Yoga – karma, jinana and bhakti: Tapan Bikash

Writer: Tapan Bikas

Actional, knowledge and devotional approaches towarperfection

Yoga, defined as human endeavor to attain perfection, has led to progress in human civilization since ages. The article aims to understand the evolution of Karmavad –“deontological ethics” in Indian context during late Bronze age ( 1500 B.C). India during that era was called Bharath and a great personality in Indian context Shri Krishna actionalised the three philosophical concepts – Karma, Jinana and Bhakti Yoga. This article examines the relevance of these concepts for modern times. A possible re-definition of the terms for the current time is proposed. The divine consciousness – the awareness of our existence – is a state of perfection. All three approaches allow humans existence to progress. The article compares the different approaches of humans to attain perfection.
“Karmayevdhikraste m phalesu kadcana;
M Karmaphalaheturbhu m te saungo stvakarmani”   Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2, Verse 47
“To action alone hast thou a right, never at all to its fruits ( results); Let not the fruits of action
be thy motive; Neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction”  Translation by S.Radhakrishnan
The above couplet ,extracted from Mahabharata (1500 B.C) – the longest poem ever written in humankind- , is a ubiquitous extract which almost every Indian knows. Mahabharata is contemporary work to Homer’s Odyssey. Mahabharata, similar to Homer’s odyssey, was the basis of foundation of deontological ethics in late bronze age in the indus valley civilization.

Yoga etymologically is defined as the human endeavor to attain the state of perfection. This  article doesn’t address the debate of existence of infinite perfect state. Examination of the existence of the perfect state can be taken up in a different time. This article assumes that human imperfection can be minimized and examines the three method to achieve this.

Actional approach to attain perfection (Karma Yoga)
Each human being has an urge to establish supremacy in external world. Humans have an eternal urge to attain the zenith of glory in material world. Due to this urge, humans try to take more responsibility in external physical world. While acting in the external physical world due to increased responsibility, great pressure is exerted on their nervous system. This pressure results in mutual conflict between innumerable cells of nervous system. This intercellular conflict has since ages been the basis of a development in human consciousness. This marked development in human consciousness leads to corresponding morphological changes in the external human structure. These very transformations in the external human structure are defined as Karma Yoga or actional approach to attain perfection.

Knowledge based approach to attain perfection (Jinana Yoga
Since ages, humans have fought against imperfections in the internal psychic world. The motivation to eliminate imperfections in physical and psychic world is again the same urge to attain the state of perfection. This struggle has led to transformations in the psychic structure. The internal attempt to remold the psychic world resulted in considerable clash, which in turn lead to subtle changes in psychic and physical structure . Early humans battled against psychic imperfections to bring about change in psychic world. This phase on the path of human progress leading to change in psychic world is Jinana yoga.

Devotional Yoga /Bhakti Yoga
Around 8000 – 7000 B.C , humans discovered that if they could focus their psychic propensities on one point and merge them into supreme consciousness / cosmic energy/infinite perfection . They would accelerate the removal of imperfection in psychic world. With a great momentum humans attain the cherished state of perfection. This has lead to massive development in Human civilizational endeavors in the last 10,000 years.

1. Ananda Vacanamrtam – Part 7 – Chapter 10 “ The Process of Human Progress” Author P.R.Sarkar
2. The Bhagvad Giita Edwin Arnold
3. Acknowledgements: Hearty thanks to the Barbeque group as a followup where we had a beautiful discussion
Yoga – karma, jinana and bhakti: Tapan Bikash

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  • June 3, 2017 at 11:32 am

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