Bhagwat Gita chapter 2 verse 39,

It is written as:

एषा तेऽभिहिता साङ्ख्ये
बुद्धिर्योगे त्विमां शृणु |
बुद्ध्या युक्तो यया पार्थ
कर्मबन्धं प्रहास्यसि || 39||

which is often translated as:

Arjuna, this attitude of mind has been presented to you from the point of view of Jñāna yoga. Now hear the same as presented from the standpoint of Karmayoga...

--extracted from the Gita Press, Gorakhpur (The song Divine)

And also in Chapter 3, Verse 3, as Shree Krishna says:

ज्ञानयोगेन साङ्ख्यानां

same the Gita Press, Gorakhpur (The song Divine) says:

In the case of the Sankhyayogi, the Sadhana proceeds along the path of Knowledge;

Wikipedia says, Jñāna, sometimes transcribed as gyaan, means "knowledge" in Sanskrit.

So, Is Sankhya Yog and Gyan Yoga the same? Or there is any difference between them?

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    A bit loose translation by Gita Press (if it is from there), the term jñāna yoga doesn't even occur in the śloka, yet they still gave it in the translation, and thus it's causing a confusion to the reader. Tbh, sāṅkhya used in the śloka is not exactly jñāna yoga. However, sāṅkhya is a component of jñāna yoga, so the translation is not exactly incorrect, but it still isn't literal and deviates from exact meaning. I have seen the commentaries of Madhva, Rāmānuja, Madhusūdana and Abhinavagupta, but none of them say jñāna yoga on 2.39, instead they explain what sāṅkhya means in this śloka.
    – Bingming
    Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 14:23
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    Shri Krishna has just explained to Arjun another form of Sānkhya, which is the analytical knowledge of the immortal Ātman.[3/3] Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 15:22
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    Jnana normally refers to any kind of cognition but in the context of jnana-yoga, it refers only to the realization of the essential nature of self as identical with the Brahman called Brahma-jnana or atma-jnana.Jnana-yoga is not only the process of knowing but is a sadhana and involves sadhana -sadhya relationship. Jnana is the sadhana, and realization of identity with Brahman is the sadhya. [4] Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 15:37
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    Now If you have sincerely read verses 1-39 of the 2nd chap of BG you will come to know that Shri Krishna here is not really trying to convey the relationship between individual Atman(Jivatman) and Brahman, rather he explains to Arjuna the true nature of Atman as being deathless, imperishable and eternal....[5] Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 16:19
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    Here, the connotation of sankya, in Gita , should not be misinterpreted for the sankya darshana(kapila Rishi). Here in Gita, sankya connotes moksha shaastra aka Brahma Vidya.Lord says the Brahma Vidya- shaastra pertaining to tattva Gyan (here sankya) is already imparted in prev. verses ( Sankye budhihi abihitha(imparted)..After having elucidated the Brahma Vidya , (ultimate purushartha) , Lord proceeds to detail on the saadhana(karma yoga) the precursor to attain Sankye budhihi. So the attitude with which karma needs to be carried out is explained further in Karma yoga, upcoming chapter
    – Athrey
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 6:59

1 Answer 1


The Gita verse 2.39 is given below:

O Arjuna! What has been described to you is the Truth according to the Samkhya (the path of knowledge). Listen now to the teaching of Yoga (the path of selfless action combined with devotion) by practicing which the bondage of Karma is overcome.

Gita 2.39

In the Gita passage under discussion, though this Samkhya and Yoga nomenclatures are used, the words practically mean what in modern Vedantic parlance we call Jnana-Yoga and Bhakti mixed Karma Yoga. So the verse has to be understood as meaning: I have given you the understanding, the conviction, which enlightenment (Jnana or Samkhya) gives of the real nature of man - of his essence, the Atman. Now I shall declare to you another way of attaining it, the Yoga or Karma-mixed Bhakti, which consists in performing all actions without attachments as devoted offering to the Divine, and in practicing love of Him and getting one's mind absorbed in Him through concentration (Samadhi). The idea is to cultivate devotion to God and dedicate oneself and all one's actions to Him, as His servant and devotee. If one practices this discipline in life, the Supreme Being bestows the knowledge of the devotee's true relation with His being - the awareness of being part and parcel of the Satchidananda. Sri Ramakrishna illustrates this by an analogy. A very faithful servant serves his Master for long and pleases him immensely by his love and loyalty. The master, out of intense love and consideration for him, puts him on his own seat, sating, 'You are myself; sit on it.' Just like that, supreme knowledge of one's spiritual identity (or intimacy) is what comes out of the Lord's grace for a Jiva who serves and surrenders to Him through love and service.

Swami Tapasyananda's commentary on Gita 2.39

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    Great answer with best analogy that explains !
    – Athrey
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 6:51

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