Jnana Yoga

The yoga of knowledge. Practitioners of jnana yoga use the mind to understand the greater truth within the mind. The premise is all knowledge and truth already exists in the mind. Just like an ice sculpture artist who finds a shape within a block of ice, students of jnana yoga learn how to access knowledge and truth within their own mind. Practicing jnana yoga demands great concentration and strength of will – you must figure out how to transcend your own thoughts and ego.

The process of jnana yoga is to consistently question the self and reflect on the limits of the ego. Through this process, you arrive at a place of yearning for freedom from suffering.

Jnana is a six-step process. Patience is the key to success:

Tranquility

The perseverance to maintain peacefulness in the mind in spite of external stimuli.

Control

Ongoing mental fortitude against the senses. The practitioner trains the senses to be used only as instruments of the mind, rather than the other way round.

Withdrawal

Renounce all duties that are not directly related to one’s duty. Jnana requires a lifestyle of simplicity where there are no distractions from the spiritual path.

Endurance

Hardiness in the face of external forces that create suffering. Success/failure, pain/pleasure are examples of these forces. Jnana yogis endure all forces and resist the urge to suffer.

Faith

The certainty that this is the correct path and that the teachings of jnana will guide the way.

Concentration

Complete focus and attention on the greater truth of the universe. Complete abandonment of attachment to thoughts and perceptions of the world.