The Yoga of Knowledge • Yoga Fundamentals


Yoga started as a psychological follow to find strategies and strategies of utilizing the thoughts to lower struggling and to find and create extra contentment, pleasure, and peace. As yoga continued to be refined, developed and studied, it grew to become extra numerous within the varieties and philosophies of the follow. Yoga developed three after which 4 fundamental paths of follow: Karma Yoga (selfless service), Bhakti Yoga> ( devotion), Raja Yoga> (meditation), and Jnana Yoga (self-inquiry). Jnana (knowledge or information) is taken into account probably the most tough of the 4 fundamental paths of Yoga, requiring nice self-control and mind.

What’s Jnana Yoga?

Jnana is Sanskrit for “information or knowledge” and Jnana Yoga is the trail of achieving information of the true nature of actuality by means of the follow of meditation, self-inquiry, and contemplation. Jnana Yoga could be outlined because the “consciousness of absolute consciousness,” and is a complete follow of self-study (Svadhyaya).

In Jnana yoga, the thoughts is used to inquire into its personal nature and to transcend the thoughts’s identification with its ideas and ego. The elemental aim of Jnana yoga is to change into liberated from the illusionary world of maya> (self-limiting ideas and perceptions) and to attain the union of the internal Self (Atman) with the oneness of all life (Brahman). That is achieved by steadfastly practising the psychological strategies of self-questioning, reflection and acutely aware illumination which might be outlined within the 4 Pillars of Data. Jnana Yoga makes use of a one-pointed meditation on a single query of self-inquiry to take away the veils of phantasm created by your ideas, world views, and perceptions. This follow lets you notice the short-term and illusionary nature of maya and to see the oneness of all issues.

“Jnana Yoga, or the science of the Self, just isn’t a topic that may be understood and realized by means of mere mental research, reasoning, dialogue or arguments. It’s the most tough of all sciences.” – Swami Sivananda

Stipulations of Jnana Yoga

The 4 Pillars of Data (sadhana chatushtaya) are the prescribed steps towards reaching liberation in Jnana Yoga. These practices construct upon one another and thus ought to be practiced in sequential order. Even when one doesn’t have the aim of reaching liberation, practising these strategies will domesticate non secular perception and understanding in addition to cut back one’s struggling and dissatisfaction of life.

  1. Viveka (discernment, discrimination) is a deliberate, steady mental effort to tell apart between the true and the unreal, the everlasting and the short-term, and the Self and not-Self.
  2. Vairagya (dispassion, detachment) is cultivating non-attachment or indifference towards the temporal objects of worldly possessions and the ego-mind. “It is just when the thoughts is totally free from the attachment of all types that true information begins to daybreak.” – Swami Sivananda.
  3. Shatsampat (six virtues) are six psychological practices to stabilize the thoughts and feelings, and to additional develop the flexibility to see past the illusions of maya.

    • Shama (tranquility, calmness) is the flexibility to maintain the thoughts peaceable, by means of moderating its response to exterior stimuli.
    • Dama (restraint, management) is the strengthening of the thoughts to have the ability to resist the management of the senses, and the coaching of the senses for use solely as devices of the thoughts.
    • Uparati (withdrawal, renunciation) is the abandonment of all actions that aren’t one’s Dharma (Responsibility). A easy life-style is adopted that accommodates no worldly distractions from the non secular path.
    • Titiksha (endurance, forbearance) is the tolerance of exterior non-conducive conditions which might be generally thought-about to provide struggling, particularly in excessive reverse states (success and failure, cold and hot, pleasure and ache).
    • Shraddha (religion, belief) is a way of certainty and perception in a single’s guru (trainer), the scriptures and the yogic path.
    • Samadhana (focus, focus) is the whole one-pointedness of the thoughts.

  4. Mumukshutva (longing, craving) is an intense and passionate want for reaching the liberation from struggling. With the intention to obtain liberation, one have to be utterly dedicated to the trail, with such longing that every one different needs fade away.

Find out how to follow Jnana Yoga

self-inquiry meditation

It may be tough to understand or comprehend the mental strategy of jnana yoga, and since one can simply overemphasize mental attainment it is very important domesticate humility and compassion on this path. It’s straightforward to change into entangled within the constructs and ideas of the thoughts and lose sight of the aim of jnana: to appreciate the divine oneness inherent in all beings.

It’s endorsed that one follow Hatha Yoga, Karma Yoga> and Bhakti Yoga> as conditions. These yogic practices will put together and purify the physique, thoughts, and coronary heart for the trials of Jnana Yoga.

