Three Yogas

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For the "Three Yogas" in Jainism, see Asrava

The Three Yogas 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)
  2. Bhakti Yoga or the Path of Devotion (bhakti) to Ishvar (God)
  3. Jnana Yoga or the Path of Knowledge (Gyan)

A "fourth yoga" is sometimes added, Raja Yoga or "the Path of Meditation", making "Four Yogas".

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

Discussion

The Bhagavad Gita had been made practically the only source for the means to moksha (liberation) with the development of Classical Hinduism in the 8th or 9th century, and 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 gyan-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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The following is a glossary of terms and concepts in Hinduism. The list consists of concepts that are derived from both Hinduism and Hindu tradition, which are expressed as words in Sanskrit as well as other languages of India.

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Kripa (कृपा) is the concept of divine grace in Hinduism. It is the central tenet of Bhakti Yoga and Bhakti movements, which are seen as reform movements in Hinduism as compared to the Hinduism which finds its origins in the Vedas; though variously it can mean "grace", "mercy", or "blessing", depending upon the context. The Hindi word Kirpala from Sanskrit Kripala means "kind" and is used as a given name for males, while "Kripa" (Kṛpā), is used as a female given name.

Bhagavad Gita Hindu scripture; part of the Mahabharata

The Bhagavad Gita, often referred to as the Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the epic Mahabharata, commonly dated to the second century BCE.

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

Enlightenment is the "full comprehension of a situation". The term is commonly used to denote the Age of Enlightenment, but is also used in Western cultures in a religious context. It translates several Buddhist terms and concepts, most notably bodhi, kensho and satori. Related terms from Asian religions are moksha (liberation) in Hinduism, Kevala Jnana in Jainism, and ushta in Zoroastrianism.

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.

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