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v t e

Jñāna yoga, also known as Jnanamarga, is one of the several spiritual paths in Hinduism
Hinduism
that emphasizes the "path of knowledge",[1] also known as the "path of self-realization".[2] It is one of the three classical paths (margas) for moksha (salvation, liberation).[3][4] The other two are karma yoga (path of action, karmamarga) and bhakti yoga (path of loving devotion to a personal god, bhaktimarga).[3][5][6] Later, new movements within Hinduism
Hinduism
added raja yoga as a fourth spiritual path, but it is not universally accepted as distinct to the other three.[7][8] The jnana yoga is a spiritual practice that pursues knowledge with questions such as "who am I, what am I" among others.[9][10] The practitioner studies usually with the aid of a counsellor (guru), meditates, reflects, and reaches liberating insights on the nature of his own Self (Atman, soul) and its relationship to the metaphysical concept called Brahman
Brahman
in Hinduism.[2][11][10] The jnanamarga ideas are discussed in ancient and medieval era Hindu
Hindu
scriptures and texts such as the Upanishads
Upanishads
and the Bhagavad Gita.[2][12][13]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Definition 3 Upanishads 4 Bhagavad Gita 5 Traditions

5.1 Classical Advaita
Advaita
Vedanta

5.1.1 Behaviors 5.1.2 Practices

5.2 Saivism 5.3 Vaishnavism 5.4 Shaktism

6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Sources

Etymology[edit] Jñāna in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
means "knowledge".[14] The root jñā- is cognate to English know, as well as to the Greek γνώ- (as in γνῶσις gnosis). Its antonym is ajñāna "ignorance". Definition[edit] Jnana
Jnana
is knowledge, and refers to any cognitive event that is correct and true over time. It particularly refers to knowledge inseparable from the total experience of its object, especially about reality (non-theistic schools) or supreme being (theistic schools).[15] In Hinduism, it is knowledge which gives Moksha, or spiritual release while alive (jivanmukti) or after death (videhamukti).[5] According to Bimal Matilal, jnana yoga in Advaita
Advaita
Vedanta
Vedanta
connotes both primary and secondary sense of its meaning, that is "self-consciousness, awareness" in the absolute sense and relative "intellectual understanding" respectively.[5] According to Jones and Ryan, jnana in jnana yoga context is better understood as "realization or gnosis", referring to a "path of study" wherein one knows the unity between self and ultimate reality called Brahman
Brahman
in Hinduism. This explanation is found in the ancient Upanishads
Upanishads
and the Bhagavad Gita.[16] Jñāna yoga is the path towards attaining jnana. It is one of the three classical types of yoga mentioned in Hindu
Hindu
philosophies, the other two being karma yoga and bhakti.[5] In modern classifications, classical yoga, being called Raja yoga, is mentioned as a fourth one, an extension introduced by Vivekananda.[17] Jnana
Jnana
yoga, states Stephen Phillips, is the "yoga of meditation".[18] Of the three different paths to liberation, jnana marga and karma marga are the more ancient, traceable to Vedic era literature.[6][19] All three paths are available to any Hindu, chosen based on inclination, aptitude and personal preference,[20][21] and typically elements of all three to varying degrees are practiced by many Hindus.[6][22] The classical yoga emphasizes the practice of dhyana (meditation), and this is a part of all three classical paths in Hinduism, including jñāna yoga.[5][23][note 1] The path of knowledge is intended for those who prefer philosophical reflection and it requires study and meditation.[24][21][25] Upanishads[edit] In the Upanishads, 'jnana yoga aims at the realization of the oneness of the individual self (Atman) and the ultimate Self (Brahman).[26] These teachings are found in the early Upanishads.[10] According to Chambliss, the mystical teachings within these Upanishads
Upanishads
discuss "the way of knowledge of the Self", a union, the realization that the Self (Atman) and the Brahman
Brahman
are identical.[27] The teachings in the Upanishads
Upanishads
have been interpreted in a number of ways, ranging from non-theistic monism to theistic dualism.[13][28] In former, rituals are not necessary and a path of introspection and meditation is emphasized for the correct knowledge (jnana) of self. In latter, it is the full and correct knowledge of a Vishnu
Vishnu
avatar or Shiva
Shiva
or Shakti
Shakti
(Goddess) that is emphasized. In all its various interpretations, the paths are not necessarily mutually exclusive. A Jnana
Jnana
yogi may also practice Karma
Karma
yoga or Bhakti yoga
Bhakti yoga
or both, and differing levels of emphasis.[13][28] According to Robert Roeser, the precepts of Jnana
Jnana
yoga in Hinduism were likely systematized by about 500 BCE, earlier than Karma
Karma
yoga and Bhakti
Bhakti
yoga.[29] Bhagavad Gita[edit] In the Bhagavad Gita, jnana yoga is also referred to as buddhi yoga and its goal is self-realization.[30] 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.[31] The chapter 4 of the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
is dedicated to the general exposition of jnana yoga, while chapters 7 and 16 discuss its theological and axiological aspects.[32][33][34] Krishna
Krishna
says that jñāna is the purest, and a discovery of one's Atman:

