The Practices Of Jnana Yoga

Jnana yoga is the part of yoga that focuses on self-inquiry and remembering one’s true nature.

“Jnana” means knowledge or wisdom. It employs the philosophy of Vedanta which is found in the Upanishads, the concluding portions of the oldest Indian scriptures or Vedas. It is said to be the most difficult path because one must be established in the other paths before one can use the mind to transcend its own false identifications and attain knowledge of the Self. Jnana yoga states that the individual soul is identical with the cosmic soul, and all other identifications such as “I am a doctor, I am a woman, I am young”, etc. are viewed as illusory.

Jnana yoga explains that the Self is without attributes. The Self is seen as absolute existence, knowledge and bliss. Absolute existence means without beginning and end or birth and death. Absolute knowledge means without any ignorance or having universal consciousness. Absolute bliss means without pain or suffering.

Jnana yoga recognizes that individuals are constantly becoming attached to false impressions of who they are, but gradually through the practice of self-inquiry and remembrance of one’s true nature these false identities, like veils, become thinner and the Self shines through. This experience of Self-Realization is one of unity or oneness with all beings.