Yoga started out as a practice to unlock the true potential of your mind to decrease suffering and create feelings of contentment.
However, with time, as yoga continued to evolve, different philosophies came into being. These include the four main paths of yoga practice.
The four paths include Karma yoga (selfless service), Bhakti yoga (devotion), Raja yoga (meditation), and Jnana yoga (self-inquiry). Out of these four it is Jnana yoga which is the hardest path of yoga and requires a good willpower.
Want to know more about Jnana yoga? Yoga experts have come up with a small guide.
Jnana Yoga – A Brief Introduction
As the name suggests, the word Jnana means knowledge or wisdom. It is the secret path to acquiring knowledge of the true nature of reality through meditation, self-inquirt, and contemplation.
Jnana yoga can also be referred to as awareness of the absolute consciousness and is a comprehensive study of the self. You use the mind to inquire its own nature and transcend its identification with thoughts and ego.
Keep in mind, the final goal of this style of yoga is to gain freedom from the illusionary world of Maya (self-limiting perceptions and thoughts). In the end, Jnana yoga helps you reconnect with the supreme consciousness. You should join a registered YTT school to know more about this yoga style.
However, for that to happen you should first understand the four pillars of Jnana yoga.
4 Pillars of Jnana Yoga
The four pillars in Jnana yoga represent the different steps you have to follow to achieve the goal of liberation. Keep in mind, these practices are dependent on each other and have to be followed in a sequential order.
Even if you do not want to achieve liberation, following these 4 pillars help you develop spiritual insight and reduce suffering and dissatisfaction with life.
Given below are the four pillars of Jnana yoga.
The continuous and deliberate intellectual effort to know the difference between real and unrea, permanent and temporary, and self and the not-self.
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Cultivating non-attachment or indifference towards temporary objects or worldy possessions and the ego-driven mind.
This contains a total of six principles namely Shama, Dama, Uparati, Titiksha, Shraddha, and Samadhana which help you develop the ability to look beyond the illusions of Maya. You should enroll in a certified RYT 500 to understand all these six principles.
The intense desire or passion to achieve liberation from all the suffering. You have to be completely committed to the path of Jnana yoga for this to happen.
That is not all! There are 3 core principles of Jnana yoga.
Core Principles of Jnana Yoga
After you have studied and practiced all the four pillars under an experienced yoga teacher, it is time for you to focus on the three core principles of Jnana yoga.
Given below are the three core principles of this yoga style.
Hearing or experiencing sacred knowledge in ancient Vedic texts of the Upanishads. In this, a learned yoga teacher or guru offers you guidance through discussions on non-dualism. You have to read and study the Upanishads to acquire a deeper understanding of the concepts of Atman and Brahman.
Thinking and reflecting on the teachings of non-dualism is Manana. You now have to spend hours in thinking and contemplating the various ideas of Svadhyaya and Sravana. Join the RYT 500 to learn about this principle of Jnana yoga from experienced yoga teachers.
The continuous and profound meditation on the inner self refers to Nididhyasana. It includes meditation and reflecting on the real meaning of Maha-Vakyas. These refer to the primary mantras of the Upanishads. With daily practice of this aspect of Jnana yoga, you can acquire the union of thought and action, and knowing and being.
This is it! The complete guide to Jnana yoga as a beginner.
Do you want to get away from all the noise and distraction of daily life? Are you looking for a way to dive into your true self and unlock the mental potential within? It is time you enroll in a certified YTT school to learn and practice Jnana yoga under expert’s guidance.