In the Bhagavat Gita, Lord Krishna says: "I have delineated three paths for the benefit of humans: Karma Yoga, Gyan Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga. There is no way other than these." This book is the second in the trilogy of definitive books on Karma Yoga, Gyan Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga, offering an unparalleled presentation of the authentic yoga of India as experienced by a realized Yogi through over 40 years of intense sadhana and authenticated by the ancient Scriptures of India.
In his book on Gyan Yoga, Swami Rajarshi Muni shares with us his immense knowledge of the Vedas and other ancient Indian scriptures to delineate the role of Gyan in our personal Sadhana. The author states through personal experience that Gyan Yoga is not attained by acquiring various types of external knowledge, but that it is self-knowledge that sprouts spontaneously from within one's soul. By attaining the fruits of Gyan Yoga through direct personal experience, the seeker gains entrance to the highest form of Bhakti Yoga, Prem Bhakti.
SWAMI RAJARSHI MUNI was born in 1931. He has devoted himself to the serious study and practice of yoga since his early youth. He renounced the world and received sannyas in 1971. He devoted himself almost exclusively to secluded yoga sadhana thereafter, his daily practice spanning at least ten hours. In response to a spiritual calling, he temporarily emerged from seclusion in 1993 to undertake certain works for the public good and further the mission of the spiritual lineage of Lord Lakulish, twenty-eighth incarnation of Lord Shiva, of which he is the fourth and present head. He has since reverted to secluded sadhana in 2007 to complete his yoga. He is an advanced yogi, a realized Master in the classic mould of Indian adepts, knower of the kundalini and master of the khechari mudra. He is presently engaged in converting the body into the exquisite Divine Body, a subject he has extensively researched and one about which he has written from a position of eminent qualification. He has authored many definitive texts on yoga, including the inimitable Yoga the Ultimate Spiritual Path and Classical Hatha Yoga.
Gyan is understanding that confers information or knowledge about any subject or thing. Understanding of anything through the association of the sense organs with the mind is ordinary material knowledge about things of the world. Such knowledge cultivates the understanding that the things of the world are true and everlasting. But Indian philosophical texts say that, in reality, such Gyan is incorrect knowledge. According to them, true knowledge is that through which understanding is gained that the things of the world are fleeting and the Samsar is false or an illusion. These Scriptures say that such correct Gyan can be gained through inner spiritual experience. This special kind of process of gaining such Gyan is called the path of tettvachintan" or "Gyan Yoga". Special type of Gyan, that is Atmagyan (knowledge of Self) or Brahmgyan (Divine knowledge) is gained through Gyan Yoga. Indian Scriptures say that such special knowledge confers Moksh or liberation from the endless cycles of birth and death.
Three "Gyen Ritis" (ways to Gyan) have been delineated for gaining Gyan . These are: (1) Shruti, (2) Yukti and (3) Anubhuti. Shruti is the veds and other Scriptures dealing with the principles of the veds. Yukti is the power to distinguish between truth (sar) and untruth (asar) through reasoned thought. Anubhuti is the Gyan of the inner essence experienced by inner vision through focused consciousness. The first two ways can lead to indirect Gyan while the third to direct Gyan or Vigyan. The experience of the Atmatattva (Essence of Self; Soul) in a special way is called Vigyan. The title of the seventh chapter of the Bhagvad Gita is "Gyan Vigyan Yoga", wherein Lord Krishna tells Arjun, "I speak to you the complete Gyan along with Vigyan, after knowing which nothing further remains to be known in this world" (7:2). Following this, Lord Krishna goes on to explain the matter of the elements of nature and the enlightened soul and observes concerning his own Maya that "the ignorant cannot comprehend it". Maya hypnotizes all living beings so that all become negligent and fall into complexity. But, he observes, those that seek His shelter and, fixing their consciousness in Him, contemplate on Tattva through the practice of Gyan Yoga, come to know all Karma, all spirituality and even Brahm. The Gyan Yoga whose Gyan has been thus matured gains M6ksh as its fruit.
It has been observed above that "all Karma can be known through the practice of Gyan Yoga". This is a very significant observation. Our Scriptures delineate two methods for realizing God: Karma Kand and Gyan Kand (Karma section and Gyan section). The seeker should first resort to Karma Kand and attain physical purity and thereafter take resort to Gyan Kand and gain purity of his Antahkaran (consciousness). In this way, as a fruit of the practice of both means, the seeker gains undiluted (bhed-rehit) Gyan. In this state, he experiences his oneness with Brahm and receives the supreme grace in the form of liberation.
This book contains a detailed discussion of the two points referred to in this brief foreward. I trust that it will help seekers quench their thirst for a proper understanding of Gyan . Jai Bhagwan.
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