The meaning of Jnana is “wisdom” or “knowledge”. As the name indicates Jnana yoga is the yoga for wisdom or knowledge. So, it can also be termed as the path of knowledge or path of self-realisation. By Hindu mythology, Jnana yoga is one of the three paths of yoga for attaining Moksha (liberation or salvation). The other two paths are Bhakti yoga (devotion to a God) and Karma yoga (Karmamarga or path of action). The yoga center Rishikesh provides guidance to all the different types of yogas, while Yoga classes Rishikesh would help you master Jnana yoga and even make you competent enough to teach other people all the intricacies of yoga.
Jnana yoga is a spiritual practice in yoga which pursues knowledge. Usually the practitioner takes help of a counsellor (guru) to reflect and meditate. Jnana yoga is also known as Gyana yoga. It is the yoga of true knowledge. Some of the renowned Hindu teachers of Jnana yoga are Adi Shankarachrya, Vashistha, Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ramana Maharishi. Through Jnana yoga we learn the truth about who we are and what are we experiencing. The full realisation of this truth brings enlightenment. While all yogas provide a direct path to enlightenment (if they are followed sincerely), it is a personal matter which path is suitable for you. The path of enlightenment also depends on where you are coming from. Jnana yoga can be useful for all people, whichever path they may choose. It always keep the true objective of yoga in sight and showers the blessings of truth at every step. This yoga begins from direct experiences which anyone could have although sometimes these experiences require deep meditation and contemplation. The objective of the Jnana yoga is to learn about the absolute truth about life. At 100 yoga teacher training the participants are introduced both to the physical aspect of yoga and also to the spiritual aspect so that the aspiring yoga gurus can participate in overall development of their students.
Jnana yoga is considered to be the most difficult of the three main paths of yoga. It needs great strength of intellect and will. The basic objective of Jnana yoga is liberation from the illusionary world and achieving the union of inner self with oneself of all life. This can be achieved by steadfast practice of mental techniques of conscious illumination, reflection and self-questioning, as defined by the four paths of wisdom. The four pillars of wisdom are the standard steps to achieve liberation in Jnan Yoga. This yoga should be practiced in proper sequence. Even if you do not have the objective of achieving liberation, you shall cultivate spiritual insight as well as understanding by practicing these techniques and you shall reduce the dissatisfaction of life and your suffering.
Viveka: Viveka (discrimination, discernment) is a deliberate and continuous intellectual effort for distinguishing between real and unreal, self and not self and permanent and temporary.
Vairagya: Vairagya (detachment, dispassion) cultivates indifference or non-attachment regarding the temporal objects of the worldly possessions and the ego mind. Swami Shivananda says that the true knowledge begins to dawn only when the mind is free absolutely from all sorts of attachment.
Shatsampat: Shatsampat (six virtues) are the six mental practices for stabilising the emotions and mind and to develop further the ability to see beyond the illusion of Maya.
- Shama (calmness, tranquillity) is the ability to bring the mind to peace through moderating its reaction to external stimuli.
- Dama (control restrain) strengthens the mind so that it is able to resist the control of the senses and to train these senses for being used as the tools of the mind.
- Uparati (renunciation, withdrawal) is abandonment of all activities which are not one’s duty (dharma). A simple lifestyle is followed away from worldly distraction from the spiritual path.
- Titiksha (forbearance, endurance) is the tolerance of non-promoting situations which are commonly considered to produce suffering specifically in extreme opposite states (cold and hot, failure and success, Pain and pleasure)
- Shraddha (trust, faith) is a feeling of belief and certainty in one’s teacher (guru), the path of yoga and Scriptures.
- Samadhana (concentration, focus) is the absolute one-pointedness of the mind.
Mumkshutva (yearning, longing): Mumkshuvta is a passionate and intense desire to achieve the liberation from suffering. For achieving liberation you must be committed absolutely to the path such that all the desire other than liberation must fade away. It may be difficult to comprehend or grasp the intellectual approach of Jnana yoga, it is necessary to cultivate compassion and humility on this path since one may easily overemphasize intellectual attainment. It is easy to get entangled in the thoughts and constructs of mind and loose the sight of goal of Jnana to realise the divine oneness inherent in all beings.
For centuries Rishikesh is considered as the ideal place to practice yoga as it provides a holy and tranquil atmosphere. It is therefore highly recommended to find a competent Yoga trainer in Rishikesh before involving deeply in the path of Jnana Yoga.