Jnana Yoga

Jnana yoga is described in the philosophy of advaita vedanta: Self-realization as the direct road. TheĀ vedantic scriptures; such as the Upanishads and the Yoga Vasishta; state that when the student is ready, liberation, or moksha, can come very quickly. Here is the three-step process that leads to self knowledge:


1.) The guru explains to the students the teachings of vedanta and what is Brahman. The guru often uses stories and examples to make his or her point. The students listen attentively and this step is called sravanam, which means listening.

SravanamĀ is superior to mere reading of the scriptures. To get the full benefit from this practice, a qualified guru should impart the teachings directly to the student. A mystical transfer of the spiritual state of consciousness experienced from the guru to the student takes place at this time. This is one of the reasons the internet and books are just preparation before meeting a teacher and will never replace the direct contact with a live teacher.

2.) The student reflects upon what he or she has heard, and tries to understand the subtle truths that have been taught to him or her. This is called mananam, which means reflecting or contemplating.

Mananam indicates that the student should spend some time in solitude and quiet in order to think deeply about the implications of what has been learnt. This helps deep understanding.

3.) The student meditates on the Brahman of the upanishads and this leads to the intuitive, direct experience of Truth. This is called nididhyasana, or meditating.

Nididhyasana is deep and constant meditation. At this point the the practitioner realizes that Brahman is the only reality that counts and its realization is all the aspirant wants. That eagerness leads to successful meditation. Brahman is the union of Shiva-Shakti within the Divine.