Tuesday, July 7, 2015



The word Yoga literally means “union” –a process of spiritual union. It is a method or technique –one of many– by which an individual may become united with the Reality (Atman) underlying this apparent (non-Atman) universe. Gita equates this apparent universe with Prakriti comprised of earth, water, fire, wind and space - these five subtle elements plus manas, buddhi and ahamkara.

bhoomiraaponalo vayuhu kham mano buddhireva cha |
ahankaara iteeyam me bhinnaa prakritirashtadhaa ||Gita 7.4 ||

Yoga is the path to move beyond these eight elements by attaining the knowledge of each and, eventually, to know the Atman via unification. In the Yoga-Sutras, Patanjali defines yoga as Chitta-vritti-nirodhah: the control of thought-waves (vrittis) in the mind (Chitta), which forms the basis of the entire philosophy of Yoga. Bhoja, a classical commentator on the Yoga-Sutras, describes Patanjali’s use of the word yoga as “an attempt to separate the Atman from the non-Atman”. With the practice of control of mind, yoga takes a seeker beyond the states of non-Atman to be in union with Atman, a perfect state of yoga –the goal of yoga.

Chitta (Mind)

Let us first understand the word “Chitta” in Chitta-vritti-nirodhah. Patanjali describes Chitta or the Mind as being constituted of three components: manas, buddhi, and ahamkara. Manas, is the recording faculty which receives impressions (data) gathered by the senses from the outside world. Buddhi, is the discriminating and decision-making faculty which analyzes and responds to the data. Ahamkara is the ego-sense, which claims the recorded and analyzed data as its own and stores it as individual knowledge. Advaita Vedanta has called the mind (Chitta) of the Yoga-Sutras as the Antahkarna, composed of four constituents: manas, buddhi, ahamkara, and chitta. Here, manas functions as a faculty of will (sankalpa) or resolution, buddhi again is the decision-making faculty, while chitta is the faculty of memory (storing data) and ahamkara is false-identification of “I or Self” with the acquired experiences. Like Patanjali, Gita also affirms the mind (Antahkrana/Chitta) as being comprised of manas, buddhi, and ahamkara.

Guru Maharaj’s description of mind is similar to that of Gita and the Yoga-sutras. However, he describes the manas as being composed of two complementary parts: chitta, reservoir of thoughts and manas, the receiving/recording faculty of thoughts. 

Vritti (Manifestation of Mind)

The word Vritti literally translates to ripples or waves, here meaning as the manifestations of mind (Chitta). The way our whole being, mind-body unit reacts or manifests to the outside environment is a Vritti. We react to the entire world outside with the totality of our being. This reaction is the central Vritti, or the psychic operation in us.

The mind manifests itself in the following forms: scattering, darkening, gathering, one-pointed, and concentrated. The scattering form is activity. Its tendency is to manifest in the form of pleasure or of pain. The darkening form is dullness, which tends to injury. The third form is natural to the Devas, the angels, and the first and second to the demons. The gathering form is when it struggles to centre itself. The one-pointed form is when it tries to concentrate, and the concentrated form is what brings us to Samâdhi.

To elaborate the relationship between our true Self, the Chitta and the Vrittis, every commentator has cited the analogy of a lake. The bottom of a lake we cannot see, because its surface is covered with ripples. It is only possible for us to catch a glimpse of the bottom, when the ripples have subsided, and the water is calm. If the water is muddy or is agitated all the time, the bottom will not be seen. If it is clear, and there are no waves, we shall see the bottom. The bottom of the lake is our own true Self; the lake is the Chitta and the waves the Vrittis. Again, the mind is in three states, one of which is darkness, called Tamas, found in brutes and idiots; it only acts to injure. No other idea comes into that state of mind. Then there is the active state of mind, Rajas, whose chief motives are power and enjoyment. Then there is the state called Sattva, serenity, calmness, in which the waves cease and the water of the mind-lake becomes clear.

Nirodhah (Cessation or Control)

Why should the mind be controlled?

It is the mind that makes us falsely believe that we are individuals, with a physical independence of our own, isolated from the vast structure of creation. Therefore, control of the mind is a necessity; it is unavoidable. The mind is not something outside us, nor is it different from us. I am my mind and my mind is I. The body and the mind are not just inter-related, but they are an organic stuff, forming a complete whole.

