Jnana Yoga – To Knowledge & Wisdom

Jnana Yoga (sometimes written Gnana) is the traditional path of consciously seeking to acquire knowledge. This may of course be applied to the limitless avenues that exist, but beyond any material sense, is directly related to spiritual matters and the yogi’s desire to experience spiritual truths.

We start on the path to wisdom by demonstrating and exercising our interest in life.

This leads us to forming opinions about things.

Experience teaches us whether these opinions are founded.

From experience we consolidate thoughts, feelings and possess certain knowledge.

From theoretical knowledge we advance to its employment in our own life experience.

Only then can we draw upon a distillation of our knowledge that exists as wisdom, by dictionary definition the word we use in English for “knowledge rightly applied”.

Beyond our own, our wisdom is capable of growing. We are free to gain inspiration, encouragement and strength from the recorded wisdom and teachings of those who have gone before us as well as continuing to grow by association with others of greater wisdom than our own.

Of course this principle applies to us all, whatever culture or country we happen to have been born on this globe. It is a universal, natural path prescribed by human intelligence.  Jnana Yoga is the defined path of gaining knowledge.

The Western Oxford Dictionary (Shorter) includes in definitions of the verb to know as“The fact of knowing; to recognise; to identify; to distinguish; to get to understand…” and definitions of knowledge as “acquaintance with a fact; state of being aware or informed; ..consciousness of…” It defines wisdom as“capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct;” and also “Wisdom – is the second aspect of the Trinity and refers to the deeper or divine vision – spiritual insight or Gnosis.”

This is the wider perception of knowledge as seen by the yogi Sri Krishna Prem – “Knowledge in all senses, from the purely worldly knowledge to Gnosis – intuitional knowledge of the Buddhi.”

Those who study a particular natural science and expand their knowledge of life can be seen to be living out the principles of Jnana Yoga and is fulfilled by the ultimate realization of truth experienced by the Raja Yogi.

Besides intellectual knowledge we are reminded that there is another centre of knowledge and wisdom resident in our heart. This confirms the natural inter-relationship that must continue to exist between the yogic pathways or Margas.

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