Friday, September 4, 2020

Is Worship of Jnaani equivalent to Worship of God ?

Original Article by: Sumukha Hebbar

English Rendering by: HS Sudheendra

Respond to (

We have a system in our culture to honour and respect our Guru & other elders. We also worship them as great personalities. This kind of 'Personal worship' is questionable in society. This needs to be understood through an illustration given by Sriranga Mahaguru.
There is an auspicious function in the house of one of the relatives of a person. All the members of the family are warmly and persuasively invited. But on that day, the main invitee is unable to attend the function due to his urgent commitments. If he doesn't attend, hosts would be disappointed. So he sent his son for the function as his Pratinidhi (representative). The hosts received this representative-son very warmly. Without being considered as a small boy, he was greeted to the same seat reserved for his father even as he received the same respectful treatment. He accepted the gifts due to his father and had a graceful farewell too at the time of departure.

This is a usual practice happening in everyone's life. The representative who attended the function received all sorts of respects which were due to his Master. Similarly, in situations like Pooja the Lord is the Nidhi. The one who has realized Nidhi deserves to be considered as His pratinidhi (representative).

Suppose a piece of iron  is placed in fire. After sometime the iron piece too starts glowing like fire. Owing to its  contact  with  the fire for a long duration it changes its form so drastically that it becomes  impossible  to distinguish between it and fire. A Jnaani who has realized God is fully immersed in divine thoughts. All his sapta-dhaatus (seven vital elements) and trikaranas (Body, mind and speech) will be filled with Bhagavadrasa always. The aroma of the cardamom is bound to emanate instinctively from the mouth of the one munching it. Likewise, the Bhagavadrasa blossoms in the personality and in all the activities of a Jnaani. When such a Jnaani is available, he acts as an interface between God and the devotees. He carries whatever we offer to God and in turn brings Lord's prasaadam (grace) to us. Worship of such a Jnaani is thus equivalent to worshipping God directly. Such a person is indeed a Blessed one.  

Hence, worshiping a Jnaani should not be lightly thought of as worship of an individual. It is a worship offered through the representative (Jnaani) of the Supreme Lord, who is the source and substratum of the entire Universe. In the past, the Gurus were Jnaanis. So the traditional reverence for them has been incorporated into our culture. Let us bow to the great Maharshis who have imbibed such noble practices into our culture.

Note: The Kannada version of this article can be viewed at AYVM blogs.