Yoga is the path of study and understanding the true nature
of the Ultimate and the Absolute. It is not mere intellectual
knowledge, hearing and understanding the words. It is not just
a study and understanding of the philosophy or receiving knowledge
but a state of realization of identity of the individual soul
with the Supreme Brahmam. It is not a mere intellectual assent
or study of some Scriptures and holy books but a state of realization
of the Truth and true nature of the Divine Soul. It is called
conviction alone will not lead to Brahma-Jnana, which is realization
of the Absolute Truth. The scope of perception and analysis with
reasoning to get greater understanding is very limited. Reason
is only an analysis of stored up and classified perception and
preserved memory. Reason can not go beyond the sense of perception.
So, one has to go beyond reason. One has to obtain the true knowledge
through spiritual insight or intuition and divine perception.
Moksha is attained through Knowledge of Brahmam. Release is achieved
through realization of the identity of the individual soul with
the Supreme Soul or Brahmam. The cause for the bondage and suffering
is Avidhya or ignorance.
Sri Swami Sivananda in his writings on Hinduism has explained
Jnana Yoga very well in a nut shell. The Jiva, the individual
soul covered by the Upaadhis, by the veil of ignorance or Avidhya.
Avidhya acts as a veil and prevents the Jiva from knowing his
real self and his divine nature. Avidhya foolishly imagines that
he is separate from Brahmam. The true knowledge of Jnana yoga,
the knowledge of Brahmam or Brahma-Jnana removes this veil and
removes the upaadhis to obtain realization of the Truth.
now becomes realization not just study of text books, dogmas or
theories. It is the removal of ignorance, Avidya, knowing ones
real self, and knowing the Absolute. He plunges himself in the
deep recesses of his heart through constant and intense meditation
and gets the true knowledge as the greatest wealth in the world,
giving him the greatest happiness. This makes the Jiva understand
the true nature of the Ultimate truth, the Brahmam, as the Self
and as Existence- -Consciousness-Bliss Absolute and rest in his
own "Sat-Chid- -Ananda-Svarupa".