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Joe: Hi, Daniel.
With respect to karma, bhakti and jnana yoga, how do they stand in relationship to Vedanta? Yoga is a tool, Vedanta is also a tool.
Daniel: When fully understood, karma, bhakti and jnana yoga all boil down to the same: self-knowledge.
And Vedanta is just that, a self-knowledge-based toolkit. The variously termed yogas do not stand apart from Vedanta, nor Vedanta from them.
Whether it be karma yoga, bhakti yoga or jnanam – when fully assimilated – the result is the same, freedom from limitation, freedom from anxiety.
Karma yoga is surrendering the fruits of one’s actions to the macrocosmic field (Isvara), and so is bhakti yoga. Jnana yoga is the same even though some see it as more of a “direct path.”
The fruits of jnana yoga are a result of the direct assimilation of one’s already-free nature as non-dual awareness, which in return liberates you from the jiva – from the karmi/bhakta – altogether, whereas karma yoga or bhkati yoga still involves a sense of doership and offers peace by assimulating “field-knowledge” (understanding Isvara), which in return surrenders the jiva. “Let go and let God” is a good sound bite for this one.
The karma yogi naturally has bhakti and the bhakta naturally applies an attitude of karma yoga. The same goes for the jnani.
In other words, Joe, it’s all the same.
Joe: Many thanks, Daniel.
Daniel: You bet.