A "Gnani " is one who has gained the knowledge of the "Self" ,which lies beyond the mind. He has delved in to and realized the non-dual tranquility when he transcended consciously all his identification with the physical apparatus.
The one who has realized the true self is not physical but consciousness is termed as Gnani.
By realizing the self is not physical but self is consciousness, one becomes free from experiencing pain and pleasure as reality.
If one is aiming to be a master, Guru or teacher, he will never reach his destination. One has to share his knowledge with the fellow seeker not to make them his followers but only direct them if they are interested to travel beyond form, time and space.
It is foolish to impose our idea on others because everyone is not in same level of understanding. Every one's inner work is on. When they are ripe enough they will understand, assimilate and realize on their own. If they are ready and sharp enough they will grasp it instantly and they will reach their destination with lesser time and effort. Thus preaching, teaching is not wisdom, but by very careful reasoning, seeker has to determine the nature of reality. Thinking in right direction alone helps seeker determining the nature of reality.
Sage Sri Sankara's commentary:-
Page 489: "The knower of Brahman wears no signs. Page 500 asks in effect "Tell us what you know, show it, and let us examine it under the mental microscope." It means we must bring notions and beliefs out of vagueness into clearness. It also criticizes the mystics who claim superior knowledge but who cannot communicate it for purposes of verification.
On page 482: On Gnani: "The knower of Brahman wears no signs. Gives up the insignia of a monk's life…his signs are not manifest, nor his behavior."
The ignorance is the cause of experiencing all sorrow and calamities as reality. Thus eradicating the ignorance completely is necessary. And this is possible only through self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana OR Atma Gnana. Thus, there is no other road to freedom other than Gnana. There is no other entrance other than except Gnana. The ignorance will vanish only when the non-dual wisdom dawns.
That is why Sri Sankara, indicated in Bhaja Govindam says: - [Jnana Viheena Sarva Mathena Bajathi na Muktim janma Shatena] - one without knowledge does not obtain liberation even in a hundred births, no matter which religious faith he follows.
Then it is no use going roundabout way, trace the Brahman which is the formless substance and witness of the universe, which is in the form of mind. By tracing the source of the mind or universe one will be able to realize the Brahman.
Thus, Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana is meant only for those who have intense urge, and courage to accept the truth with humility and reject the untruth. Since people start comparing with their scriptural knowledge, it becomes impossible to assimilate and realize the non-dual truth. Therefore, there is no need to convince anyone other than our own-selves to get the firm conviction.
So they clearly indicate rituals and theories are not meant for those who are searching for the higher knowledge or wisdom. The path of wisdom is the only means.
All the orthodox Advaitins indulge and immersed themselves in ritualistic oriented life style and follow the path of karma and upasana which is meant for lower and middling intellect and not for realizing the Advaitic truth. Many chose these orthodox scholars as their gurus. But these gurus are good to learn the conceptual Adavaita meant for those orthodox who believe their conduct oriented life style leads to Moksha [liberation]. But religious based Adavaita is not the means to acquire Self –knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana. Those who are seeking truth have to do their own homework in order to acquire Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana.