अपि चेदसि पापेभ्य: सर्वेभ्य: पापकृत्तम: |
सर्वं ज्ञानप्लवेनैव वृजिनं सन्तरिष्यसि || 36||
api ched asi pāpebhyaḥ sarvebhyaḥ pāpa-kṛit-tamaḥ
sarvaṁ jñāna-plavenaiva vṛijinaṁ santariṣhyasi
api—even; chet—if; asi—you are; pāpebhyaḥ—sinners; sarvebhyaḥ—of all; pāpa-kṛit-tamaḥ—most sinful; sarvam—all; jñāna-plavena—by the boat of divine knowledge; eva—certainly; vṛijinam—sin; santariṣhyasi—you shall cross over
Even if you are the most sinful of all sinners you shall cross all sin by the raft of Knowledge.
The excellence of Brahmajnana is further declared here. Even the worst sinner can purify himself of all sins by Knowledge. Mountains of sins are burnt into ashes in a trice by a spark of divine wisdom. That is why the Lord gives a highly superlative definition of the sinner. If even the most wicked is able to cross over all sin by the raft of Knowledge, others need not have any doubt about their salvation through knowledge. Enough it is if there is repentance and a determination to sin no more.
The verse does not mean that people wilfully commit sins. That is not the import of the Lord’s teaching. In former births, out of ignorance, a man might have committed several kinds of sins, but all of them would be cleared when the light of knowledge dawns. Indeed man’s sins are compared to an ocean and Knowledge is rightly spoken of as the launch to cross the ocean. We have such examples of sinners turned into saints. The life of Valmiki illustrates this point. He lived the life of a dacoit in the beginning, but when wisdom dawned on him the sinner was transformed into a saint.
Question: What are the means to overcome sins?
Question: What is the excellence of Jnana?
Answer: Jnana purifies the worst sinner and leads him to liberation.