Truly, there is nothing here as pure as knowledge. In time, he who is perfected in yoga finds that in his own Atman. —  Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
4.38, Translator: Jeaneane D. Fowler[35]

Traditions[edit] The Advaita
Advaita
philosopher Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara
gave primary importance to jñāna yoga for the "knowledge of the absolute" (Brahman), while the Vishishtadvaita
Vishishtadvaita
commentator Ramanuja
Ramanuja
regarded knowledge only as a condition of devotion.[1] Classical Advaita
Advaita
Vedanta[edit] Behaviors[edit] Classical Advaita
Advaita
Vedanta
Vedanta
emphasises the path of Jnana
Jnana
Yoga
Yoga
to attain moksha. It consists of fourfold attitudes,[36] or behavioral qualifications:[37][38]

Discrimination (Nityānitya vastu viveka (नित्यानित्य वस्तु विवेकम्), or simply viveka) — The ability (viveka) to correctly discriminate between the unchanging, permanent, eternal (nitya) and the changing, transitory, temporary (anitya). Dispassion of fruits (Ihāmutrārtha phala bhoga virāga (इहाऽमुत्रार्थ फल भोगविरागम्), or simply viraga) — The dispassionate indifference (virāga) to the fruits, to enjoyments of objects (artha phala bhoga) or to the other worlds (amutra) after rebirth. Six virtues (Śamādi ṣatka sampatti (शमादि षट्क सम्पत्ति), or simply satsampat) —

Śama, temperance of mind Dama, temperance of sense organs (voluntary self restraints[note 2]) Uparati, withdrawal of mind from sensory objects [note 3] Titikṣa, forbearance Śraddhā, faith Samādhāna, concentration of mind

Drive, longing (Mumukṣutva (मुमुक्षुत्वम्)) — intense yearning for moksha from the state of ignorance[36]

Practices[edit] Jnanayoga for Advaitins consists of three practices:[38] sravana (hearing), manana (thinking) and nididhyasana (meditation).[42] This three-step methodology is rooted in the teachings of chapter 4 of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:[43][44]

Sravana literally means hearing, and broadly refers to perception and observations typically aided by a counsellor or teacher (guru),[45] wherein the Advaitin listens and discusses the ideas, concepts, questions and answers.[42][43] Manana refers to thinking on these discussions and contemplating over the various ideas based on svadhyaya and sravana.[43][45][46] Nididhyāsana refers to meditation,[web 1] realization and consequent conviction of the truths, non-duality and a state where there is a fusion of thought and action, knowing and being.[47][43]