To get a clear idea as to what the mind is in its relation to the body, let us take an analogy. Let us assume that we are mountain climbing. The higher we go, the more we experience difficulty breathing due to the air becoming rarified. As we keep climbing higher and higher, the air keeps getting thinner and thinner until it becomes so rarified that we cannot breathe and we stop there. The heavier air at the bottom and the lighter air at the top cannot be compartmentalized into two separate entities. There can be no watertight separation of the one from the other. There is only a gradual disappearance of the one into the other. Gradually the heavier air becomes lighter. The other way round, the top portion, lighter air leads us down to the base, the heavier air. In other words, only density changes, and that too very gradually, so that we cannot know where one begins and the other ends. Somewhat similar is the relationship between the mind and the body. For our practical purposes, we may compare the mind to the rarified air at top, and the body to the heavy air at the base. The mind that is thin air has become the heavy air that is the body. And just as there can be no demarcation of a rigid type between the two types of air, no distinguishing line can be clearly drawn between the mind and the body. The mind and the body are a total whole that is the individuality, of which the mind is one aspect and the body another.

What happens when the mind is restrained?  The seer establishes himself in his own Self. The seer means the conscious subjectivity in us. This so-called subjectivity of consciousness ceases to be subjective anymore, because the subject has no meaning if there is no object outside. Subject and object are co-related terms, one hanging on the other for its survival. If the outside does not exist, there is no inside, and vice versa. So, when the person who has restrained the mind-stuff has realized that the things are not outside, the object ceases to exist and, with it, the inside also goes. So, no more is there such a thing as subjectivity or individuality for that person. It does not exist anymore. Thus from the restraint of the mind or the control of the mind follows a re-installation of one's own self in one's own true nature. The goal of removal of bondage of consciousness being the ultimate goal has been achieved through the practice of Yoga.  

According to Sankhya, bondage is the illusory assumption or imagination rather, on the part of spirit or consciousness, that it has the characteristics of the object. How does this union of the object with the subject that is consciousness take place? Sankhya philosophy explains this through an example of the crystal and the flower. A pure crystal has no color of its own, but when a colored object such as a red flower is brought near this pure crystal; it gets reflected in the crystal, and it can be so reflected that the whole crystal may appear red. When that happens, we may not even know that there is a crystal at all. The crystalhood of the crystal has ceased for the time being, and it appears like a red object. This is because of the absorption of the color of the flower by the crystal, which is; in itself, pristine, pure, colorless. Now, is there a real connection between the crystal and the flower? Absolutely not! The color has not affected the crystal in any manner. The crystal has not become impure by the appearance of the color within itself. It will regain its appearance of purity the moment the flower is removed from the crystal. The crystal never was contaminated or affected or infected in any manner. But, when the reflection takes place, it appears as if the subject has ceased to exist for the time being; there is only the redness, the flower. Such is the situation of world-perception, says Sankhya. In the above instance, the bondage of the crystal is nothing but the false imagination that it is the flower. It never became the flower. It never really acquired even the color of the flower. Because of the reflection, it imagines that it has become the flower. What is freedom for the crystal? The crystal regains its freedom when it is again separated from the flower. Then it assumes its pristine purity of colorless transparency and establishes its consciousness in its own self, not allowing it to project itself externally in the form of the imagination that it is something other than itself, in this case, the object flower. So, what is Yoga? It is the isolation of consciousness from matter, the subject from the object.

In the metaphysics of the Vedanta, the same phenomenon is explained in a slightly different manner. The Vedanta accepts this analysis of the Sankhya as perfectly right, but affirms that the individual is only an assumed form of consciousness, and not the real essence thereof. While it is true that there is a necessity to differentiate the externality that has crept into the subjectivity of consciousness, the object can never become the subject. This is the opening sentence in Sankaracharya’s great commentary on the Brahma Sutras, which says “The subject and object – the self and non-self are so radically opposed to each other in notion and practical life that it is impossible to mistake one for the other.” After this grand opening, he adds “Yet we find that the mistake is universal, and we can never trace it to its source; for in our common life, we cannot do without this initial error.” 

Thus, whatever be the philosophical or metaphysical background of Sankhya or Vedanta, both the systems of philosophy agree that the mind has to be controlled, for the obvious reason that the mind is the externalized activity of consciousness, the empirical movement of the individual, the spatio-temporal involvement of individuality.

