Analysis of Practice of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yoga

The Bhagavad Gita is the essence of the teachings of the Upanishads and, in simple terms, Lord Krishna explains the way to salvation through the paths of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yoga. The first six chapters of Bhagavad Gita are devoted to the exposition of the method of Self-realisation through Karma Yoga and Jnana yoga. The second set of six chapters deals with Bhakti Yoga and states that the object of Bhakti is God. The third set sums up and clarifies the essence of what was earlier explained. The three paths of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yoga are intimately intermixed to generate various paths with varying resultant paths which are suitable for different types of personalities or stages in life. Moksha is probably the complete satisfaction after which there is no desire to know or achieve physically in life. As per Lord Krishna one can achieve moksha in all three ways.

Karma is required to be done physically. So, all acts, requiring primarily physical execution are dealt in Karma Yoga. Though Karma yoga requires mental function too, but here physical work is supreme. The knowledge part, observation, inference, discussions, decision between right or wrong are classified under Jnana Yoga. Bhakti yoga is happiness through emotions by complete submission on the part of individual to anybody whom he thinks devoted to. He may be God as per person’s own thinking or any individual the person finds devoted to. Physically and mentally capable persons, in a position to do socially required tasks, doing their work in best possible way, working honestly, truthfully and with a service above self motive, are supposed to pursue Karma Yoga or Jnana Yoga. Bhakti Yoga is pursued by personalities who are primarily concerned with Ishwar Pranidhana (Spiritual Quest) or who cannot take to first two paths, because of age or other reasons. Bhakti Yoga provides eternal bliss and moksha to persons who followed first two paths in their prime life and have now retired from these paths.

Some people are emotionally very loving, very affectionate. Such people find Bhakti Yoga as the supreme and Bhakti Yoga will be very helpful for them to grow very fast towards the highest achievement. Some people are great intellectuals, they have got powerful intellect. They can understand. They can see through things and their logical brain is very strong. For them the Jnana Yoga is the best. The Jnana Yoga uses that intellect to transcend itself to go the highest. There are some people who are very good at hands, doing work, any work you give immediately they are going to do that. They may not be great thinkers but they can do the work very efficiently and see that the work is done. For such people the Karma Yoga is the best. But today in the modern society we need all these dimensions; intellectually one should be very sharp, emotionally highly developed and good at work; otherwise one cannot face the challenges of the modern era of science and technology.

Dr Mahesh Chandra Panda

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About drmcpanda

Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda Date of Birth:29.02.1948 Qualification:M.B.B.S.,M.D. Retd. (29.02.2008) Chief District Medical Officer Bargarh Orissa India
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18 Responses to Analysis of Practice of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yoga

  1. Dhandapani Muthuswamy says:

    The article is eye opener to me. Simply narrated in such a way to understand about three yoga even for a beginner in spirituality. Which yoga can be opted by different types of peoples & yoga in modern world has to be practiced in all dimensions are explained in simple way. Thanks ji for sharing such useful article.

    • Thanks Dhandapaniji for his valuable comment on the article ‘Analysis of Practice of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yoga’ that the article is simply narrated in such a way to understand about three yoga even for a beginner in spirituality.

  2. V Chandra Sekhar says:

    Namaste Dr Pandaji,
    Thanks for your lucid description of “Analysis of Karma,Jnana & Bhakti Yoga” & the delineation between each type of yoga.

    • Thanks Sekharji for his valuable comment of appreciation for lucid description of “Analysis of Karma,Jnana & Bhakti Yoga” & the delineation between each type of yoga on the article ‘Analysis of Practice of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yoga’.

  3. Rajesh Kumar Panda says:

    Respected Kaka,
    Your article speaks the true picture to lead a successful life by any individual.
    Yours lovingly nephew,
    Rajesh

  4. Thanks Dr Panda for referral. Sorry for delay in response as I was busy in preparations for inspection of our Medical College. You have explained the gist of Gita in a very lucid style and have touched an essential component of life, called Moksha. Gita is very complicated subject and everybody has to write his own version of Gita and follow it to achieve moksha. Though there are three different paths described in Gita, but usually everybody has to follow a suitable mix of all these paths to be able to reach moksha. No work is possible without proper knowledge and no Bhakti is possible if person is hungry. Basic human needs are required to be satisfied. While fulfilling basic needs, one has to take care that nobody is harmed and person should not have any guilt of doing something, which his conscious does not allow. In making these decisions, person is confronted with obvious multiple choices. It is these choices, competence, circumstances and luck, which decides the ultimate course of anybody’s life. Gita guides the person to follow the path, which is for overall good of society and universe, to overcome shot term temptations, to follow path of truth. As you said, three yogas are suitable for different personalities. This article rightly helps in proper understanding of complicated subject of Moksha and peaceful life. Love to Snigdha.

