WHAT IS THE DECODATION OF JNANA YOGA?THE FOUR PATHS OF YOGA-10
MEANING OF JNANA YOGA;-
1-Jnana is knowledge. To know Brahman as one's own Self is Jnana. To say, "I am Brahman, the pure, all-pervading Consciousness, the non-enjoyer, non-doer and silent witness," is Jnana. To behold the one Self everywhere is Jnana.
2-Ajnana is ignorance. To identify oneself with the illusory vehicles of body, mind, Prana and the senses is Ajnana. To say, " I am the doer, the enjoyer, I am a Brahmin, a Brahmachari, this is mine, he is my son," is Ajnana. Jnana alone can destroy Ajnana, even as light alone can remove darkness.
3-Brahman, the Supreme Self, is neither the doer of actions nor the enjoyer of the fruits of actions. The creation, preservation and destruction of the world are not due to Him. They are due to the action of Maya, the Lord's energy manifesting itself as the world-process.
4-Just as space appears to be of three kinds; -
B-Space limited by a jar
C-Space reflected in the water of a jar
5-So also there are three kinds of intelligence. They are;-
B-Intelligence reflected in Maya
C-Intelligence reflected in the Jiva (the individual soul)
6-The notion of the doer is the function of intelligence as reflected in the intellect. This, together with the notion of Jiva, is superimposed by the ignorant on the pure and limitless Brahman, the silent witness.
7-The illustration of space absolute, space limited by a jar and space reflected in water of a jar, is given to convey the idea that in reality Brahman alone is. Because of Maya, however, It appears as three.
8-The notion that the reflection of intelligence is real, is erroneous, and is due to ignorance. Brahman is without limitation; limitation is a superimposition on Brahman.
9-The identity of the Supreme Self and the Jiva or reflected self is established through the statement of the Upanishad 'Tat Tvam Asi' - 'That Thou Art'. When the knowledge of the identity of the two arises, then world problems and ignorance, with all their offshoots, are destroyed and all doubts disappear.
10-Self-realization or direct intuitive perception of the Supreme Self is necessary for attaining freedom and perfection. This Jnana Yoga or the path of Wisdom is, however, not meant for the masses whose hearts are not pure enough and whose intellects are not sharp enough to understand and practice this razor-edge path.
11-Hence, Karma Yoga and Upasana (Bhakti) are to be practiced first, which will render the heart pure and make it fit for the reception of Knowledge.
DIFFERENCE OF BRAHMAN AND MAYA;-
1-Brahman is Sat, the Absolute, Reality. That which exists in the past, present and future; which has no beginning, middle and end; which is unchanging and not conditioned by time, space and causation; which exists during the waking, dream and deep sleep states; which is of the nature of one homogeneous essence, is Sat. This is found in Brahman, the Absolute.
2-The scriptures emphatically declare: "Only Sat was prior to the evolution of this
universe."This phenomenal universe is unreal. Isvara created this universe out of His own body (Maya), just as a spider creates a web from its own saliva. It is merely an appearance, like a snake in a rope or like silver in mother-of-pearl. It has no independent existence.
3-It is difficult to conceive how the Infinite comes out of Itself and becomes the finite. The magician can bring forth a rabbit out of a hat. We see it happening but we cannot explain it; so we call it Maya or illusion.
4-Maya is a strange phenomenon which cannot be accounted for by any law of Nature. It is incapable of being described. Its relation to Brahman is like that of heat to fire. The heat of fire is neither one with it nor different from it.
5-Does Maya really exist or not ? The Advaitin gives this reply: "This inscrutable (very difficult to understand )Maya cannot be said either to exist or not to exist".If
we know the nature of Brahman,then all names, forms and limitations fall away. 6-The world is Maya because it is not the essential truth of the infinite Reality - Brahman. Somehow the world exists and its relation to Brahman is indescribable. The illusion vanishes through the attainment of knowledge of Brahman. Sages, Rishis and scriptures declare that Maya vanishes entirely as soon as knowledge of the Supreme Self dawns.
