Yoga – Spiritual Practice

“Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature, external and internal. Do this either by work, or worship, or psychic control, or philosophy — by one, or more, or all of these — and be free. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or books, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details.”

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol 1, Preface to Raja-Yoga


“The grandest idea in the religion of the Vedanta is that we may reach the same goal by different paths; and these paths I have generalised into four, viz those of work, love, psychology, and knowledge. But you must, at the same time, remember that these divisions are not very marked and quite exclusive of each other. Each blends into the other. But according to the type which prevails, we name the divisions. It is not that you can find men who have no other faculty than that of work, nor that you can find men who are no more than devoted worshippers only, nor that there are men who have no more than mere knowledge. These divisions are made in accordance with the type or the tendency that may be seen to prevail in a man. We have found that, in the end, all these four paths converge and become one. All religions and all methods of work and worship lead us to one and the same goal.”

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol 1, Ch 8, “The Ideal of Karma Yoga”


The Path of Love: Bhakti Yoga

“The path of devotion is natural and pleasant. Philosophy is taking the mountain stream back to its force. It is a quicker method but very hard. Philosophy says, ‘Check everything.’ Devotion says, ‘Give the stream, have eternal self-surrender.’ It is a longer way, but easier and happier.”

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol 7, Inspired Talks, Thursday, July 11


  • Path of love and devotion to God
  • Prayer
  • Repeating the name of God, japa
  • Singing
  • Chanting
  • Worship
  • Offering flowers, incense or food

Read more about bhakti yoga here and learn about opportunities to practice it at a center.

The Path of Meditation: Raja Yoga

“The science of Raja-Yoga, in the first place, proposes to give us such a means of observing the internal states. The instrument is the mind itself. The power of attention, when properly guided, and directed towards the internal world, will analyse the mind, and illumine facts for us. The powers of the mind are like rays of light dissipated; when they are concentrated, they illumine. This is our only means of knowledge.”

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol 1, Chapter 1 Introductory


“…but all such are especially and earnestly reminded that, with few exceptions, Yoga can only be safely learnt by direct contact with a teacher.

“… each man is only a conduit for the infinite ocean of knowledge and power that lies behind mankind. It teaches that desires and wants are in man, that the power of supply is also in man; and that wherever and whenever a desire, a want, a prayer has been fulfilled, it was out of this infinite magazine that the supply came, and not from any supernatural being.”

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol 1, Preface to Raja-Yoga


  • Control of mind through meditation
  • Use of mental powers to realize the Atman, true Self
  • Instruction, initiation, is transmitted individually to an aspirant by a teacher, or guru

Interviews for spiritual instruction with Swami Sarvadevananda are available by appointment at the local centers. There is no charge for these interviews.

Read more about raja yoga here.

The Path of Knowledge: Jnana Yoga

“The sages of the world have only the right to tell us that they have analysed their minds and have found these facts, and if we do the same we shall also believe, and not before.”
― Swami Vivekananda, Jnana Yoga


  • Discrimination between real and unreal
  • Non-dualistic, or advaita Vedanta
  • Self-affirmation
  • Discovery of one’s true nature

Read more about jnana yoga here and learn about opportunities to practice it at a center.

The Path of Work: Karma Yoga

“Karma-Yoga is the attaining through unselfish work of that freedom which is the goal of all human nature. Every selfish action, therefore, retards our reaching the goal, and every unselfish action takes us towards the goal; that is why the only definition that can be given of morality is this: That which is selfish is immoral, and that which is unselfish is moral.”

The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol 1, Ch 8 The Ideal of Karma Yoga


  • Dedicated work
  • Selfless service
  • Unattachment to the fruits of labor

Read more about karma yoga and learn about opportunities to practice it at a center.

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