    • Thanks Dr Goyal for his valuable comment on the article ‘Analysis of Practice of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yoga’ that three yogas are suitable for different personalities and this article rightly helps in proper understanding of complicated subject of Moksha and peaceful life.

  5. Dr.Binod Bihari Naik says:

    Respected Sir,

    I sense to take a trial to explain the above topic in a indifferent way. He is I and I is He that to know or feel by any manifested form from He is called Yoga. It’s culture to experience is spirituality that’s never be explained as such unusual from science.No experiment till now framed to catch hold HE. So many westerners have failed to grapse the act of GOD and less emphasis on yoga and always are puzzling in nature but see the easterners, very simple and tranquil in mind and catch hold HIM and even engulf and binding in HRUDAYA AKASH.This is called blissful stage or ecstatic stage of one when one comes or enters to the summit called realisation (Moskhya). As per Gita it shows mainly three paths such as 1.Karma means service the toppest one approachable by every one done by HANDS,2.BHAKTI means devotion the topper one done by some one mainly from HEART And 3.Jnana or GYANA top one done by few ones because it is logical one and needs intense austerity to grapse HIM, added with toppest faith, love and principle. But as per my view in the hurdles age of KALI YUGA we unitedly integrate the Hands…karma, Heart…bhakti & Head…..gyana to reach HIM easily. All are integrated by surrender and Namaskar which is an easy procedure to reach HIS abode. This is only done by a true human being.Then question revols to mind to be true human and let all engage for novel emancipation.

    With regards
    Thanking you
    Your Divine Brother
    Dr Binod Bihari Naik
    Bargarh, Odisha

  6. Purnima Panda says:

    Pranam kaka,

    Karma ,Jnana ,Bhakti are the main elements that are necessary for spiritual evolution. Every path to the supreme contains these elements be it Karma yoga or a Jnana marga or a Bhakti . Though the paths are many the final destination as well as the intermediate milestone and the qualities required for them are same. All the paths contain same principles and aim at developing same qualities. They only differ in practical implementation highlighting different principles in order to suite spiritual practitioners of different temperaments.

    • Thanks Purnima for her valuable comment on the article ‘Analysis of Practice of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yoga’ that Karma ,Jnana ,Bhakti are the main elements that are necessary for spiritual evolution.

  7. Kedarnath Sahu says:

    Sir,
    Namaskar.

    A nice article which enlighted us about the summary of Bhagwat Gita. Your description on Karma,Bhakti and Jnana is highly educative for the people of the society.I think these three Karma,Bhakti and Jnana are the three sides of a triangle.The human life can reach the Almighty only through this triangle. The all sides of triangle to coordinate appropriately is the key of satisfactory spiritual progress of human life. After completing the Karma, the man goes through Bhakti which ultimately reaches the Almighty i.e. Moksha through the path of Yoga and Spirituality.

    Kedarnath Sahu
    Science Teacher
    Sohela, Bargarh Odisha

    • Thanks Kedar for his valuable comment on the article ‘Analysis of Practice of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yoga’ that Karma,Bhakti and Jnana are the three sides of a triangle and the human life can reach the Almighty only through this triangle.

  8. Prakash Padhan says:

    Respected Sir,

    Thank you for sharing your post. Bhagbad Gita is essence of Upanishads which emanated from lotus mouth of lord Krishna. Moksha yoga or yoga of salvation is last 18th chapter of Gita.Whole Gita comprises of karma bhakti and gnana yoga.But I feel essence of teaching is the karma because Krishna always tried to engage Arjuna in war. Gita is more relevant in present days because people can get peace after following Gita. Vyasadev says-Gita sugita kartavya kimanaih shastra bistaraih jaa swayam padmanavasya mukhapadmatbinisruta. (Gita is most important shastra,if we read Gita, then no need to read other shastra).

    Sir, I hope your health is good. Thanking you with high regards.

    • Thanks Prakash for his valuable comment on the article ‘Analysis of Practice of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yoga’ that Gita is more relevant in present days because people can get peace after following Gita.

  9. Madhusudan Mahunta says:

    Dear Sir,
    Namaskar.

    It is one of the best and nice article. You have described vividly and clearly about three types of Yoga. You have reflected the essence of three yoga nicely for all human beings.All the yoga are correlated with each other. Everybody should follow these three yoga to achieve his goal.

    Thanking You
    Madhusudan Mahunta
    Retd.BEE,CHC Sohela Bargarh Odisha

    • Thanks Mahunta babu for his valuable comment on the article ‘Analysis of Practice of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yoga’ that all the yoga are correlated with each other and everybody should follow these three yoga to achieve his goal.

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