jnana yoga? How is it practiced
Jnana Yoga – How to do and what are its benefits?
Jnana sounds like a familiar word, right? Yes, it means knowledge. But how does it relate to the knowledge of yoga?
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Well, there is not much more than yoga than you know. It is multi-faceted, and Jnana Yoga is one of the many deep concepts.
It helps you to realize what is real and what is not. And much more. To find out, you should read this article. Everything you need to know about Jnana Yoga is here.
What is Jñana Yoga?
Offers jnana yoga with wisdom, knowledge and intellect. But not in the usual way. It is not about the outer use of it and it is not measured in terms of how well a problem is solved or articulate your thoughts through your acute intellect.
Instead, Jnana Yoga trains your mind for something more ingrained. Use your mind as a tool for self-realization.
And for one reason, it is considered the most difficult among the other paths of yoga. Gaining knowledge is, in itself, difficult. Using it for self-realization must be even more difficult, right?
Jnana Yoga requires a strong will and intellect that will allow you to inquire into its nature and go beyond the ego and thoughts of the mind.
The process involves self-questioning, thinking, reflection and awareness to see behind the illusion of their ideas and perceptions and to unite with the ultimate reality and feel one with it.
History of jnana yoga
Jnana Yoga goes a long way back. Yes, at the time of the time of the Vedas. It was one of the first systematized concepts of yoga.
It is discussed in the Gita Upanishads and the Bhagavad. The first Upanishads speak of realizing that the self is one with the final energy.
Bhagavad Gita mentions Jnana Yoga as a path to self-realization. The difficulty of the route is discussed, as it has to deal with a reality without form that could be taxed and therefore only preferred by those who are intellectually oriented.
Even the great Advaita philosopher, Adi Shankara, gave greater importance to Jnana Yoga and widely preached about it.
From its first days now, Jnana Yoga has come a long way, adapting to changes in techniques, but above all it has remained the same.
Now let’s take a look at the method of practicing Jnana Yoga.
The four pillars of knowledge
The four pillars of knowledge, otherwise called ‘Sadhana Chatushtaya’ are stepping stones towards attaining the goal of Jnana Yoga, which is the liberation of your thoughts.
It is best to practice the four methods mentioned below in sequential order as one that will lead to the other.
Viveka is a conscious, deliberate and continuous process using its intellect to differentiate between the real and the unreal, the permanent and the temporal, and the self and what is not.
Next, comes Vairagya, where to get rid of possessions and mundane activities. You must be indifferent to what is temporary.
You should put your ego aside and see things for what they are. Knowledge only dawns when you are free from all attachments.
Shad-Sampati consists of 6 methods that help stabilize the mind and emotions and train to see beyond the illusion of the world.
First of all is Shama or stay calm. It is a practice of being calm and reacting less and less to external stimuli.
Lady is keeping away from the influence of the senses and strengthening her mind.
Uparati is abandoning everything that is not his duty. It’s about making it simple, without unnecessary distractions.
Titiksha is to endure unfavorable situations and be tolerant with suffering and pain.
Shraddha is believing and having faith in a teacher, the scriptures, and the path of yoga.
Samadhana focuses on only one purpose.
Mumukshutva is an intense passion for liberation from the chains of suffering. It is to commit oneself fully to the path of self-realization to the point that nothing else matters.
Now, we are going to learn about the seven stages of wisdom that will be felt through the process of Jnana Yoga.
The seven stages of Jnana
To feel one with the ultimate truth is not an easy task. Only when you cross over the obstacles and challenges, will you get there. Let’s take a look at seven of them as prescribed by the Upanishads.
- Padartha Bhavana
At this stage, the practitioner must long to find out the truth. And to do that, you must study several scriptures, learn under the guidance of a guru, and discuss with like-minded people. Traveling, observing and spinning deep experiences will pave your way to self-realization.
After obtaining all the necessary knowledge, the practitioner must question and ask about him. It must be deepened in the crux of the question of it and find out what it really means. He must experience his knowledge about himself and reflect on his existence, his past life, and the future through meditation.
All study, perception, and meditation clear the way for the practitioner, and now he knows what he has to do to achieve unity with ultimate truth. In this stage, nothing should stop it. You must use your intellect to focus on your soul and move on without any mundane pleasures disturbing it.
In the process of depth of field, the mind becomes pure. Desire and dullness leave your thoughts, and only see your way to realization with clarity. Illusion does not take place at this stage. The mind only perceives the truth.
The absolute truth makes you independent and disinterested. You turn inward and find pure happiness there. Your environment and actions do not affect you anymore, and move beyond the realm of the illusory world.
6. Padartha Bhavana
When the illusions of Mayan collapse, they see reality. You see things for what they are and not what they say they are. Here, you are immersed in yourself and realize that the soul is the only real aspect and everything else is imaginary.
Here, you see yourself as one with the supreme energy. Realize one’s real situation and find liberation in the fact that all are one with the supreme energy and not separate entities.
That’s that. Now, let’s see some common queries regarding Jnana Yoga.