etavan eva yogena
yujyate ’bhimato hy artho
yad asangas tu krtsnasah
etavan—of such a measure; eva—just; yogena—by yoga practice; samagrena—all; iha—in this world; yoginah—of the yogi; yujyate—is achieved; abhimatah—desired; hi—certainly; arthah—purpose; yat—which; asangah—detachment; tu—indeed; krtsnasah—completely.
The greatest common understanding for all yogis is complete detachment from matter, which can be achieved by different kinds of yoga.
There are three kinds of yoga, namely bhakti-yoga, jnana-yoga and astanga-yoga. Devotees, jnanis and yogis all try to get out of the material entanglement. The jnanis try to detach their sensual activities from material engagement. The jnana-yogi thinks that matter is false and that Brahman is truth; he tries, therefore, by cultivation of knowledge, to detach the senses from material enjoyment. The astanga-yogis also try to control the senses. The devotees, however, try to engage the senses in the service of the Lord. Therefore it appears that the activities of the bhaktas, devotees, are better than those of the jnanis and yogis. The mystic yogis simply try to control the senses by practicing the eight divisions of yoga—yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, etc.—and the jnanis try by mental reasoning to understand that sense enjoyment is false. But the easiest and most direct process is to engage the senses in the service of the Lord.
The purpose of all yoga is to detach one’s sense activities from this material world. The final aims, however, are different. Jnanis want to become one with the Brahman effulgence, yogis want to realize Paramatma, and devotees want to develop Krsna consciousness and transcendental loving service to the Lord. That loving service is the perfect stage of sense control. The senses are actually active symptoms of life, and they cannot be stopped. They can be detached only if there is superior engagement. As it is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita, param drstva nivartate: the activities of the senses can be stopped if they are given superior engagements. The supreme engagement is engagement of the senses in the service of the Lord. That is the purpose of all yoga.
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