge
Into the primal waters
When the universal Deluge comes.

---------------------

I offer salutations to him
Who comes to the aid of the Self
Which is suffering limitation
In the wilderness of ignorance.

When he is absent,
One wears the lovely cloak of appearance;
When he appears,
The cloak of diversity vanishes.

When knowledge discovers him within,
He swallows up the knower;
And still he does not become impure.

Though I try to bow to him,
He does not remain before me
As an object of my worship.
He does not allow any sense of difference.

Although the Guru and disciple appear to be two,
It is the Guru alone who masquerades as both.

If a person awakes in a solitary place
When no one else is about,
Then one may be sure he is both
The awakened and the awakener.

--------------------------

A flower fades
After it gives birth to the fruit;
The fruit is gone
After it gives up its juice;
And the juice is gone
After it gives satisfaction.

A hand is often drawn back
After the offering of oblations;
A melody ends after giving enjoyment.

A mirror is put aside
After showing to a face its reflection;
And a person goes away
After having awakened one who is asleep.

Similarly, these three,
Chit, Sat, and Ananda,
After awaking the seer to his Self,
Disappear into silence.

-----------------------------

If one strikes one's shadow,
One strikes only the ground.
Nothing is damaged by slapping empty space --
Except one's own arm.

One may eagerly seek
To drink the water of a mirage,
Or to embrace the sky,
Or to kiss one's own reflection;
But all these efforts will be in vain.

The logic that tries to destroy ignorance
Is in the same category.

Since ignorance is non-existent,
There can be no question of destroying it.
And since the Self is self-evident,
What is there to be proved at all?

-------------------------------------

Nonetheless,
Some say ignorance exists in the pure Self
As fire exists in wood
Before two pieces of it are rubbed together.

But the pure Self
Does not even admit the name 'Self!'
How could ignorance expect to find room there?

Can a flame be snuffed out
Before it was lit?
Or can we leave the shade of a tree
That has not yet sprouted?

Or smear salve on a body
That is not yet born?
Or cleanse a mirror that is not yet constructed?

Or skim the cream
>From milk that's still in the udder?

So, likewise,
How can there be ignorance in the Self
Where there is not even room
For calling it 'the Self'?

----------------------------------

The eastern sea and the western sea
Are different
Only so long as they do not mingle.
But once they have intermingled
There is only water.

Every moment, new triads
Of perceiver, perception and perceived,
Are emerging.
Does each one need to be analyzed?

Every moment,
A particular quality is swallowed up
And its opposite emerges.
This is the opening and closing
Of the eye of Reality.

How amazing it is
That when the eyelids are open,
The Self becomes a perceiver
Who vanishes when the eyelids are closed.

The natural state of the Self
Lies between the destruction
Of the perceiver and the perceived
And a new revival of them.

It is like the natural state of water
When the wave that has arisen subsides
And a new one has not yet arisen;

Or like the state
In which our sleep has ended,
But we are not yet fully awake.

It is like the state of the sky
When the day has ended,
But night has not yet come,

Or like the state of the prana
When one breath is finished
And a new one is not yet taken in;

Or the state of one whose senses
Are all enjoying their objects simultaneously.

This is what the ultimate nature of the Self is like;
So, how can there be
Either seeing or non-seeing?

-------------------------------------

A Shevanti flower bursts forth
With a thousand petals,
Yet it does not become anything
But a Shevanti flower,

Similarly, the auspicious drums
Of ever-new experiences
May be sounding,
But in the kingdom of Stillness,
Nothing is heard.

All of the senses may rush simultaneously
Toward the multitude of sense objects,
But, just as, in a mirror,
One's vision only meets one's vision,
The rushing senses only meet themselves.

The sensible universe is only the vibration of the Self.

One who has attained this wisdom
May say whatever he likes;
The silence of his contemplation
Remains undisturbed.

His state of actionlessness
Remains unaffected,
Even though he performs countless actions.

Whether he walks in the streets
Or remains sitting quietly,
He is always in his own home.

He may perform actions,
But he has no goal to attain.
Do not imagine
That if he did nothing,
He would miss the goal.

He does not allow room
For either remembering or forgetting;
For this reason,
His behavior is not like that of others.

His rule of conduct is his own sweet will.
His meditation is whatever he happens to be doing.
The glory of liberation
Serves as a seat cushion
To one is such a state.

God Himself is the devotee;
The goal is the path.
The whole universe is one solitary Being.

------------------------------------------

O blissful and mighty Lord!
You have made us the sole sovereign
In the kingdom of perfect Bliss.

How wonderful
That You have awakened the wakeful,
Laid to rest those who are sleeping,
And made us to realize
Our own Self!

We are Yours entirely,
Out of love,
You include us as your own,
As is befitting Your greatness.

You do not receive anything from anyone,
Nor do You give anything of Yourself
To anyone else.
We do not know how You enjoy Your greatness.

As the Guru, you are the greatest of the great;
But You are always very light,
Capable of buoying up your disciples,
And thus saving them from drowning in the world.
Only by Your grace can these dual qualities
Of Yours be understood.

Would the scriptures have extolled You,
If, by sharing it with Your disciple,
Your unity were disturbed?

O noble One!
It is your pleasure
To become our nearest and dearest
By taking away from us
Our sense of difference from You.


TO ORDER THIS BOOK, GO TO Vedams Books from India: https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no21432.htm

S. Abhayananda's website is www.swami-abhayananda.com

Click here for an excellent web page on Jnaneshvar, which includes photos and further links.

Also http://www.here-now4u.de/eng/jglossar.htm#Jnanadeva