It took many lifetimes to cultivate the binding desires and fears we carry, and this conditioning has momentum. There are no quick fixes or magic pills that will neutralize these fears and desires, the process requires daily practice. There are formal practices – meditations, ceremonies, mantra and scriptural study and information practices that can applied from sunrise to sunset. The bottom line, if you truly desire moksha, then it’s all hands on deck.
The jiva or embodied soul is consciousness plus three bodes – gross, subtle and causal. The gross body is represented by the physical body and is comprised of the five gross elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether/space. The subtle body, has three primary components – mind (emotions and thoughts), intellect (faculty of discrimination) and the ego (experiencer, do-er, enjoy-er). The most subtle of the three bodies is the causal body which contains the vasanas or seeds of past action and is subconscious.
There are three primary practices (yogas) endorsed by traditional Vedanta which help prepare the subtle body for moksha or freedom. It’s important to understand that ignorance is hardwired and requires daily, moment to moment, practice.
The three yogas or practices for the subtle body are Karma, Upasana and Jnana yogas. Bhakti or devotion is not considered a separate yoga as devotion is an active ingredient for the three aforementioned yogas. Devotion directs emotional energy towards towards that which we value. Karma and Upasana yogas prepare the mind to assimilate the knowledge offered through Jnana Yoga – Self inquiry.
In the tabs below Sadhana, each yoga is discussed in more detail.