2. Raja Yoga is achieving the highest consciousness it is the path of mental concentration. From contentment comes the highest happiness, from penance comes destruction of impurities, which brings the perfection of the body and the senses, from the study comes communication with the desire of deity, from the profound meditation upon Isvara (God) comes success in spiritual absorption (Living Religions pg. 63) It distinguishes eight paths: physical condition, breath control, sense control, concentration, meditation, and the state of peaceful spiritual absorption. Moral principals include truth, non-violence, non-stealing, continence, non-covetousness, cleanliness, self-study, and devotion to God.
Jnana Yoga is the path of rational inquiry which uses the rational mind rather then trying to surpass it by concentration practices. In this path of yoga ignorance is considered the root of all problems. The basic ignorance is our path, of ourselves as being separated from absolute. The question of “Who am I?” The questioner discovers that the one who asks the question is not the body, not the senses, not the pranic body, not the mind, but something more eternal then anything. The Jnana Yoga guru Ramana Maharshi explains this theory by stating “After negating all of the above-mentioned as “not this,” “not this,” that Awareness which alone remains- that I am…The thought “Who am I?” will destroy all other thoughts, and like the stick used for stirring the buring pyre, it will itself in the end get destroyed. Then there will be a Self-realization.”
Karma Yoga is the opposite Jnana and Raja yogis. Karma yoga is service rendered without any interest in its fruits and without any personal sense of giving. Absolute performs all actions, and all actions are gifts to the absolute. This leads to liberation from the self in the very midst of work.
Bhakti Yoga is the most embraced by Indian followers, it is the path of devotion to a personal deity, bhakti means “to share” , a...