On the Four Yogas:
A poem by Abir Muhuri

(Based upon the book The Teach­ings of Swa­mi Vivek­a­nanda)

To nur­ture and blos­som the divine with­in
That is the sole goal of one’s reli­gion
To unite with God and join in his grace
Is up to our own exper­i­men­ta­tion

The ways to divin­i­ty stretch to infin­i­ty
As each per­son is a wave among the oceans
The mind­sets and roles, the moods and souls
Are so col­or­ful in this vast cre­ation

As many as the ways are, there are a few to be named
That may appeal to a rain­bow of souls
Kar­ma, Bhak­ti, Jnana, and Raja
Four yogas that one can unfold

Kar­ma Yoga is the path of duty and ser­vice
That is washed from bondage and slav­ery
But it’s not dry like sand, so harsh and coarse
For one serves for the supreme divin­i­ty

Work with­out expect­ing a grand pot of gold
Just work with utmost focus and love
Whether you teach or play, cook or pray
Do it for the lord with­in and above

Bhak­ti Yoga is the path of over­flow­ing love
Cry­ing out to the lord, enveloped in his name
Love any deity that you feel is nat­ur­al
For all are one and the same

Bhak­ti makes us hap­py, no mat­ter what life throws
For one will love god in an infi­nite flow
This love will shine and res­onate around
And when pain hits, the cure we will know

Jnana Yoga is seek­ing with rea­son and knowl­edge
Know­ing that noth­ing is sep­a­rate but one
Diver­si­ty is uni­ty, Dif­fer­ences are the same
Search for union, more com­plete than the sun

Raja Yoga is con­trol­ling and tam­ing the mind
Whether through med­i­ta­tion or japa, or some­thing of that kind
Con­trol your mind, con­trol your des­tiny
Your poten­tial for excel­lence flies to eter­ni­ty

These four paths have been laid in an open light
To plan and cus­tomize is the seeker’s own right
There may be cuts and bruis­es on the way
But rejoice in each moment of every divine day

—Abir Muhuri