WHAT IS JNANA YOGA OF ADI SHANKARA?(SADHANA FOR BEGINNERS --25)
WHAT IS JNANA YOGA?-
1-Jnana (wisdom or knowledge) is considered the most difficult of the four main paths of Yoga, requiring great strength of will and intellect. In Jnana yoga, the mind is used to inquire into its own nature and to transcend the mind’s identification with its thoughts and ego.
2-The fundamental goal of Jnana yoga is to become liberated from the illusionary world of maya (thoughts and perceptions) and to achieve union of the inner Self (Atman) with the oneness of all life (Brahman). This is achieved by steadfastly practicing the mental techniques of self-questioning, reflection and conscious illumination that are defined in the Four Pillars of Knowledge.
3-Moksha is the summum bonum of life. It is freedom from births and deaths. It is not annihilation. It is annihilation of this little “I.”It is obtained through Knowledge of the Self. You will have to know the truth through direct intuitive experience.You will have to cut asunder the veil of ignorance by meditation on the Self. Then you will shine in your pristine purity and Divine glory.
MENTION THE FOUR PILLARS OF WISDOM;--
A-The Four Pillars of Knowledge (sadhana chatushtaya) are the prescribed steps toward achieving liberation in Jnana Yoga. These practices build upon each other and thus should be practiced in sequential order.
B-Even if one does not have the goal of achieving liberation, practicing these techniques will cultivate spiritual insight and understanding as well as reduce one’s suffering and dissatisfaction of life.They are;--
1-VIVEKA;--Viveka (discernment, discrimination) is a deliberate, continuous intellectual effort to distinguish between the real and the unreal, the permanent and the temporary, and the Self and not-Self.
2-VAIRAGYA;--Vairagya (dispassion, detachment) is cultivating non-attachment or indifference toward the temporal objects of worldly possessions and the ego mind. “It is only when the mind is absolutely free from the attachment of all sorts that true knowledge begins to dawn.
3-SHATSAMPAT;--Shatsampat (six virtues) are six mental practices to stabilize the mind and emotions, and to further develop the ability to see beyond the illusions of maya. 3-1- SHAMA;--
Shama (tranquility, calmness) is the ability to keep the mind peaceful, through moderating its reaction to external stimuli. 3-2-DAMA;-
Dama (restraint, control) is the strengthening of the mind to be able to resist the control of the senses, and the training of the senses to be used only as instruments of the mind. 3-3-UPARATI;-
Uparati (withdrawal, renunciation) is the abandonment of all activities that are not one’s Dharma (Duty). A simple lifestyle is followed that contains no worldly distractions from the spiritual path. 3-4-TITIKSHA;-
Titiksha (endurance, forbearance) is the tolerance of external non-conducive situations that are commonly considered to produce suffering, especially in extreme opposite states (success and failure, hot and cold, pleasure and pain). 3-5-SHRADDHA;-
Shraddha (faith, trust) is a sense of certainty and belief in one’s guru (teacher), the scriptures and the yogic path. 3-6-SAMADHANA;-
Samadhana (focus, concentration) is the complete one-pointedness of the mind.
Mumukshutva (longing, yearning) is an intense and passionate desire for achieving the liberation from suffering. In order to achieve liberation one must be completely committed to the path, with such longing that all other desires fade away.
THE KEY POINTS;--
1-It can be difficult to grasp or comprehend the intellectual approach of jnana yoga, and since one can easily overemphasize intellectual attainment it is important to cultivate humility and compassion on this path.
2-It is easy to become entangled in the constructs and thoughts of the mind and loose sight of the goal of jnana: to realize the divine oneness inherent in all beings.
3-Obviously, this approach would be contraindicated for anyone with a history of mental disease or emotional instability. It is also highly advised to find a competent teacher before divulging (make known )deeply into the path of jnana yoga.
4-Tamas is evil. Sattva is good. Convert Tamas into Sattva. Then evil is transmuted into good. Selfishness is evil. Selflessness is good. Lust is an evil. Brahmacharya is good. Greed is evil. Generosity, integrity, disinterestedness are good. Pride is evil. Humility is good.
5-The universe contains two dynamic forces, viz., good and evil. Good and evil are twin forces. They are twin born of the same father. They are “Dvandvas” or pairs of opposites. They have no independent existence. Evil exists to glorify good. Evil is destructive force. Good is constructive force. There is neither absolute good nor absolute evil in this universe. Evil has no independent existence apart from good. Wherever there is evil, there is good; wherever there is good, there is evil. You cannot expect absolute good in this relative world. You can find absolute good in Brahman alone.
6-From the viewpoint of the basic Reality which lies at the back of evil and good, evil and good dwindle into an airy nothing. Evil and good are mental creations. Transcend good and evil and reach the abode of Supreme Peace and Immortality.For a Jnani who has knowledge of the Self, there is neither good nor evil. The ‘Why’ of the evil can only be understood when you get Atma-Jnana. Do not rack your brain now. It is a transcendental mystery. Only Brahman knows..........SHIVOHAM......