Yoga and Its types
Yoga means to integrate, to add. The general idea is that in the quagmire of Maya, in the existential suffering, the soul is separated from the supersoul, so Yoga is integrating it back to supersoul. Whether it is separation or merely an illusion of separation, is the key discussion which takes place when we talk about Maya. Here we will talk about Yoga. Yoga is of many types: some broad categories are as follows:
Hatha Yoga: Yoga of force.
Jnana Yoga: Yoga of knowledge.
Bhakti Yoga: Yoga of devotion.
Karma Yoga: Yoga of actions.
Kundalini Yoga: Yoga of hidden power.
Surati Shabd Yoga: Yoga of sound and light vibrations.
Mantra Yoga: Yoga of mantras.
Naad Yoga: Yoga of sound.
Meditation and Service Go Hand in Hand
Meditation is a part of Yoga. Meditation is very popular all over the world as the reliever of stress and it appeals mostly to intellectuals and thinkers. Meditation is basically Jnana Yoga, though devotees also meditate. Bhakti Yoga or devotion is mostly based on heart, whereas meditation uses both heart and intellect.
Intellectuals sometimes start thinking that all they have to do is to meditate and they can get rid of all Karma and negative impressions. Just meditation is enough to make them feel peaceful. Similarly some devotees think that merely chanting of mantras and singing of devotional songs is enough to attain love of lord. It’s a misconception: such devotees and meditators soon find themselves among great confusion unless they also serve others selflessly.
The term ‘seva’ is used for service. In absence of humility and selfless service, even best of meditators will become paranoid, megalomaniacal and deluded. Humility is a cornerstone of devotional practices as well. If you do devotional practices but fail to recognize almighty in your fellow friends and family, your practices will not bear fruits and you will ever keep wondering why you’re failing and struggling so hard.
It’s also true that without being established in meditation no one can understand essence of service. Our minds have many impurities and even when we start serving others selflessly, the fluctuations in mind tend to contaminate the nature of service. Meditation and service go hand in hand. They are incomplete without each other. If you only serve or only meditate–it’s incomplete course. You need both to advance on spiritual path. Humility, utter humility is needed at all times in all spiritual paths, otherwise it doesn’t take long to see a fall after a great rise on spiritual path. That is why sages have always suggested service of others with humility. If you serve others without being humble your service doesn’t make you feel peaceful because it’s not true service. Simplicity and humility along with patience make a service true service.
Karma Yoga is Yoga of service. The essence of Karma Yoga is detached action. Not being attached to the fruits of selfless service which is done with diligence is Karma Yoga. Some of us are born with a great baggage of Karma to serve. A good astrologer can tell us about houses which play an important role in our life. If 10th domain is prominent in our nativity–it means we are supposed to serve people. Similarly if you have some negative Karma you need to accumulate merit on path of spirituality to annul it and only then you can truly transcend mind. Some great mystics are of opinion that we need to bring others to our level of spiritual understanding and only then we can move onto the next level. I don’t know about it but service is a must in one form or another because nobody is an island and no system of Yoga can lead to fruition without helping others. Even greatest of yogis have to come back to society to serve it and pay their dues, such is the law of nature.