View Full Version : Bhakti yoga + Gyan yoga?

Soul of Light
30 April 2016, 05:15 AM
Namaste all..
I am back on forum after many days and now posting lots of questions.. Sorry for that..

I know each path, each yoga is different leading to same truth.. No one is superior than other..

But I found some contradiction between bhakti and gyan yoga
In bhakti yoga, we become like a child.. Newly born.. Without reasoning, there is only love, only heart.. Just aradhya (ishta) is there.

In gyan yoga there is more use of mind or brain than heart.. We have to think more about truth.. We are finding truth with help of brain than intuition..

So in this regards both paths are extremely different..

So my question is-
Is there any similarity? Or is gyan yoga affect bhakti yoga increasing its progress or vice versa?

Eastern Mind
30 April 2016, 07:27 AM
Vannakkam S of L: Different schools view the yogas quite differently. Some see them as separate paths, while others see them as complementary facets of life. In the second view, jnana would increase your bhakti, because you'd understand why, and the bhakti would bring on spontaneous insight to increase jnana. Of course in this view jnana means knowledge from within, not book knowledge. So whether or not there is contradiction depends on your overall view.

Aum namasivaya

30 April 2016, 12:15 PM

EM, excellent reply ! :)

Dear SOL, all such views are useless and born out of sheer ignorance.

As EM has rightlyy said : JnAna Yoga takes a logical route to the Truth and Bhakti takes a emotional route to the Truth. Jnana is not only gymnastics of mind-twisting logic in search of Truth because if one remains within mental realm then Truth cannot be attained. Why ? Because "Yato vaachaa nivartante, Manasaa saha" ===> From where the words and mind turn back. The Truth cannot be reached by finest of worded logic or by sharpest mind ===> It is beyond mind and words.

There are many misconception mischievously planted against JnAna Yoga mainly due to ignorance. The Knowledge attained by JnAna Yoga is not what you read in scriptures or understand by logic. The Truth is not understood by any external means ... it just shines in the tranquility of mind. It is not understood by mind ... the seeker realises that He is the Truth. He no longer needs to believe scriptures / Guru's words ... he doesn't need any help of mind or the words ... He realises his Oneness with Truth. This comes by concentration, meditation, meditating on the meaning of VedAnta, detachment from worldly desires, grace of Guru and God, with intense devotion etc.

Yes, this Jnana comes through intense devotion too. How ? Lord Krishna says in BG : "I make the Knowledge shine in their (my devotees') minds".

JnAna is not devoid of Bhakti. It is a Bhakti without break. This Bhakti doesn't remain limited to a single form / temple / name .... all names are His, all forms are His ... the Jnana Yoga seeker is witness to omnipresence of God ! There is no difference seen because Katha Upanishad warns us : "whoever sees difference here, goes from death to death".


Eastern Mind
30 April 2016, 05:27 PM
Vannakkam: Sometimes I have serious doubts about this 4 separate paths idea. My doubts aren't there on a philosophical level, as I don't believe it in that way, and respect the right for any belief in if they wish. My doubts arise as to whether or not the very concept does more harm than good. Firstly, it's an oversimplification, but more importantly, I see people quoting things like, "I don't need temple worship, for my path is the jnana path," or "On the bhakti marga, we don't need to do as much charity (As a side note, I believe this word originated with the Sanskrit 'charya') because _______ 's (name of a God) love is all we need.

Even Vivekananda didn't write about it as 4 separate paths, although he did have 4 separately title books. That idea seems to be a later distortion, just as some of the advaita ideas of Ramana Maharshi seem to have a later distortion.

Not that anything is actually harmful, but from my POV, following one practically exclusively only may mean that you're missing out on some great joy and benefit. Just some thoughts.

Aum Namasivaya

30 April 2016, 11:44 PM
Namaste EM,

I fully agree with what you say. Though we do talk about Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Raaj Yoga ... but there is no line which make them exclusive. In fact, there is no scripture which teaches us that. Yes, in "one path", some practices will be more prominent and in other paths some other practices would find more prominence. But there is no fight between them as has been portrayed by some teachers of some sampradAya ... mostly on internet.