7-Brahman alone really exists. The Jiva, the world and this little "I" are false. Rise above names and forms and kill the false egoism. Go beyond Maya and annihilate ignorance. We should constantly meditate on the Supreme Brahman, our divine nature.
8-The world is unreal when compared to Brahman. It is a solid reality to a worldly and passionate man only. To a realized sage it exists like a burnt cloth. To a Videhamukta (disembodied sage) it does not exist at all. To a man of discrimination it loses its charm and attraction.
9-Do not leave the world to enter a forest because you now read that the world is unreal. You will be utterly ruined if you do this without proper qualifications. Be first established in the conviction that the world is unreal and Brahman alone is real. This will help you to develop dispassion and a strong yearning for liberation. Stay in the world but be not worldly; strive for liberation by the practice of Sadhana Chatushtaya.
10-Jnana Yoga is the path of knowledge. Moksha is attained through Knowledge of Brahman. Release is achieved through realisation of the identity of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul or Brahman. The cause for bondage and suffering is Avidya or ignorance.
11-The little Jiva foolishly imagines, on account of ignorance, that he is separate from Brahman. Avidya acts as a veil or screen and prevents the Jiva from knowing his real, divine nature. Knowledge of Brahman or Brahma-Jnana removes this veil and makes the Jiva rest in his own Sat-Chit-Ananda Svarupa (Essential Nature as Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute).
WHAT IS SPIRITUAL INSIGHT AND INTELLECTUAL KNOWLEDGE?-
1-The Jnana-Yogin realises that Brahman is the Life of his life, the Soul of his soul. He feels and knows that God is his own Self. He realises that he is one with the Eternal through spiritual insight or intuition, Aparoksha Anubhuti or divine perception, but not through mere study of books or dogmas or theories.
2-Religion is realisation for him now. It is not mere talk. He plunges(“a brief swim” or “a fall) himself in the deep recesses of his heart through constant and intense meditation—Nididhyasana—and gets the wonderful pearl of Atman, a wonderful treasure much more valuable than all the wealth of the world.
3-Jnana is not mere intellectual knowledge. It is not hearing or acknowledging. It is not mere intellectual assent. It is direct realisation of oneness or unity with the Supreme Being. It is Para Vidya. Intellectual conviction alone will not lead you to Brahma-Jnana (Knowledge of the Absolute).
4-The student of Jnana Yoga first equips himself with four means, viz.,
3-The Sixfold Virtues (Shat-Sampat)
4-Strong yearning for liberation (Mumukshutva).
5-WHAT IS THE DESCRIPTION OF THIRD SIXFOLD VIRTUES?-
3-3-Satiety or renunciation (Uparati),
3-5-Faith (Sraddha) and
6- Afterwards, the student practises reflection, which completely dispels all doubts. Then he practises deep meditation on Brahman and attains
Brahma-Sakshatkara. He becomes a Jivanmukta or liberated sage.
He is released even while he is in this body.
7-WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF JNANA?
There are seven stages of Jnana or Knowledge: viz.;
1- Aspiration for the Right (Subhechha),
2-Philosophical enquiry (Vicharana),
3-Subtlety of mind (Tanumanasi),
4-Attainment of Light (Sattvapatti),
5-Inner Detachment (Asamsakti),
6-Spiritual Vision (Padarthabhavana)
7-Supreme Freedom (Turiya)
WHAT IS THE ANALOGY OF THE TWO BIRDS FREQUENTLY USED IN JNANA YOGA ?
1-There are two birds on the same tree. One is perched at the top and the other below. The bird which is sitting on the top is perfectly serene, silent and majestic
at all times. It is ever blissful.
2-The other bird, which is perching on the lower branches, eats the sweet and bitter fruits by turns. It dances in joy
sometimes. It is miserable at other times. It rejoices now and weeps after some time.
3-Sometimes it tastes an extremely bitter fruit and gets disgusted. It looks up and beholds the other wonderful bird
with golden plumage which is ever blissful. It also wishes to become like the bird with golden plumage, but soon forgets
everything. Again it begins to eat the sweet and bitter fruits.
