The Bhagavad Gita is one of the primary sources of Indian spirituality. It is one of the three sacred texts of Vedanta, along with the Upanishads (the last books of the Vedas) and the Brahma Sutras (an explanation of the Upanishads). Vedantic philosophy argues that all of the universe is a manifestation of a single, infinite consciousness called Brahman. Out of Brahman come all people, places and things. Only Brahman is real and permanent. This is the belief of Advaita (Non-dual) Vedanta.
Within the Bhagavad Gita are explanations of many different "yogas." 17 of the 18 chapters have the word "yoga" in the title, with each chapter expounding on a different one. These range from Samkhya Yoga to Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga, not to mention other more complex ones like Raja-Vidya-Raja-Guhya Yoga.
This abundance of seemingly different "yogas" can lead to confusion. Are there dozens or hundreds of yogas? Is there a unifying philosophy or belief that one can point to as yoga?
According to Vedantic belief, since all beings and existence are manifest from a single consciousness, this diversity is possible even within a single entity. One can choose any form of devotion and even express devotion to diverse "Gods," all of which are nothing more than the many names and forms of Brahman. The great diversity exists within a single consciousness.
This philosophy is not to be confused with the yoga of the Yogasutras by Patanjali, a system based on the Samkhya philosophy. Samkhya philosophy is dual, believing that two independently real entities exist: consciousness and matter. These are called purusha and prakriti. Vedanta is a monistic philosophy while Yoga (of the Yogasutras) is dualistic.
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga. This blog is about their experience with yoga practice, study and teaching.
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- The Art and Skill of Teaching