Restrain to Zero or Expand to Infinity

Now, how to withdraw the mind from the objects, or rather, how to educate the mind so that it may understand its true relationship with things outside? There is a famous verse in the Yoga-Vasishtha, which is an instruction, given by the great sage Vasishtha to his student Lord Rama. The sage says: द्वौ करूमू चित्नास्य योगं ज्ञानं राघव. "There are two ways of controlling the mind. Either sever its connection with all things, or establish a connection of it with everything".

These are the two ways by which one can control the mind. It is easy to understand something about the benefits that would follow from the withdrawal of the mind from all things –the Path of Yoga. But, it is not so easy to know the advantage of connecting the mind to everything – the Path of Knowledge. The result however is the same in either case. There is an anecdote about Sankaracharya, which is relevant here. It is said that the Acharya was in his Kutir (Hut), and the door was bolted from within. One of his disciples came and knocked. "Who is that?" asked the Acharya. "I" was the answer. "Oh I! Either reduce it to zero or expand it to infinity!" thundered the Achrya from within. This 'I' in every individual should either be reduced to zero or expanded to infinity. Either will do. In one method, the modifications of the mind are restrained by a negative withdrawal of its operations from everything that appears as external. The other method involves the philosophical visualization of the mind's basic identity with all things. The earlier method, namely, the restraint of the mind-stuff is the main instruction according to Patanjali. Guru Maharaj prefers the Patanjali method.

To quote Guru Maharaj, he says somewhat mystically “Darkness really has no existence of its own. You cannot find darkness in the glow of a searchlight. Remove the searchlight and darkness will creep in.”  Here, the darkness equates to the initial error of non-differentiation between the subject and object – the self and non-self even though being so radically opposed to each other. This darkness creeps in as somehow, in an incomprehensible manner, the subject and object – the self and non-self come together. There is a superimposition of matter and consciousness. This superimposition is the source of perception, and everything follows from it. And, this initial error, juxtaposition of matter and consciousness is the removal of the searchlight.  We can bring the searchlight back and remove the darkness through the practice of Yoga (Sadhana) aimed towards restraining the mind. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Samarth Guru Param Sant Dr. Chaturbhuj Sahay: Sage and Founder of Ramashram Satsang Mathura

Before we talk about Dr. Chaturbhuj Sahay Ji, the guru and founder of Ramashram Satsang Mathura (RSM), also known as Guru Maharaj, it’s important that we ask what is guru?

To begin answering this question, let’s start with a portion of a conversation between a sage and a scholar, which will give us some insight into this.

The Sage says, "What Brahman is cannot be described. All things in the world - the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras, the six systems of philosophy - have been defiled, like food that has been touched by the tongue, for they have been read or uttered by the tongue. Only one thing has not been defiled in this way, and that is Brahman. No one has ever been able to say what Brahman is.”

The Scholar replies “Today I have heard and learned something new.”

The Sage continues, “Men often think they have understood Brahman fully. Once an ant went to a hill of sugar, one grain filled its stomach. Taking another grain in its mouth it started homeward. On its way it thought, 'Next time I shall carry home the whole hill.' That is the way shallow minds think. They don't know that Brahman is beyond one's words and thought. However great a man may be, how much can he know of Brahman? Sukadeva and sages like him may have been big ants; but even they could carry at the utmost eight or ten grains of sugar!

As for what has been said in the Vedas and the Puranas, do you know what it is like? Suppose a man has seen the ocean, and somebody asks him, 'Well, what is the ocean like?' The first man opens his mouth as wide as he can and says: 'What a sight! What tremendous waves and sounds!' The description of Brahman in the sacred books is like that. It is said in the Vedas that Brahman is of the nature of bliss – It is Sat-chit-ananda.”

The above is a conversation between Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, a well-known sage from the 19th century and Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar, a philosopher, reformer and philanthropist of the time, who was well versed with the six Hindu systems of philosophy.

As Ramakrishna mentions above, Vedas talk about Brahman as Sat-chit-ananda, meaning Existence-Knowledge-Bliss absolute. In the book Guru Gita[1], lord Shiva calls on Sat-Chit-Ananda as Guru, by saying  “I bow to the Guru who is Sat-Chit-Ananda…” (बन्देह्म्सचिदानान्दमभेदातितमसदगुरुमनित्यम्सुध्यमनिराकारं निर्गुणं स्वाताम्संस्थितम ll). Brahman has therefore been called by two different names: Sat-chit-ananda and Guru. That is, the indescribable, infinite knowledge and existence, which cannot be interpreted by mind or speech.

