Talk: What Is the Jnana in Jnana Yoga? – Br. Shankara

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May 5, 2019

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May is a month for study of Jnana Yoga (Advaita Vedanta). As a jnana yogi, you practice discrimination, reason, detachment, and satyagraha (insistence on Truth). The goal is freedom from limitation (mukti). Our teachers say that all miseries in life are caused by seeing inaccurately. An earnest and persistent jnani may break through this misapprehension (maya) and see only the Divine Presence everywhere, in everything and everyone.

When we learn to see accurately, what will we see?

Swami Vivekananda said: “Come up, O lions, and shake off the delusion that you are sheep; you are souls immortal, spirits free, blest and eternal; ye are not matter, ye are not bodies; matter is your servant, not you the servant of matter. …

“Each (one of you) is only a conduit for the infinite ocean of knowledge and power that lies behind mankind. …”

Jnana means Knowledge — spiritual wisdom, born of realization, that is beyond our ability to think or speak about it. Yoga means both union and detachment. Therefore, the illumined jnana yogi is one with the deepest Truth of her or his being, and detached from the limitations of Maya (our apparent, relative reality).

Swami Vivekananda gave a number of lectures here in the West, on Jnana Yoga and how to practice it. In this coming Sunday’s talk we will explore and discuss what Swamiji said, and how his teachings can be integrated into our daily lives.

Note: There is silent meditation in the Chapel from 10:30-11am, before each Sunday’s talk. After the talk, devotees and friends meet in the Monastery from noon to 1:30pm, for tea, coffee, snacks and a continuation of our spiritual fellowship. Spiritual talks and classes are open to the public and free of charge.