Not Watertight

From Conversations on the Science of Yoga – Bhakti Yoga Book 1: Experience of the Heart

What is the best combination of yogas?

Swami Sivananda: The individual is a composite of three fundamental factors: cognition, feeling and will. There are people with three kinds of temperaments: the active temperament, the emotional temperament and the rational temperament. There are the three yogas: jnana yoga for the person of enquiry and self-analysis or rational temperament, bhakti yoga for the person of emotional temperament and karma yoga for the person of active temperament. One yoga is as efficacious as another.

The Bhagavad Gita formulates the theory of the three margas, paths: the jnana marga, the bhakti marga and the karma marga. According to the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita there is no conflict among the three. The Bhagavad Gita harmonizes wonderfully the philosophy of action, devotion and knowledge. All the three must be harmoniously blended if one wishes to attain perfection. One should have the head of Adi Shankaracharya, the heart of Buddha and the hands of King Janaka. Only then can the destination be reached safely and quickly, and one rejoices in the Self within.

Bhakti yoga cannot be separated from karma yoga or raja yoga. These yogas are not watertight compartments. A blending of all the yogas is necessary if one wants to achieve rapid spiritual progress. Bhakti yoga is the consummation of karma yoga, raja yoga is the consummation of bhakti yoga and jnana yoga or vedantic realization of unity is the consummation of all the rest.