Yoga and Renunciation




1.    The Upanishads develop notion of mystical knowledge (jnana). Yoga is a means to this.

2.    Yoga: from yuj ‘to control’, ‘to yoke’ or ‘unite’.  Unite the self with the Supreme

a.    Technologies or disciplines of asceticism and meditation which are thought to lead to spiritual experience and profound understanding or insight into the nature of existence.

b.    The means whereby the mind and senses can be restrained, limited and empirical self or ego (ahamkara) can be transcended and the self’s true identity eventually experienced.

3.    Three features:

a.    Consciousness can be transformed through focusing attention on a single point (ekagrata)

b.    The transformation of consciousness eradicates limiting, mental constraints or impurities such as greed and hate

c.    Yoga is a discipline, or range of disciplines, constructed to facilitate the transformation of consciousness

Renunciation (Sanyasa)

1.    General features

a.     Action and attachment in the world lead to rebirth and suffering

b.    Detachment from action, or even non-action, leads to spiritual emancipation

c.     Complete detachment, and therefore spiritual emancipation, can be achieved through asceticism and methods of making consciousness focused and concentrated.


1.    Sanyasa

2.    Yoga

3.    Ekagrata