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Krishna summarizes the Yogas ....
Krishna summarizes the Yogas through eighteen chapters. Three yogas in particular
have been emphasized by commenters:
1) Bhakti Yoga or Devotion,
2) Karma Yoga or Selfless Action
3) Jnana Yoga or Self Transcending Knowledge.
1) Bhakti Yoga or Bhakti Marga ( Devanāgarī: भक्ति योग) — denotes the spiritual practice
of fostering bhakti (loving devotion) to a personal form of God that involves devotion,
attachment and love for God. bhakti is a Sanskrit term that signifies an attitude of
devotion to a personal God that is typically based on a number of human relationships
such as beloved-lover, friend-friend, parent-child, and master-servant. The Bhagavad
Gita and Bhagavata Purana are two important scriptures which explain and develop the
attitude of bhakti.
The Bhagavata Purana teaches nine primary forms of bhakti, as explained by Prahlada:
(1) śravaṇa ("listening" to the scriptural stories of Krishna and his companions), (2)
kīrtana ("praising," usually refers to ecstatic group singing), (3) smaraṇa ("remembering"
or fixing the mind on Viṣṇu), (4) pāda-sevana (rendering service), (5) arcana (worshiping
an image), (6) vandana (paying homage), (7) dāsya (servitude), (8) sākhya (friendship),
and (9) ātma-nivedana(complete surrender of the self).
— from Bhagata Purana, 7.5.23-24
These nine principles of devotional service are described as helping the devotee remain
constantly in touch with God. The processes of japa and internal meditation on the
aspirant devotees's chosen deity form (ishta deva) are especially popular in most bhakti
schools. Bhakti is a yoga path, in that its aim is a form of divine, loving union with the
Supreme Lord. The exact form of the Lord, or type of union varies between the different
schools, but the essence of each process is very similar.
** Bhakti Movements**
The main schools of bhakti in Hinduism are: Shaivas who worship Shiva and the gods
and goddesses associated with him; Vaishnavas, who worship forms of Vishnu, his
avataras, and others associated with him; Shaktas who worship a variety of goddesses.
These schools are not always exclusive of each other—a bhakti's devotional practices to
one form of god does not preclude worship of another form.
The bhakti movement began in South India and moved north, with an emphasis on
devotion vs. ritual. It also opposed the caste system, with prominent bhakti poets
Ravidas and Kabir both writing against the hierarchy of caste. Altogether, bhakti
resulted in a mass of devotional literature, music, dance and art that has enriched the
world and gave India renewed spiritual impetus, one eschewing unnecessary ritual and
artificial social boundaries.
2) karma yoga (Sanskrit: "Union through action.") The path of selfless service.
3) Jnâna Yoga is the Yoga which makes use of the rational power, through the intellect, to
cleave through illusion, cleave through the illusion of appearances and which takes you
to the Reality which is hidden beyond appearances; and thus it is a way of utilising the
power of investigation, observance, enquiry and analysis.
*** Overview :-
Jnana is knowledge. Ajnana is ignorance. To identify oneself with the illusory vehicles
of body, mind, Prana and the senses is Ajnana. To say, " I am the doer, the enjoyer, I
am a Brahmin, a Brahmachari, this is mine, he is my son," is Ajnana. Jnana alone can
destroy Ajnana, even as light alone can remove darkness.
In this, the power of the intellect, reasoning becomes the means of liberating yourself
from the grip of illusion which is merely the result of non-discrimination or the result of
failure to enquire, and making proper enquiry regarding the nature of things which we
observe and perceive. Blindly, without enquiring we take them for granted and get
involved in them. This path evokes in the seeker the active power of enquiry, Vichara,
and out of this philosophical enquiry, right discrimination dawns. Suddenly, you begin
to see that things are not just things. They are classified. Something is Eternal and
others are non-eternal. So, you begin to discriminate, which is the Permanent and
which is impermanent, appearance and the Reality, Eternal and the non-eternal, the Self
Brahman , the Supreme Self, is neither the doer of actions nor the enjoyer of the fruits of
actions. The creation, preservation and destruction of the world are not due to Him.
They are due to the action of Maya, the Lord's energy manifesting itself as the world-
Just as space appears to be of three kinds - absolute space, space limited by a jar, and
space reflected in the water of a jar, - so also there are three kinds of intelligence. They
are absolute intelligence, intelligence reflected in Maya, and intelligence reflected in the
Jiva (the individual soul). The notion of the doer is the function of intelligence as
reflected in the intellect. This, together with the notion of Jiva, is superimposed by the
ignorant on the pure and limitless Brahman, the silent witness.
The illustration of space absolute, space limited by a jar and space reflected in water of
a jar, is given to convey the idea that in reality Brahman alone is. Because of Maya,
however, It appears as three.
The notion that the reflection of intelligence is real, is erroneous, and is due to
ignorance. Brahman is without limitation; limitation is a superimposition on Brahman.
The identity of the Supreme Self and the Jiva or reflected self is established through the
statement of the Upanishad Tat Tvam Asi - 'That Thou Art'. When the knowledge of the
identity of the two arises, then world problems and ignorance, with all their offshoots,
are destroyed and all doubts disappear.
Self-realization or direct intuitive perception of the Supreme Self is necessary for
attaining freedom and perfection. This Jnana Yoga or the path of Wisdom is, however,
not meant for the masses whose hearts are not pure enough and whose intellects are
not sharp enough to understand and practice this razor-edge path. Hence, Karma Yoga
and Upasana (Bhakti) are to be practiced first, which will render the heart pure and
make it fit for the reception of Knowledge.
Category: Srimad Bhagavad Gita |
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