March 21, 2024

Jnana Yoga - The Four Pillars and Three Core Practices of Advaita Vedanta Yoga

Advaita Vedanta emphasizes jnana yoga for its pursuit of Truth, which seeks to understand reality beyond limited thoughts or perceptions caused by Maya (illusions). Although jnana yoga may be difficult when practiced without support from Hatha or Karma yoga practices, when used holistically it can prove extremely valuable for practitioners.

Jnana yoga is one of the Four Paths of Yoga designed to guide spiritual seekers toward enlightenment or self-realization. Also referred to as "Yoga for Philosophers," these practitioners are known for their intellectual knowledge and discrimination; examples such as Shankara and Ramanuja serve as great models of this yogic path.

This path requires developing a keen intellect in order to differentiate truth from falsehood and detach from worldly possessions in pursuit of liberation, an approach known as viveka and accomplished through self study and meditation on Advaita Vedanta scriptures.

Moksha or freedom from illusion is the ultimate goal of yoga practice, achieved through understanding of Atman or soul and Brahman or Ultimate Reality. Through Jnana yoga this can be experienced through witnessing oneself while remaining true to its essence.

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