Of the four paths to enlightenment, jnana yoga, the path of knowledge was my first choice.
I’ve spent years reading spiritual books from around the world, reflecting on various questions that spiritual teachers propel at us. And I have seen friends that started binge reading after their spiritual awakening. But till date refuse to read anything outside the genre of spirituality or metaphysics!
But why bother? And are you missing out in your journey if you’re not walking the path of jnana yoga? Here’s my take.
The Importance of Jnana Yoga In Your Spiritual Journey
In a world where we have very little trust in anything, we seek logic.
That’s how things started for me too. I wanted fool-proof evidence for spirituality. It was important to ‘be sure’, before I invested in any more ‘practices’ and had my heart broken by God, again.
I had grown up in a Hindu family and loved our different Gods and Goddesses.
But my faith had been shaken over something as futile as bad grades in school. And ever since, I wondered about questions like if God really cared for me, or if God felt offended that I no longer trusted him.
So on, and so forth, my restlessness brewed. And I had a tough time understanding God from the ordinary religious view.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching a show about the Hindu God, Shiva. And the more I watched, the more I longed for my twin flame, my Shiva. But none of the reality which was unfolding added up to any of the mystical musings shown in mythological shows.
Over the years, the questions grew deeper and led me into the dark night of the soul.
Eventually, I resorted to trying new hobbies or making new friends to pacify the increasing distortion I was experiencing. Because that didn’t help, my search deepened.
One day, I stumbled upon my first spiritual teacher, Caroline Myss.
This became my first experience of a practical approach to spirituality. Many years later, it now makes sense that this wonderful teacher was leveraging jnana yoga to enlighten our modern world.
The first reason we need to follow the path of knowledge is because faith doesn’t come naturally to us.
Of course, you don’t have to read a book to be on the path of jnana yoga. You could watch videos or attend spiritual satsang. But it is important, because that is the only way our ego mind can get over the doubts.
And it is also the purest way in which we can begin to understand how this Universe works.
That being said, that’s not just why you should consider reading more spiritual books or attending more spiritual workshops. Here are 7 other benefits that come from the path of knowledge.
7 Reasons the Jnana Yoga Path Is Crucial To Follow In The Modern World
I hope these reflections compel you to create more time to learn and grasp more of the spiritual truth from those that are a few steps ahead of you in the journey back to Self.
#1 – You can experience Oneness through subtle energy transmission.
The Angels and Masters of the spiritual realm work with us energetically.
This became more acceptable to my mind, when I read Dr Michael Newton’s evidence on how our spirit guides wait for us to be calm, so that they can send us guidance and healing energy.
Teachers, courses and books are all channels for us to receive much more than the conscious mind can perceive. It can feel like you’ve entered a different reality, where you become absorbed and One with all that’s being said.
Personally, some of the most profound moments for me have been while reading Osho’s Vigyan Bhairav, practicing the Heartfulness Meditation by Daaji, and listening to Sadhguru’s discourses.
#2 – You can receive unparalleled daily guidance without going to the mountains or sitting in a cave.
Back in the day, people had to leave their homes and live with gurus to receive formal, spiritual education.
Today, you no longer need to go searching for peace in the Himalayas, because we live in a world where we have easy access to some of the finest spiritual teachings through a finger tap.
When your faith wavers, other paths like bhakti yoga or dhyana yoga can become difficult. And if you are an introvert, or you simply don’t have time for/access to spiritual satsang, then how do you get inspiration?
Watching spiritual videos is one way. Even reading just a few pages a day can transform your life in tremendous ways.
Ever since my journey began, every single book that came and changed my life, had a random source. But it was accurately timed for the moment! And it helped me cross the day-to-day hurdle much quicker than I would have if I had spent the time talking to a human being, or if I prayed unceasingly for an escape from my problems.
So through the effect of jnana yoga, you not only get out of your problems, you rapidly evolve through them in a practical setting. The path no longer needs us to renounce anything. We can be modern yogis.
