Archive for September 26th, 2009


Date: 26 Sep 2009 16:19:39 -0000
From: “Liiladhar Karn”
To: am-global@earthlink.net
Subject: Self-Test


“Saba’re kari a’hva’n saba’i a’ma’r pra’n’…” – P.S. 2945


Here goes the clarion call to one and all. Everyone is my own; everyone
is my pra’n’a; everyone is close to my heart. We are all collectively singing the song in unison and moving towards the Goal– Parama Purus’a. Nobody should remain left behind. We should carefully see that nobody should cry in the society, remaining as downtrodden or as neglected one. We are all singing the marching song of life collectively, with one tune and one melody. There is no difference between one human being and another.Everyone’s desires, hopes, and inspirations are the same. We are all moving on one path with the inspiration of the great ideology, which will lead towards greatness…


In our Ananda Marga, Baba has clearly declared in countless discourses
that bhakti is the best. We have all heard or read how Baba proves the
superiority of bhakti over the paths of karma and jinana. The Ananda
Vacanamrtam series alone is filled with dozens of discourses along this

Naturally then, all in the Marga aspire to be top-grade bhaktas. Every
sadhaka wishes to consider themselves as a devotee. Invariably, though,
some fall in the category of being a karmi or jinani.

So the question is: How to tell who am I? How can we know what we are.

This letter is a “Self-Test” for determining how far one is a tried and
true jinani or not. The goal is not to judge anyone else, but to learn
more about oneself.

After all, if one thinks “I am a devotee” when in true sense
they are something else, like a jinani, then they are just cheating
themselves. No one should be confused about who they are.

All should be able to answer this question: “Am I a bhakta, karmi, or

Then one can best address one’s own personal growth and development on the
path. To get the proper answer, honesty is needed, as well as some
critical points detailed below.

(Note: For your ease and reference, after the signature, there are some
links to other postings defining a bhakta, karmi and jinani, according
to the standard of Ananda Marga.)


Some may foolishly reason that it is not important to know whether “I
am a jinani or not”. However, by reading Baba’s strong statements below,
it becomes quite evident that one should know whether or not they suffer
from being a jinani. Without knowing, one will be unable to take steps
to rectify the situation, in which case their efforts for spiritual
attainment will be totally wasted.

Baba says, “Unless a spiritual aspirant is able to get rid of these
defects [of jin’a’nam], the aspirant cannot be established in kevala’
bhakti [non-attributional devotion], which is absolutely essential for
the attainment of Parama Purus’a. The wise will, therefore, adopt such a
conduct as to save themselves from the evil effects of jin’a’na.” (AV-23)

Baba says, “In order for sa’dhakas to save themselves from the evil
effects of jina’na, they must learn how to get rid of those effects, and
thus preclude the possibility of allowing their jina’na to be converted
into bandhya’ jin’a’na [sterile knowledge], which is so much in evidence
among the intellectuals of today.” (AV-23)

Thus, no one should suffer the horrors of being a jinani. All must know
their true colour and advance along the path of devotion – that is the
only way. Being caught in the whirlpool of jinana only means ruining
one’s spiritual life, as Baba clearly warns above.

Thus everyone one of us in AM should know their own nature, and in
particular if one is a jinani or not.

This is self-test to be done internally. This is not about looking at others.


Typically we might classify a jinani as one who creates their own theory
or someone who thinks that “I know” etc.

But there is a more telling attribution of jinanis than that.

First and foremost, a jinani is one who accumulates knowledge only for
knowledge sake, and not for practical use.

This may sound unusual, but actually many do like this, including a few
in our Ananda Marga.

For instance, there are some who are eager to learn all the ins and outs
of sadhana only so that they can deliver a high sounding talk on
meditation – or write a fancy article. In their own life they have
absolutely zero desire to perform sadhana. Such a person is a classic

So one should all ask oneself: Have I ever done like this – even to a
small degree?

Then there are those who seek out all kinds of philosophical knowledge
about Baba’s teachings only in order to preach to others and impress
them. In their own heart, they themselves neither wish to apply those
principles nor do they even believe those precepts.

Once again, one should reflect and think: Have I ever done like this
– even to a small degree?

Then there is this dramatic characteristic of a jinani: Such a person
will vigorously lecture or convince others about points which they
themselves do not believe in their own heart. Yet they will preach those
words in order to gain the respect of others. Such a person is a classic

For instance, a jinani can give a big talk on samskara theory without
even an ounce of feeling in their heart that there is such a thing as
samskaras. Likewise, a jinani can deliver a resounding oration on Taraka
Brahma without even feeling in their heart that Baba is God incarnate.

And not just that, but jinanis can talk about asanas, diet, yama-niyama
etc, even when they themselves do not care about those practices.

