From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Jnana, JJAna, Jyaana

Jñāna literally means ‘knowledge’.

The word 'jñāna' is derived from the root-verb ‘jñā’ which means to know and is commonly interpreted as ‘knowledge’. It can be of two kinds :

  1. That which is got by the normal means of sense perception
  2. That which is obtained by intuition

Sources of Jñāna

Most of the philosophical systems accept the following sources of Jñāna :

  1. Pratyakṣa - direct perception
  2. Anumāna - inference
  3. Āptavākya - verbal testimony
  4. Āgama - scriptural testimony
  5. Upamāna - comparison
  6. Arthāpatti - postulation
  7. Anupalabdhi - non-perception
  8. Aparokṣānubhuti - direct experience

Jñāna as intuitive knowledge called ‘aparokṣānubhuti’, comes through the purification of the mind by yogic disciplines and meditation on Atman or Brahman.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore