Jnana Yoga is the Yoga of true knowledge, which incessantly strives
to know and understand the difference between the real and unreal,
the permanent and the temporary. The holistic path of Jnana Yoga was
described as a straight, but steep course, by Sadananad in his
Vedanta-Sara, a 15th century text. Jnana Yoga preaches that there
are four means of salvation. According to Jnana Yoga, the person
should be able to detach himself/herself from everything that is
temporary, after following the holistic path. It also aims to attain
tranquility, the control of the mind and the senses, endurance,
faith and the ability for perfect concentration.
It is a popular belief that Jnana Yoga is based on the Hindu
philosophy of nondualism. Contrary to the assumption, the holistic
path of Yoga also finds its place in many branches of Buddhism,
including Zen, Islamic Sufism and some branches of Christianity that
follow the Gospel of Thomas. Jnana Yoga emphasizes on the use of
mind to surpass or discern the mind. It aims to explore knowledge.
There are the Eight Limbs of Yoga in Jnana Yoga. The person, who
follows this holistic path, attains self-discipline, hears the truth
and reflects upon it. There is an urge in the person to attain
freedom from whatever is temporary.
The 'liberation' is attainted through knowledge, rather than
following rituals and ceremonies. However, not everyone is
knowledgeable. Knowledge is limited to the special few people, who
are prepared for sound examination and clear judgment of the nature
of consciousness. This knowledge is attained only if the person goes
through conclusions of the seers by reading scriptures, accumulated
through millions of years. The knowledge, thus accumulated, is
examined by the individual in the light of his own intelligence and
then comes to his own realization. After going through this rigorous
process of Jnana Yoga, the person seeking the knowledge ultimately
gains insight, the ability to discriminate what is true, and what is
The benefits of Jnana Yoga are manifold. The person, who follows
this holistic path of Jnana Yoga, attains tranquility, which is the
art of remaining calm even in the face of adversity. A self-control
in one's own self is attained by following Jnana Yoga. Another
benefit of following this holistic path is cessation, or keeping
one's self abstained from the actions that are irrelevant to the
maintenance of the body and the pursuit of inner-enlightenment.
After a significant period, the person even attains endurance.
He/she is remains unruffled by the play of the opposites in Nature,
such as heat and cold, pleasure and pain, praise and censure. Apart
from this, the person remains single-minded in all the situations.
He/she also becomes able to increase his/her concentration power.