Whatever you choose to pursue in this life, you must have a heart-felt realisation that your true nature is spiritual – that you are one with the universal spirit. Vedanta stresses the idea of self-effort or working on yourself (i.e. personal development). It encourages everyone to realize the God within by certain methods, called paths to yoga, which channel the tendencies we already possess. The ideal is to practice a harmonious balance of the four paths to yoga.
Bhakti Yoga is for the person with an emotional nature. It teaches a devotional relationship with God, since God is love itself.
Jnana Yoga is the approach to spiritual enlightenment through discrimination and reason. This makes strong use of the powers of the mind. It is the path of the philosopher who wants to go beyond the visible universe.
Karma Yoga is for the worker. It teaches us how to work in spirit that will bring peace of mind, and yet harness the natural desire to be productive.
Raja Yoga is sometimes called the yoga of mediation. It is the soul of all the yogas. The emphasis here is controlling the mind through concentration, meditation, and asana practice. Raja yoga is called the psychological way to union with God.
Note that none of these paths to yoga ask you to give up your reason or submit your power to the hands of a spiritual teacher. You are divine and power is within you. Determine and be clear with what you want to express from your essence and go and create it! Live in creation – instead of in “reaction” to your world.
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