JNANA YOGA (The Yoga of Knowledge)
1. The path of knowledge is recommended for the one who feels that the jiva and the
world are illusory. The path of yoga and the path of devotion are for those who feel
the world is real.
2. If you harbour the shades of attachment and hatred deep within your psyche, you
cannot achieve perfection on the path of knowledge, even after impeding the mind
successfully and developing discrimination between the sentient and the insentient.
3. The gross desires are eliminated by keeping in solitude. The subtle desires in dreams
are removed by meditation on God and by nurturing Saintly wishes.
4. Sanyasa means renouncing those actions that break our yoga of tranquility. One does
not become a sanyasin merely by wearing saffron clothes. Gargi, Vyaadh and
Vashishthaji etc. did not wear saffron clothes, yet they were Enlightened Beings.
5. One, who remains engrossed in the Divine bliss of devotion even in trying times is
not afflicted by dualism.
6. Supreme devotion means non-dualistic feeling towards God.
7. The steadiness that helps impede the mind and facilitate a state of concentration is
8. Sattvic sanyasa is one, which is impelled by an aversion to the world; rajasic sanyasa
is impelled by physical troubles and fear; and tamasic sanyasa is impelled by
9. Oil and cotton are essential to light a lamp; so also listening to the Truth, reflecting
thereon, meditation, restraining of senses and the mind, and subjugation of desires
are essential for cultivating the feeling of Brahmakara Vritti which emanates from
the ultimate Aphorism – Tattvamasi, ‘THOU ART THAT’. Once that Brahmakara
vritti is aroused, it destroys ignorance forever. The Brahmakara Vritti doesn’t require
any activity or spiritual practices for the manifestation of its subject matter. An
earthen pot once known is forever known, you don’t need to repeatedly visualize its
shape or do any other thing to strengthen that knowledge.
10. Enlightened men do not grieve, if the enjoyment derived from seeing a mirage is
gone with the disappearance of the mirage. Nothing on this earth has any influence
on an Enlightened Soul.
11. The Atman is eternal and as such it does not come into being like an earthen pot or
an insect. Atman is not reached, as sea is reached by the rivers, because it is
omnipresent. Atman is not produced by transmutation, as curd coagulates from milk,
because it is unalterable. Atman does not require any refinement like gold, as it is
motionless. Birth, attainment, transmutation and refinement – all belong to realm of
‘Karma’, not to the atman.
12. The same space is present in a pot as in the sky, so also Atman-Parmatman are one
and the same. The jewel around the neck is already attained, but due to absentmindedness
one finds it missing. A simple recollection and it is there. Similarly the
True Self is realized simply by removing the veil of ignorance. One realizes that it
was always present.
13. Ignorance creates distinctiveness and enlightenment destroys it.
14. The phenomenon of transmutation has its sway over the illusory world only and not
at all over the Supreme Consciousness that this illusory world is imagined in. Desert
sands don’t get wetted by mirage water.
15. The Bliss of the True Self is experienced when there is an outpouring of grace
emanating from a discriminative intellect; when the intellect becomes pure through
purging of the impurities of rajas or tamas. The Bliss of the True Self is not
experienced by being in company of sense objects or from sleep or inertia.
16. One, whose mind sees the same God in all beings and is itself established in an
unwavering state, has conquered this birth.
17. The Enlightened Saints see God in every particle of the universe, and remain
established in God, even in trying times.
18. The Lord says, ‘To the one, who is engaged in singing devotional songs with a deep
sense of love towards me, I bestow buddhiyoga.’ Here, buddhiyoga implies complete
assimilation of the knowledge of the True Self. When one achieves such perfection,
the devotee merges into the Supreme consciousness, as rivers merge into the sea,
losing their real name and form.
19. A spark of fire is fire itself; it is not a portion of fire. Similarly, the jiva is God; it is
not a portion of God. It is not possible to visualize the distinction between the whole
and a part thereofin an indivisible entity. Having accepted the imaginary distinction,
it is said that the jiva is a portion of God, simply as a postulate.
20. Even after the removal of ignorance, the basic cause of body consciousness, the
Enlightened one retains awareness of the body etc. for some time. In view of this
Jivanmuktavastha, the Lord says, ‘Enlightened Saints, who have realized God,
enlighten the inquisitive aspirants.’
