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Swami Vivekananda's Contributions to the Discourse of Yoga

  • By Dr. Jeffery D. Long
  • March 15 2019

This article covers Swamiji’s Distinctive Perspective on Yoga, Many Paths to One Goal, The Special Role of Raja Yoga, Harmonising the Yogas, Karma Yoga as Selfless Service, Yoga and Rationality, The Necessity of Practice for Realization and Not for the Weak!

The intent of this essay is not to claim that Swamiji’s approach to the nature of yoga is the only correct approach; nor, in claiming that his approach is distinctive; the intent is to state that this approach is entirely unique, and that important aspects of it are not also shared by other major thinkers on yoga.

Swamiji identifies the aim of yoga with the aim of Vedanta: namely, the attainment of God-realisation, the manifestation of the potential divinity within us and within all beings, a realisation which leads to liberation—moksha or mukti—from the cycle of rebirth, samsara, to which we have been subject for countless lifetimes.

Other important features of Swamiji’s approach to yoga include an emphasis on renunciation as an essential condition for the practice of yoga. 

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This article was first published in the January 2019 issue (titled ‘Thoughts on Yoga’) of Prabuddha Bharata, monthly journal of The Ramakrishna Order started by Swami Vivekananda in 1896. This article is courtesy and copyright Prabuddha Bharata. I have been reading the Prabuddha Bharata for years and found it enlightening. Cost is Rs 180/ for one year, Rs 475/ for three years, Rs 2100/ for twenty years. To subscribe https://shop.advaitaashrama.org/subscribe/

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