Excerpts from God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita
by Paramahansa Yogananda
How to Attain True Wisdom
Verily, wisdom (born from yoga practice) is superior to (mechanical) yoga practice; meditation is more desirable than the possession of (theoretical) wisdom; the relinquishment of the fruits of actions is better than (the initial states of) meditation. Renunciation of the fruits of actions is followed immediately by peace.
— The Bhagavad Gita XII:12
The perception of wisdom—intuitive realization attained by the eager and proper practice of yoga—is superior to any intermediate results precipitated during the mechanical physical and mental efforts of repeated practice of yoga techniques. During the mere practice of yoga, the mind is a battleground of distractions and warring states of consciousness, with intermittent lulls of transcendent peace and inner experiences of astral or cosmic forces, such as divine light or the sound of Aum. In the perception of pure wisdom, there is an absence of all inner tumult, a stilling of all oscillating waves of the mind. Perception is solely through the all-knowing intuition of the soul.
The true state of meditation is oneness of the meditator with the object of meditation, God. It is superior to the preliminary meditative state of theoretical wisdom—knowledge attained through divine perceptions in meditation by the devotee who is an observer apart from his experience— the knower who is knowing the thing to be known. Thus this state is tinged with the relative consciousness that the triune knower, knowing, and known exist separately. When the yogi is aware that he is the knower separate from his perception of divine wisdom, he is experiencing the relativity of consciousness involved in the triple factors of knowledge. In the supreme state of meditation, the devotee is no longer conscious of the triple factors, but only of oneness with Spirit. ...
Renunciation of the fruits of actions is followed immediately by peace.
After meditative unity with Spirit is permanently established, the devotee attains the superior state of oneness with God plus complete escape from the bindings of material vibrations. He enjoys the dual perception of oneness with God and interactions with matter while his consciousness within remains wholly detached from material vibrations.
Lastly, the devotee realizes the "peace of God, which passeth all understanding,"* the ultimate state of blessed tranquility in the vibrationless Absolute!** [*Philippians 4:7]
** "The ornament of a servant of God is devotion; the jewel of devotion is consciousness of nonduality.
"The ornament of knowledge is meditation; the decoration of meditation is renunciation; and the pearl of renunciation is pure, unfathomable Shanti.
"The pure and unfathomable Shanti cuts the root of all misery. He who holds Shanti in his heart dwells in a sea of Bliss. All sins that breed suffering, anxiety, and anguish disappear, together with all limitations....
"Know him to be perfect who is most peaceful, who is taintless and free from all personal desires, whose mind vibrates with Shanti."
—Tulsidas, in Indian Mystic Verse