Definition - What does Jnana mean?

Jnana is a Sanskrit term that means "spiritual knowledge" or "wisdom." It denotes a knowledge of the Self that is inseparable from the Divine, rather than worldly knowledge (vijnana) obtained through learning or experience. Jnana is an inward experience or awareness that one is free from worldly and mental burdens and inseparable from brahman (absolute reality).

Jnana yoga is the path to this wisdom, and jnana meditation focuses on removing deception to reach spiritual awareness. In the Bhagavad Gita, Jnana yoga is one of the three main paths believed to lead to moksha (liberation from worldly concerns). The other paths are Karma yoga and Bhakti yoga.

Yogapedia explains Jnana

Jnana yoga is a form of self-discovery, the full realization of which brings enlightenment and oneness with God. Most yoga instructors combine Jnana ypga with other paths, such as Bhakti, Karma, Ashtanga and Tantra yoga.

The steps to achieve moksha in Jnana yoga are:

  • Viveka: Distinguishing Self from non-Self, or reality from deception.
  • Vairagya: Detaching from both pain and pleasure of the world.
  • Shatsampat: Stabilizing the mind and emotions through the six virtues:
    1. Shama (calmness, peaceful mind)
    2. Dama (rational control of the senses)
    3. Uparati (withdrawal from worldly distractions)
    4. Titiksha (forbearance, endurance)
    5. Shraddha (intense faith)
    6. Samadhana (mental balance, concentration)
  • Mumukshutva: Yearning for moksha to the point that other desires fade.

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