17. tesam jnani nityayukta
priyo hi jnanino 'tyartham
aham sa ca manna priyals
(17) Of these the wise one, who is ever in constant union with the Divine, whose devotion is single-minded, is the best For I am supremely dear to him and he is dear to Me.
So long as we are seekers, we are still in the world of duality but when we have attained wisdom, there is no duality. The sage unites himself with the One Self in all.
18. udarah sarva evai 'te
jnani tv atmai 'va me matam
asthitah sa hi yuktatmd
main eva 'nuttamam gatim
(18) Noble indeed are all these but the sage, I hold, is verily Myself. For being perfectly harmonized. he resorts to Me alone as the highest goal.
udarah sarva evai'te: noble indeed are all these. We pray to avoid emotional suffering (artal) , gain practical advantages (artharthi), obtain intellectual satisfaction (jijnasuh) or gain wisdom (janani). All these are noble. Even if we pray for material things, turn prayer into a formal routine or use it as a mascot, we recognize the reality of the religious sense. Prayer is the effort of man to reach God. It assumes that there is an answering Presence in the world. If we ask, it shall be given to us. Through the exercise of prayer, we kindle a light in our consciousness which shows up our silly pride, our selfish greed, our fears and hopes. It is a means for the building up of an integral personality, a harmony of body, mind and spirit. Slowly we feel that it is degrading to pray for luck in life or success in examinations. We pray that we may know the Divine and be more and more like Him. Prayer is a way of life. Slowly it becomes the practice of the presence of God. It is jnana, integral wisdom, divine life. The jnani who knows God as He is, loves God for what He is. He lives in the Divine. God is dear to him as he is dear to God. While the first three types attempt to use God according to their ideas, the knowers belong to God to be used according to His will. Therefore they are the best of them all. It is possible that, when we are in deep distress, we may pray with such single-heartedness and intensity, to be relieved of our agony. If such a prayer be answered, it may be thwarting
the purpose of God which we are unable to see in our blindness The jnani, however, has the purity of heart and singleness of will to see the plan of God and ask for its realization. "Thy will, not mine, be done."