Jnana Yoga

Jnana Yoga focuses on recognizing the relationship of our individual soul with God through proper understanding and introspection. Assuming that the individual soul and God (Brahman) are indistinguishable (non-duality; advaita model of life), the aim of Jnana Yoga becomes—realizing that we are God. This concept is also termed as “realizing the self” in many communications, where the individual soul, devoid of any ignorance, is referred to as the “self.” It is intended for people who desire to know God or experience oneness with him rather than to love him and reach him. Because a firm balance and purity of mind is required, meditation is often used as a tool in Jnana Yoga. All duality has to be renounced in the process of removing illusion to experience God. At this stage, all the unreal stuff (the universe) vanishes and we become Brahman ourselves.
Jnana Yoga is not about memorizing theoretical concepts or a philosophical model of non-dualism or believing in it; it is about verifying the material from within. Our self is supposed to reply back in response to our introspection. We should be careful about separating Jnana Yoga from jnana. While spiritual knowledge (jnana) can be one of the highest gifts to humanity, this should not imply that jnana-yoga is the only path for achieving jnana. Lives of saints demonstrate that all routes lead to similar spiritual knowledge naturally irrespective of the path saints begin with.

Excerpted from Devotional Hinduism by M.S. Goel (2008), p. 10.

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