Does ashtanga yoga always start from jnana yoga?
Transcribed by: Shalini Ahluwalia
Question: Does ashtanga yoga naturally start after jnana yoga?
Answer: Actually the yoga ladder is more of a conceptual hierarchy than a literal hierarchy. That means its not necessary that every seeker will go through each of these stages one by one. It is more like that is how the various spiritual paths are placed in a progressive hierarchy. So it is like basically one’s conception has to evolve and just as we say from karma yoga we can go directly to bhakti yoga. So similarly from karma yoga we can go to dhyaan yoga also and one can go from karma yoga to gyaan yoga also. Now practically we don’t have any examples of, very little examples of a gyaan yogi going to dhyaan yoga. Of course in the bhakti literature that progression will not be talked about much also because bhakti is the highest and focus will be on bhakti. The point is that there is that evolution and understanding that in the gyaan level one has started perceiving the truth atleast at the sat level. In ashtang yoga one starts perceiving the SuperSoul within and in bhakti level one starts the ananda aspect also, the Bhagwan. In that sense it is more like a conceptual arrangement of the hierarchical paths. But its not necessary that every seeker will have to go through each of these steps. The seeker can evolve depending on how one’s spiritual understanding develops.