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A path to liberation outlined in the Bhagavadgītā. In its widest sense, what counts as ‘knowledge’ in the Gītā is a particular ontology and cosmology derived from versions of Sāmkhya theory. More specifically, jñāna-yoga is a discipline requiring realization of the Upaniṣadic brahman (neut.) as the absolute power underlying all things, including the individual, and associated with renunciation of householder life. It is usually contrasted with what are taken to be the other paths to liberation described in the text (bhakti-yoga and karma-yoga), although the Gītā itself does not present these as systematic or exclusive paths (mārgas). Subsequent commentators have, however, adapted the division to chart three distinctive Hindu paths to liberation. So Śaṅkara, for instance, in his commentary on the Bhagavadgītā, elevates jñāna-yoga above the other two yogas, as the ultimate means to liberation. See also Bhagavadgītā; jñāna.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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