B. Religious and Spiritual
What is Yoga?
Yoga arose as a Hindu
system of spiritual practice to enable us to realize the unity of
the individual soul (Jivatman) with the Supreme Self or Supreme
Reality (Paramatman). There are many different yogic approaches in
the Hindu tradition including the Yoga of Knowledge (Jnana Yoga),
the Yoga of Devotion (Bhakti Yoga), the Yoga of Service (Karma
Yoga), and the Yoga of Technique (Kriya Yoga). The latter can be
divided fourfold as Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga (the Yoga of the Sound
Current), Hatha Yoga (the Physical Yoga) and Raja Yoga (the Yoga of
Meditation Techniques). All the systems of Hinduism, Buddhism and
Jainism employ yogic methods to some degree.
The most specific Yoga
system is the Raja Yoga of Patanjali which is explained his Yoga
Sutras. The main traditional teachings of Jnana Yoga are those of
the great sage Shankaracharya. The main text of Bhakti Yoga is the
Bhakti Sutras of Narada. Jnana, Bhakti and Karma Yogas are all dealt
with in the Bhagavad Gita of Sri Krishna. Yoga therefore is a
complete and integral science of spiritual development with methods
and approaches for all temperaments and levels of aspirants. The
main yogic method is meditation.