Jnana Yoga | The Yoga Warehouse (2024)

Jnana Yoga | The Yoga Warehouse (1)

“Jnana Yoga, or the science of the Self, is not a subject that can be understood and realized through mere intellectual study, reasoning, discussion or arguments. It is the most difficult of all sciences.” – Swami Sivananda

Jnana Yoga is said to be the most difficult path, not because it is superior, but because we must firmly be grounded in the three other disciplines before attempting it. Without having fully embodied the lessons of selflessness, love of the Divine, and strength of mind and body, any search for Self-realization through this Yogic path is mere speculation.

The intellectual approach to spiritual evolution, Jnana Yoga is the fourth of the Four Paths of Yoga, and it is where the mind is used to examine its own nature.

Jnana is Knowledge

1. Right Attitude

Yogis teach that to know Brahman as one’s own Self is Jnana. To intuitively assimilate, “I am Brahman, the pure, all-pervading Consciousness, the non-enjoyer, non-doer and silent witness,” is Jnana. To behold the one Self everywhere is Jnana.

On the other side of the coin is ignorance, Ajnana. When we personally identify with the illusory vehicles of body, mind, senses and Prāṇa – that is Ajnana. For us to say, “I am the doer, I am the enjoyer” – that is Ajnana.

According to the great Yogis like Swami Sivananda, Jnana alone can destroy Ajnana, just as light alone can remove darkness.

2. Right Motive

Yogis share that Self-realization or direct intuitive perception of the Supreme Self is an absolute necessityfor experiencing reality as it is. This path of Wisdom is, however, not meant for the masses whose hearts are not yet pure enough and whose intellects are not yet sharp enough to understand and practice this razor-edge path. Hence, Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga are to be practiced first, which will render the heart pure and make it fit for the reception of Knowledge.

3. Opening to Self

According to Swami Sivananda, once we Know the nature of Brahman, all names, forms and limitations fall away. He teaches that the world and this little “I” are false, that the world is a solid reality to those of us who are yet worldly and full of individual desires. The practice here being: constantly meditate on our divine nature – for if we rise above and eliminate the false egoism, we can grow beyond Maya. With the touch of Grace, ignorance dissolves.

4. Serving the Self in All

The great Yogis teach us to stay in the world but to be not worldly.They teach us to practice selfless service. And then again to practice more. In order to align with the Self, we must continually strive to contribute to the greater good – both in ourselves and in others.

In Jnana Yoga, Viveka is the destination. It is the discrimination between the real and the unreal, between the permanent and the impermanent, between the Self and the non-Self. Viveka dawns in us through the Grace of God, or Self, or the Mantra. This Grace can come only after we have done unceasing selfless service in countless births with the feeling that we are merely an instrument of the Supremeand that the work completed through our hands is an offering to the Divine.

“Serve. Love. Give. Purify. Meditate. Realize.”

Jnana Yoga | The Yoga Warehouse (4)

Jnana Yoga | The Yoga Warehouse (2024)


What are the 4 pillars of Jnana Yoga? ›

There are four pillars of knowledge which build upon each other and must be practiced in a sequential order. These pillars help cultivate spiritual understanding and insights to reduce one's suffering and dissatisfaction in life. The four pillars of knowledge are Viveka, Vairagya, Shat-sampat and Mumukshutva.

Why is jnana yoga difficult? ›

In the Bhagavad Gita, jnana yoga is also referred to as buddhi yoga and its goal is self-realization. The text considers jnana marga as the most difficult, slow, confusing for those who prefer it because it deals with "formless reality", the avyakta. It is the path that intellectually oriented people tend to prefer.

What are jnana yoga's basic concepts? ›

Also known as Gyana Yoga, Jnana Yoga is defined as the practice of shedding the ego and gaining knowledge of the true Self through self study and analysis. With this deep awareness of the 'Self', you are able to understand the difference between what is real and unreal.

What is the difference between karma yoga and Jnana yoga? ›

Jnana means knowledge and wisdom, an activity of the brain and intellect. Karma means action; an activity performed using the sense organs and organs of action. Karma is the 'doing ' or 'willing' aspect of the human being. Bhakti is the 'feeling' aspect of a person's existence experienced in the heart.

What is the first phase of Jnana Yoga? ›

There are three phases in jnana yoga: Sravana, the first exposure to knowledge in any form (reading a book, listening to a lecture, watching a video). Manana, revisiting the knowledge for further understanding. Nididhyasana, the phase of experimentation.

What are the 4 consciousness in yoga? ›

The Four States of Consciousness—Beyond the Waking State

Mandukya Upanishad is the source of the Hindu revelations about the Four States of Consciousness and defines these states as waking, dreaming, deep sleep, and turya (the fourth state, which is the state of enlightenment).

What are the disadvantages of jnana yoga? ›

The disadvantage of jnana yoga is that it can easily draw the aspirant into a deluded mental condition. It is easy for the inexperienced aspirant to confuse the elevated state of transcendence of body and mind with his own psychological condition of dissociation from body and personality.

What is the most powerful yoga form? ›

Ashtanga Yoga

The Path: The most dynamic and vigorous form of yoga, Ashtanga approaches yoga with a continuous flow of movement. Top athletes who seek a more intense workout enjoy this form of yoga, sometimes called vinyasa or power yoga.

Is Buddhism Jnana Yoga? ›

Buddha taught that all actions (karma) originate within the mind hence his emphasis was to purify the mind via jnana yog and through that everything follows , with an impure mind the Bhakti and karma would be bad but with a pure mind the Bhakti and karma would be good.

What is the quote of Jnana Yoga? ›

Quote: “Solve first the, “Who am I?” problem. All other problems will be automatically solved.” Yoga philosophy is called Vedanta philosophy; it comes from the scripture called the Vedas.

Who are the followers of Jnana Yoga? ›

The Path of Knowledge: Jnana Yoga

Jnanis, followers of nondualistic or advaita Vedanta, can also be called monists for they affirm the sole reality of Brahman. Of course, all followers of Vedanta are monists: all Vedantins affirm the sole reality of Brahman.

What are the benefits of Jnana Yoga? ›

Jnana Mudra Benefits
  • Often seen in Lord Buddha's idols or pictures, in this Jnana Mudra, it relates to pure knowledge pertaining to enlightenment. ...
  • Helps to sharpen memory, over repeated practices for longer duration.
  • With memory, comes concentration, learning capabilities, awareness and clear mind.

What is the difference between Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga? ›

Raja Yoga seeks to close this chasm by developing self-control on both the physical and mental planes to achieve samadhi, or oneness, with the ultimate reality. Jnana Yoga is grounded on the non-dualistic philosophy of Advaita Vedanta. It argues that there is no difference between the self and the ultimate reality.

What are the 4 secrets of Karma Yoga? ›

A Karma Yogi should have a balanced mind. He should be calm, cool and serene always. He should combine bhakti or jnana yoga with Karma Yoga. He should be good and do good.

What are the 4 elements of yoga? ›

Essentially, however, current practice involves four primary types of yoga: karma, bhakti, jnana, and raja. Karma [KAR-muh] yoga isthe path of service through selfless action for the good of others - for example, Mother Teresa's works to serve poor people as a way to connect the compassion of God with humanity.

What are the 4 parts of yoga? ›

Yoga manifests itself as four major paths, namely Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Rāja Yoga and Jñāna Yoga. These four paths are like the branches of a tree or tributaries of a river.

What are the 4 pillars of knowledge in Hinduism? ›

Dharma, Kama, Artha, and Moksha are the four pillars of Hinduism. These provide Hindus with the opportunity to live a happy life by behaving rationally and thoughtfully.

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