#3 – Jnana Yoga helps you stay in higher levels of consciousness without restricting you to a place or person.
Yes, our journey is inwards and we have all the wisdom we need within us, but at times our ability to operate from a higher consciousness diminishes if we are too close to the problem.
The universe is very kind to drop subtle messages and signs – you never know what mundane line in a book might actually be transforming for you.
For example, Dr Brian’s works are pioneers in past life regression but the one line that sat deep for me, is actually not referenced on Google yet! It’s from one of his books, where he talks about how nobody should be anyone’s guru for more than a few months.
I was at the beginning of my journey and this quickly made it clear to me that I don’t need to rest at one door. This allowed me to broaden my learning and fill my palette with spiritual guidance from all walks of life.
Today, you’ll hear me talk about the classic teachings of the Buddha in one blog post, and reference a new age teaching in the next for this very reason!
Through jnana yoga, you are able to hear the Truth, with a capital t, from whoever you resonate with at the time. You are no longer limited to a place, person or time.
#4 – You experience rapid healing.
Sure, you need to act on what you learn. But the fact is, spiritual books plant seeds and water them so rapidly, that as Paul Selig’s book Word said, these books become a passage for your transformation.
You start the book as one person, and complete it living in a different realm!
The best example for this happening to me, was the book Conversations with God. There wasn’t much physical action required – it simply did all the work for me.
It changed my perspective on what religion is – what God is NOT, why evils exist in the world, what our purpose is, and so much more. There was no going back from that point.
The messages and insights are bound to produce a kind of rapid healing in you that will only help make your Ascension faster. Instead of reinventing the wheel and trying to master the journey through endless hit and trial, why not lean on some of the profound wisdom from around the world?
Which brings me to the next point.
#5 – You get life experiences you wouldn’t have otherwise (or you’d take lifetimes to).
The key lesson I got from reading spiritual books in general, was that I don’t need to experience everything first-hand. We can learn just by looking at other people’s experiences.
I may never go to the Himalayas or sit under a banyan tree and meditate for hours, but I’ve learned a thing (or 15) from some of the wisest beings out there.
Spirituality is NOT about reinventing the wheel, it’s only about spinning your wheel at full capacity. So why not follow a couple of tried and tested things and see how it goes for you?
#6 – You find a deeper sense of satisfaction and satiation.
I have nothing against self-help books. I’ve been reading them for the longest time and I still do. But they don’t bring a lasting sense of peace.
When I read a spiritual book about the afterlife, my curiosity is piqued! And by the end of the series, my cup has been filled in a way where it only overflows. It no longer needs watering in that space.
Spirituality is diverse beyond imagination (but it shouldn’t be a surprise, given that we are INFINITE). So the point is, you can gain so much wisdom and it all brings a deeper sense of appreciation for existence.
We all seek depth and satiation in life, and not much else can deliver that to us, other than being contemplative on this spiritual journey. In moments where our contemplation falls short, a spiritual book can fill that gap for us.
#7 – Jnana Yoga gives you wings!
This is the power of investing your time in the path of knowledge. As the darkness is dispelled by light, you soar higher into the skies and break free from your own limitations.
You are no longer held back by orthodox or fear-based patterns. You learn how to operate with utmost love and infinitude.
I experienced an absolute personality makeover, a shift in who I am, largely because of the wisdom that was poured into me.
I feverishly read dozens of books in my first year of awakening. And though I am not enlightened, I find myself becoming so much more of myself everyday – more than I ever was.
I have seen an increased capacity to look at the bigger picture, to be more optimistic, to dream and be ‘unrealistic’. And yet people believe in me, because spirituality gave me the confidence I never had before.
I always say this – a book is a soul’s best friend.
Raising the quality of your thoughts through jnana yoga is one of the most profound things you can do for yourself. Unless, of course, you have the amazing fortune of sitting with an actual enlightened Master. Then, enlightenment is guaranteed!
Until then, read, watch and listen your way into realizing that you are the very awareness you’re seeking outward.
Happy learning, happy enlightenment!