Jñāna yoga is knowing beyond name and form through pure understanding of the nature of doer, who when seen in clarity results in liberation. This path is different from other forms of Yoga in a sense that other form emphasizes on a structured way of experiencing reality through a process of crystallization carried by doing different forms of meditation. However this path simply states that only knowing is enough. It many a times draw parallels to Samkhya as well. As used in the Bhagavad Gita, the Advaita philosopher Adi Shankara gave primary importance to jñāna yoga as "knowledge of the absolute" (Brahman), while the Vishishtadvaita commentator Ramanuja regarded knowledge only as a condition of devotion. In the Bhagavad Gita (13.3) Krishna says that jñāna consists of properly understanding kshetra (the field of activity—that is, the body) and kshetrajna (the knower of the body—that is, the soul). Later in the Gita (13.35) Krishna emphasizes that a transcendentalist must understand the difference between these two.
Classical Advaita Vedanta emphasises the path of Jnana Yoga, a progression of study and training to attain moksha. It consists of four stages:[web 1]
Samanyasa or Sampattis, the "fourfold discipline" (sādhana-catustaya), cultivating the following four qualities:[web 1]
Nityānitya vastu viveka (नित्यानित्य वस्तु विवेकम्) — The ability (viveka) to correctly discriminate between the eternal (nitya) substance (Brahman) and the substance that is transitory existence (anitya).
Ihāmutrārtha phala bhoga virāga (इहाऽमुत्रार्थ फल भोगविरागम्) — The renunciation (virāga) of enjoyments of objects (artha phala bhoga) in this world (iha) and the other worlds (amutra) like heaven etc.
Śamādi ṣatka sampatti (शमादि षट्क सम्पत्ति) — the sixfold qualities,
Uparati (the cessation of these external organs so restrained, from the pursuit of objects other than that, or it may mean the abandonment of the prescribed works according to scriptural injunctions).[note 1]
Samādhāna (the concentrating of the mind on God and Guru).
Mumukṣutva (मुमुक्षुत्वम्) — The firm conviction that the nature of the world is misery and the intense longing for moksha (release from the cycle of births and deaths).
Sravana, listening to the teachings of the sages on the Upanishads and Advaita Vedanta, and studying the Vedantic texts, such as the Brahma Sutras. In this stage the student learns about the reality of Brahman and the identity of atman;
^For translation of jñāna yoga as "union due to pure knowledge" see: Flood (1996), p. 127.
^For definition of jñāna as "knowledge" see: Apte, p. 457.
^For the varying views of Shankara and Ramanuja, see: Flood (1996), p. 127.
^B-Gita 13.35 "Those who see with eyes of knowledge the difference between the body and the knower of the body, and can also understand the process of liberation from bondage in material nature, attain to the supreme goal."