4-It eats another fruit that is exceedingly bitter and feels very miserable. It again tries to become like the upper bird.
Gradually,it abandons eating the fruits, and becomes serene and blissful like the upper bird. The upper bird is God or Brahman.
5-The lower bird is Jiva or the individual soul who
reaps the fruits of his Karmas, viz., pleasure and pain. He gets knocks and blows in the battle of life.
6-He rises up and again falls down as the senses drag him down. Gradually he develops Vairagya (dispassion) and Discrimination, turns his mind towards
God, practises meditation, attains Self-realisation and enjoys the eternal bliss of Brahman.
WHAT IS THE YOGA OF SYNTHESIS?-
1-Some maintain that the practice of Karma Yoga alone is the only means for salvation. Some others hold that devotion to the Lord is the only way to release. Some believe that the path of wisdom is the sole way to attain the final beatitude(complete happiness). There are still others who hold that all the three paths are equally efficacious to bring about perfection and freedom.
2-Man is a strange, complex mixture of will, feeling and thought. He wills to possess the objects of his desires. He has emotion and so he feels. He has reason and so he thinks and ratiocinates(think or argue logically). In some, the emotional element may preponderate (having superior force, or influence), while in some others, the rational (logical)element may dominate. Just as will, feeling and thought are not distinct and separate, so also work, devotion and knowledge are not exclusive of one another.
3-The Yoga of Synthesis is the most suitable and potent form of Sadhana. In the mind there are three defects, viz.,
1-Mala or Impurity,
2-Vikshepa or Tossing( to make something move up and down )
3-Avarana or Veil
4-The impurity should be removed by the practice of Karma Yoga. The tossing should be removed by worship or Upasana. The veil should be torn down by the practice of Jnana Yoga. Then only is Self-realisation possible.
5-If you want to see your face clearly in a mirror, you must remove the dirt in the mirror, keep it steady (firmly fixed) and remove the covering also. You can see your face clearly in the bottom of the lake only if the turbidity/cloudiness is removed, if the water that is agitated by the wind is rendered still, and if the moss(काई/a very small, green or yellow plant) that is lying on the surface is removed. So too is the case with Self-realisation.
6-The Yoga of Synthesis alone will bring about integral development. The Yoga of Synthesis alone will develop the head, heart and hand and lead one to perfection. To become harmoniously balanced in all directions is the ideal of religion. This can be achieved by the practice of the Yoga of Synthesis.
7-To behold the one Universal Self in all beings is Jnana, wisdom; to love this Self is Bhakti, devotion; and to serve this Self is Karma, action. When the Jnana-Yogin attains wisdom, he is endowed with devotion and selfless activity.
8-Karma Yoga is for him a spontaneous expression of his spiritual nature, as he sees the one Self in all. When the devotee attains perfection in devotion, he is possessed of wisdom and activity. For him also, Karma Yoga is a spontaneous expression of his divine nature, as he beholds the one Lord everywhere.
9-The Karma-Yogin attains wisdom and devotion when his actions are wholly selfless. The three paths are in fact one in which the three different temperaments emphasise one or the other of its inseparable constituents. Yoga supplies the method by which the Self can be seen, loved and served.
WHAT ARE THE KEY POINTS OF JNANA YOGA?-
1. There is an Atman or soul independent of body and mind. This soul is immortal, unchanging and infinite. Realise this Atman and be free.
2. This Atman is Satchidananda (Existence-Absolute, Consciousness-Absolute, Bliss-Absolute). It exists in the past, present and future. So it is Sat. It is pure or Absolute Consciousness without any thought. So it is Chit. It is absolute Bliss. So it is Ananda.
3. The unreal body perishes, but the Atman or the indweller is Immortal. So, you should not grieve when anyone dies. In essence everyone is Immortal Atman.
4. This Atman cannot be hurt by anyone. It is subtle, all-pervading. It is the Innermost Self of all.
5. This Atman is birthless, deathless, changeless. When the body is killed, He is not killed. Therefore grieve not, lament not, regret not. Be always cheerful.
