How do I become a Gnana Yogi

Jnana Yoga - Yoga of true knowledge

Jnana Yoga - also called Gyana Yoga - deals with the search for knowledge and redemption. It is therefore also known as the “yoga of true knowledge”. Jnana Yoga is thus the highest level of the yoga paths, so that Bhakti Yoga or Karma Yoga, for example, are “only” viewed as preparatory to purifying your mind. It is also part of the teaching of “Advaita Vedanta”. The point here is to recognize that there is no duality of subject and object. This means that there is no distinction between man, the world and God. Rather everything forms a unit and the world into which we are born with one body and one mind is a pure illusion. The method of this realization is Jnana Yoga.

Jnana Yoga is ultimately about recognizing in a ritualized way who you are, what is the origin of all being and thus the unchangeable reality (Brahman). Another goal is to overcome ignorance (Avidya). You should find yourself and throw off all traditional untruths you have learned, such as that some people are worth more or that gender roles exist. In this way you come to yourself, to a changed self-confidence and to inner peace. You should experience your strength, your courage and joy. Hinduism is also about being redeemed from rebirth, which occurs through ignorance in the previous life.

How is Jnana Yoga practiced?

Jnana Yoga is usually performed in four steps: First, the thoughts behind the yoga path are conveyed to you by a yoga teacher. This is called the listening phase (Shravana). In the second step you should think about what has been said (manana) and, if you have any doubts, enter into a dialogue with your yoga teacher. This is followed by the meditation phase (Nididhyasana), through which a state of knowledge is to be reached. The fourth step (Anubhava) represents the perfection, i.e. the knowledge of the self. If you make it to Anubhava, then you have arrived at the truth.

The scholar Swami Sivananda reported this truth in his book “Yoga in Daily Life”. Here he describes that through Jnana Yoga you should gain a feeling of invincibility and immortality. At the end there is liberation from all everyday worries up to the fear of death. Because knowledge also means seeing that mortality does not exist.

Means of salvation

Various means of knowledge and salvation are available to you during the four-phase process. This includes first of all knowing what reality and illusion is (Viveka). Furthermore, “Vairagya” supports the path to knowledge. This is about renouncing everything worldly. This includes, for example, the sex drive. The Sanskrit “Neti neti”, which means something like “Not this, not that”, also helps to gain knowledge, because it helps you understand what is not Brahman. In addition, there must be a strong desire for liberation (Mumukshutva) during Gyana Yoga.

Mediatation is first about correct breathing. Furthermore, this should also consist of several different formulas that you should repeat daily. These formulas include the saying “OM Mercy” or “OM Patience”. In this way, these and other virtues such as charity and courage should pass into flesh and blood (“Shad-sampat”). You should be an embodiment of these virtues. Other formulas concern the thought behind Vedanta. Typical expressions are, for example, “You are that”, “I am not this body”, “Everything is just a long dream” or “I am immortal”. Another thought that you can incorporate into your mediation is that about unity and diversity. Do not see yourself as an individual, but as part of a unit. There are no differences, discord or multiple thoughts, rather there is harmony and unity. For this you can say formulas like “The whole world is my home”, “Everything is one” or “I see through all eyes”.

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