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Four Paths of Yoga

What are the similarities and what are the differences between the four paths of yoga? Compare karma, bhakti, jnana and raja yoga. Thank you.

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1. What are the similarities and what are the differences between the four paths of yoga?

There are four main paths of Yoga - Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga. Each is suited to a different temperament or approach to life. All the paths lead ultimately to the same destination - to union with Brahman or God - and the lessons of each of them need to be integrated if true wisdom is to be attained (http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/philosophy/fourpaths.html).

In Juana Yoga, the focus is the path of wisdom and knowledge. The Jnani uses his will and power of discrimination to cut through the veil of ignorance and attain the truth. Thus, for the Jnani, the goal is absolute Truth. Jnana Yoga appeals to the philosophical and intellectual temperament. In comparison to the other three paths, this is the most difficult path, requiring tremendous strength of will and 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 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 ...

Solution Summary

This solution compares and contrasts the four paths of Yoga on several dimensions.