From Promila Mataji:
I’ve understood the following points about KY and JnY. However, i am still not clear why Jnana Yoga is considered superior to Karma Yoga in hierarchy (Yoga ladder) when Karma Yoga and Jnana Yoga are actually complementary?
1. Karma Yoga (action in devotion) is superior to Jnana Yoga (renunciation of action due to adaption of knowledge) because KY is easier compared to JnY.
2. In the yoga ladder or hierarchy, JnY is superior and yet in practice KY is superior.
3. Karmas performed without transcendental knowledge are materialistic in nature. So it’s transcendental knowledge that imparts the spiritual qualities to Karmas.
4. Without the application of knowledge (TK, not dry philosophical knowledge), knowledge makes one Mithyacharana, as Krishna warns Arjuna.
Considering these points, it seems more appropriate to call them complementary yogas rather than one being superior in hierarchy and the other though superior in hierarchy, is inferior in practice.
Download by “right-click and save content”
Transcriber: Sharan Shetty
Edited by: Keshavgopal Das
Question: Are jnana and karma complementary instead of hierarchical?
Answer: Karma and jnana can broadly refer to action and intellectual analysis whereas karma yoga and jnana yoga are specific processes. Beyond these two, there is the path of bhakti yoga.
Karma yoga and jnana yoga, as yoga sadhanas, are not complimentary. They are mutually exclusive, and it is not that karma yogi’s practice is incomplete without jnana yoga or vice versa. Both are two distinct processes of yoga and if a person is practicing karma yoga then he cannot be practicing jnana yoga which requires renunciation of action. Their essential methodologies involve opposite courses of action because karma yoga involves action and jnana yoga involves inaction.
With respect to their intention, in the Fifth Chapter, Lord Krishna talks about their common goal. The analysis of Third and Fifth Chapter is same but in the Fifth Chapter, Krishna goes deeper into certain subjects. In Bhagavad-gita 5.4 and 5.5, Krishna says,
sankhya-yogau prthag balah pravadanti na panditah
ekam apy asthitah samyag ubhayor vindate phalam
“Only the ignorant speak of devotional service [karma-yoga] as being different from the analytical study of the material world [sankhya]. Those who are actually learned say that he who applies himself well to one of these paths achieves the results of both.”
yat sankhyaih prapyate sthanam tad yogair api gamyate
ekam sankhyam ca yogam ca yaḥ pasyati sa pasyati
“One who knows that the position reached by means of analytical study can also be attained by devotional service, and who therefore sees analytical study and devotional service to be on the same level, sees things as they are.”
Therefore, it is clear from the above two verses that those who think that the paths of sankhya and yoga are two different paths have a childish mentality and Krishna further states that actually if one who attains perfection in one process then one attains the destination that is intended from both the processes. Ultimately, both are meant to take us towards transcendence which is explained by Lord Krishna in Gita 5.2, sannyasaḥ karma-yogas ca niḥsreyasa-karav ubhau […]
The post Are jnana and karma complementary instead of hierarchical? appeared first on The Spiritual Scientist.