jnana yoga

Jnana Yoga – The Yogic Path of Wisdom

Daily practice of yoga improves your mental and physical health. In the scriptural language, the final goal of every yogic practice is enlightenment. There is one yoga style that helps decrease your suffering through wisdom, Jnana yoga.

Want to know more about this yoga style? Yoga experts have come up with in-depth guide.

Jnana Yoga – A Brief Intro

With time, yoga has undergone many changes and refinement. This has led to the birth of 4 yogic paths namely:

  • Karma yoga – Self-service
  • Raja yoga – Meditation
  • Bhakti yoga – Devotion
  • Jnana yoga – Self-inquiry

Let us focus on understanding jnana yoga in detail.

What is Jnana Yoga?

The word Jnana means “knowledge”. In this, you practice yoga to get knowledge through scriptures and real-life experiences. This is the most difficult path to attain self-realization. As a Jnana yogi, you have to do intense yoga practices and discipline.

Meditation contemplation helps you understand the nature of self and the illusory world.

The other name for jnana yoga is “yoga of intellect”. It is through knowledge of scriptures and self-study that you unite the inner self (Atman) with the universal reality (Brahman).

Do you know that this yoga style has deep philosophical roots? Keep reading to know.

Jnana Yoga’s Philosophical Roots

The jnana yoga has its roots in The Bhagwad Gita and Upanishads.

Bhagwad Gita defines Jnana as the path to self-realization. It is a non-dualistic tradition of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy. The word Advaita here means “non-dual” and Vedanta refers to the Vedic knowledge. The Upanishads define Jnana as realization of oneness with God.

Adi Shankaracharya spread the concept of Jnana yoga. He consolidated the Advaita Vedanta around 700 BCE. As per his understanding, you need to renounce the world to achieve self-liberation.

The Concept of Brahman in Jnana Yoga

Brahman as per jnana yoga is the ultimate reality. The concept of time, space, and causation do not have a beginning or end. The Brahman is infinite and is not something our fragile human mind can comprehend.

Brahman is also the highest universal principle. It is omnipresent and binds everything together in the universe. Therefore, it is why Brahman teaches that everyone is spiritually the same irrespective of their caste, creed, or religion.

The Maya (Illusion) hides in the ego of your body and mind. It is the root cause of all suffering and keeps you away from the Brahman. This yoga style helps you form a connection with the Brahman and eradicate ego and worldly desire.

You become ready to move beyond the illusion of the world. Thus, it also changes your viewpoint and level of awareness.

But, to get closer to the Brahman is not a small thing. You have to pass through several stages to get to the final destination.

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7 Stages of Jnana Yoga

The 7 stages through which you pass through in this yoga style are mentioned in Jnana Bhumikas by Swami Sivananda.

Let us now check out these stages of this yoga style.

1. Subheccha (Good Desire)

After intense Sravana and right action without any expectations helps you enter Subeccha. Your mind is rid of any discrimination and zero attraction towards sensual objects. It lays down the foundation of the next two stages.

2. Vicharana (Philosophical Enquiry)

This stage of jnana yoga is one of questioning. Here you reflect and contemplate on the principles of non-dualism.

3. Tanumanasi (Subtlety of Mind)

Known as Asanga Bhavana. This stage is when your mind gets free of all distractions. Here you understand all the knowledge given by a guru. Your mind becomes thin like a thread.

4. Sattvapati (Attainment of Light)

In this stage of jnana yoga, the world appears like a dream. You develop the perspective of looking at things from a viewpoint of equality.

5. Asamsakti (Inner Detachment)

Any pending desires get obliterated in this stage. Now there is no difference between waking and sleeping. You experience what is known as Ananda Swaroop (Eternal Bliss of Brahman).

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6. Padartha Bhavana (Spiritual Freedom)

In this stage of jnana yoga, you start to understand the truth and Brahman.

7. Turiyatita (Supreme Freedom)

The final stage where you attain the final goal of Moksha (Enlightenment). You achieve the stage of superconsciousness and Videhamukti (Liberation without the body).


The ancient art of yoga offers you many powerful techniques to experience true inner peace. You should join a certified yoga school to learn this yoga style from the experts.

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