Which Yoga is the best? Is it possible to mix Jnana and Karma


Which Yoga is the best?

Kindly accept my humble pranams.

I am a bachelor working professional of age 30+. I got a couple of philosophical question as I read a text on the Srimad Bhagvat Gita recently.

My first question is regarding the best form of Yogas as applicable in today’s world. It looks that Bhagavan Sri Krishna has glorified all the four forms of Yoga (i.e. Karma, Bhakti, Jnana and Raja) at different chapters of the Gita. Now, which form is the best for practicing in this time with least struggle and with more probability of success?

One more question regarding Karma and Jnana Yoga. As it seems pure Jnana is devoid of any Karma and inclination to Karma is opposite to that of Jnana, is it ever possible to mix both in order to get the best out of those?

I will be obliged in case you kindly give a suggestion to my query.



p>It is nice to read your questions.The final and factual teaching of the Vedas, ( mentioned very clearly in the Upanishads) is that the Jiva (ie. You/ I ) is Brahman – the Infinite consciousness. There is only one Infinite which is called/recognized as Brahman, (the infinite consciousness) by the men of wisdom, and which is called/perceived as Jiva (the finite Individual). Infinitude is a fact, and the finitude is a mere appearance. This is the final teaching of our Vedas.

According to our Scriptures, Self Ignorance is the cause of all problems. Every jiva takes millions of birth and death as long as he/she considers himself/herself as a jiva. Unless a jiva understands the ultimate goal of life, that this life is to conquer the death through the love of God and wisdom of his real nature, he/she is subject to repeated death and birth and various sufferings. The only purpose of human life is to realize our own Inner Divinity, which people generally call as God Realization.

Since Self Ignorance is the cause, the solution must be gaining “Self Knowledge”. Gaining ‘Self Knowledge’ means, recognizing your own Infinite nature which is, an ever existing fact. You just drop the idea that you are “finite jiva”. Therefore ‘jnana’ is the only solution. To get the knowledge, you can start with any yoga according to your temperament and prepare your mind. All the 4 yogas are necessary since each one plays a distinct role. A spiritual seeker has to go through all these yogas in one janma or the other. There is no choice in 4 yogas. Karma Yoga helps you to get Vairagyam (dispassion) from the worldly attachments. Raja Yoga helps you to prepare your physiological and psychological personalities. Bhakti yoga helps you to have emotional stability and love for the Lord (which is the goal). Finally when the seeker is fully matured with four-fold qualifications –like Viveka, Vairagya, Mukukshutwa (burning desire for Knowledge) etc., Jnana yoga reveals the “Ultimate Reality”, which is fortunately happened to be our own “Infinite nature”.

So, start any yoga as per your wish, and in course of time you will understand that they are not water-tight compartments and serious practice of one particular yoga need the practice of other yogas also. Therefore, there are not many paths. There is only one path, wherein many stages have to be crossed and mind must be prepared for the Self- Knowledge.

Generally Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga are prescribed for everybody, since one can’t avoid working and one needs emotional stability in the spiritual life. Therefore perform your duties as the offering to the Lord, wherein there is no place for any worldly desires and unethical means. Surrender to the Lord with full faith. Offer your mind to Him and pray Him to manifest in your mind and make your life a purposeful one and with peace.

Jnana means the absence of idea of “doer-ship”. Karma means “having doer-ship”. Both can’t exist simultaneously. Combination of Jnana and Karma is not possible only in terms of technicality. But we come across in the lives of Wise men like Sri Shankara and Swami Vivekananda were highly active. Since they did not have “doer-ship” they were not affected by the fruits of the Karma. But while doing all the actions they were absolutely wise. Therefore, in general, their life is combination of “Knowledge with action”. Don’t bother about these technicalities. Start your spiritual journey with all earnestness, knowing fully the benefits you are going to get and requirements of this spiritual journey.

Leading a life of Brahmacharya, with the practice of moral values, Prayer, Namajapa and Satsangh are means for growth in spiritual life. Try them and wait for the Lord’s Grace. He will certainly bless you with a Spiritual guide and growth. Offer your mind to Him and pray Him to manifest in your mind and make your life a purposeful one and with peace.

Also we suggest you to read the life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda for the general guidance for your spiritual life.

For more personal guidance, if you are staying in Bangalore, you are welcome to attend our Sunday Class (at 3.30p.m.) which is specially conducted for the youths, in our Ashram.

Visit our site http://www.ramakrishnamath.in/home/qa . We update lot of materials for youth. Enrich yourself with good things and be happy in life.

With prayers,