The different Yoga Systems
I can address you as dear children, you see. I am glad to know you are students of religion, too, and this very, this most important subject, which concerns our own very self. The word religion means – re means back, ligio to bind. To bind back our souls to God, the word religion means that.
And yoga the word also comes from the word yuj – that means to unite our self to God.
The social bodies came into being only to teach this, how we can contact our self with God – the Ultimate Goal of all religions, outer form of religions. So knowledge is the same for the East and the West – that makes no difference.
There have been so many yogas – and there is only one task – to know God. So Ultimate Goal of all yogas is absorption into the Brahm, absorption into God. There are so many yogas. There is Hatha Yoga, there is Prana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Gyhan Yoga (etc.), and the Ultimate Goal of all yogas is to absorb our self into God – to be One with Him. So the end of all Yogas, as Shankara puts it, is ultimate. They aim at the Samadhi, in which we can have some experience of God.
There are two kinds of Samadhi:
One is inert Samadhi, the other is conscious Samadhi. You’ll find in many cases, that people have inert Samadhi. For example they are put under ground for days together and they again come back. That is not conscious Samadhi.
There is another kind of Samadhi, which is a higher form of it, that is called conscious Samadhi, in which you remain conscious, within you.
So Hatha Yoga enables us to keep the body fit – each Yoga has its own scope.
Prana Yoga can prolong your life. In ordinary we take about eight to ten breaths in one minute. If you have recourse to the Prana Yoga, then in that case you control your breathing inside – i.e. reduce its frequency – and can prolong your life as long as you can.
There is Bhakti Yoga, the Yoga of devotion. In that Yoga one man has to form some hypothesis. That is not ultimate rising into Brahm – unconditioned state of.
So you know, Paramhansa Ramakrishna was a follower of the Bhakti Yoga – ideal Bhakti Yoga in the East – and worshipped God as ‘Mother’. He saw Mother all around – in and out. So he could not rise into the unconditioned state of mind.
So he came to his Guru, who was called Totapuri. He told him
I see ‘Mother’ all around, but I cannot rise above this duality. How can that be possible?
Then Totapuri stuck with some glass here between the two eyebrows and gave him a boost, so he rose into Samadhi.
Then comes the Gyan Yoga, also called Jnana Yoga. In this also you’ll find you cannot have more than dips into the beyond, you cannot remain there all along. So in that case, you find in the eastern philosophy, there are sheaths, bodies covering the soul. There are Ana-mai-kosh, Pran-mai-kosh, and vigyan-mai-kosh is also a kosh, a sheath – it is not the Ultimate Goal.
Shankara was the one to preach,
it is all unconditioned state of, we can rise into it,
but Ramanuja did not agree with him. He did not appreciate that but gave right to Vasisht (Advaita) Yoga, in which you can say, you can be drenched with the All-Consciousness Samadhi, but not unconditioned state of mind.
Ramakrishna and all these, they all point to the (necessity of) rising above body consciousness, and they came up.
Patanjali organised all Yogas in a system at degrees. So he ultimately evolved two things from there – one thing is, that soul can be above body consciousness, the second thing is, that it can focus its energies, without having recourse to the arduous ways of pranas. In pranas they have to control their breathing. So he (Patanjali) came up to that goal, that even without pranas you can rise above.
So Full Realisation or True Samadhi is not a matter of transcending the physical body, though it is a first step – the ABC of the beyond starts when you rise above body consciousness.
Where the world philosophies end, there the religion starts. This ABC starts from there, when you rise above body-consciousness.
To bring this attention beyond is a very intricate way. Some people without proper guidance may be lost. So for that reason They (the Masters) have given out that we should have some such course, that we may rise out of this bondage.
You find Hatha Yoga, Prana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga are not ultimate release, I would say, from the present bondage, not even step by step.
We want something which can help us through.
Prana Yoga can only lead us to the certain stage. Jnana Yoga can only give us a dip into the beyond, it does not mean staying there all along.
That is why Ramanuja did not appreciate the view of his predecessor. He gave out Vasisht Yoga, Advaita, which says that you can have access to the beyond, but not remain there unconditioned always.