is our reference page on the yoga of knowledge
with an introductory article, links, and book
JNANA MEANS WISDOM or knowledge in Sanskrit. Jnana
Yoga is a technique for seeking liberation in
which identification with the real Self (rather
than with the body or ego) is developed by a steady
effort to discern or discriminate between pure
awareness and the objects of awareness.
Yoga is closely associated with Advaita
Vedanta. Vedanta is one of the six darshans
or philosophies of Hinduism, and Advaita Vedanta
is the school of thought within Vedanta which
believes that everything in the universe shares
a single soul, including you, me, and God.
The techniques of Jnana
- Viveka. This means "discernment"
or "discrimination" in English. This
technique, associated especially with Shankara,
involves a deliberate, continuous effort to
understand that the real you -- the Self --
is something separate from the objects of which
you are aware.
- Neti-neti. This phrase means "not
this, not this" in Sanskrit. You apply
this formula mentally to all objects of awareness
to destroy the false sense that they are you.
When all the objects are banished, the real
you -- the Self -- is what's left over.
- Vicara. This word is usually
translated as "self-inquiry," but
it really means examination, reflection, or
looking within. This technique, associated especially
with Ramana Maharshi, involves a continuous,
deliberate effort to become aware of the real
you -- the Self.
For more on this topic, go here.
| FURTHER READING ON THIS SITE
main reference page on Advaita Vedanta contains
additional information about Jnana Yoga including
more links and book recommendations.
main reference page on self-inquiry, the method
of Jnana Yoga taught by Ramana Maharshi.
great classical Sanskrit poem that gives instructions
for practicing Jnana Yoga.
people think Ramana Maharshi was the greatest
teacher of Jnana Yoga in the twentieth century.
Verses on Reality
is Ramana Maharshi's most comprehensive statement
of his teachings.
Jewel of Wisdom
to tradition, this book was written in the eighth
or ninth century by the most famous philosopher
of Advaita Vedanta. It contains the classic explanation
of viveka, a primary component of Jnana
main reference page on yoga in general.
| FURTHER READING ON THE WEB
Yoga of Discernment and Self-Transcendence
By Georg Feuerstein
overview of Jnana
on the website of the Yoga Research and Education
By Swami Krishnananda
link is temporarily offline as of December 27, 2001.)
overview of Jnana
on the website of Vivekayuktananda Ashram.
nice overview of Jnana
on the website of the Divine Life Society.
Realisation of the Absolute
intellectually rigorous discussion of both Vedanta
and Jnana Yoga, with emphasis on theory and philosophy.