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  Special Articles on Hindu Dharma ~ Level - 3  
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HR 311.08 - 03
Attaining Spiritual Discipline with Devotion and Meditation
~ Level - 3 ~
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Lesson:
8- 03: Paths of Bhakthi Yoga, Raja Yoga & Jñãna Yoga
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Spiritual Disciplines of Devotion, Meditation and Wisdom
 
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Bhakthi Yoga, as the Devotional path of with musical prayers, is an ancient tradition of Bhagavathas. This was revived during the last 500 years by several Ãchãryas as the Bhakthi forms of worship, particularly in Vaishnava traditions of Sri Rãmãnuja, Sri Mãdhva, Sri Chaitanya and several others and also in Saiva Sidhdhantha and several Sakthi traditions. Being practiced in their local languages, this was easy for many worshippers who were not well versed in Sanskrit or in Vedas.

In these paths one must go beyond the phase of Ananya Bhakthi of "only my God is the right one" to Ekantha Bhakthi and Devotion with total surrender that is without demands for boons but performed only as our Dharma. As explained in Gita in several places, we need to do our prayers with only devotion without expecting any fruits from our Dharma. Total surrender to the Supreme without attachment will offer the enlightenment and liberation.

Raja Yoga as the Path of Spiritual Discipline with Physical exercise, Concentration and Meditation follows the principles laid down by Sage Pathanjali in Yoga as one of the six Spiritual paths or Dharsanas. Yoga gives the total discipline of the mind and strengthens it for the pursuit of knowledge. Yoga is popular all over the world with physical exercises or Ãsanas and breathing exercises or Prãnãyama.Everyone who desires to practice Yoga in the proper way must study all the aspects of the Four Yogas and all the limbs of this Rãja Yoga.

True path of Raja Yoga consists of its eight limbs or Ashtãnga yoga that includes (1)"Yama" and (2)"Niyama" or Do's and Don'ts in our daily activities for a virtuous living, (3)"Prãnãyama", as deep breathing exercises; (4)"Ãsanas" which are physical exercises of (5)"Prathyãhara" or Mental Discipline, (6)"Dhãrana" or one-pointed concentration, (7)"Dhyãna" or Meditation and ultimately (8)"Samãdhi".

Jñãna Yoga is often referred to as the path of Knowledge. The Path of Jñãna Yoga is in parallel with the other three yogas. It is truly the path of Wisdom or the Intuitive knowledge of the Divine. Intensive study of the books and listening to the teachings of our Gurus will give us the necessary Knowledge. With the Divine blessings of our intelligence we analyse these teachings and with our freewill we apply our wisdom to seek the truth in these messages. This is really an expression of Uttara Mîmãmsa of Sage Veda Vyasa.

Sri Sankara, who revolutionized the Hindu traditions and way of life, explained the teachings of Vedãntha along with his theories of Adhvaitha (=Not Two). Sri Sankara combined these teachings along with the devotional paths in Hindu Dharma as prayers to six forms of Divine manifestations of the Supreme. Here, Sri Sankara had given us the path of wisdom in Jana yoga combined with the teachings about relations between the Supreme and the self and also paths of rituals and Devotional prayers.

 
 
 
 

 

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Chapter - 8: Realization of the Supreme with Rituals & Prayers ~Lesson - 03~
 
Lessons: - :~: 8- 01 :~: 8- 02 :~: 8- 03 :~: 8- 04 :~: 8- 05 :~: 8- 06 :~: 8- 07 :~: 8- 08 :~: 8- 09 :~:
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