What are the 3 major yogic paths, according to the Bhagavad Gita? What sort of person is each one designed for?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The three major yogic paths according to the Bhagavad Gita are Karma Yoga, or the path of selfless action; Bhakti Yoga, the path of devotion; and Jnana Yoga, the path of self-transcending knowledge. 

Karma Yoga consists in performing one's duty, or dharma, in life without expectation of reward. It de-emphasizes the ego and the desire for returns on our good deeds. 

Bhakti Yoga is achieved by those who seek emotional or spiritual attachment to the divine. It is achieved through love, which, like in Karma Yoga, does not expect reward. It requires the complete subjugation of self and intense dedication to prayer and meditation.

Jnana Yoga is best described as self-examination and self-realization. It is not achieved through Western-style rational inquiry, but rather through meditation, the end of which should be an awareness of a oneness with the divine:

The soul who meditates on the Self is content to serve the Self and rests satisfied within the Self; there remains nothing more for him to accomplish.


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