The Aim of Yoga
As Per popular beliefs absolute aim of Yoga is to attain “Kaivalya” (i.e. ultimate Freedom). This is method of finding out one’s innermost soul (The Purusa). By achieving this one free himself from the life of cause and effect i.e. Karma and Reincarnation. Kaivalya is position where one stays in peace and free from sorrow
The Paths of Yoga
According to the Bhagavad Gita, there are said to be 4 main paths (Margas), , by which to reach the ultimate goal of Yoga – “Kaivalya.”. They are :
1. The Path of Knowledge (Jnana Marga)
2. The path of selfless work (Karma marga)
3. The path of devotion (Bhakti Marga) and
4. The path of control of the mind (Yoga Marga)
From these have come the various paths of yoga which can be followed.
Raja yoga – It involves mastery of the mind and senses in Samadhi; essentially the advanced aspects of Patanjali’s astanga yoga.
Hatha yoga – It is the yoga of the will which involves cultivating ones energy to arouse Kundalini primarily by means of asana and pranayama.
Mantra yoga – It involves reciting sacred syllables to reach perfection.
Laya yoga – It involves absorption in god to experience ultimate bliss.
Bhakti yoga – It requires absolute devotion to god to achieve the ultimate goal.
Karma yoga – It achieves this through selfless work without thought of personal reward.
Jnana yoga – It is the yoga of knowledge cultivating the discrimination between spiritual reality and the illusion of the material world.
Yoga is just a Spiritual Conquest. However, along the path of Yoga, the aspirant also gains health, happiness, tranquillity and knowledge which are meters of progress and an encouragement to continue their practice. Buddhism and other Eastern spiritual traditions use many techniques derived from Yoga.