Selecting Masters whose lives and teachings are relevant to the idea of jnani is not easy, and the list above and its ordering will not please everyone. The decision to start with Ramana Maharshi has been done on the grounds that his central teaching was to pursue the question 'who am I' which seem to go straight to the heart of what jnani is about. Maharshi is also the least controversial of the 20th century teachers. Ramakrishna was chosen for second place, despite the fact that he is one of the great bhaktis of all time. His universality makes him uniquely valuable, and also his devotionality is a reminder that bhakti must never be made to appear as an inferior path. Douglas Harding, in his nineties and still alive at the time of writing, has been chosen for third place because his teachings are an entirely Western approach to demonstrating quickly and without recourse to ancient tradition the answer to the question 'who am ?'.
The remaining Masters all contribute a unique insight into the overall understanding of jnani, and are spread through history and geographical location. Two more bhakti Masters are included to round off the picture. All the Masters listed here are accessible through texts that are easily obtainable, and many have websites (there are links to Bibliography and Links sections on each Master). The last two on the list are living at the time of writing, and can speak for themselves (though Mother Meera does so in silence!).
Any one of the Masters chosen here would be enough for the dedicated seeker of truth to work with for a lifetime. Taken as a whole they represent a treasure-house of the spiritual flowering of the human race, even though there are many, many more that have been left out for now.
Only short overviews can be given here, but are done so in the hope that the reader might take one or more of the teachings and pursue them in depth. None are easy, but any of them will yield the 'solid prizes of the Universe' to those that persevere.