adhyaatmajnyaanamnityatvam tattvajnyaanaarthadarshanam |
etajjnyaanamiti proktamajnyaanam yadatonyathaa || 11 ||

 
Steadfastness in the knowledge of the self, contemplation on the goal of the knowledge of reality. This has been spoken of as knowledge. That which is other than this is ignorance.
 
adhyaatmajnyaanam : knowledge of the self
nityatvam : steadfastness
tattvajnyaana : knowledge of reality
artha : goal
darshanam : contemplation
etat : all this
jnyaanam : is knowledge
iti : this
proktam : has been spoken
ajnyaanam : ignorance
yat : that which
ataha : of this
anyathaa : other than
 
Shri Krishna adds two final entries to the list of twenty attributes that help us reduce the importance we give to the kshetra or the field. “Adhyaatma” refers to the self, the “I” in us. “Jnyaanam” is knowledge, and “nityatvam” is constant dwelling in that knowledge. For instance, once we know that the sun is a star and that the earth revolves around it, we never forget it, even when we appreciate the beauty of a sunrise or a sunset. Similarly, we can mourn the loss of a loved one, without letting that incident obscure our knowledge that the human body is ephemeral.
 
“Tattva jnyaana artha” is the goal or the culmination of the knowledge of reality, which is moksha or liberation. We will constantly contemplate on the self only if we feel that liberation is worthwhile, that it is valuable. On the other hand, if we value material goals more than liberation, we will waver in our commitment to inquiring about the self. Therefore, if we are able to make liberation our end goal, we will easily practice all the other attributes that we have studied in the previous few shlokas.
 
Shri Krishna concludes this topic by asserting that what has been spoken of so far is the means of knowledge, it is jnyaanam. Anything that does not provide this means of knowledge is ignorance, it is ajnyaanam, it will only serve to further entangle us in the material world. For instance, if we practice arrogance instead of humility, that is out of ignorance. It will lead us away from the path of liberation. We are urged to lead an intelligent, ignorance-free life in the Gita, right from the beginning when Shri Krishna glorified buddhi yoga in the second chapter.
 
So then, if all this was the means of knowledge, what knowledge does it reveal to us? This topic is taken up next.

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