21. If you call out to a sleeping person by his name, he wakes up. No other effort is
required to wake him up Similarly the Self, gripped by the sleep of ignorance, wakes
up on hearing the paeans of his own True Self.
22. For an aspirant, on the path of Self-realization, serving the saints is highly beneficial.
Without service it is difficult to realize or to bring to fruition the Knowledge of the
True Self. A pure antahkarana is an essential requirement for assimilating the
knowledge of the True Self. Serving the Saints purifies the antahkarana and
inculcates the virtues like politeness, etc. Sagging of the branches is an indication of
their being laden with fruits. Similarly, Enlightenment descends on a pure and polite
heart. Purity of antahkarana and politeness are indicators of enlightenment.
23. The japa should be performed with total involvement. The heart should reverberate
with Truth, Consciousness and Bliss of the Lord. At that time even our ears should
not hear the sound of our breathing. The goal should always be, ‘So-aham’ (I am the
one). This thought should liberate us from all fears.
24. Find out the reasons for your slow progress. Eliminate them. It is not desirable to
repeat the same mistakes again and again. If you are not vigilant, your life will be
whiled away in trivial pursuits and you will never be able to accomplish your goal
You have to make efforts right to the extent required, not to the extent of your
capabilities. The aspirants are not afflicted by sleep. They wait restlessly. They are
always vigilant, always alert.
25. Your breathing should be smooth and unbroken like the stream of oil as it is poured.
Keep the stick of Guru Mantra ever ready with you, so that you can drive away the
dogs of desire, anger etc.
26. Man is born crying and cries while dying. He cries even at inopportune times. It is
only the accomplished Sadguru, who can save man from his troubles by destroying
his ignorance, the root cause of the cycle of birth and death, and from severe blows
of fate, and thus lifts the disciple beyond the misery of the world. Guru does not even
pay heed to the foolish protests of the disciples. There can be no well-wisher so great
as the Guru.
27. Aditya said answering a question of Trishikhi Brahmin, ‘By retaining the air inside
body, which is like a pitcher (kumbha) i.e. doing Kumbhak pranayama, all the nerves
are filled with air. As a result ten winds start blowing. The lotus of the heart blooms.
Behold the sinless Vasudeva (God) in the heart. Doing eighty Kumbhak pranayamas
each in the morning, noon, evening and midnight gives unparalleled benefits. The
aspirant, who does it just for one day, is delivered from all sins. Engaged in such
regimen of pranayama, a yogi becomes accomplished in three years. He conquers the
air, attains control over his senses, takes minimal food, sleeps less, and becomes
strong and lustrous. He is blessed with a long life, transcending the fear of untimely
Pranayama is of three types, best, medium and ordinary. The pranayama, which
produces perspiration, is ordinary. Trembling body signifies medium pranayama, the
pranayama through which the body levitates is the body.
Ordinary pranayama destroys diseases and sins, diseases and even terrible diseases.
Best pranayama reduces the flow of urine and stool, the body becomes light, food
intake is reduced, and senses and the intellect become sharper. One becomes
omniscient, capable of knowing past, present and future.
Even if one does only Kumbhak Pranayama, without doing Rechak and Poorak, one
becomes capable of attaining just anything in all the three varieties of time.
If the yogi, who regularly practices pranayama, does concentrate his life force on the
navel, tip of the nose and on the big toe at all times, or at least at dawn, noon and dusk
times, becomes free of all diseases and lives a calm and contented life.
If the life force is concentrated in the navel, abdominal diseases are destroyed. If it is
concentrated in the tip of the nose, one gets a long life; the body becomes lighter. If
one sucks the air through the tongue and swallows it in the brahma-muhurta, he gets
the boon of Vaksiddhi. This practice, when continued for six months, destroys most
serious diseases. By concentrating the breath in the afflicted part of the body any
disease can be cured.’
(Trishikhi Brahman Upanishad)
28. By perfecting pranayama, the treasure of unbounded powers becomes accessible
because the prana is the abode of all potencies. If an aspirant acquires knowledge of
prana, and establishes control ovet it, there is no power in the world, which he cannot
control. He can, at his will, lift the Sun or the Moon likea ball, and even change its
course. He can influence everything in the universe from an atom to the Sun. If he
perfects sadhana of the yoga, he can establish his supremacy over the entire universe.
