Three Yogas

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The Three Yogas or Trimārga are three soteriological paths mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita for the liberation of human spirit. [1] They are:

  1. Karma Yoga or the Path of Action (Karma-mārga)
  2. Bhakti Yoga or the Path of Devotion (Bhakti-mārga) to Ishvar (God)
  3. Jnana Yoga or the Path of Knowledge (Jñāna-mārga)

A "fourth yoga" is sometimes added:

  1. Raja Yoga or the Path of Meditation (dhyāna-mārga), making "Four Yogas", also known as the " Four paths to realization"

These concepts are at the foundation of the Bhakti devotional movement. They are elaborated upon in the Vaishna Bhagavata Purana .[ citation needed ]

Discussion

Hindu philosophers of the medieval period have tried to explain the nature of these three paths and the relation between them.

Shankara tended to focus on jñāna-yoga exclusively, which he interpreted as the acquisition of knowledge or vidya . He considered karma-yoga to be inferior. The fact that he wrote some of the most famous hymns for personal gods such as Shiva, Vishnu, Devi, Ganesha and Subrahmanya underlines his affinity to Bhakti-Yoga.

The 12th-century philosopher Ramanuja considered the three yogas by interpreting his predecessor Yamunacharya. In Ramanujam's interpretation, Bhakti yoga appears to be the direct path to moksha, which is however available only to those whose inner faculties have already been trained by both Karma yoga and Jnana yoga. [2]

A "fourth yoga" is sometimes added, Raja Yoga or "the Path of Meditation". This is the classical Yoga presented in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali . Patanjali's system came to be known as Raja Yoga (Royal Yoga) retro-actively, in about the 15th century, as the term Yoga had become popular for the general concept of a "religious path".

The systematic presentation of Hindu monotheism as divided into these four paths or "Yogas" is modern, advocated by Swami Vivekananda from the 1890s in his book Raja Yoga. [3] [4] They are presented as four paths to God suitable for four human temperaments, viz. the active, the emotional, the mystic and the philosophical.[ citation needed ]

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<i>Raja Yoga</i> (book)

Raja Yoga is a book by Swami Vivekananda about "Raja Yoga", his interpretation of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras adapted for a Western audience. The book was published in July 1896. It became an instant success and was highly influential in the Western understanding of yoga.

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Enlightenment (spiritual) Notion in spirituality of full comprehension of a situation

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Ānanda literally means bliss or happiness. In the Hindu Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad gita, ānanda signifies eternal bliss which accompanies the ending of the rebirth cycle. Those who renounce the fruits of their actions and submit themselves completely to the divine will, arrive at the final termination of the cyclical life process (saṃsāra) to enjoy eternal bliss (ānanda) in perfect union with the godhead. The tradition of seeking union with God through loving commitment is referred to as bhakti, or devotion.

Bibliography of Swami Vivekananda Wikipedia biography

Swami Vivekananda (1863–1902) was an Indian Hindu monk and a key figure in the introduction of Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world. He was one of the most influential philosophers and social reformers in his contemporary India and the most successful and influential missionaries of Vedanta to the Western world. Indian Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore's suggested to study the works of Vivekananda to understand India. He also told, in Vivekananda there was nothing negative, but everything positive.

Meditation played a very important role in the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda. He was interested in meditation from his childhood. His master Ramakrishna found him a dhyana - siddha . On 24 December 1892, Vivekananda reached Kanyakumari and meditated for three days on a large rock and took the resolution to dedicate his life to serve humanity. The event is known as the Kanyakumari resolve of 1892. He reportedly also meditated for a long time on the day of his death.

Integral Yoga is a system of yoga that claims to synthesize six branches of classical Yoga philosophy and practice: Hatha, Raja, Bhakti, Karma, Jnana, and Japa yoga. It was brought to the West by Swami Satchidananda Saraswati, the first centre being founded in 1966. Its aim is to integrate body, mind, and spirit, using physical practices and philosophical approaches to life to develop the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of individuals. The system includes the practices of asana, pranayama, and meditation to develop physical and mental stillness so as to access inner peace and joy, which Satchidananda believed was a person's true nature. It also encourages practitioners to live service-oriented lives.

References

  1. Gavin D. Flood, An introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press, 1996, ISBN   978-0-521-43878-0, page 96
  2. Bunki Kimura, 'Ramanujas Theory of Three Yogas: The Way to Moksh' in: Shōun Hino (ed.) Three mountains and seven rivers: Prof. Musashi Tachikawa's felicitation volume, Motilal Banarsidass, 2004, ISBN   978-81-208-2468-3, 645-668
  3. Jason Birch (2013), "Rajayoga: The Reincarnations of the King of All Yogas", International Journal of Hindu Studies, Volume 17, Issue 3, pages 401–444
  4. Swami Vivekananda, Raja Yoga, ISBN   978-1500746940