The Four Yogis

Essay by sgtcross74College, UndergraduateA+, June 2004

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JNANA YOGA is the Yoga of wisdom or thinking. It is based on the study of oneself. Jnana Yoga suggests that the supreme in life, such as divine love, truth, or God-consciousness, cannot be cultivated. These non-things cannot be brought about by our little minds and actions. Rather they come into being when we remove the obstruction of our ignorance and illusions. Rather than being based on faith, Jnana Yoga encourages enquiry and questioning. It is the Yoga of Seeing and Being, asking us to look and discover rather than to follow and believe. It shows us that when we open our eyes and begin to see the beauty and sacredness around us we do not need techniques, rituals or beliefs. We need to end our illusion and delusion. This happens through the awakening of perception and watchfulness in our daily life.

BHAKTI YOGA is the Yoga of devotion and love.

It is the most like world religions in that it consists of prayer, singing, devotional practices, study of scriptures, remembrance of God, service and rituals. Bhakti Yoga is based on cultivating faith and its goal is totaling self-surrender to God. It acknowledges that our own mind and understanding are quite limited and therefore it behooves us to attune to the higher intelligence in the universe. Bhakti Yoga seeks to lead one to the bliss and ecstasy of oneness with God. It is the path of the heart and of love, being the most popular of the four yogas.

KARMA YOGA is the Yoga of action or works. We must act in the world and this Yoga seeks to bring awareness to our actions. It deals with both the quality and the motivation of action and might be called the Yoga of doing. We can learn to act with more...