[Advaita-l] Karma yoga vs. Jnaana yoga

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Thu Feb 7 18:33:56 CST 2008

I would like to point out here that a four-fold contrasting of karma, bhakti, rAja and jnAna yoga-s is Swami Vivekananda's contribution to contemporary discussions of vedAnta. The authors of the older Sanskrit texts do not talk of these four in the same manner. For example, if you take the gItA and its commentaries and sub-commentaries, you will read of dhyAna yoga, sAMkhya yoga etc., but will not find the term rAja yoga.

As a matter of fact, the only direct contrast is between karma yoga and jnAna yoga. The transition from karma yoga to jnAna yoga is aided by both bhakti yoga and what is nowadays called rAja yoga.


> Pranams.
> This is an excellent mail which answered my very long
> standing questions. I always thought, the combination of four yogas should be adopted according to ones background and not as " sequential" as you have clarified. Like wise your series on "Mind" are also very much enlightening. Thanks again
> May I request you to kindly extend this comparion of Jnana yoga to other two yoga, that is, Bhakti and Raja yogas, please.

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