He can bring the dead into life by the power of his will. The living beings are forced
to obey him. The gods and the manes humbly stand before him in obedience. All
supernatural powers are at his disposal. He masters all the powers of the nature, as he
has attained control over the Universal Prana by perfecting pranayama.\
The talented epoch makers, who with their miraculous powers, take the society to great
heights, are able to do so because they are capable of creating lofty and subtle vibrations
in their prana, that influence other people’s mind intensely. Thousands of hearts are
attracted towards them. Millions imbibe and follow their percepts. Those, who have
attained greatness in this world, have controlled the power of their prana and acquired
divine powers thereby. Anybody’s special influence in any field owes itself to control of
Even if one has committed sins as enormous as mountains, they are destroyed by the yoga
of meditation. They are not destroyed by any other means.
Q. What is the difference between tyaga, vairagya and uparati?
A. Avoiding contact with sense objects is tyaga. Not even being attracted towards the object,
even when it is before one’s eyes, is vairagya. If the object is before one’s eyes, but still there
is neither a desire to enjoy nor any aversion thereto, it is uparati.
Q. What are the types of vairagya?
A. Ordinarily vairagya is of three types, according to the qualities of nature:
1. The vairagya arising out of aversion to the world and love for the lord is sattvic.
2. The vairagya in search of fame and prestige is rajasic.
3. If one looks down on others, and takes pride in one’s vairagya, the vairagya is tamasic.
In Yoga darshan, two types of vairagya have been described, par and apar. Apar vairagya is
of four types:
1. Yatman: When efforts are made to get of worldly pleasure, but success is not
achieved, it is called yatman vairagya.
2. Vyatireki: If attachment to some of the sense objects goes, but with others, it
remains, it is vyatireki vairagya.
3. Ekendriya: The mind is also an indriya. When there is no attraction for sense
objects, but one does think about them in mind, it is ekendriya vairagya. In this state,
mind and senses are controlled on the strength of determination.
4. Vashikar: With vashikar vairagya, mind and the senses are completely subjugated
and many miracles start happening. Hitherto apar vairagya has been described.
When there is no attraction for anything, on has no taste for even omniscience or miracles,
and one is established in one’s True Self, it is par vairagya. Renunciation of even the bliss of
concentration and being beyond the qualities of nature is par vairagya.
There are two more classifications of vairagya. Vairagya from the body is the first type, and
being beyond the feelings of ‘I’ and ‘my’ is second type. People do achieve vairagya from
their homes, but it is difficult to achieve vairagya from the body. Much more difficult is to
experience non-existence of the body. It is achieved by rarest of individuals by sheer grace of
When a child is born, it is uncertain, whether it will get education, whether it will marry or
whether it will engage in a vocation, but is there any doubt, whether it will die? We too are
among such children.
There can be a doubt, whether we shall become rich, whether we shall be famous, whether
we shall win elections. But dear brother! Can there be any doubt whether we shall die or not?
There is a fixed time for departure of a flight or a bus or even a train of life?
Where do we live? In the abode of death. Whosoever comes here has to die. How long can
you have relations with the mortals….?
Death is inevitable, it is certain. Do you make any preparations for that? If yes, do it with
greater determination; if not, start today.
On the path of Self-realization or God-realization, three kinds of desires keep us away from
God. If we do not indulge in these three desires, we shall instantly hear songs from the divine
kingdom. The three desires are: 1. Desire to live. 2. Desire to do. 3. Desire to know.
Even if we don’t desire to live, the body will live in any case. Even if we don’t desire to do
anything, things will automatically get done by the force of the providence. If we don’t desire
to know, then our True Self, the original source of all knowledge will manifest itself.
These three desires are obstacles to God-realization. Dear brother! Take courage. Those who
have renounced desires have been blessed. Stop treating yourself as weak. You reverberate
with divine music; you are full of divine bliss. You are the Divinity yourself. Just take care of
these three things.
The blessed devotees, aspiring for God-realization should adopt these six principles in
1. Know God to be your own: ‘God is mine and I belong to God.’
2. Engage in japa, meditation, worship and service with deep devotion.
3. Keep japa, meditation, remembering God and sadhana secret as far as possible.
4. Make your life such as people should seek you. They should miss you in your
absence. Improve efficiency and astuteness in your work. Every action, behavior and
interaction should be appropriately done. Whatever job you undertake for your
living, should be done efficiently and delightfully, even though it may be only a
salaried job. This will help develop your latent powers. Doing your job efficiently
may not give you any material benefit, but it will surely improve your capabilities.