Upon getting attained some development within the different yogas, start practising the 4 pillars of information. You don’t want to really feel you have got mastered one pillar earlier than transferring on to the subsequent, however do resist the temptation to progress ahead earlier than you’re prepared. That is thought-about a complicated follow and thus could be contraindicated for anybody with a historical past of psychological illness or emotional instability. Working with a certified trainer or guru is extremely really helpful to precisely assess your progress, supply particular person instruction, and supply steering to your development.

Three core practices of Jnana Yoga

After one has studied and efficiently practiced the 4 pillars, then you’re thought-about prepared to start the Three core practices of Jnana Yoga. These Upanishadic teachings embrace sravana or “listening to,” manana or “reflection,” and nididhyasana or “meditation”.  These result in Atma-Sakshatkara or direct realization.

  • Sravana is the listening to or experiencing the sacred information within the historical Vedic texts of the Upanishad. Normally, a trainer or guru will information the yogi by means of discussions on the philosophy of non-dualism. On this stage, the scholar ought to learn and research the Upanishads and obtain a deep understanding of the ideas of Atman and Brahman and the philosophy of non-dualism.
  • Manana is the pondering and reflecting on these teachings of non-duality.  The scholar is anticipated to spend many hours pondering and considering on the varied concepts of svadhyaya and sravana.
  • Nididhyasana is the fixed and profound meditation on the internal Self. This entails the meditation and reflection on the true which means of the Maha-Vakyas, the first mantras or “Nice Sayings” of the Upanishads. By way of the continual deal with these seeds of knowledge, a yogi can acquire the union of thought and motion, understanding and being.

The Upanishads’ nice teachings

The Sanskrit phrase “Maha” could be translated as nice or mighty, and the phrase Vakya interprets as a sentence or saying. The Maha-Vakyas are probably the most revered and highly effective sayings within the historical Indian scriptures of the Upanishads>. The common contemplation and meditation of the Maha-Vakyas purifies our minds, promotes introspection and perception, and results in transcendental states of consciousness.

There are 4 fundamental Maha-Vakyas however their contemplation leads one to the identical realization. They current completely different factors of view on the best way to see the indivisible oneness of all issues. These 4 aphorisms additionally present the solutions to the traditional questions of Jnana Yoga. ”who am I?, What’s my function? What’s The character of this actuality?” These can all be answered by meditating on the Maha-Vakyas.

The 4 Maha-Vakyas

  • Prajnanam Brahma–Brahman (Final Actuality) is supreme consciousness.
  • Aham Brahmasmi–I’m Brahman (the Supreme Self )
  • Tat Tvam Asi–Thou artwork that.
  • Ayam Atma Brahma–Atman (True Self) is Brahman (Final Actuality).

Jnana Bhumikas: The Seven Phases of Knowledge

Swami Sivananda describes seven levels> that yogi will progress by means of whereas engaged within the follow of Jnana Yoga. Use this as a roadmap to gauge your development and steer your self skillfully in the direction of your vacation spot. You’ll need to beat the challenges in every stage to maneuver ahead in the direction of turning into one with the upper self.

  1. Subheccha (good want). This starting stage requires one to check the Sanskrit texts and be captivated with discovering the reality. One ought to try in the direction of non-attraction or indifference in the direction of all sensual objects.
  2. Vicharana (Philosophical inquiry). The second stage entails questioning, contemplation and reflection on the ideas of non-dualism.
  3. Tanumanasi (Subtlety of thoughts). This third stage assumes you have got understood
    all the required information. Tanu means thread, and on this step, The thoughts “turns into skinny like a thread“ as you let go of all exterior stimuli to focus your entire consideration inwards.
  4. Sattvapatti (Attainment of Gentle). Within the fourth stage, the world seems like a dream And your karma begins to dissolve. A yogi will view all issues within the universe equally on this stage.
  5. Asamsakti (Interior Detachment). On this stage, you change into indifferent and selfless and can expertise deep states of bliss. One will really feel no distinction between waking and dream states.
  6. Padartha Bhavana (Non secular Imaginative and prescient). Within the sixth stage, you start to see the reality and perceive the character of Brahman (Final Actuality).
  7. Turiya (Supreme Freedom). Through the ultimate stage, you’re united in superconsciousness and attain Moksha.

Books to check and follow additional

Jnana yoga is a fancy and tough set of practices that could be explored and practiced in nice depth. If you’re prepared to check and dive deeper into this fundamental department of yoga, take into account studying a number of devoted books on the topic. Beneath are our suggestions so that you can try to be taught extra:

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