Jnana Yajna 91

Year & Dates:

August 13, 1961 to August 17, 1961

Yajna Topic:

Shrimad Bhagavad Gita- Chapter 9 & Panchadasi


Chennai, India

By train from Prayagraj to Chennai, after a journey over 36 hours, Pujya Gurudev came to Chennai for an unusual Jnana Yajna, an exclusive set of special talks for the members of Chinmaya Mission. The venue for these talks was M.CT.M. Chidambaram Chettyar School Hall, familiar because of previous yajnas held there. And, the 91st Jnana Yajna was the shortest intensive – a four-day yajna from August 13th to 17th. 

The discourses provided a glimpse into the great text, Panchadasi, written by Swami Vidyaranya extolling the non-dual Absolute Reality in 15 thought-provoking chapters. Panchadasi is uniquely the most elaborate among the elementary texts, the Prakarana Granthas, of Vedanta. Its 1571 verses are divided into three parts of five books (aka chapters), which elucidate the three aspects of Truth – Sat, Chit, and Ananda.  Pujya Gurudev also inspired the avid member-seekers in Chennai with the uplifting verses of  Gita chapter 9 – Rajavidya Rajaguhya Yoga.

Blossoming Insightful Knowledge

In the early part of 1961, Pujya Gurudev had conducted a full scale Jnana Yajna, His 80th in Chennai. In the July 1961 issue of Usha, the effects of that Yajna were reported: “The Chinmaya Floodlight that was projected across the intellectual and spiritual firmament of Madras during this year’s Yajna has been developing into a magnificent spiritual conflagration steadily burning down the fuel of ignorance in the hearts of the Madras seekers. The birth of new branches of the Mission in areas hitherto unexplored or lying dormant in the spiritual field and the earnestness and zest for knowledge evinced in the various study circles of the branches bear ample testimony to this spiritual progress of the Chinmaya pilgrims.”

 Apart from the four strong study groups in Chennai, a fifth group blossomed in Mylapore. Two new branches at Nungambakkam and Kodambakkam were also inaugurated. In His letters to guide the growth of these new offshoots, Pujya Gurudev reminded, “better the knowledge of the path, quicker the pilgrim’s progress.” He alerted how study groups must be dedicated and inspired. He emphasized that the group leader must possess an “unflagging zeal to learn, to impart, and to live the spiritual knowledge grasped by the intellect.”

A Meditation Minute:

उन्मीलदम्बुजदलायतमुग्धनेत्रम् उत्तप्तनिर्मलसुवर्णसमानगात्रम्।

उन्निद्रभक्तजनमानसराजहंसं श्रीचिन्मयं गुरुवरं हृदि भावयामि ॥२॥ 

unmīladambujadalāyatamugdhanetram uttaptanirmalasuvarṇasamānagātram।

unnidrabhaktajanamānasarājahaṃsaṃ śrīcinmayaṃ guruvaraṃ hṛdi bhāvayāmi ॥2॥

“I meditate in my heart upon Śrī Chinmaya, the best of teachers, whose large lovely eyes are like the petals of a blossoming lotus, whose form is shining like pure gold, and is the king of swans (Haṃsa) sporting in the alert minds of the devotees.”

  • Chinmaya Ashtakam verse 2

Pujya Gurudev’s penetrating, deeply compassionate gaze of pure Knowledge removed the blindness of the spiritual ignorance of millions worldwide. His brilliant aura was of shining Consciousness. In every Jnana Yajna, He highlighted the Vedantic know-how to clearly separate the significant from the shallow. To that discerning and wise “Sri Chinmaya,” our heartfelt prostrations.

“Think,” Says Pujya Gurudev 

Vedanta is no religion in the ordinary concept of the term, which implies the formalistic observance of some physical and mental discipline, in some House of God, during a specific day of the week for a prescribed length of time. If we consider religion as an Art of Right-action, then Vedanta is indeed the noblest of sciences, because it provides the scientific explanation for the entire ways of right-living. Krishna here qualifies it as,”this is the Royal Science, the Royal Mystery, pure and very high.” 

The term”Royal Secret” (Raja-guhyam) has been too literally understood and insisted upon by the unimaginative pundits and the effect of their preaching has brought about, to a large extent, the shattering of our culture, at once distressing and sad. The term ‘secret’ here is to be understood as ‘profound’. Newton’s “Laws of Motion”, though they faithfully work out around every living creature and inert things of the world, to a child or to an ignorant villager, it is a secret, inasmuch as, it is too profound for their lay understanding.

From Tyagi Magazine (Geeta Chapter 9)

“Before the creation, there existed the Reality, One only, without a second, and without name and form. That It even now (after creation) exists in a similar condition is indicated by the word ‘That.’

From Swami Vidyaranya’s text: v.5 (Panchadasi)

This alone can give Lasting Happiness!

Desires lead to mental agitation, obstructing the inherent joy of consciousness. True happiness arises when the mind is tranquil, as it reflects the inherent bliss of existence. By transcending desires and calming the mind, one can experience enduring happiness rooted in the realization of one’s true nature beyond the fluctuations of the mind.