Vedas and yoga


The Vedas are the ancient and sacred texts of Hinduism, which contain spiritual knowledge encompassing all aspects of life. The word Veda means "knowledge" or "vision" and it reveals the language of the gods in human speech. The Vedas are also the oldest literature of the human race.

The Vedas are not composed by human beings, but are revealed by God to the sages, who then transmitted them orally from generation to generation. The Vedas are considered to be eternal and unchanging, and they are the highest authority for Hindus in all matters of faith, practice and morality.

The Vedas consist of four collections of hymns, rituals, theologies and philosophies, namely:

- The Rig Veda: The Book of Mantras
- The Sama Veda: The Book of Songs
- The Yajur Veda: The Book of Rituals
- The Atharva Veda: The Book of Spells

Each Veda has four parts: the Samhitas, the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads. The Samhitas are the collections of mantras or hymns that praise various gods and goddesses. The Brahmanas are the commentaries on the rituals and ceremonies that accompany the hymns. The Aranyakas are the texts that deal with the mystical and symbolic meanings of the rituals and the nature of God. The Upanishads are the philosophical texts that explore the concepts of self, soul, reality, liberation and God.

The Vedas teach us about our identity and mission as human beings. According to the Vedas, we are not mere physical bodies, but we have a spiritual essence that is eternal and divine. This essence is called Atman, which means "self" or "soul". The Atman is identical with Brahman, which means "the supreme reality" or "the absolute". Brahman is the source, sustainer and destroyer of everything that exists. Brahman is also pure consciousness, power and bliss.

The Vedas say that our true identity is Atman, which is one with Brahman. However, due to ignorance (avidya), we forget our true nature and identify ourselves with our body, mind and senses. This leads to attachment (raga), aversion (dvesha) and egoism (ahamkara), which cause us to suffer in the cycle of birth and death (samsara).

The Vedas say that our mission is to realize our true identity as Atman, which is one with Brahman. This realization is called moksha, which means "liberation" or "freedom". Moksha is the ultimate goal of human life, according to the Vedas. Moksha can be attained by various paths, such as:

- Karma Yoga: The path of action
- Bhakti Yoga: The path of devotion
- Jnana Yoga: The path of knowledge
- Raja Yoga: The path of meditation

The Vedas also prescribe various duties and obligations for different stages of life (ashramas) and social classes (varnas). These are meant to help us perform our actions in accordance with dharma, which means "righteousness" or "duty". Dharma is also the cosmic order that sustains the universe. By following dharma, we can purify our mind and prepare ourselves for moksha.

The Vedas are a treasure trove of wisdom and guidance for humanity. They reveal to us our true identity as divine beings and our mission as seekers of liberation. They also show us how to live in harmony with ourselves, with others and with nature. By studying and following the teachings of the Vedas, we can enrich our lives with meaning, purpose and joy.


Karma yoga


Karma yoga is a spiritual path in Hinduism that focuses on selfless action. It is based on the principle of karma, which states that every action has a corresponding reaction. Karma yoga teaches that by performing our actions without attachment to the fruits of our labor, we can purify our minds and achieve liberation.

To be happy in karma yoga, we should focus on the following principles:

  • Dharmic action: We should perform our actions in accordance with our dharma, or our true duty. Dharma is different for everyone, but it generally includes actions that are righteous, beneficial to others, and in line with our own talents and abilities.
  • Selfless action: We should act without attachment to the fruits of our labor. This means that we should not be motivated by greed, fame, or other selfish desires.
  • Equanimity: We should maintain a state of equanimity in the face of success and failure. This means that we should not be overly happy or sad when things go our way or don't.

Here are some tips for practicing karma yoga in your daily life:

  • Offer your actions to God or a higher power.
  • Focus on the present moment and the task at hand.
  • Do your best without worrying about the outcome.
  • Be kind and compassionate to others.
  • Accept the results of your actions with grace.

Karma yoga is a powerful path to happiness and liberation. By following the principles above, you can learn to live a life of selfless service and inner peace.

