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Four Kinds of Yoga

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This presentation discusses the four different kinds of yoga systems described in the Bhagavad-Gita. All the system are not the same; in fact, they are meant for people with different levels of advancement, and hence they are organized in a hierarchy. As one perfects one kind of practice, they can rise to the next form. Knowledge or Jnana-yoga is the most preliminary form of yoga while Bhakti-yoga or devotion is the most advanced.

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Four Kinds of Yoga

  1. 1. FOUR KINDS OF YOGA A S H I S H DA L E L A I N T R O D U C I N G V E D I C P H I L O S O P H Y — L E S S O N 9
  2. 2. THE STRUCTURE OF EXPERIENCE
  3. 3. THREE COMPONENTS OF EXPERIENCE RELATION (sat) • The ‘reference’ of experience • E.g. the individual object and property instance • The reference is comprised of individuals and the directedness of awareness COGNITION (chit) • The ‘content’ of experience • E.g. the objects (such as table) and their properties (such as shape and color) • The content is comprised of universals EMOTION (ananda) • The ‘desire’ for a particular type of experience • E.g. the feelings of like and dislike • The desire exists even when the content and reference don’t
  4. 4. C O N T E N T H A S T WO PA RT S — AC T I O N A N D K N OW L E D G E • Cognition perceives the universal objects and their properties, which are then described as concepts • Each object-concept has two kinds of property-concepts: action and knowledge • E.g. color, taste, and smell are knowledge property concepts, and holding, walking, running are action property concepts RELATION COGNITION EMOTION KNOWLEDGE ACTION We confirm the truth of cognition by detecting knowledge and action property concepts. E.g. something is a knife if it looks like a knife (shape, size, sharpness, hardness, etc.) and can be used as a knife (e.g. cut fruits and vegetables).
  5. 5. EACH ASPECT CREATES A HIERARCHY BODY LEG HAND PALM FINGER CEO HEAD OF FINANCE HEAD OF SALES EUROPE SALES ASIA SALES BE HAPPY HAVE A FAMILY HAVE A CAREER EARN MONEY EXCITING WORK HIERARCHY OF CONCEPTS HIERARCHY OF ROLES HIERARCHY OF EMOTIONS
  6. 6. C O G N I T I O N , E M OT I O N , A N D R E L AT I O N L I M I T E D • Our experiences are limited to very small portions of this tree • E.g. we are unaware of the true nature of deeper or abstract concepts such as beauty, fame, power, wealth, etc. • We just see their superficial instances or manifestations • We have individual instances of knowledge but can’t define what knowledge itself is RELATIVE SPACE ABSOLUTESPACE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
  7. 7. WHAT IS YOGA?
  8. 8. T H E D E F I N I T I O N O F YO G A • Yoga is the process of connecting the leaf to the root • This connection doesn’t include all the other branches or leaves –The soul’s experience never becomes equal to God’s experience –However, the soul experiences the personal relationship to God • Union with what? • The soul’s experience is a branch or leaf of all tree of experiences • Yoga means knowing the connection of this leaf/branch to the root • The root or origin of this tree is God. Yoga therefore means union with God
  9. 9. F O U R K I N D S O F YO G A • Yoga types are different paths from the leaf to the root • Given that there are four different ways the leaf is connected to the root, there are four paths to the root • They are all ‘yoga’ because they connect the leaf to the root • But they are different types of ‘yoga’ because the paths to the root are different RELATION COGNITION EMOTION KNOWLEDGE ACTION DHYANA YOGA JNANA YOGA KARMA YOGA BHAKTI YOGA
  10. 10. UNDERSTANDING YOGA TYPES
  11. 11. W H AT I S K A R M A YO G A ? Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 2,Text 47 karmany evadhikaras te ma phalesu kadacana ma karma-phala-hetur bhur ma te sango 'stv akarmani TRANSLATION You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty. PURPORT There are three considerations here: prescribed duties, capricious work, and inaction. Prescribed duties refer to activities performed while one is in the modes of material nature. Capricious work means actions without the sanction of authority, and inaction means not performing one's prescribed duties. • Karma-yoga is about freedom from karma. Since karma is created by our actions, karma- yoga is action that doesn’t produce karma • Karma-yoga has three parts: • Not performing duties with desire (of getting favorable results per our efforts) • Not doing actions that are not our duties (frivolous actions not expected of us) • Not neglecting duties (because we may not get the results as per our efforts)
  12. 12. W H AT I S J Ñ Ā N A YO G A ? Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 7,Text 6 etad-yonini bhutani sarvanity upadharaya aham krtsnasya jagatah prabhavah pralayas tatha TRANSLATION Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world, know for certain that I am both its origin and dissolution. Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 7,Text 7 mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya mayi sarvam idam protam sutre mani-gana iva TRANSLATION O conquerer of wealth [Arjuna], there is noTruth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread. • Jñāna-yoga is about freedom from illusion. Since illusion is created by ignorance, jñāna-yoga is meant to cut down ignorance and illusion • What is ignorance? • The idea that the things of this world are independent of God; that my identity is independent of God’s identity • Due to this supposed independence God is unknown • Jñāna-yoga is the effort of knowing how God creates the world, exists in the world, and then destroys the world
