परं भूय: प्रवक्ष्यामि ज्ञानानां ज्ञानमुत्तमम् |
यज्ज्ञात्वा मुनय: सर्वे परां सिद्धिमितो गता: || 1||
paraṁ bhūyaḥ pravakṣhyāmi jñānānāṁ jñānam uttamam
yaj jñātvā munayaḥ sarve parāṁ siddhim ito gatāḥ
śhrī-bhagavān uvācha—the Divine Lord said; param—supreme; bhūyaḥ—again; pravakṣhyāmi—I shall explain; jñānānām—of all knowledge; jñānam uttamam—the supreme wisdom; yat—which; jñātvā—knowing; munayaḥ—saints; sarve—all; parām—highest; siddhim—perfection; itaḥ—through this; gatāḥ—attained
The Lord said: Once more I will expound that Supreme Knowledge, the most exalted of all forms of knowledge, by gaining which all the sages have attained highest perfection.
Bhuyah: (again) the Lord, out of compassion for mankind, repeats and re-declares the excellence of that wisdom which takes man beyond all sorrow and death. The Lord attaches the greatest importance to this knowledge, the best and the highest. so the seekers should strive to know this Truth, and free themselves from the bondage of samsara.
Jnananam jnanam uttamam: Knowledge is of various kinds in the material world-knowledge of the different sciences and the different arts-each branch of knowledge leading to the understanding of a particular aspect of life and nature. Here the Lord declares that knowledge leading to Self realisation is the best and the highest (param). No other knowledge can unravel the mystery of man’s personality and take to the state of freedom and perfection. Without it there is no inner illumination, there is no freedom and perfection. So this knowledge is the highest.
Yat jnatva munayah sarve: The Lord cites the example of the great sages of yore. All of them have attained the Highest by means of this wisdom. There is no exception to the rule possessing this wisdom all reach the highest goal. The efficacy of a particular medicine is proved by the number of patients who were cured by it. Such a medicine is of universal benefit. So also, this wisdom has worked the miracle on all those who have taken to it with faith and diligence. The bound soul is liberated at once by the knowledge. Such is its excellence. The sages (munayah: the thinkers of Truth) have devoted themselves to this knowledge by constant thought and meditation, and so they have achieved the highest perfection. Mere theoretical understanding is not enough. Deep and personal experience of the truth is necessary for Self-realisation.
Parām siddhim: Moksha is the highest state. The Lord declares it again and again. It is a popular illusion to think of Moksha as a state of emptiness and nothingness. No. It is a state of positive bliss and blessedness. To him who has experienced it, all other states of wealth and position, power and glamour, appear as insipid, tasteless, low and worthless. So the sages are perfect in their ‘vairagya‘, because they have attained the highest, and all the lower things up to Brahmaloka have no attraction for them at all. Let the aspirants be fully aware of the supreme excellence of the goal they have set before themselves, and be not tempted by anything else in the world.
Question: What is the excellence of the wisdom declared by the Lord?
Answer: (1) Of all kinds of knowledge, it is the highest. (2) Possessing it, all the sages have attained Moksha.
Question: What is the state of Moksha?
Answer: It is the supreme state not comparable with any other state in the world.