Some say that self-enquiry eventually culminates in surrender, and others say the opposite. Which is true? By the way, Self-Enquiry can also be referred to the path of Jnana (Knowledge or Wisdom) and Self-Surrender is also known as the path of Bhakti (love or devotion).
Ramana Maharshi has sometimes said it one way, and other times another, and other times said they are the same path. Again, which of these is true?
Let us see definitively what Sri Ramana says about this (surrender = Bhakti; Self-enquiry = jnana) in Guru Vachaka Kovai*, a text that is widely considered to be the most authoritative, reliable and comprehensive collection of the verbal teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi:
722. When scanned, bhakti supreme and jnana
Shine as in their essence one.
Saying that one of them is but
A means to the other is only due
To understanding neither.
723. Even those who know may sometimes seem
To honour this saying and so prefer
One or the other of these paths.
This is in order to prevent
Some seeker half-way on one path
From giving it up and choosing the other.
724. When one adopting self-enquiry
Reaches the journey’s end and gains
Samadhi’s bliss, it is solely due
To the grace of God, one’s inmost Self,
Life of one’s life.
725. Unless the Self, the God within,
By power of grace pulls in the mind,
Who has the strength through his own effort
To stop the rogue mind’s outward drift
And merge it in the Heart and so
728 To tell the truth, God’s grace supreme
And the keen quest “Who am I?”,
Which means abidance in the Heart,
Will work together as mutual aids
And bring one to the state of oneness
With the Self supreme.
729 This maya world-dream will not end
Unless the Self within speaks out.
The enquiry, “Who is the dreamer
Of this dream?” is prayer addressed
To Him to speak and wake us up.
730. It is said that meditation
On one’s own being [Tom: ie. Self-enquiry] is supreme
Devotion to all-transcending God,
Because, though spoken of as two,
They are in substance one.
731. The way of knowledge and the way of love
Are interwoven close. Don’t tear
Asunder these inseparables.
But practise both together holding
In the heart the two as one.
Meditation on the Self
Is devotion to the Lord
Supreme, since He abides as this,
Our very Self.
– SRI BHAGAVAN 13
*Guru Vachaka Kovai, or The Garland of Guru’s sayings, is widely considered to be the most authoritative, reliable and comprehensive collection of the verbal teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi. Here is what Ramana Ashram states about the Guru Vachaka Kovai in the foreword of their publication of it:
‘[Guru Vachaka Kovai] provides the most precise, systematic and authoritative exposition of Sri Bhagavan’s teaching, explaining step by step the theory, the practice and the experience of jnana, the Truth supreme which is Being as Life Eternal, Pure Awareness, Perfect Bliss. Thus, the most comprehensive collection of the Maharshi’s sayings is Guru Vachaka Kovai.’
The paths of knowledge and love are more fully explained in the text The Path of Sri Ramana which you can download for free here. This is one of the few texts that goes into detail into both the paths of knowledge and love.
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4 thoughts on “Does Jnana (or Self-Enquiry) lead to Bhakti (or Self-Surrender) or the other way round? Sri Ramana Maharshi”
Hi there. Ramana have shared that bhakti is the mother of jnana. Jnana that does not include bhakti is like being lost in a jungle without a compass. Om Namah Shivaya.