Shri Datta Swami

Jnana Saraswati – Parabrahma Sutras


159. Knowledge, devotion and service: consecutive steps

ज्ञानभक्तिसेवाकर्माणि तस्यापि रुक्मिण्या इव।१५९।
jñānabhaktisevākarmāṇi tasyāpi rukmiṇyā iva|159|

Knowledge, theoretical devotion and practical devotion as service, are the three subsequent steps followed by Shankara also as in the case of Rukmini.


The knowledge of the goal, the knowledge of the correct path to reach the goal and the knowledge of yourself that you are not already the goal is called ‘triputi’ or the three components of spiritual knowledge. This is the first step. After getting the knowledge of the goal, the interest on the goal called as devotion is developed and this is the second step. Due to devotion, one gets the association of God. Now starts the practical devotion, which is sacrifice of work and fruit of work without aspiration for fruit, to get the real grace of God. This is the third step. Rukmini heard the details of Krishna from sage Narada and this is first step. In the second step, she developed love to Krishna. Due to this love, Krishna married her. She did not aspire to become the queen, but became the servant by pressing the feet of Krishna continuously. The commentaries of Shankara refer to the first step. The prayers composed by Shankara refer to second step. Shankara left even His old mother and was intensively involved in the mission of God through out His life and this refers to the third step. Thus, Shankara represents the total spiritual path of three subsequent steps so that none can add anything after Him.

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