Approaches to Yoga: Jnana Yoga

Article ID: JAY001-1 | By: Elliot Miller

Jnana yoga could be described as “yoga for intellectuals” or “yoga for philosophers.” It seeks salvation through intellectual knowledge and discrimination. Hindu philosophers Shankara and Ramanuja are the ultimate examples of Jnana yogis, but any yogi who trains his mind to distinguish truth from falsehood would be on this yogic path.

Discrimination is not sufficient in Jnana yoga but must be accompanied by three other means of salvation: detachment from temporal concerns (but not necessarily withdrawal from them), virtue, and longing for liberation.7 Some form of meditation is also essential as a means of intuitively and experientially taking possession of the truth that has been logically discerned.