With the above in mind here is an attempt to say a few words about Guru Maharaj, Samarth Guru Param Sant Dr. Chaturbhuj Sahay Ji, the sage, founder and guru of RSM.

On November 3, 1883 in Etah, a small town in Uttar Pradesh, a noble soul took the human form of Param Sant Dr. Chaturbhuj Sahay Ji, who would give the world a Sadhana (Spiritual practice) geared towards Self-realization. He went on to establish Ramashram Satsang Mathura to make that Sadhana available to all. As a student, he studied Urdu, Farsi, English, Hindi, and Sanskrit. He also studied homeopathic medicine, which he practiced primarily as a selfless social service. Most of his patients were poor, but he treated them with grace and gave them medicines without taking any fees. Even before his spiritual journey was revealed, Guru Maharaj was always there for whomever asked for his help.

Dr. Chaturbhuj Sahay Ji met the great sage Sri Lalaji Maharaj (Dada Guru), while helping patients during an epidemic outbreak. Inexplicably, one day Dada Guru had Dr. Chaturbhuj Sahay Ji do the Sadhana in his presence, and during that session, Dr. Chaturbhuj Sahay Ji covered the entire spiritual journey and reached the pinnacle; Dr. Chaturbhuj Sahay Ji was now a Self-realized Sage. There were no verbal lessons. No scriptures had been read. No hour-long scholarly discourses were given, knowledge simply gushed from master to disciple. The Guru-disciple tradition seemed reestablished in all its majesty and grandeur.

In 1919, Dada Guru instructed his disciple, Dr. Chaturbhuj Sahay Ji, to make this system of meditation, the Sadhana, available to all. Guru Maharaj followed his master’s instructions and, upholding the principles of the teacher-disciple tradition, brought the honored institution of his master’s message to the masses. This Sadhana, which was previously only known and understood by a few, was made available to thousands. The Satsang took root with Guru Maharaj imparting spiritual knowledge and teaching the Sadhana to anyone and everyone.

In 1930, Guru Maharaj established the Ramashram Satsang at Etah, his birthplace. Soon after founding the Satsang, he published the Hindi monthly journal Sadhan in August 1933, which at present has celebrated eighty plus years of uninterrupted publication. Ceaselessly toiling, Guru Maharaj traveled extensively throughout India writing several books, including a monumental seven-volume book based on his own spiritual experiences. His numerous books have helped countless spiritual aspirants and continue to be a great source of inspiration. While doing all this, he lived the life of a family man fully and unshakably, with a daily life marked by normalcy. He set an excellent example of how to combine spiritual idealism with family life. Serving his wife and children to the last, he mindfully attended to all familial duties. Param Sant Dr. Chaturbhuj Sahay Ji illustrates the life of one who lived in the divine consciousness and manifested that divine consciousness in life.

Guru Maharaj’s teachings were not opposed to any religion. Any organized religion has perhaps two-dimensional activity: horizontal and vertical. Horizontally, it harmonizes and gives directions to the life of the individual and society in conformity with its faith and morality - giving a chance and motivation for a good life leading to a good death. Vertically, it opens up spiritual paths for those who strive for a higher state or realize the ultimate truth during this life on Earth. Horizontally, religions are mutually exclusive, but not contradictory. Guru Maharaj was concerned rather with the vertical mode, the paths to realization; therefore his teaching clashed with no religion. He guided those who would follow him on the most direct and central path of Self-Realization and for this no conflict arose with any religion. He approved of every religion and when asked about the different religious practices, he would stress their deeper meaning and about their underlying unity.  

When in conversation with philosophers or theologians, if they wished to argue whether the human soul was permanently and essentially separate from the Divine Being or Both being the same, he would refuse to join issue. Instead, he would try to direct them to spiritual efforts, softly implying that when they attained Realization they would know --and theoretical knowledge[2] without Realization was of little help to them anyway. In his teachings, Guru Maharaj has harmonized all the four paths. Attainment of the Saguna Brahman through devotion by Bhakti Yoga; reaching the Immutable and Immortal Brahman, or the Nirguna Brahman, by Gyan Yoga; serving the Lord and His Creation with non-attachment by Karma Yoga; leading to the Absolute Bliss, which is another name for Brahman by Raja Yoga. Guru Maharaj’s teaching uniquely combines all the four paths adapting all the four yogas simultaneously.