This itself will become your greatest asset. Even if you lose your job, nobody can
deprive you of this asset. Perform your job in such a way as it may please your boss.
Do all this not for money, approbation or fame, but for the purification of the
antahkarana, so that it is filled with love for God.
5. Reduce your potential expenditure. Bring contentment in life.
6. Be always engaged in good deeds. Time is invaluable. There is nothing more
valuable than time. You can everything by giving your time, but you cannot get back
your time by giving everything. Wealth can be preserved in an iron safe, but time
cannot be stored in a safe. Such a priceless commodity as time should therefore be
utilized in good deeds alone. The most excellent thing to do is satsang, being in the
company of good people.
The Srimad Bhagwat says:
If you get the company of a God-lover for a moment, it is the best thing to happen to
you. Heaven or even salvation don’t stand anywhere in comparison.’
तात स्स्वगर्र् अपवगर्र् सखुखु धिरअ तलुलु ा एक अगंगं |
तलूलू न तािह सकल िमिल जो सखुखु लव सत्त्संगंग||
‘Keep all the pleasures of heaven and
Salvation on one side of the balance.
All this taken together cannot measure up to
the bliss derived from a moment of satsang.’
Spend time in the best possible deeds. Constant watchfulness alone will ensure fruitful
utilization of time; otherwise, it will be wasted. Those, who have respected time, have
become great men, or good Saints. They have turned away from worldly pleasures and
utilized their time in the service in the service of God’s pious feet, in pursuit of attaining
knowledge of God or the True Self.
Nothing at all is impossible for the one who does not care for his life, who is not afraid of death and
is always prepared to welcome it. The external weapons are no use to him, for his indomitatble
courage is the greatest weapon he has. With sheer weapon of his courage he defeats those indulging
in unjust practices and yet harbours no ill-feeling against them.
The true knowledge of the Creation is obstructed by perverse notions like considering the false world as true, and the true atman as false and
Fire is free from attachment and hatred. One, who goes near it, gets its warmth, others don’t.
If the mind is afflicted with attachment and hatred, God does not manifest Himself therein.
One, who is not equipped with detachment and faith, cannot be calm and collected, merely by
renouncing action. As the careless, extrovert and animal-natured people are happy in conflicts
and quarrels, similarly Ascetics too are seen to be engaged in evil deeds. Therefore yoga of
selfless action is better than renunciation of action sans attachment. Asceticism, without
detachment, faith and due reflection on the true nature of God, does not lead to Godrealization.
The mirage water does not dry up in degree. Similarly, illusion too is not destroyed in phases.
Mirage water is no more as soon as we know its true nature.
All things of the world are changing, are running towards the past; and you want; and you
want to keep them ever present. This is the root cause of all your troubles.
Even in spite of yourself being sentient, you refuse to let go the non-sentient world. You are
actually the beholder, but unfortunately, you consider yourself to be part of the scene.
When you aspire lie, ‘I must get such and such thing, or what I possess should never
deteriorate; only then I shall be happy’, you are, in effect, trying to create a bondage for your
On the path of sadhana, in the pursuit of the Supreme goal, identification of oneself with the
body, attachment with the body is a Gordian knot. Without cutting this knot, without crossing
the quagmire of delusion, no aspirant can attain accomplishment. An aspirant is unable to cut
this knot without the grace of the Sadguru.
Vedanta does not say, ‘Know yourself.’ Everyone knows oneself. Someone knows oneself to
be poor and tries to be rich. Another one knows oneself to be sick and wants to be healthy.
Someone knows oneself to be short and exercises to grow taller. Someone knows oneself to
be dark complexioned and tries various remedies to become fair.
No, Vedanta does not say that. Vedanta says: ‘know yourself to be God.’ The root cause of
misfortune in life is not general ignorance, but ignorance about the all important fact of one
being God oneself. There is not much of gain or loss from the knowledge or ignorance of the
body or the worldly affairs; but there is enormous loss from the ignorance of one’s inherent
Divinity, and its knowledge is equally rewarding.
The Conversation between Dutta and an Accomplished Yogi
A king used to go to Kapil Muni regularly for his darshan and satsang. Once, when the king
was at the Muni’s ashram, Dutta, Skanda, Lomasha and a few other accomplished yogis came
there. An enlightening debate started among these noble people. A young yogi said:
‘When I engage in yoga, I see my True Self.’
