Although everybody is different, we all want the same goal. That goal is to be happy. We want to avoid suffering as much as possible. Whether we believe in God or not, everyone wants to live a stress – free life. The Hindus believe that this God is also the “Universal Consciousness” that can be found in every person. Yoga’s aim is to connect everyone to the Universal Consciousness in order to receive real bliss. There are 4 Paths of Yoga that are focused in achieving this goal.
Karma Yoga is giving of one’s self without expecting anything in return. It requires selfless service with a good intention. Basically a person’s action has a corresponding result whether it may be good or bad. The outcome of an action is dependent on the intention on which it is carried out. One must think that when they do good service to another person, it is because he has received the Universal Consciousness’ grace.
Bhakti Yoga is the love for all creatures of earth. One must have unceasing devotion to the creator and should view its creation as its equal. A person practicing this sees all the good and loveable qualities of all humans, animals and other living creatures. By loving each and every one of them, a person shows his devotion and gratefulness to the creator.
Gyana or Jnana Yoga is a path that aims on spiritual liberation. It is a path that differentiates reality and unreality. This will be realized if one knows himself very well. It is a philosophical path that is often identified as a path to wisdom.
Raja Yoga is a royal path of Yoga. It is also the highest path since it unifies all other approaches to yoga. Bhagavan Krishna, a worshipped deity in the Hindu culture was said to first practice this path. It is still followed by a lot of people today. It has a lot of yoga techniques such as Kriyas, Pranayama, Asanas, and Meditation. This path aims to strengthen a person’s self discipline.
These yoga paths are closely linked to each other. If you love humanity and other creation, you are considered as a Bhakti Yogi. If you do good and selfless deeds to others, you are a Karma Yogi. If you are seeking for self-knowledge and truth, you are a Gyana Yogi. If you are practicing body exercises and meditation, then you are a Raja Yogi.