  13. 13. W H AT I S D H Y Ā N A YO G A ? Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 6,Text 13-14 samam kaya-siro-grivam dharayann acalam sthirah sampreksya nasikagram svam disas canavalokayan prasantatma vigata-bhir brahmacari-vrate sthitah manah samyamya mac-citto yukta asita mat-parah TRANSLATION One should hold one's body, neck and head erect in a straight line and stare steadily at the tip of the nose.Thus with an unagitated, subdued mind, devoid of fear, completely free from sex life, one should meditate upon Me within the heart and make Me the ultimate goal of life. • Dhyana-yoga is about purifying our consciousness by focusing it upon the immanent form of God called Paramātma • Jnana-yoga engages the mind in the thoughts of true knowledge, Dhyana-yoga stops the thinking of the mind. • The mind perceives the individuality (haecceity) of things. By purifying the mind, one is able to see the self and its relationship to Paramātma
  14. 14. W H AT I S B H A K T I YO G A ? Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 18,Text 65 man-mana bhava mad-bhakto mad-yaji mam namaskuru mam evaisyasi satyam te pratijane priyo 'si me TRANSLATION Always think of Me and become My devotee.Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me.Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend. Bhagavad-Gita Chapter 18,Text 66 sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah TRANSLATION Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear. • Bhakti-yoga is about forming a loving relationship with God • In this personal relationship, the emotions and desires of soul and God are prioritized over the pursuit of prefect knowledge • The dharma of the soul is defined not through worldly relations but only in relationship to God
  15. 15. THE HIERARCHY OF YOGA SYSTEMS
  16. 16. ALL YOGA SYSTEMS AREN’T THE SAME Chapter 12,Verse 8: Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Lord, and engage all your intelligence in Me.Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt. Chapter 12,Verse 9: My dear Arjuna, O winner of wealth, if you cannot fix your mind upon Me without deviation, then follow the regulated principles of bhakti-yoga In this way you will develop a desire to attain to Me. Chapter 12,Verse 10: If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage. Chapter 12,Verse 11: If, however,you are unable to work in this consciousness,then try to act giving up all results of your work and try to be self-situated. Chapter 12,Verse 12: If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge,however,is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind. JñānaYoga DhyānaYoga KarmaYoga Vaidhi Bhakti Rāga Bhakti
  17. 17. RATIONALE FOR HIERARCHY JñānaYoga DhyānaYoga KarmaYoga Vaidhi Bhakti Rāga Bhakti The basis of all forms of yoga is theoretical knowledge that God is the creator, maintainer, and dissolver of the world After knowledge, we have to begin some form of meditative practice – spend some time of the day in meditation Once meditation improves, then we dovetail most of our life activities (most of the day) toward serving God As we offer service to God, we develop devotion and we can worship His deity form by the body and mind As the mental worship improves, the devotee is constantly able to associate with God through their mind
  18. 18. “MONKEY” AND “CAT” APPROACHES JñānaYoga DhyānaYoga KarmaYoga Vaidhi Bhakti Rāga Bhakti The child of a monkey attaches to the mother.This requires “effort” on the part of the monkey child. Similarly, in the early phases of yoga practice, there is effort involved in practicing yoga.This is called tapasya or austerity; one has to undertake ‘austerity’ to acquire knowledge, control the mind during meditation, undergo difficulties in serving. The “cat” approach to devotion.The child of the cat is carried by the mother cat in her mouth.The austerity ends. Deity worship is for those who have perfect knowledge, mind control, and life dedicated to God’s service.
  19. 19. K N OW L E D G E I S T H E B A S I S , P U R I T Y I S T H E F O R C E • All forms of yoga begin in the acquisition of perfect knowledge –How God is the creator, maintainer, and destroyer of everything –How God is simultaneously transcendent and immanent –How everything is emanated from God and merges back into God • Unless perfect knowledge is acquired, the successive practices of meditation, service, and deity worship cannot be perfectly practiced • If knowledge has been acquired, the purity of meditation, service, and deity worship become successively important • This ‘purity’ means controlling the mind, detachment from results, and tolerance of difficulties in the process
  20. 20. “To become free from sinful life, there is only simple method: if you surrender to Kṛṣṇa.That is the beginning of bhakti.” ― A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda www.ashishdalela.com

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