It is said that the mission of a born Sage or Messenger of God is twofold. He renews and confirms the essentials of the Scriptures, or the revelation of the Sages. He also serves as a center of divine grace to his disciples --especially to those who, intuitively or mystically, recognize him as an embodiment of God, and therefore bear unto him the same devotion that they formerly bore to God, seeing no distinction between the two. This is in accordance with the spirit of the ancient sacred Scriptures, which is expressed in the following verse:

ईश्वरो गुरुरात्मेति मुर्तिभेद्बिभागिने
व्योम्बद्व्याप्त्देहाय दक्षिणामुर्त्ये नमः

“Salutations to the Lord of Divine Wisdom, infinite like the sky, who is three in one, as God, the Guru, and the Real Self.”[3]  It seems that for one who understands this truth and becomes a disciple and devotee of the Sage, it may not be necessary to be physically near him. The Sage transcends time and space and is therefore everywhere.

The Scriptures have received a noteworthy confirmation from the experiences (revelations) of the Sage and Founder of Ramashram Satsang Mathura, Samarth Guru Param Sant Dr. Chaturbhuj Sahay Ji, which form the foundations of his teachings. To his followers, his written and oral teachings are the basic revelations, and as it happens, the Scriptures are in full accord with those teachings. In this context, it might be of interest to note that when Dada Guru‘s Guru – Huzur Sahib, when imparting the Knowledge of Truth to Dada Guru, said, “Now I will instruct the Knowledge of Truth to you. These revelations are in the Old Lore – the Scriptures – but now people have become unaware of those. First, acquire the Supreme Knowledge, The Knowledge of Truth, confirm the essentials of Scriptures, and then spread it.” 

[1] 112th verse

[2] Preoccupation with theory, doctrine, and philosophy can actually be harmful, insofar as it distracts a man from the important work of spiritual effort by offering an easier alternative, which is merely mental, and which therefore cannot change his nature. The intricate maze of philosophy of the various schools is said to clarify matters and to reveal the Truth, but in fact it creates confusion where none need exist. “Into a blinding darkness they enter who follow after the Ignorance; they enter into a greater darkness who devote themselves to the Knowledge alone.” Isha Upanishad Verse 9 

[3] Sri Sureshvaracharya in his Vartika on Sri Sankaracharya’s  Dakshinamurti Stotra Ch. 1 Ver.30

The Four Paths of Yoga

Each of the six systems of Indian philosophy (Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Viasheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta) highlight that the root cause of all our sorrows and sufferings is our loss of contact with our true Self, caused by ignorance of its sole reality. Ignorance creates a false “I” or ego which blinds us and subjects us to a world of delusion and desire. An unending round of birth and death, pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow seem to govern this world. Since the source of this ignorance was caused by the loss of our contact with our true Self, it cannot be dispelled by any material or psychological solution. Hence, the only possible solution to dispel this ignorance is to remove the false “I” by the attainment of knowledge and union with our real Self. This union with Self is also known as Yoga.

Seers, sages and saints over the ages have categorized four ways of Yoga, primarily based on the means or methods used to dissolve the ego. These paths are: Karma-yoga, the path of selfless action; Bhakti-yoga, the path of devotion; Raja-yoga, the path of concentration and meditation and Jnana-yoga, the path of knowledge and discrimination.

Below is a brief introduction to the four paths of Yoga, where Yoga means “Union with Self.”

Karma-yoga (“Karma” -action)

The message of this path is “we only have the right to action, not to the results of action.”

We live in a world of constant action, where both participation and non-participation is an act. Yoga by selfless-action seeks to eradicate the ego by means of acting or doing with no attachment to “I”. Actions performed with an attachment or sense of “I” create walls of “Me or Mine” around us, which disclaim the rights of others. These walls not only divide us from others, but also separate us from our true Self within. By practicing our actions in this world in a selfless manner, we can diminish this ego and slowly bring down these towering walls. By this the follower of karma-yoga slowly expands the “I” and realizes the true Self.

The key message of karma-yoga is: Kill the unconquerable laws of karma by karma-yoga. Release yourself from the chains of attachment by practicing nonattachment to the results of action.