These practices, with the help of a guru are believed to lead to correct knowledge, which destroys avidya, psychological and perceptual errors related to Atman and Brahman.[48] Saivism[edit] Both the theistic and monistic streams of Shaivism
Shaivism
include jnana yoga ideas, along with those related to karma yoga, and in the case of Saiva Siddhanta ideas related to bhakti yoga. The Shaivism
Shaivism
traditions do not consider renunciation necessary for practicing jnana yoga, leaving ascetic yogi lifestyle optional.[49] Spirituality can be pursued along with active life (karma), according to Shaiva traditions, and it believes that this does not hinder ones ability to journey towards self ( Shiva
Shiva
within) realization. The traditions dwell into this integration of karma yoga with jnana yoga, such as by ranking daily behavior and activity that is done by choice and when not necessary as higher in spiritual terms than activity that is impulsive or forced.[49] The methodology of sravana, manana and nididhyasana similar to Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta
are also found in various traditions of Shaivism. However, nistha or samadhi is sometimes added in Shaiva methodology.[50] The meditational aspects of Shaivism
Shaivism
focus on the nirguna form of Supreme Reality (Shiva).[51] Vaishnavism[edit] The Pancharatra (agama) texts of Vaishnavism, along with its Bhagavata (Krishna, Rama, Vishnu) tradition, are strongly influenced by jnana yoga ideas of the Upanishads.[51] However, Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
also incorporates Bhakti yoga
Bhakti yoga
concepts of loving devotion to the divine Supreme personally selected by the devotee, in saguna form, both in silent meditational and musical expressive styles.[51] The aim of jnana yoga in Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
differs from that in other schools. Advaita, for example, considers jnana yoga as the path to nondual self-knowledge and moksha. Vaishnavism, in contrast, considers it a condition of devotion.[52] Shaktism[edit] The Shaktism literature on goddess such as Kularnava Tantra
Tantra
highlight jnana marga as important to liberation. It differentiates between two kings of jnana: one it calls knowledge that comes from Agama texts, and another it calls viveka (insight). The Shaktism literature then adds that both lead to the knowledge of Brahman, but the first one is in the form of sound (shabdabrahman), while the insight from within is the ultimate truth (parabrahman).[53] Some Shakta texts, such as the Sita
Sita
Upanishad, combine yoga of action and knowledge as a path to liberation. The Devi
Devi
Gita, a classic text of Shaktism, dedicates chapter 4 to Jnana
Jnana
yoga, stating that a Jnana yogi understands and realizes that there is no difference between the individual soul and herself as the supreme Self.[54] The discussion of Jnana
Jnana
yoga continues through the later chapters of the Devi
Devi
Gita.[55] See also[edit]

Yoga
Yoga
portal

Bhakti
Bhakti
yoga Diamond Sutra
Diamond Sutra
Perfection of Wisdom Kevala Jnana Ramana Maharshi Vedanta Yoga
Yoga
Vasistha Vivekachudamani Yoga
Yoga
Sutras of Patanjali

Notes[edit]

^ See for example H. W. L. Poonja, who regarded knowledge alone to be enough for liberation. ^ Example self-restraints mentioned in Hindu
Hindu
texts: one must refrain from any violence that causes injury to others, refrain from starting or propagating deceit and falsehood, refrain from theft of other's property, refrain from sexually cheating on one's partner, and refrain from avarice.[39][40][41] ^ nivartitānāmeteṣāṁ tadvyatiriktaviṣayebhya uparamaṇamuparatirathavā vihitānāṁ karmaṇāṁ vidhinā parityāgaḥ[Vedāntasāra, 21]

References[edit]

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Web-sources

^ Oxford Index, nididhyāsana

v t e

Yoga

Yoga
Yoga
physiology

Three bodies Five sheaths Chakra Nadi

Hinduism

Four Yogas

Karma
Karma
yoga Bhakti
Bhakti
yoga Jnana
Jnana
yoga Raja yoga

Classical yoga

Yoga
Yoga
(philosophy) Bhagavad Gita Yoga
Yoga
Vasistha

History of yoga

Yoga
Yoga
Sutras of Patanjali Eight Limbs

Yama Niyama Āsana Prāṇāyāma Pratyahara Dhāraṇā Dhyāna Samādhi

Mantra
Mantra
Yoga

Pranava yoga Nāda yoga

Tantra

Yogi Yogini Siddhi Shaiva Siddhanta Kundalini Chakra Subtle body

Hatha yoga

Hatha Yoga
Yoga
Pradipika Gherand Samhita Shiva
Shiva
Samhita Yoga
Yoga
as exercise or alternative medicine

Chair Yoga Anti-gravity yoga

Mudras List of asanas List of styles

Contemporary yoga styles and schools

Ananda Marga Yoga Ananda Yoga Anusara Yoga Ashtanga vinyasa yoga Bihar School of Yoga Bikram Yoga Forrest Yoga Hot yoga Integral yoga Integral yoga (Satchidananda) Isha Yoga Iyengar Yoga Jivamukti Yoga Kripalu Yoga Kriya Yoga Kundalini
Kundalini
Yoga Sahaj Marg Satyananda Yoga Sivananda Yoga Svādhyāya Viniyoga Vinyāsa

Buddhism

Theravada

Samatha Samadhi
Samadhi
(Buddhism) Vipassana Anapanasati Visuddhimagga

Mahayana

Yogacara Zazen

Vajrayana

Indian Buddhist Tantra

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