6. Fire cannot burn this Atman, sword cannot pierce this Atman, bomb cannot destroy this Atman, machine-guns cannot kill this Atman.
7. This Atman is eternal, immovable, secondless, self-existent, self-centred. Therefore, knowing this to be such, thou shouldst not grieve, when your father, mother, son, wife or relative dies.
8. This perishable body will certainly pass away. Indweller can never perish. Thou art the immortal soul. Therefore, over the inevitable thou shalt not grieve.
9. Brahman or Atman (Consciousness) is beyond the reach of the mind and speech. He is beyond logic, reason, mental process, science. He must be realized through meditation.
10. You cannot deny or doubt your existence. You always feel that you exist. This existence is Atman or your own Self. The knower of the doubt or denier always exists. That knower is your own Atman.
11. In dream you are distinct from the physical body. In deep sleep, you are distinct from the body and the mind. You enjoy peace and bliss in deep sleep. This proves that you are neither body nor mind, but you are All-Blissful Soul.
12. There is only one Reality or Truth. That is Brahman or Atman. All appearances are unreal. They are the effects of Maya, the illusory power of Brahman.
13. Behold the one Immortal Atman in all names and forms. This alone is correct perception.
14. Ignorance is the cause for pain and sorrow. Annihilate this ignorance through Knowledge of the Self (Brahma Jnana). All miseries will come to an end.
15. This Atman is beyond time, space, causation. Time, space, causation are mental creation.
16. Just as snake is superimposed on the rope, this world, and the body are superimposed on Brahman.
17. Bring a light, the snake vanishes; rope alone remains. Attain Illumination, this world and this body vanish. Atman alone remains. That Atman is Tat Tvam Asi("You are that").
18. I-ness and mine-ness, agency and enjoyership bind you to the Samsara. Destroy these notions. Identify yourself with the Atman which is non-doer, non-enjoyer. You will attain Immortality and eternal Bliss.
19. Sensual pleasure is only pain. It is momentary mental excitement, momentary sensation of flesh, momentary itching and scratching of the senses. You can have eternal bliss in your own Inner Atman alone.
20. Enquire ‘Who am I?’ Deny or sublate the limiting adjuncts (body, mind, etc.); know the Self and be free.
21. Constantly think of the Immortal, all-pervading Atman. Give up thinking of body. You will attain Self-realization.
22. You are ever free. You are already free. Freedom (Moksha) is not a thing to be attained. You will have to know that you are Atman, that you are free.
23. Destroy the subtle desires (Vasanas), and cravings (Trishnas). This will lead to the annihilation of the mind. Destruction of the mind will lead to the attainment of wisdom of the Self (Brahma Jnana).
24. This world is illusory. Brahman alone is real. You are identical with Brahman. Realise this and be free.
25. The liberated sage is ever blissful. He rests in his own Satchidananda Svaroopa. He is free from egoism, lust, hatred, greed, anger and the pairs of opposites. He has equal vision and balanced mind. He is Brahman Himself.
26. OM is the symbol of Brahman. OM is our real name. Meditate on Om with feeling (Bhava) and its meaning. You will attain Self-realisation.
27. “I am the All-pervading, Immortal Soul. I am Pure Consciousness. I am Satchidananda Svaroopa (Existence-Absolute, Consciousness-Absolute, Bliss-Absolute). I am witness (Sakshi.)”—These are the formulas for constant meditation and assertion.
28. Equip yourself with the Four Means. Hear the Srutis (sacred texts), reflect and meditate. You will attain Self-realisation.
29. Thou art not this perishable body. Thou art not this changing mind. Thou art all-pervading, immortal, infinite, changeless Soul or Atman. Realise this and roam about happily.
30. Watch the breath. It sings Soham, ‘So’ during inhalation and ‘Ham’, during exhalation. It reminds you ‘I am He’. Meditate on ‘Soham’ and attain Self-realisation.
31. ‘I am body. I act. I enjoy.He/ She is my husband/wife. He is my son. This is mine.’—This is bondage. ‘I am Immortal Soul. I am non-actor, non-enjoyer. He/She is my soul. Nothing is mine.’—This is freedom.