Four Yoga

         As we have seen earlier that the core principle of Vedic knowledge is to transcend to the Awareness state and identify that is the real nature of our being.  This realization or Union in Sanskrit is known as "Yog". This is the root word for Yoga, which means to be in the Awareness state. As we have discussed earlier that Ego prevents the Transcendence to this Awareness state. There are four main means to transcend the ego. They are - Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga. Each is suited to a different temperament of the individual or approach to life. All the paths lead ultimately to the same destination - to union with Brahman or Consciousness.


Karma Yoga, The Yoga of Action

      Everyone are engaged in action always. But the Ego which is a single "I" thought takes the credit for all actions. Being aware of this Ego thought, one attributes the results of all actions to the awareness. This is the easiest means to sublimate the Ego and transcend to the Awareness state. This is the path chosen primarily by those of an outgoing nature. It purifies the heart by teaching one to act selflessly, which means not for the Ego. To achieve this, it is helpful to keep the mind focused by repeating a mantra while engaged in any activity.

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Bhakti Yoga, The Path of Devotion or Divine Love

    The Karma Yoga is for mankind involved in action. When an individual has matured in that Karma Yoga, he slowly gets into the next state of maturing his mind, called Bhakthi Yoga. This path appeals particularly to those of an emotional nature. The Bhakti Yogi is motivated chiefly by the power of of Love and sees God (Awareness) as the embodiment of love. Love is the nature of Awareness means to be united in Awareness.

      Through prayer, worship and rituals an individual surrenders the emotions into unconditional love or devotion. Chanting or singing the praises of God form (Awareness) a substantial part of Bhakti Yoga.  In one examines the praises of God, it is basically honoring the qualities of Awareness.

Jnana Yoga, The Yoga of Knowledge or Wisdom

This is the most difficult path, requiring tremendous strength of will and intellect. This occurs only when the individual has matured his or her mind and strengthens  the intellect. Taking the philosophy of Vedanta, the Jnana Yogi uses his mind to inquire into its own nature. We perceive the space inside and outside a glass as different, just as we see ourselves as separate from (Awareness) God. Jnana Yoga leads the devotee to experience his unity with God directly by breaking the glass, dissolving the veils of ignorance. Before practicing Jnana Yoga, the aspirant needs to have integrated the lessons of the other yogic paths - for without selflessness and love of God, strength of body and mind, the search for self-realization can become mere idle speculation.

Raja Yoga, The Science of Physical and Mental Control
Often called the "royal road" it is the integration of the faculties of body, mind, intellect and Awareness. This method offers a comprehensive method for turning our mental and physical energy into spiritual energy (Awareness). Raja Yoga is also called Ashtanga Yoga referring to the eight limbs leading to absolute mental control. The chief practice of Raja Yoga is meditation. It also includes all other methods which helps one to control body, energy, senses and mind to transcend to the awareness state.