Question: There are so many paths or ways to God, it seems. I wonder which is the correct way?

Swami Sivananda: “Man is a composite of three fundamental factors, namely, will, feeling and cognition. There are three kinds of temperament—the active, the emotional and the rational. Even so, there are three Yogas—Jnana Yoga for a person of enquiry and rational temperament, Bhakti Yoga for the emotional temperament, and Karma Yoga for a person of action. (pg. 9, Introduction to the Bhagavad Gita by Swami Sivananda).

Question: But which is the correct way to God? In one place in the Gita, for instance,

  1. Lord Krishna praises Karma Yoga: “The Yoga of action is superior to the renunciation of action”—(Chap. 4.2); 
  2. Yet in another place, He praises Raja Yoga: “The Yogi is thought to be superior to the ascetics and even superior to men of knowledge; he is also superior to men of action. Therefore, be thou a Yogi, O Arjuna!”—(Chap 6:46). 
  3. Similarly, in another place, Lord Krishna praises the path of Bhakti Yoga: “The highest Purusha, O Arjuna, is attainable by unswerving devotion to Him alone within whom all beings dwell and by whom all this is pervaded!”—(Chap 8:22). 
  4. To confound it further, He has also praised Jnana Yoga: “Noble indeed are all these; but I deem the wise man as My very Self; for, steadfast in mind, he is established in Me alone as the supreme goal”—(Chap 7:18).

Swami Sivananda: One Yoga is as efficacious as the other… A beginner is confused when he comes across these seemingly contradictory verses. But, if you think deeply, there is no room for any confusion. Krishna praises each Yoga in order to create interest in the aspirant in his particular path. The Gita is a book for the people of the world at large. It was not meant for Arjuna alone. Each Yoga is as efficacious as the other. (pgs. 9, 12, Introduction to the Bhagavad Gita by Swami Sivananda).

Question: So, which path should I follow? And, will the path that I have chosen help me spiritually, and finally give me liberation? Or, should a person who is following a certain path now, for instance, Jnana Yoga, change his path to another (efficacious one) that will help him to attain Him?

Swami Sivananda: Any spiritual path pursued with real sincerity and faith leads the aspirant to God-realisation. (pg. 210, Voice of the Himalayas by Swami Sivananda)

Stick to one path with all your strength and single-minded devotion. (pg. 235, Voice of the Himalayas by Swami Sivananda)

If you are sincere, you will surely attain God, which(ever) path you follow. (pg. 237, Voice of the Himalayas by Swami Sivananda).

Question: I am not sure which path is good for me. Which is the easiest way to follow?

Swami Sivananda: Jnana Yoga for a person of enquiry and rational temperament, Bhakti Yoga for the emotional temperament, and Karma Yoga for a person of action. (pg. 9, Introduction to the Bhagavad Gita by Swami Sivananda).

Of all the various paths that lead to perfection, the path of devotion (Bhakti Yoga)  is the pleasantest and easiest. (pg. 86, Voice of the Himalayas by Swami Sivananda)

The path of devotion (Bhakti Yoga) is the easiest and surest of all the ways for attaining emancipation. (pg. 83, Voice of the Himalayas by Swami Sivananda)

By devotion he knows Me in truth, what and who I am; and knowing Me in truth, he forthwith enters into the Supreme. (Bhagavad Gita 18:55)

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