Yoga simply means being one with oneself. And ultimately being one with the divine. But we are not one. We are divided. This oneness is not available by default. This oneness is possible only through design. Hence the need and usefulness of Yoga. Our true being simply means that now there are no divisions. Yoga means dissolution of all divisions in the being. Therefore, the Body is the beginning of Yoga and Being is the Goal of Yoga.
There are three paths of Yoga: Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. Karma Yoga means the Yoga of Doing. Jnana Yoga means the Yoga of Knowledge. Bhakti Yoga means the Yoga of Devotion. These are the three paths of Yoga.
The art of Yoga passes through three stages - Doing, Thinking, and Feeling. And the fourth is called the Being. All doing is through the body. All doing is manifested through the actions of the body. The gross manifestation is through the body but the subtle manifestation is through thinking and feeling. Don’t think that only doing through the body is doing. No, even thinking is also doing and feeling is also doing. Because all thinking and feeling manifests in actions of the body. The life energy in us is crystallized. It is predominant in one form. It has to be because that gives us a direction. This life energy crystallizes in the human being in three predominant forms: Doing, Thinking, and Feeling. One person may be more doing oriented. This person is predominant in his Physical Quotient. Other person may be more thinking oriented. This person is predominant in his Intellectual Quotient. Another person may be more feeling oriented. This person is dominant in his Emotional Quotient.
To become one with our being through doing is called Karma Yoga. To become one with our being through thinking is called Jnyana Yoga. And to become one with our being through feeling is called Bhakti Yoga. Doing, Thinking, and Feeling are the means, and Being is the goal. Karma Yoga, Jnyana Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga are the means, and Raja Yoga is the goal. Raja means the King. King is the master in whose presence all servants work. And they all work harmoniously without any fight. The King is like a Soul in whose presence all the activities of the Body happen. Therefore, the King is the Soul, and the Body, Mind, and Heart are the servants. But unfortunately our mind has become our master. The King is a Soul (Spiritual Body) in whose presence the Physical Body (Doing Body), Mind (Thinking Body), and the Heart (Feeling Body) do their respective jobs harmoniously and without any fight.
Let me give some equations to make Yoga simple and mathematical:
Raja Yoga = Karma Yoga + Jnyana Yoga + Bhakti Yoga
Spiritual Quotient = Physical Quotient + Intellectual Quotient + Emotional Quotient
The Spiritual Quotient is nothing but our Happiness Quotient. It is a state of infinite bliss. It is the state of being a Sachitananda.
Let us take some examples.
Let us take the example of a sports person. The action of a sports person reflects more in his Doing. It is predominant at the physical level. But it would be wrong to say that the sports person is not thinking and feeling. He is doing his actions. He is thinking on his actions. He is thinking before and after the actions. He is also feeling his actions. This is how he is perfecting and purifying his actions. And he is also devoted to his actions. When we closely observe his actions, all these three things that is Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Dhyana Yoga are going on simultaneously. He is doing all the three things together. He is doing his actions, he is thinking on his actions, and he is also feeling his actions. He can never attain to perfection without thinking and feeling of his actions. All doing is an action for him. The door to his Being is through Doing. His way is that of Karma Yoga.
Let us take the example of a scientist. The doing of the scientist is predominant in his thinking. All his actions manifest in thinking. All his powerful theories and hypothesis is through the power of thinking. He may attain to Raja Yoga through Thinking, Contemplation, and Meditation. He can attain to Raja Yoga through Jnana Yoga. This is his path. This is his way. All thinking becomes doing for him. All thinking is an action for him. His actions are predominant in his thinking. The door to his Being is through Thinking. His way is that of Jnana Yoga.
Let us take the example of a poet. The doing of the poet is predominant in his feeling. All his deeper expressions of poetry are through feeling. He may feel the beauty of a flower and create a poetry. He may feel the beauty of a sunrise or a sunset and create a poetry. He may feel the beauty of the whole nature around him and create his poetry. He may attain to Raja Yoga through Feeling. Feeling, Devotion, and Bhakti is predominant in all his actions. All Feeling is Doing for him. All feeling is an action for him. This is his path. This is his way. The door to his Being is through Feeling. His way is that of Bhakti Yoga.
This is the whole secret of Yoga. In their whole research and in-search the sages of the Vedas and Upanishads have found that the energies of a human being are crystallized at three levels: Doing, Thinking, and Feeling. That is Karma, Jnana, and Bhakti. According to them there are only three types of people in the world. These three types are: Action Oriented, Thinking Oriented, and Feeling Oriented. This ‘type’ gives us a direction. This direction becomes our purpose. This purpose becomes our calling. And this calling becomes a door to divinity. The whole purpose of our life is to find and discover our true type and move in the direction of that type.
This is what Krishna says in the Bhagavad Geeta that there are three paths to self-realization. And these three paths are: Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga. By purifying and perfecting Doing one may attain to Raja Yoga. This is the path of Karma Yoga. By purifying and perfecting Thinking one may attain to Raja Yoga. This is the path of Jnana Yoga. And by purifying and perfecting Feelings one may attain to Raja Yoga. This is the path of Bhakti Yoga.
This is the whole secret of Yoga. This is the mystery of Yoga. This is the art and science of Yoga.