The Paths of Yoga

Jnana Yoga – The Path of Knowledge and Intellect

“Jnana Yoga is the path of Vedanta philosophy in which – knowledge of the self – is the way of realization. Knowledge of the self means knowledge of the whole being in its totality and entirety. There are two sides of our being. One is the mortal aspect and the other is the immortal aspect. First the intellect is trained to discriminate between these two aspects of life, then it is trained to contemplate on the immortal aspect of life. It is the knowledge of immortality that gives real fulfillment and freedom from all bonds, miseries and illusions. The goal of Vedanta philosophy is not Samadhi, as that of Raja Yoga, but to attain a state of Samahitam, in which all questions are resolved and one attains the highest state of wisdom”.

– Swami Rama – Choosing a Path

Bhakti Yoga – The Path of Love and Devotion

“ Bhakti Yoga is known as the path of love and devotion. It is the path of self-surrender and dedication of all of one’s resources to attain the ultimate reality. In this path love becomes the lord of life and motivates the whole being to divinity alone. In the higher way of Bhakti, one totally surrenders everything to the Lord. The offering is not just a flower or a fruit, but all of oneself. There are no rituals involved. The offering is the devotee himself. He completely surrenders himself to the divine. Only those who are solely devoted to the Lord know the value of the path of Bhakti”.

– Swami Rama – Choosing a Path

Karma Yoga – The Path of Action and Selfless Service

“Karma is the expression of the rule of perfect justice within us. It is the law of the cosmos reflected in the microcosm. There is nothing arbitrary or punitive about it. It is universal law and inevitable fact. No success can be attained without understanding the law of karma, and most of the human beings in this world follow the path of karma yoga consciously or unconsciously. Those who know the path of karma is like worship of the Lord, perform their actions skillfully, selflessly, and lovingly. Karma without love is bondage. Karma with love is freedom”.

– Swami Rama – Choosing a Path

Raja Yoga – The Path of Discipline and Meditation

“Raja Yoga, the royal path is a very scientific and systematic path that suits modern man. It is a very practical path that was systematized thousands of years ago by the codifier sage Patanjali. By following this path, one learns to control and direct all his energy, desires, emotions, and thoughts to the center of consciousness and attain Samadhi. The purpose of this path is to lead one to the state of Samadhi, in which the individual unites himself with the cosmic Reality. There are eight rungs in the ladder of raja yoga which are systematically attained until the aspirant finally reaches his goal. One who has attained Samadhi attains a state of perfection”

– Swami Rama – Choosing a Path