The purpose and goal of yoga (union) is to unite with our true Self. Through the constant practice of various methods, we train the mind to be still and listen to the sound of the inner Self.
Though there are many paths, there are four predominant paths;
Bhakti Yoga of devotion
Karma Yoga of action
Jnana Yoga of knowledge
Raja Yoga of controlling the mind and senses.
The purpose of all yoga is control of the mind, which means control of the thoughts.
Whatever the path may be, attainment of the goal is only possible if the vasanas (habits and tendencies) are attenuated.
Each path is great and unique in its own way.
All paths lead to the same goal and all paths incorporate love and devotion as essential to the practice.
The aim of all yoga is samatva bhava the attitude of equal vision.
Yoga is a path of discipline, imposing restrictions on diet, sleep, company, behaviour, speech and thought. Its a path to control the mind and attain perfection.
It heightens the power of concentration, arrest the wanderings and vagaries of the mind and helps us to attain the super- conscious state nirvikalpa samadhi.
It destroys the body's restlessness, removes impurities and steadies the mind.
The ultimate goal of yoga is to teach how the individual soul can attain complete union with the higher Self "Paramatman suprime Being."
This union with the Supreme Purusha is greatly accelerated by controlling the "vrittis" fluctuation of the mind.
Yoga is an ancient spiritual science.
The goal is Self- realization.
It finds its origins in the Samkhya Philosophy, founded by the great sage Patanjali. The Patanjali Yoga Sutras is the main text:
- First chapter; Samadhi Pada
addresses the nature and aim of the state of super- consciousness in which absolute Oneness is experienced along with all- knowledge and bliss.
- Second chapter; Sadhana Pada
explains the methods to attain "samadhi" liberation.
- Third chapter, Vibhuti Pada
gives a description of supernatural power "siddhis" that can be attained through yoga.
Yoga expounds on all aspects of life, including the physical, mental, emotional an spiritual.
The main principles are to life a happy, peaceful and "dharmic" rightful live and to be balanced.
Patanjali's yoga is Rajayoga which consists of methods of bodily control and regulation of breath. A progressive Hatha Yoga leads to Raja Yoga.
Hatha Yoga; The word hatha is comprised of two "bija" seed mantras, Ham/Ha and Tham/Tha
Ha representing the sun or solar force, Pingala nerve.
Tha representing the moon or lunar force, Ida nerve.