avatar and GYAnI (was Re: "Jagat satya!")

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at YAHOO.COM
Tue Jul 23 10:19:43 CDT 2002

I was checking to see if book "Day by day with
Bhagavan" by D.Mudaliar had anything to say on the
subject and here's what he writes on 14-9-1946:

"My brother has written in a letter to me that Krishna
and Nammalvar have said that God will come to us in
whatever form we worship him; I wrote to my brother in
reply, "A jnani is the highest manifestation of God on
earth, next perhaps only to an avatar." In connection
with this sentence, I wanted to have my doubt cleared
about the relative position of a jnani and an avatar.
Then Bhagavan was pleased to tell me that, according
to the books, the jnani was higher than the avatar,
But when I corrected my letter accordingly, he said,
"Why do you correct it? Let it go as it is."

So it appears that RM's opinion was that the GYAnI is
even greater than an avatar! "Talks" gives a slightly
different picture, that seeing differences between a
GYAnI and avatar is absurd. From Talk no.471:

Devotee: The avatars are said to be more glorious than
the self-realised jnanis. Maya does not affect them
from birth; divine powers are manifest; new religions
are started; and so on.

Maharshi: (1) "Jnani tvatmaiva me matam."
          (2) "Sarvam Khalvidam brahma."
          How is an avatar different from a jnani; or
how can there be an avatar as distinct from the

D: The eye (chakshu) is said to be the repository
(ayatana) of all forms; so the ear (srotra) is of all
sounds, etc. The one Chaitanya operates as all; no
miracles are possible without the aid of the senses
(indriyas). How can there be miracles at all? If they
are said to surpass human understanding so are the
creations in dreams. Where then is the miracle? The
distinction between Avatars and Jnanis is absurd.
"Knower of Brahman becomes Brahman only" is otherwise

M: Quite so.

So according to RM, a GYAnI is greater than or at
least equal to an avatar. Sri Ramakrishna says
something quite different: that an avatar is strictly
greater than a GYAnI. This is a difference between
their teachings.


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