Bhakti-yoga (“Bhakti” -devotion)

The root meaning of the word “bhakti” is “to be part of”. The path of bhakti-yoga seeks completeness by being in union with the universal Self by means of Love. Love, is the most basic human emotion and in its purest form it is altruistic and divinely inspired. Pure or selfless love is liberating from any bondage or attachment.

This path starts with devotion and love towards a choice of form or the formless nature of the divine. However, true devotion and pure love only comes when bhakti-yoga is fully realized. Our love becomes selfish due to ego arising from ignorance and is further fueled by lust, anger, jealousy, pride and greed. This causes an obstruction of the free flow of love toward others and the Divine. When pure or selfless thoughts of devotion and service are poured into the mind all negative thoughts are naturally washed out over time. The practice of devotion or surrender to the Divine (true Self) brings out our natural pure love and, eventually, an “intense love” towards the divine leads to union with the true Self. This love encompasses from One to All.

Raja-yoga (“Raja” –royal)

By name it means the “king of yogas”, which seeks union with the Self by means of concentration of mind. Its modern name is also yoga school of philosophy as introduced by Swami Vivekananda. Originally, laid out in the “The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali” it consists of eight limbs (Ashtang yoga), practicing of which is required for restraining or controlling the mind. These limbs are namely “yama” (non-harming, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy, non-greed), “niyama” (internal and external purity, contentment, austerity, self-study, and contemplation of true Self), “asana” (postures), “pranayama” (control of vital forces), “pratyahara”  (withdrawal of the senses), “dharana”  (concentration), “dhyana”  (meditation) and “samadhi” (union with the divine/Self).

Here, to control the mind, one first learns to control one's actions (ethical dos and don’ts), body, breath, senses and finally, the mind. In this order, one begins with the gross and works towards the subtle. Raja-yoga asks the seeker to develop strong will power of mind by the relentless practice of concentration and meditation, eventually leading to a state of union with true Self (Samadhi).

Jnana-yoga (“Jnana” -knowledge)

Jnana-yoga is the path of knowledge: realizing Self by discriminative analysis. The premise here being that only the light of knowledge can dispel the darkness of ignorance.
The doctrine of jnana-yoga is "neti, neti" ("not this, not this"), a discriminative analysis by negation of Self from non-Self. It aims at the discrimination of the eternal/imperishable from transitory existence. With this, one realizes one is not their body, mind, or senses, but is something greater: the pure, undivided consciousness that pervades everything, Brahman.

The psychology of jnana-yoga tells us that we cannot generate spirituality by artificial means. The mind does not give up its attachment to worldly pleasures unless it has tasted something greater and higher. The Self is revealed in the mirror of the mind that has become purified through self-control and austerity. The method of jnana-yoga is to persuade the seeker that his or her sole identity is the Self. By hearing about the Self, reading about the Self, thinking about the Self, and meditating on the Self, the mind gradually realizes that the Self is the only reality in this universe and that all else is unreal. This calls for the practice of discrimination between the real and the unreal, renunciation of all desires—both earthly and heavenly—mastery over the mind and senses and an intense longing for Self-knowledge.

Traditionally, Karma-yoga has been advised for the active, bhakti-yoga for the devotional, raja-yoga for the strong-willed, and jnana-yoga for the rational. Eradication of the ego through karma-yoga is a long process requiring a strong will and most seekers do not have the patience to endure its sacrifices. Bhakti-yoga requires abiding faith and selfless love for God, which is not always possible for an average seeker. Raja-yoga requires persistent practice for control of actions, body, senses and mind, not easily achieved by all. For practicing Jnana yoga, the aspirant needs to have integrated the lessons of the other yogic paths, for without selflessness and love of God, strength of body and mind, the search for self-realization usually becomes mental gymnastics.

The four paths of yoga are not mutually exclusive. When the means of either path (selfless action, love, controlled mind and knowledge) is in union with Self, the other three paths inevitably follow up as result of the other. The goal of all four is freedom from the assumed bondage of the mind and realization of our true identity—the ever pure, immortal/universal Self, or the Ultimate Reality. In the system of Ramashram Satsang Mathura (RSM), all the four paths/yogas are integrated and harmonized such that the seekers of different tendencies/backgrounds can together move towards the goal of understanding the Self.