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What is the meaning of the word yoga?

This word is etymologically attached to the French words ‘yoke’ (Latin jugum), ‘to join’ (coming itself from Latin jungere) with its compounds (adjonction, conjunction, conjugal...)
It also contains the related idea such as to unite together and consequently to unite itself with the higher principle.
The idea to be under the yoke (Divine or that is higher) is found in the word religion (Latin religionem) whose primitive meaning is : care, scruple.

It became thereafter practical worship. The goal of yoga is the union with the Divine principle. We will see that this word refers to techniques but it also indicates the way undertaken. Yoga is the goal but also it is the way as a famous formulation says.

Which are the different types of yogas?
Traditionally there are four branches:

  • the thorough philosophical reasoning: Jnâna yoga
  • devotion towards an image/a picture, an object or a person which represents the Divine: Bhakti yoga
  • Acting without consideration of personal selfish, service to the others or towards the Supreme, without being affected by results of these actions : Karma yoga
  • concentration then control of the mind : Rajah yoga

The goal of all yogas is the union with the higher principle. The ways are simply different and each one have to find which one is the most suitable. However the borders of these various yogas are not sliced and they are often combined. There are different various yogas. They can be combined together or even be the subject of an exclusive practice for a whole life. (Mantra yoga, Japa yoga, Tantra yoga, Hatha yoga... )

The important points of Indian philosophy will be approached in this part of the website.
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Hari Om

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