Here is an example of how to practice karma yoga in your daily life:

Imagine that you are working on a project at work. You are putting in a lot of effort, but you are not sure if you will be successful. Instead of worrying about the outcome, you can focus on doing your best and offering your actions to God. You can also try to be kind and compassionate to your colleagues, even if they are difficult to work with. If you are successful, you can be grateful for your success and offer it to God. If you are not successful, you can accept the results with grace and learn from your mistakes.

By practicing karma yoga in this way, you can transform your work into a spiritual practice and find happiness and peace in all that you do.


Jnana yoga


Jnana yoga is the path of self-knowledge. It is based on the premise that the way to achieve true liberation is to understand the true nature of reality and our place within it. Jnana yoga is a philosophical and meditative path that requires deep introspection and contemplation.

Benefits of Jnana Yoga

The benefits of jnana yoga include:

  • Increased self-awareness
  • Greater understanding of the nature of reality
  • Reduced ego and attachment
  • Increased peace and happiness
  • Freedom from suffering

Examples of Jnana Yoga

Some examples of jnana yoga practices include:

  • Self-inquiry: This involves asking yourself questions about your own nature, such as "Who am I?" and "What is the relationship between my mind, body, and soul?"
  • Studying sacred texts: Jnana yogis often study sacred texts such as the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita to gain insights into the nature of reality.
  • Meditation: Meditation is a powerful tool for self-awareness and introspection. Jnana yogis often meditate on the nature of the Self and the Brahman (the ultimate reality).

How to Practice Jnana Yoga

If you are interested in practicing jnana yoga, here are a few tips:

  • Find a qualified teacher: A good teacher can help you to understand the philosophy of jnana yoga and guide you on your journey to self-knowledge.
  • Study sacred texts: Reading and reflecting on sacred texts can help you to deepen your understanding of the nature of reality and the Self.
  • Practice meditation: Meditation is an essential practice for jnana yoga. Meditation helps to calm the mind and increase self-awareness.
  • Ask yourself questions: Self-inquiry is a powerful tool for self-knowledge. Ask yourself questions about your own nature and the nature of reality. Be patient and persistent and you will eventually reach your goal.

Example of Jnana Yoga in Daily Life

Imagine that you are feeling angry or frustrated about something. Instead of reacting in anger, you can use this as an opportunity to practice jnana yoga. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Why am I feeling this way?
  • What are the thoughts and beliefs that are causing this emotion?
  • Is this emotion really justified?
  • Am I identified with this emotion?

By asking yourself these questions, you can begin to see the root of your anger and frustration. You can also begin to see that you are not your emotions. You are the observer of your emotions.

By practicing jnana yoga in this way, you can transform your negative emotions into opportunities for self-growth and understanding.


Raja yoga


Raja yoga is the "royal path" of yoga. It is a comprehensive system of yoga that encompasses all aspects of the human being, including the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Raja yoga is based on the eightfold path of yoga, which is outlined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

The eightfold path of yoga is as follows:

  1. Yama (social restraints)
  2. Niyama (self-observances)
  3. Asana (posture)
  4. Pranayama (breath control
  5. Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses)
  6. Dharana (concentration)
  7. Dhyana (meditation)
  8. Samadhi   (absorption)

Benefits of Raja Yoga

The benefits of raja yoga include:

  • Increased mental clarity and focus
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved emotional regulation
  • Increased self-awareness and understanding
  • Development of spiritual wisdom
  • Liberation from suffering

Examples of Raja Yoga

Some examples of raja yoga practices include:

  • Asana: Raja yoga asanas are designed to prepare the body for meditation. They focus on flexibility, strength, and balance.
  • Pranayama: Raja yoga pranayama practices are designed to calm the mind and regulate the breath. They include practices such as nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) and kapalabhati (skull shining breath).
  • Pratyahara: Pratyahara is the practice of withdrawing the senses from the external world. This helps to focus the mind and prepare it for meditation.
  • Dharana: Dharana is the practice of concentration. It involves focusing the mind on a single object or thought for an extended period of time.
  • Dhyana: Dhyana is the practice of meditation. It involves focusing the mind on the Self or on the Brahman (ultimate reality).
  • Samadhi: Samadhi is the state of enlightenment. It is a state of consciousness in which the individual soul merges with the universal soul.

