Talk:Three Yogas

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This concept is elusive. Gavin Flood states confidently that the Bhagavadgita introduces "famous three kinds of yoga". But the "Three Yogas" as a concept in Hinduism is clearly a recent idea. What the Bhagavadgita does is introduce three concepts, bhakti, karma and jnana and discusses them in the context of yoga or union with the divine. It doesn't appear to call them the "three yogas", and there does not appear to be any Sanskrit dvigu term like triyoga.

In fact, in old literature, the "three yogas" are three attachments or sins, i.e. undue attachment to mind, body and speech, see here. Apparently this is discussed in the Navatattva.

Then, rather strikingly, the "three yogas" seem to disappear from literature for fifty years, 1920-1970, with only a single exception, a 1937 "Introduction to the Hindu Faith" which now makes the "Three Yogas" Karma, Jnana, Bhakti. [1] It does not appear that these have been called "the three yogas" before that. This is significant, because by that time, Vivekananda was actively advocating his Four Yogas, viz. Karma, Jnana, Bhakti, Raja. Then, in the 1980s, the floodgates are opened, and everyone and their guru reports on the "Three Yogas of Hinduism".

What is going on here? --dab (𒁳) 11:05, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

This is very useful information that should be in the article. Until recently I was also lead to believe that there were three yogas. But inquiring further I came to find Raja Yoga, independently of Wikipedia, as one of four yogas. I propose to change the title of the article, but I don't think that "Four yogas" is an uncontroversial solution. Any suggestions? Hoverfish Talk 15:53, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

Also this result is quite interesting: [2] (not sure how to filter it) Oh, I see now Dbachmann started a dab page on Four Yogas. The result is quite confusing though. Could we fix it somehow? Hoverfish Talk 16:06, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

I am not sure I understand what you mean. It is meaningless to ask if there "are" four yogas, you need to provide context, as in, when and according to whom. There are "four yogas" in Vivekananda. There aren't before that. There used to be "three yogas", but the meaning of the term was completely different, translating to "three sins". This is just a semantic problem, I don't really see what more can be said about it. --dab (𒁳) 16:57, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

This is not made clear in Rāja yoga, neither in Swami Vivekananda. Vivekananda did say it was one of "four ways of worships" (says the article), but didn't Rāja yoga (as a yoga, not as someone's claim) precede Vivekananda? Or maybe it existed before but not as a path to liberation? Hoverfish Talk 18:09, 17 October 2012 (UTC)

I am not sure I understand what you are asking. The term "raja yoga" dates to the 15th century. The "path to liberation" now known as "raja yoga" existed under the name "yoga" since at least about 200 BC (Patanjali), it was just renamed to "raja yoga" because later on, people came up with other stuff they also called "yoga". Nobody claims that Patanjali's system itself dates to the 15th century, it's just the name "raja yoga" that was introduced then. Before that, it was simply known as "yoga". --dab (𒁳) 08:38, 22 October 2012 (UTC)