Jnana Yoga is one of the oldest forms of yoga practice, sprung forth from the very heart of the ancient vedic culture itself …
Jnana (or gnana) means ‘wisdom’ in Sanskrit. This is the ‘yoga of knowledge’. But we have to be very careful about the use of the world knowledge here.
Today knowledge is often synonymous with academic study and book learning. Knowledge and information, however, although related, are two very distinct things.
… The knowledge that the jnani is concerned with is real knowledge.
What is Real Knowledge?
Real knowledge is ‘understanding’ which results from direct experience, and that understanding can only come from a deep and prolonged exploration of the ‘inner life’.
… And so the path of the jnana yogi is one of deep introspection accompanied by fervid examination of the classical Vedantic teachings.
The Practice of Jnana Yoga
The practice of this traditional branch of yoga consists of various contemplative and meditative kriyas, with the main objective being the development of the mind, discernment, and a sharp, pure and unclouded intellect.
This leads one toward an attitude of detachment and an impartial witnessing toward the unfolding events of life… In this way the jnani endeavors to discover the underlying truth behind each and every ‘lived experience’.
This type of yoga is solitary work. This is the yoga of the Upanishads, and of all the yoga types, that which most closely approaches the vedantic philosophy.