ValueOfValues

Jnanam - Essential Values or Qualities of the Mind
                                                    - Swami Dayananda Saraswati

The values necessary to prepare the mind for  knowledge (that is Vedanta) are set out in the Bhagavad Gita in response to a question by Arjuna.   The 13th Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita begins with this three-part request for instruction addressed by Arjuna to his teacher , Lord Krishna.  Arjuna said:

Oh, Lord, I would like to learn about :prakrti (insentinency or matter) and purusa (sentinency or spirit): ksetra (the field, which indicates the body, or insentinency) and ksetrajna (the knower of the field, which indicates that which is consciousness of the body), Jnanam (knowledge) and jneyam (that which is to be known).
(In some Gita manuscripts the opening verse is not found).
In answer to the third part of this request , Lord Krishna lists 20 qualities of the mind which He terms 'jnanam' or knowledge:

amanitvam adambhitvam ahimsa ksantir arjavam 
acaryopasanam saucam sthairyam atma-vinigrahah 
indriyarthesu vairagyam anahankara eva ca 
janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi- duhkha-dosanudarsanam 
asaktir anabhisvangah putra-dara-grhadisu 
nityam ca sama-cittatvam istanistopapattisu 
mayi cananya-yogena bhaktir avyabhicarini 
vivikta-desa-sevitvam aratir jana-samsadi 
adhyatma-jnana-nityatvam tattva-jnanartha-darsanam 
etaj jnanam iti proktam ajnanam yad ato 'nyatha

Amanitvam
absence of self worshipfulness
Adambitvam
absence of pretence
Ahimsa
non-injury
Ksantih
accommodation
Arjavam
straightness
Acaryopasanam
service to the teacher
Soucham
cleanliness
Sthairyam
steadiness
Atmavinigrahah
mastery over mind 
Indriyarthesu-Vairagyam
dispassion towards sense-objects
Anahankarah
absence of egoism
Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi- dukhadosanudarsanam
reflection on the evils of birth, death, old age,  sickness, and pain
Asaaktih-Anabhisvangah
absence of sense of ownership
putra-dara-grhadisu
absence of fast attachment to son, wife, home  etc.  
Nityam samacittatvam-istanista-upapattisu
constant even-mindedness in the occurrence of
desirable and the undesirable   
Mayi ananya-yogena bhaktih avyabhicarini
unswevering devotion to Me characterized by  non-separateness from Me  
Viviktadesasevitvam
resorting to a quiet place
Aratih-jana-samsadi
absence of craving for the company of people 
Adhyatma-jnana-nityatvam
constant application of the knowledge of the
  self 
Tattva-jnana-arthadarsanan
keeping in view, the purpose of knowledge of  Truth


Knowledge as used here does not mean knowledge of Self but stands for those qualities of the mind which must be present for the mind of the seeker to be prepared for the knowledge of the Self.   Knowledge of self in this case is indicated by jneyam - that which is to be known.  Jnanam, indicates those qualities of mind which must be present for the Vatsu, the Truth (that which is ultimately Real; that which cannot be resolved into anything else), to be known.

For values to be personally valuable they must be discovered through knowledge(seen as valuable by the value holder) and not simply impressed from without.  Therefore, the term 'jnanam' is quite appropriate.  The list of values constituting jnanam is long but the qualities are interrelated, defining a harmonious frame of mind in which knowledge can occur.  Each of the terms used by Lord Krishna highlights a certain attitude, the value for which must be discovered personally in order that the attitude becomes a natural aspect of the seeker's frame of mind.

Although the primary purpose of jnanam values (as told by Lord Krishna to Arjuna) is to prepare the mind for self-knowledge, when the total value of these values is understood one sees that these attitudes have the highest personal values for everyone.  The jnanam values, impartially, bless and make more effective both the mind of the everyday struggler who seeks fullness in the pursuit of artha (securities) and kama (pleasures)   and the mind of the mumuksu-jijnyasu (the seeker of the knowledge for the sake of liberation) who, having discerned the futility of limited ends and means, seeks fullnessthrough the gain of Self-knowledge - through the study of Vedanta. 


Excerpted from "The Value of Values" by Swami Dayananda
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