Paths to Enlightenment (eastern world) meaning way to true knowledge, or Paths to Transcendence (western world) meaning way to rise above the material plane, are ways to achieve insight into our inner soul. Note that it does not guarantee Ascension of the soul or a life cleansed of all sin; unless followed for rest of the life.

Yoga[edit | edit source]

The Path of Yoga leads to the curing of many anxiety related ailments. While following the Sattva, with daily meditation a yogi should eventually be able to achieve enlightenment.

Karma Yoga[edit | edit source]

Focus on your work, Forget about it's result.

The word karma (derived from the Sanskrit root kri, meaning 'to do'), denotes an action that brings back results in this life or in the future life. Karma Yoga (or the yoga of action) teaches that selfless work performed in the spirit of service to God and for the welfare of mankind leads to salvation (moksha) of the individual self. Good actions bring one closer to his spiritual goal and bad actions take him farther away from this goal. Virtuous deeds, satkarma, are those that are performed -for the welfare of others, without desire for the fruits (reward) there of. Bad actions are those that are performed with selfish motives, without consideration for others. Work, with love, is freedom for the worker, and work without love is his bondage. This means that all actions must be performed without expectation of reward (nishkama-karma). Thus we hear the words of Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita:

'Thou have a right to perform thy prescribed duty, but thou are not entitled to the fruits of thy action. Never consider thyself the cause of the results of thy activities, but never cease to do thy work....' (BG 2.4'7)

The philosophy of Karma Yoga is expounded in three chapters of Shrimad Bhagwat Gita. The Bhagwat Gita teaches that work is both beautiful and holy and declares that individual attain perfection when they offer their work as worship to God:

' Whosoever performs action, surrendering himself to Brahman and abandoing all attachments, is not polluted by sin, just as a lotus leaf is not polluted by water.' (BG 5.10)

There is a difference between karma and karma-yoga. Karma is regulated action for the enjoyment of the fruit by the performer, but karma-yoga is action performed by the devotee for the satisfaction of the Lord. Karma-yoga is based on bhakti, or pleasing the Lord, whereas karma is based on pleasing the senses of the performer himself.

Asthavakra Gita expands on how to live the life of an ordinary person while moving forward on the path to Enlightenment.

Janna/Gyan Yoga[edit | edit source]

Live to learn, I am, from atom to the cosmos.

The path of Jnana Yoga / Gyan Yoga is suited for those who are gifted with strong mental and intellectual faculties. This path emphasis on the true knowledge regarding the nature of the self, and requires sharp intellect coupled with intense spiritual longing. Since ignorance (avidya) obscures the self from achieving salvation, the aim of this path is to destroy ignorance by discrimination of falsehood and contemplation on Truth.

This basic features of Jnana Yoga are:

Listening to the scriptures and the spiritual discourses from spiritual teachers (gurus) who are themselves well-established in Truth. The company of truly awakened souls strengthens the power of right discrimination and accelerates the unfolding of the true Self. Discriminating truth from falsity and intense contemplation on the guru's words. Thoughtful contemplation gradually weakens the ego and frees the soul from its wrong identification with the body and mind. Yoga Vasistha is a good starting point for enlightenment through knowledge.

Practice of shifting the focus of attention from the mortal aspect of one's being to the immortal aspect of being, and intense contemplation therein. Jnana is the highest teaching of the Upanishads and the central theme of the Bhagavad Gita. As stated in the following verses of the Bhagavad Gita, Jnana is considered a supreme purifier:

'Nothing indeed purifies in this world like wisdom. He who lives in self-harmony finds it [wisdom] in time within himself, by himself.' (BG 4.38).

Bhakti Yoga[edit | edit source]

Live a live of faith in God, and mercy for everyone.

Bhakti Yoga is the path of selfless devotion, worship, reverence, self-surrender and adoration of God. This path of realization is more suitable for those who are natural emotional bent of mind. Since it is the ego (ahankara) that keeps an individual separated from God, the aim of Bhakti Yoga is to dissolve ego of through devotion and self-surrender to the will of Almighty. Various rituals like singing of devotional songs (bhajans), idol worship etc. are meant for constant remembrance of divine attributes of God.

Also called the Path of Renunciation is a simple way to gain enlightenment, but also the hardest one, because it requires one to give up all material possessions, physical pleasures and emotional attachments in addition to following virtues.

Monks and most Priests follow this lifestyle.

Vivekachudamani gives more information about this subject.

Kundalini Yoga[edit | edit source]

Kundalini Yoga combines Kundalini cultivation with Gyan Yoga.

Hatha Yoga[edit | edit source]

Hatha Yoga (Sanskrit: हठ) combines Bhakti Yoga with physical excercise. Hatha Yoga is Enlightenment through exercise. It has four specific practices:

  • proper diet (Mitahara) : eat food in moderation
  • Pranayama: Breathing exercises
  • Proper body cleansing(Shatkriyas): six techniques to manually cleanse internal organs
  • Proper posture(Asanas, including mudras): proper position of the body and the fingers, in meditation.

Reference In Fiction[edit | edit source]

The Matrix is a system... When you're inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system... You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.

Morpheus, The matrix

I'm trying to free your mind... But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it."

Morpheus, The matrix

What is real? How do you define real? If (real is) what you can hear, what you can smell, taste and feel then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.

Morpheus, The matrix

There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

Morpheus, The matrix

You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.

Morpheus, The matrix

He must choose his own path; no one can choose it for him.

Princess Leia

If money is all you love, then that's what you'll receive.

Princess Leia

Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion ... is essential to a Jedi's life.

Anakin Skywalker

Anger, fear, aggression... the dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.


All who gain power are afraid to lose it, even the Jedi.

Chancellor Palpatine

Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering.


Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.

  • From Bulletproof Monk

It's not about anger - it's about peace. It's not about power - it's about grace. It's not about knowing your enemy - it's about knowing yourself.

Monk with no name

Air is as real as you and me. You have to step on it as if it were a stone, swim through it as if it were the sea. All you have to do is truly believe.

Monk with no name

Fearlessness means faith in God: faith in His protection, His justice, His wisdom, His mercy, His Love, and His omnipresence… To be fit for Self-realization, man must be fearless.

Paramahansa Yogananda

External links[edit | edit source]

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