From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

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[edit]

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