The Importance Of The Four Paths To Hinduism

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Why is the concept of Karma and Dharma, important to Hinduism in terms of the caste system? Karma is an ideal that drives the caste system because, “It decides the quality of a Hindu’s further life,” (Wangu 42) through the, “...moral law of cause and effect.” (Smith 96). Because of this, people are motivated to do well in their current life in the hopes of securing or maintaining a higher level in their respective hierarchy. Dharma played its own role in this system because it is the, “...observance of necessary acts that keep the world intact.” (Buitenen 35). People justified the corrupt caste system stating that it was the way of the universe and that people should not change it in order to maintain balance. When karma and dharma are used …show more content…
The Four Paths to God are: Jnana yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga and Raja Yoga. These yogas are used as means to actualize human potential through, “..complete control over the body’s every function.” (Smith 47). Please briefly explain each path and its aim. Jnana yoga in summation is a, “...path to oneness with the Godhead through knowledge.” (Smith 49) by means of learning and studying holy scripture. After frequent practice, the aim of Jnana yoga is for the, “...self [to] shift to a deeper level.” (Smith 50). Bhakti yogas focus was to, “...direct toward God the love that lies at the base of every heart.” (Smith 54) through devotional service in song and dance. It was taught that this specific path would bring a direct and personal relationship with God because of its heavy spiritual nature. Karma yoga put simply is, “...the path to God through work.” (Smith 60) and it can be done through either jnana and bhakti. Work should be done with God in mind to, “...lighten the ego instead of encumbering it.” ( Smith 62) and ultimately be rid of selfishness that hinders the soul from being free. Raja yoga is the physical component in the Four Paths and involves, “..the way to God through psychophysical experiments.” (Smith 66) that includes the constant repetition of yogic postures in order to heighten, “...self-knowledge and greater self-control.” (Smith 70). Why are there Four Paths? Everyone has different circumstances and needs, therefore, in order to accommodate each distinct person, there are several paths to reach one common goal. The overall idea is to, “...[identify] basic spiritual personality types and disciplines that are most likely to work for each,” (Smith 48) and according to Hinduism, there are a total of four spiritual personality types so there are Four Paths to ensure each one is taken care of. The four yogas are created to entertain people that are, “...primarily reflective...basically

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