Karma Yoga Vs Jyana Yoga! Which is better?
First of all, we need to understand what is Karma Yoga and what is Jyan Yoga. Karma means Action. For a person to stay in the world and become a part of society, he needs to follow the processes and methods of the society and also follow the processes of his family life. The ideal life of a person passes through different phases. The first phase begins when he is born, then in the second phase he gets his education and then he learns to earn money and when he is capable enough, he gets married and has children and finally, he departs from the world.
Now for a person to live in this world and be a part of society, he cannot skip any of these phases in his life. Every action he performs is considered as a Karma and he is an ideal Karma Yogi if he is ready to face all the challenges of life but still goes on to complete all his responsibilities in this world, no matter how many difficulties he has to face.
Now the second Yoga which I mentioned is Jyan Yoga. Now, this Yoga means knowledge of the higher truths of life, which some people refer to as God or an infinite being. Now some people, indeed, have got some special qualities and gifts, so they prefer to follow the method of Jyan Yoga and they gradually isolate themselves from the normal life which most of the people live which is in accordance with the society. They feel that if they get entangled in this world they will never be able to come out of it and their journey to explore higher powers will get obstructed and their argument is quite valid, too.
But there has always been conflict between classes of society who consider one Yoga as superior to another. This is not a new conflict, it has been going on for ages. Let us peek into history to understand this in greater depth.
Greek religion is considered as one of the oldest and most respected religions in the world. Greek had a great scholar in the form of Homer. Homer always advocated for Karma Yoga and the path of action. At that time in Greece, there was a wonderful balance of Karma Yoga and Jyan Yoga and the country was on its way towards prosperity.
But somehow, people got addicted to material pleasures and they started losing their way. The essence of Greek religion gradually started to lose its charm. But at that time, Pythagoras was born. He was a great scholar and played a great role in reviving the Greek culture. He explained to people the importance of Jyan Yoga and gradually the society started to divert towards inaction and started to withdraw from their social responsibilities.
But after the death of Pythagoras, people became so addicted to Jyan Yoga or renunciation that they started to even avoid food which was placed in front of them. They felt that exploring God was the greatest Yoga of all. Gradually, the Greek religion again got into trouble and then Epicurus was born who explained people the importance of Karma Yoga but as it had happened in the past, people again became absorbed in worldly life forgetting the real essence of human life and religion. It was like swinging like a pendulum from one place to another blindly trusting upon the qualities of the leader.
But at that time Jesus Christ was born. Christ explained to people the importance of living in the world and doing karmas but at the same time maintaining love and reverence for God. This was the philosophy of Lord Krishna, too, who has always explained that “DO YOUR WORK WITHOUT ANY EXPECTATION OF RESULT!”. Krishna has always told us that we should maintain action in inaction and vice versa. He believes that we should follow all the responsibilities of the world but at the same time stay detached from it and keep faith and love for God.
Krishna and Christ have played a pivotal role in reviving the culture and tradition of religion in the world. People in different countries, who did not have a proper understanding, became the leaders and because of them the culture and tradition of the country would get destroyed. Krishna came to the earth to remove all the misconceptions which were prevalent in the society at that time and to show to the world how an ideal life should be lived.
Coming back to our topic, “CONFLICT BETWEEN KARMA YOGA and JYAN YOGA”, but there is no such conflict at all. It is just the misunderstanding of people in understanding the real essence of Karma Yoga and Jyan Yoga.
There will always be some people who will have to free themselves from living a normal married life. They are born for a special purpose and they have got their own divine work to do. But that group of people would be very very small. For the rest of the people in the world there is no other option but to live a normal life, follow all the responsibilities of the family and society but at the same time stay detached from it and also have firm faith in God.