How to Practice Raja Yoga

If you are interested in practicing raja yoga, here are a few tips:

  • Start with a regular asana practice. Asanas will help to prepare your body for meditation.
  • Learn some basic pranayama practices. Pranayama will help to calm your mind and regulate your breath.
  • Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed.
  • Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
  • Once your mind is calm, begin to focus on the Self or on the Brahman.
  • If your mind wanders, gently bring it back to your focus.
  • Be patient and persistent. Raja yoga is a lifelong journey.

Example of Raja Yoga in Daily Life

Imagine that you are sitting in meditation. You close your eyes and focus on your breath. After a few minutes, your mind begins to wander. You start thinking about your work, your relationships, and your problems.

Instead of getting frustrated, you gently bring your mind back to your breath. You remind yourself that the purpose of meditation is to focus on the Self or on the Brahman. You continue to meditate, even though your mind wanders from time to time.

By practicing raja yoga in this way, you are training your mind to be more focused and disciplined. You are also developing your self-awareness and understanding. With regular practice, you will begin to experience the many benefits of raja yoga.


Bhakti yoga


Bhakti yoga is the path of love, devotion, and surrender to the divine. It is a way to open your heart and connect with the source of all that is. Bhakti yoga is based on the idea that a personal relationship is possible between the soul (atman) and God (Brahman). This relationship can take various forms, such as that of a child, friend, lover, or servant. The goal of bhakti yoga is to cultivate and deepen this relationship through various practices, such as chanting mantras, reciting sacred texts, performing rituals, worshiping images or symbols, serving others, and meditating on the name or form of God.

The benefits of bhakti yoga include:

  • It reduces the feeling of separation and loneliness, as you feel connected to a higher reality that always loves and supports you.
  • It purifies the mind from negative emotions such as fear, anger, jealousy, and pride, as you focus on the positive qualities of God, like peace, joy, compassion, and mercy.
  • It transforms the energy of desire and attachment into a spiritual force that helps you transcend your ego and realize your true self.
  • It gives you inspiration, motivation, and enthusiasm to lead your life according to your highest potential and purpose.
  • It brings you in harmony with the natural order and laws of the universe, as you align with the will and plan of God.

Some examples of bhakti yoga include:

  • The Bhagavad Gita, a sacred scripture that describes the dialogue between Krishna (an incarnation of God) and Arjuna (a warrior) on the battlefield. Krishna teaches Arjuna how to practice bhakti yoga by fulfilling his duty without attachment to the results and by trusting and worshiping him completely.
  • The Ramayana, an epic poem that tells the story of Rama (another incarnation of God) and his wife Sita, who is abducted by the demon Ravana. Rama searches for Sita with the help of his brother Lakshmana and the monkey Hanuman (a devoted servant of Rama). The Ramayana shows how bhakti yoga can lead to courage, loyalty, sacrifice, and victory over evil.
  • The Hare Krishna movement, a modern spiritual movement based on the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (a 15th-century saint considered a manifestation of Krishna). The Hare Krishnas practice bhakti yoga by repeating the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. This mantra is seen as a direct way to connect with God and receive his grace.

A reference to Osho about bhakti yoga: Osho was an Indian mystic and spiritual teacher known for his provocative and unconventional approach to religion, philosophy, and psychology. He spoke about many aspects of yoga, including bhakti yoga. He said that bhakti yoga was not just a matter of faith or emotion, but also of intelligence and insight. He explained that bhakti yoga was a process of witnessing your own feelings and thoughts and transcending them by focusing on the divine. He also said that bhakti yoga was a way to express your own creativity and individuality, instead of conforming to a particular dogma or system. He encouraged his followers to find their own unique way to practice bhakti yoga and not to be limited by tradition or authority.

A quote from Osho about bhakti yoga: "Meditation is a change of direction. Whatever you connect with meditation becomes a vehicle to go to witnessing. And the third path is bhakti yoga – adding meditation to feeling, a deep connection of meditation and feeling, the marriage of meditation and feeling. So, while you feel, become meditative." (Meditation – Witnessing – Yoga? — OSHO Online Library)