Tuesday, November 1, 2011


As I tried to write this blog post last night I couldn't figure out what the three paths of yoga were or where I could find them. I read and reread the first twelve chapters of the Gita to no avail. I obviously skipped over the commentary because upon looking back at it, it clearly told me that the Bhagavad-Gita is divided into three sets of 6 chapters each dealing with a different path of yoga. The first six chapters or yogas as they are called represent action. The next six are known as Bhakti and deal with devotion. The final six, known as Jnana, deal with intellect. Each of these paths is a means of reaching towards the divine in an attempt to reach an ultimate consciousness or union with God. 

I find myself to resonate most with Jnana Yoga or the pursuit of the divine through intellect. So much of my spiritual journey since arriving at Baylor has been an intellectual pursuit. My introduction to philosophy, to the cave, and to Plato and Aristotle diverted me off the path that I had arrived here on and showed to me that other ideas exist. I could no longer put God in a box or even conceptualize anything resembling the old man with a flowing white beard imagery that I had been presented my whole life. As I delved deeper into my studies I began to find traces of the divine in everything. In music and art, in a well written line and a well spoken sentence, in suffering and pain, I began to see something greater behind all of it. I could no longer claim that any particular group had a monopoly on truth, that seemed an ignorant approach. I have much too logical and analytical of a mind to just accept that a singular path works for all people. I have not yet read fully the chapters dealing with Jnana however I sense that I will pull a great deal of wisdom from them. 


  1. Okay I am so glad you think this because I am in the same boat. I believe that if God is as merciful and understanding as I want to believe, he would not just make one path to reach Him. This realization hit me after cultures one and two when we learned about the different "main" religions. I realized then that I believe there is only one God but there are multiple ways of getting to him and I wouldn't condemn people choosing their way. Anyway I am just glad I wasn't the only who thought that. Apologies if this post is full of grammatical errors......I don't proofread.

  2. I agree that there are multiple ways to reach God. I do think there are some essential similarities between the paths such as treating our neighbors with kindness and respect and devotion to God. However, there will be smaller things that separate one path from another. I agree that we should not condemn others for their beliefs but that we should be understanding and loving.

  3. Ashley, you are not alone. The nature of God seems to be beyond our grasp and its refreshing to believe that God provides multiple ways to reach him.

    Melissa, I agree with you completely. The world would turn so much smoother if we all simply respected and valued the beliefs and journeys of others.