Some Myths and Reality :

a) Jnana Yoga is just dry logical analysis devoid of Bhakti. ===> All seekers of JnAna Path lay a lot of emphasis on grace of God which cannot come without Bhakti. Yes, the bhakti of a JnAn Yogi is slightly different from what seekers of Bhakti path do. There is less of Image-worship or sometimes no image-worship in JnAna Yoga path. However, Bhakti is not defined by devotee's chosen form or no-form for worship. Yes, if you insist that "Only those performing Image-worship, keeping fast on certain days, chanting only such and such mantra, performing such and such rituals are the followers of Bhakti path and others not" then arising of such a confusion as has been mentioned by OP takes place.

b) Again true Bhakti cannot be done blindly without understanding what we are doing and for what. In Abrahimic religions, especially in Islam, people believe that God gets pleased by keeping a beard, killing those who have a different notion of God than theirs, following all things that the Mullah says (even how you treat the women, have sex, how you invest your money, what you speak etc.) pleases God ... and that alone is true Bhakti of God. This is blind Bhakti ... arising out of absurd fear or absurd desire of rewards after death. True Bhakti cannot be done in fear ... you can only become a slave in fear. When I was 10-15 years old, there was a strong craze of worshipping a new Goddess Santoshi MAtA. Now, I don't have anything against worship of any form but when you start believing that eating something sour will make the Goddess angry or taking a bath with soap on Thursday will make god Brahaspati angry .... you are surely treading a wrong path fully deluded by your own fears or desires. So, reasoning is necessary ... analysis is necessary. Here the discussion on scriptures help. In scriptures too, there is a lot of ambiguity and therefore, we are taught the supremacy of the Vedas over all scriptures. Just check every belief on the teachings of the Vedas ... if the belief doesn't pass the test ... there is something wrong.

c) If JnAna was exclusively for the JnAna Yogis then Lord Krishna would never have promised in BG that he will make the Jnana shine in his true devotees. Aagin, he would have never advised Arjuna to learn that JnAna from the JnAni. He also says that after having that Jnana there would be nothing left worth knowing. Arjuna was his devotee. Why did he urge his own devotee to choose a JnAni ?

d) Lastly, the most important thing we all must remember : Our aim is one ... to attain /realise the Truth. Our paths may be different and that is not a true seeker's concern. As all of us are created differently, the path that suits me, needn't suit my friend. I will follow the path that suits me and you follow the path that suits you.


Soul of Light
01 May 2016, 12:56 AM
Namaste EM ji and Devotee ji..
Thank you for your reply.. I will keep this in my mind..

01 May 2016, 07:12 AM
Grossly speaking for a common man,there is no difference between jnan and bhakti. But for a serious sadhak, there is huge difference between two paths though all paths are overlapping to many extent.

I want to stress one point first, THE DESTINATION IS SAME,PATHS ARE DIFFERENT, but again SOMETIMES JOURNEY IS MORE EXCITING THAT DESTINATION ITSELF.The later point is more important in respect to DIVINE.

A Bhakta says" the AIM of whole process of creation is TO TASTE OR ENJOY THE DIVINE UNION OF BHAKTA AND BHAGVAN.Thats why all these game of separation,bondage,ignorance to liberation,union with divine. And this ASPECT OF RE-UNION WITH GOD IS MOST BLISSFUL ENJOYMENT TO DIVINE.

Mostly bhakti of SHANTA-BHAVA is very similar to Jnan path. Where bhakta or jnani follows vedas,remain silent and immersed like an ocean.

But the other 4 bhavas of bhakti: dasya,sakhya,batsalya and madhura are very different.

In above paths, both JOURNEY AND DESTINATIONS ARE DIFFERENT FROM JNAN OR YOGA MARG. Here the sadhak never wants to be one with divine.He always choose to remain one step below his beloved,so that he can serve his beloved without wanting anything for himself. His only bliss is seeing his beloved blissful.

Such bhaktas are different from rest of sadhakas. Bhagban can"t rewards anything to such bhaktas as they never ever wants anything other than beloved"s smile. Bhagvan offers himself surrendering at bhaktas. He creates a different abode for such bhakts where he takes the form desired by his bhakt and fulfill the wishes of bhaktto serve him.

This to serve and to be served between bhakta and divine is called Leela. This tatva is beyond the understanding of Jnan and highest form of spiritual destination.