by cleaves Sunday, Jan 16 2005, 5:42am
One of the most valuable contributions that India has made to the world of (practical) philosophy is the discipline of Jnana Yoga – Oneness through knowledge. However, in today’s world of fads and quick fixes Jnana Yoga has been relegated to relative obscurity and has become an object of scholarly pursuit rather than a practical system. Yet its credentials for effectiveness are impeccable.
It would probably surprise many to learn that Gautama Buddha and Jesus Christ were exponents of this Yoga – especially the former whose life was a living embodiment of Jnana Yoga. In more recent history, the figures of Ramana Maharishi and Jiddhu Krishnamurti exemplify the continuity of this ‘tradition.’Om Tat Sat.
An immediate distinction (from popular yoga) emerges from the ‘Jnana’ tradition and that is the impeccable character of its practitioners [a sure proof of the integrity of the system.] I need not relate the many sordid exploits of modern (so-called) gurus/teachers of popular commercial ‘yoga.’ Jnana Yoga has never been (or will be) a marketable product; it remains immune to commodification and lacks appeal for the (pashus) worldly-minded herd. However, it is a priceless ‘jewel’ for earnest seekers.
Jnana recognises no authority or lineage – yet an unbroken ‘tradition’ persists. All practitioners of Jnana share the same ‘Guru’ regardless of time or place. There are no hierarchies or followers in Jnana – all is Self. There is nothing to acquire or learn in Jnana – all is released (unlearnt) until only Self remains. There is no attraction, desire or aversion in Jnana – polarities populate the mirages of mind not the poise, clarity and equanimity (monism) of the Jnani. There is no gender or sex in Jnana – with whom do the ‘Gods’ conjugate? One does not equal two – and One is where Yoga (yoke) or God rests. Little wonder why this Yoga lacks popular appeal in today’s world of sensation seekers, quick-fix faddists and ‘lost souls.’
How then are we to approach this most sublime Way? Initially, a fundamental understanding is required and that is – All is One, there’s nothing gained and nothing lost, Infinity (God) is One.
Release/awakening is born/e of understanding engendered by the recollection of what/who we really are. This awakening occurs through remembrance, memory – that simple! Exactly the same memory incorporated in the recollection of, “where did I put those keys?” is utilised to remember our essential nature/Self. Memory is addressed by constant focus in the form of a persistent inquiry. Ramana expressed a particular approach to this inquiry as a contemplative question, “Who am I?” [Everything/All issues from One Source.] Regardless of subject or chosen area of focus (persistent) inquiry into any subject/object necessarily leads to That Source.
The (process) signifiers of memory, awakening, inquiry, remembrance, recollection, understanding etc, utilised in the above discourse are synonymous – they are all the knowledge dynamic of the “Jnana” in Jnana Yoga.
We are ONE
Surangama Sutra -- Charles Luk
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharishi
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