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Religious and Spiritual Practices




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Hindu Books > Books By David Frawley > Hinduism : The Eternal Tradition, Sanatana Dharma > Religious And Spiritual Practices

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Religious And Spiritual Practices

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.

Author - David Frawley




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