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I start this thread with pranams to my spiritual Gurus. In this thread I am sharing my experiences with Spirituality as per Sanatana Dharma. These are based on real practices

Honestly I do not claim to have read or studied Sanskrit texts
Experience is more important 1/n
About Yoga

Unfortunately Yoga is synonymous with Hatha Yoga or a collection of postures that help physically, emotionally as well as spiritually

This is one of the paths for spiritual progress that leads to the ultimate aim of Self Realisation 2/n
Yes this is exactly what Yoga is meant to do.Its a path or means to spiritual development.

There are essentially 4 types of Yoga

Bhakti Yoga
Raja Yoga
Karma Yoga
Jnana Yoga

I will attempt to explain the differences and how they actually compliment each other
Bhakti yoga or Bhakti marga as it is commonly known is known to be the easiest path. It involves devotion to the Lord almighty. The methods used are chanting, remembrance of the Lord in the physical form, trying to see the Lords will in everything that is happening
This leads to the realisation that whatever happens is by the Will of the almighty and He alone exists

Examples of this school of thought are Iskcon where the Maha mantra is chanted maximum

Scientifically what I have understood is when we chant the cells in the body get aligned and there is a feeling of positivity

This is so great that once we get used to chanting the name we feel like doing it all the time and start enjoying that every moment
Hence the concept is Name is God because when we chant continuously, we realise the presence of God or realise that the power that keeps us going is in itself the supreme and only reality

Hence we are one with the divine or State of Samadhi
Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga is called as such because like a King, it involves lot of physical activity but one has to keep calm

This has practices like Hatha Yoga (what we normally refer to as Yoga), Pranayaam, Kriyas, Mudras etc

So when we sit in Padmasana, there is physical effort but we have to breathe deep and stay relaxed at the same time even if the body is hurting

The Kshatriya attitude is very important while practising this yoga

This spiritual practice leads to becoming aware of the breath, and be in the present moment.

If we observe our performance is always best when we are always in the present moment. We concentrate better, we are able to give our 100% as our mind is not vacillating

Without any thoughts the mind is blank and there is a state of nothingness that is achieved

This itself is the reality or state of samadhi 11/n
Karma Yoga is more about the mind. The central theme is "Karm Karo Phal ki Chinta Matt Karo"

Loosely translated it means focus on your efforts and the result will take care of itself

Awareness about the desire of result in the mind is central 12/n
Being aware all the time leads to being in the present moment and leads to better results, also when there are no expectations at all in our mind then it leads to zero state of mind which is state of samadhi 13/n
Jnana Yoga
This is about self questioning. Who am I is the classic question

Am I the body? Am I the mind? Am I the intellect?

This is a process of analysis and deep introspection that finally leads us to the answer that we are the divinity that keeps us going. 14/n
Shankaracharya had this analysis in the na eti na eti. i am neither this nor that

So if i am actually nothing else then i am the divinity

This is the essential philosophy behind advaita ( will try to explain these in another thread soon) 15/n
Another Great that I have been influenced by in this school of thought is Ramesh Balsekar.

He believes in analysing every night all the incidents that we have gone through the day and decide who was responsible for that

Its a beautiful way of reasoning out the reality 16/n
These paths are however not mutually exclusive. They cannot exist without each other and are actually complimentary

So chanting helps in bringing the mind to the present moment. Similarly breathing techniques
Karma Yog is all about giving our 100% and therefore same as being in the present moment 100% of the time

Jnana Yog is about self questioning and leads us to deep within and again we reach the same state

All these are paths to the ultimate reality as per Sanatana Dharma and this is the purpose of this life as a human

Most Gurus will prescribe a combination of these paths

Because they aid each other in achieving the desired result

The most beautiful thing is that we can choose the path that appeals to us. Sanatana Dharma is democratic, gives Freedom to Choose as per our liking and aptitude
These processes encourage us to go within and explore our being and realise the ultimate reality of the divinity
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