That is why Baba Himself speaks so strongly and disparagingly of such

Baba says, “It has been observed that those engaged in the acquisition
of jin’a’na lose touch with practicality.” (AV-23)

They chase after knowledge merely to enhance their own prestige – not
for any greater good like social service nor for their own spiritual

So one has to frankly think about one’s own motivation for acquiring
knowledge and decide if “I fall in the above categories”, even remotely
so. If one does, then that means I am either a full-blown jinani,
or at the very least, jinan oriented.

Of course the proper approach to acquiring knowledge is to enhance one’s
ability to serve others and to practice in one’s individual life.
Knowledge for the sake of prestige etc is just a huge liability. No one
should walk around like this. They may posture themselves as being
smart, but in reality they are ruining their life.

Baba says, “The wise will, therefore, adopt such a conduct as to save
themselves from the evil effects of jin’a’na.” (AV-23)



Actually, these days many religious professionals are jinanis,
especially in the west. They read huge piles of books, preach the word
of god, but live a most ordinary or even degrading existence. In all the
dogmatic religions this happens – to some or more degree as most
religions have drifted far from whatever spiritual base they may have
had in the beginning.

Now many religious professionals preach & study to earn money or to
enhance their career – not to share what they themselves have practiced
and realised. And they get huge prestige for their knowledge.

Whereas in AM, devotion is the highest quality, but even then many fall
prey to jinana.

Please excuse me but we see this phenomenon with various Central Workers
and other top Dadas. They can gracefully deliver a phenomenal lecture on
the importance of Guru and dharma – or so many other topics – yet when
they leave the lecture hall or the book signing, they pay little heed to
Guru’s teachings. They have little or no desire to practice those divine
words in their individual life.

This is the classic sign of being a jinani.

So in our own everyday life, one should pay heed and evaluate what one’s
aim is in gaining knowledge. If it is for anything else other than
serving others and practicing, then that accumulation of knowledge falls
in the category of jinani. Then one is seeking out knowledge for
selfish reasons: prestige, ego satisfaction, social standing etc.

In that case when one gains knowledge one will think, “I am great,
I know so much.” When in reality as sadhakas, one should think that
Parama Purusa is great. After all, all one’s energy comes from Him, without
His divine force, no jiiva con do anything. So it is foolish to think that,
“I am great.” Buttragically this is the classic jinani mentality. They forget
Parama Purusa is doing everything and instead believe that they
themselves are grea. In that case it is extremely difficult if not impossible
for one to surrender to the Supreme. And without surrender, spiritual
success is nothing but a distant dream. Thus one should not fall prey to a jinan
oriented mentality. That is disastrous.


Learning or acquiring knowledge is only useful and beneficial if (a)
done to serve Parama Purusa and His creation and (b) applied to one’s
practical day to day existence.

Beyond that the gaining of knowledge is nothing but a liability and
turns one into a jinani.

Rather we are to follow Baba’s below premises.

Firstly Baba guides us that bhaktas are to use their knowledge and
skills for service only, and not to enhance one’s prestige as jinanis do.

Baba says, “When devotees serve the universe they do it with the feeling
that they are serving the manifestation of Na’ra’yan’a only to please
Him…The direction of Jina’nii is not working here.” (SS-19)

Secondly, Baba guides us that learning and knowledge only have value
when applied to our own way of living.

Baba says, “Educated are those who have learnt much, remembered much and
made use of their learning in practical life.” (PNS-18)


We all want to get success in spiritual life. So one should all honestly
consider one’s own status and motivation. What is my aim in acquiring
knowledge. How sincere am I to practice what I have learned. Or do I
fall in the category of the jinani – the person who acquires knowledge
merely to show others? If so then maximum efforts should be made to
remedy this.

And it is possible to rectify one’s status. Someone who is a jinani today
will be a great bhakta in the future. All are on the move and the sooner
one knows their own status, the faster they can move on the path
of devotion.

Sometimes people think jinanis are only those who are scholarly. And
while it is true that scholars are prone to the path of jinana, in
addition, anyone seeking knowledge for the sake of petty gains (ego,
bragging rights, prestige, status) is certainly a jinani.

With a little bit of honesty one will can easily discern where they stand.
This is the self-test we should administer to ourselves – today. We should
not waste any time. One should find out: What am I.


By Baba’s grace, all have the potential to walk the path of devotion –
nay speed ahead on the path of devotion. No one should get glued to the
path of jinana, neither knowingly or unknowingly. The above test can
help address this.

Baba says, “You are not a small or insignificant human being, you are
the very child of Parama Purus’a. It is your birth right to be
established in the immortality of infinite life. Keeping this supreme
fixed in your memory, proceed to the supreme goal with utmost devotion,
and you are destined to attain the greatest fulfillment.” (APH-4)







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