The "ancient way"—a path extending from humanity to God—cannot be compared to an American nonstop freeway. This subtle, inner path has many stops and degrees of gradation. In some areas it is level and smooth, and in other regions it passes through difficult mud and gravel terrain. Its course may run through the glaring stretches of a desert or along the sharp curves and bends of precipitous mountains. In spite of all these obstructions, we have to journey determinedly along this ancient way leading to God.
It was a late Saturday afternoon and the college hours were almost over. I was in the laboratory busy overseeing the chemistry practical classes and warning the BSc honors students to finish quickly as the bell was about to ring. The lab assistant brought me a visiting card saying that someone wanted to see me. A bit puzzled, I thought: who could be the visitor at this time, during college hours?
Those who are "seekers after knowledge" are jnana yogis, spiritual seekers whose keen, discriminating intellects are more powerful than their emotions. Jnana yoga asserts that ignorance of our divine nature is the only obstacle to spiritual realization, and knowledge alone can remove this obstacle.
Bhakti yoga assures us that the Lord lovingly accepts whatever we offer with devotion. But just as we can offer flowers and fruits, love and adoration, so we can offer our actions and their fruits. This is the sadhana of our third yoga, karma yoga.
The goal of bhakti yoga, the path of devotion, is to develop such intense, one-pointed love for God that no distance is left between the lover and the Beloved. The state of union that the raja yogi achieves through meditation, the bhakti yogi attains through wholehearted devotion.