Basic Lessons on Hindu Dharma
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  Basic Lessons on Hindu Dharma ~ Level - 1  
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Chapter - 5:
An Introduction to Paths of Yoga Hindu Traditions
 
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HR105 - 09
The Spiritual Disciplines of the Four Yogas for Religious Experience
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Lesson: 5-09
The Path of True Knowledge for Salvation
A Discipline for Understanding the Divine Truth leads to Realization
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Essentials of the Jnãna Yoga explaining the path of Understanding Philosophy
 
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Jnãna 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 Para-Vidhya.

Intellectual 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.

Religion 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".

 
 

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Aakaasat pathitham thoyam Yathaa gacchathi Saagaram |
Sarva Deva Namaskarah Kesavam prathigacchathi ||
Ke'savam prathigacchathi Om nama iti ||

[Here "Kesava" stands for Paramathma encompassing Brahma, Vishnu and Siva]

Just as all the water that fall from the sky inescapably
reach the sea, Let all salutations to all the Deities
reach only Kesava; Indeed they only reach Kesava.
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Lessons: - :~: 5-01 :~: 5-02 :~: 5-03 :~: 5-04 :~: 5-05 :~: 5-06 :~: 5-07 :~: 5-08 :~: 5-09 :~: 5-10 :~:
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