Posted by: Lisa | July 30, 2012

Paths to God

Yoga means union (to yoke) with God.  The Yoga tradition has many paths to God – and practitioners are allowed to follow whatever path seems most suitable to their personality and tendencies.  Three of the paths (in particular) work well with any religion or spirituality.

Karma Yoga – selfless service.  This means laboring, building, serving.  Basically, it’s doing whatever work needs to be done for the good of others, without expectation of return or gratitude.

Jnana Yoga – knowledge, wisdom.  This means studying, reading, writing.  It means building a store of wisdom which can be shared (at proper times and in acceptable situations) for the good of souls.

Bhakti Yoga – devotion.  This includes praying, singing/chanting, and meditating.  It means worshiping and loving God via external and internal practices.

Practitioners follow all three of these paths to some degree, but may feel a definite connection to one or two of the paths.  For example, my natural path is bhakti, followed closely by jnana, and then karma.

All three paths are good.  We should discover what works best for us (not what we “think” we “should” do!) and follow that path or combination of paths.  What works well for one person may be completely unsuited to someone else.  Spiritual teachers, guides, and friends who know us well can help us discover our path(s) and encourage us on our way.  Plus, we can always trust our own intuition.

May we find our path and follow it faithfully.

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