Search & Read
Yoga and Vedanta
Seeker: I was wondering if you could help me out. I’m trying to understand where/when Vedanta and the dualistic yoga started to diverge, historically speaking. Any insights would be awesome.
Ramji: They were always divergent. They deal with two different topics, action and knowledge. The Upanishads present both topics, but the relationship between them is not always clear, so rajasic people assumed that they could do their way to moksa. So yoga developed. Sattvic people are knowledge-motivated, so they were attracted to the knowledge and they made the relationship clear. Knowledge is for moksa and action is for purification of the mind. You can’t do anything to get free, except pursue Vedanta, because freedom is your nature. Vedanta uncovers it.
Seeker: Also, do you feel like the word yoga is often misinterpreted as “union” of the jiva’s consciousness with the Self (universal consciousness) as if they are separate (duality).
Ramji: Yes, indeed.
Seeker: I heard you interpret yoga as “union,” but you defined union as understanding once. Do you think yoga is meant to be interpreted as the understanding that the jiva’s consciousness and the universal consciousness are one (non-dual)?
Ramji: Yes. Yoga is an action word. But you can present knowledge with experiential language, although it is not recommended, because it is confusing. The Gita does it because Arjuna is rajasic. It is one reason you need a teacher who is clear on the relationship between action and knowledge.
Seeker: Lastly, do you think that using the name Vedanta is better than saying jnana yoga, even though they are synonymous, since jnana yoga includes the word yoga and may have some dualistic connotations?
Ramji: Yes. But yogis often develop an interest in knowledge, so jnana yoga is a term that they can relate to.
~ Love, Ramji