Dutta said, ‘If you see your True Self, that means your True Self is different from you.
Whatever you see in yoga is seen. Therefore whatever you see in your yoga is the scene and
you are the beholder. In the realm of spirituality, you are just a child. Engage in satsang, so
that your intellect is purified.’
Yogi said, ‘You are correct. I am still a child. I am playing in the mind, speech and the body
and yet I, the sentient being, am unattached; I don’t feel pleasure and pain; therefore I am a
child. But, with the powers of yoga, I can get out of this body and get into another, at will. I
can grant a boon or swear a curse. I can even increase or decrease somebody’s lifespan. It is
yoga that gives all such powers. What is achieved from enlightenment?’
Dutta said, ‘O novice fellow! Don’t you feel awkward saying this in an august assembly like
this? A Yogi abandons one body and enters another and bears all sorts of pains and grief. The
enlightening one, while remaining in the same body, knows all beings from an ant to Lord
Brahma to be his own Self, and thus is established in completeness. He enjoys simultaneously
all that is being enjoyed. He is the pure consciousness, who rules the entire creation. He is in
all forms and he is beyond all forms. He is omnipotent and at the same time has got all
impotencies in himself. Even while performing all worldly activities, he knows himself to be
The exalted state attained by an enlightened person, endowed with a thoroughly perceptible
realization of the True Self, is such as cannot even be cannot even be dreamt of by a yogi,
endowed though, as he may be, with powers like those of granting a boon or swearing a
Yogi said, ‘If I want, I can fly in the sky, on the strength of yoga.’
Dutta said, ‘Birds fly in the sky anyway. What is so great about it?’
Yogi said, ‘A yogi imbibes nectar in every breath, with the japa of ‘so-aham’ and attains
Dutta said, ‘O Child! You want happiness from yoga etc., isn’t your own self the true abode
Yogi said, ‘Yoga means being united. Sages like Sanak etc. and even Lord Brahma merge
into the Supreme Being through yoga.’
Dutta said, ‘The Supreme Being in which Lord Brahma and others merge, is known by the
enlightened one as his own self. O yogi! Don’t speak a lie. What relationship is there between
enlightenment and yoga? Yoga is sadhana and enlightenment is its fruit. There is neither
meeting nor parting in the realm of enlightenment. Yoga is dependent on doer and is in the
form of activity.’
Then Kapil Muni intervened, ‘The yoga of thoroughly perceptible realization of the True Self
is actually the Yoga of knowing all things. All things cannot be known by yoga of activity. It
is only by knowing the original source of imaginations that we can know all its imaginations.
In the original source of the True Self, yoga itself is an imagination. Only by knowing the
imaginer, we can know all imaginations. By the knowledge of dream other dreams cannot be
known. It is only with the knowledge of dreamer that all dreams are known. Therefore, know
yourself to be the original source or dreamer of the dream of this world.’
The Yogis asked, ‘Who are you?’
Dutta said, ‘I am the beholder of your meditation and non-meditation, perfection and
The King then enquired, ‘O Dutta! How to realize the True Self?’
Dutta replied, ‘First purify your mind through selfless action. Then quieten your mind by
worshipping either an incarnation of God or the formless God. Equipped with the
prerequisites like detachment etc. take shelter of the Sadguru, in the manner prescribed by the
scriptures. Through Sadguru’s precepts, know your True Self to be God, and God to be your
own True Self. Attain the thoroughly perceptible realization of the True Self.
O king! Identification of self with the body is the only obstruction in Self-realization, in the
same way as clouds create the obstruction to the view of the Sun. In states of waking, dream
and deep slumber; in past, present and future; every part of the illusion including the mind
and the speech is but your dream, wherein You are the Consciousness Supreme. You are the
beholder. You are the Sentient Divinity that projects this illusion of creations.’
Wake up to your divinity. How long will you keep identifying yourself with the body, mind
and the antahkarana? How long will you consider only one body, mind and antahkarana to be
yours? You are the Shiva, the Bliss-personified Consciousness, in which all antahkaranas and
bodies are reflected. You are the fragrance in the flowers. You are the sap in the trees. You
are the song of the birds. You are the illuminator of the Sun and the moon. Know your
Sarvoaham, the ‘I am all’ form and immerse yourself in complete Samadhi with your eyes
still open. Don’t delay. Death may come anytime.
O man! If you want, you can know your True Self, today itself, even before the sunset. Be
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