Jnana Yoga is a path of knowledge. To follow this path, a person must free his mind and soul from the influence of passions and desires. He strictly controls his mind; his body must be healthy, able to endure all possible difficulties from outside. In addition, at this stage he should already possess the skills of deep concentration and meditation. This is a higher level of knowledge, when a person is no longer interested in fame or honor, satisfaction of personal pride and vanity. The main purpose, though, becomes a complete knowledge of the truth and himself, the relationship between the soul, the highest mind and the universe.
In Jnana yoga the knowledge can be obtained through the study of scriptures, meditation, intuition, and service to God, teaching, communicating with wise people or gurus, personal spiritual experience. It must also be understood that true knowledge is not purely theoretical; it is also a life experience.
There are several ways to acquire the knowledge. All of them are aspects of self-purification (eliminate egoism, desires, illusions, ignorance) and make the mind sharp:
– Self-study, study of scriptures, Yoga Sutras, Vedas, religious or spiritual literature.
– Austerities, rules, and restrictions that enable a person to free from egoism, desires, pride, anger, attachment to material things.
– Karma Yoga, performing good actions without expecting the result. It will purify the mind and body.
– Meditation, contemplation of God will make the mind calm and concentrated.
– Identification of oneself with the eternal Self, and not with the intellect or the body. It helps to get rid of the fear of death and attachment to the body.
– Practicing renunciation of worldly pleasures. It will help to free mind from desires and expectations, and it will lead to the truth.
– Devotion to God (Bhakti Yoga Practice).
– The practice of truthfulness, which means adherence to truth in word and deed.