Four types of yoga
Questioner: Can a person make progress through different yoga practices (yogsadhana)?
Dadashri: First, you have to decide what you want to attain through yoga. What is the goal of your yoga practice? Is it to attain money or education?
Questioner: Is it for all kinds of physical progress?
Dadashri: The practices (sadhanas) one does are for the mind or for the body, are they not?
Questioner: Is that also the case if one practices yoga under the guidance of a yoga master (acharya)?
Dadashri: There are two kinds of guiding paths: a relative and a real. There are many guides out there for the relative path. Therefore, you have to decide which one you want. If you want freedom from all sufferings, then you have to attain this real path. You will be able to attain money and material wealth through your hard work, will you not? However, here we do yogsadhana of the Soul, and hence your work will be accomplished from all aspects.
Questioner: What is the difference between dhyan i.e. meditation and yoga?
Dadashri: There are four kinds of yogas. Deha-yoga (union-yoga of the body) is one of them. Within the body, in the back, there are chakras (points of physical and spiritual energy). Concentrating on these chakras in the body is called deha-yoga. What is the value of this yoga? It is the remedy of concentrated and focused attention (ekagrata) for the disease of mental agitation and confusion (vyagrata). Therefore, it is meant for those who have problems with being unsettled and entangled in the mind. One needs an appropriate remedy for whatever disease one has. However, these remedies are simply temporary adjustments, which give only temporary relief. Now if you make temporary relief your ultimate goal, then when will you ever find the permanent relief? If these practices of focused concentration bring an end to anger, pride, deceit and greed then it is worth it. What is the point of yoga practices of twenty-five years when your anger, pride, deceit and greed have not gone? The true remedy is the one that helps you get rid of your anger, pride, deceit and greed.
What are you trying to connect with your yoga sadhana and practice? Are you trying to join with or reach out to the known or the unknown? The Soul (Self) is unknown. How are you going to connect with the Self? You only know the body and you are doing sadhana for only the body, so what have you done for the soul? How will you ever attain liberation?
The second type of yoga is yoga of the speech (japa-yoga). Here you must recite mantras or do japa (chant or recite names of the Lord) throughout the entire day. The pleading and arguing lawyers do in courts can be considered yoga of speech.
The third one is yoga of the mind (mano-yoga). Any focused mental activity is mano-yoga. But it has no benefit if it is done without a goal in mind. When you go to a train station do you not have to give the ticket master your destination for your ticket? Do you not have to give him the name of the station you want to go? People keep telling one, "Do dhyan(meditation). Do meditation." But at least tell us what we should meditate on!
Otherwise, all these are useless talks without real facts. Meditation without a goal is futile. In such meditation one can even see a bull with a long tail in the sky, but what good is that meditation? These meditations are like a train that runs arbitrarily and no one knows which station it will stop at. Only the Gnani Purush has a goal and only from the Gnani Purush can the real goal be attained. Otherwise, you will achieve nothing, even if you keep reciting, 'I am a pure Soul. I am a Pure Soul.' A goal can only be decided when the Gnani Purush destroys your demerit karmas (paap) and gives you Gnan. The goal can be decided after attaining the Self. Without the Gnani's grace, anything you do is like saying, 'I am the President', in your sleep. Are you likely to achieve anything by doing this? All forms of yoga, including yoga of the mind (mano-yoga) are merely 'relief roads'. Nothing can be achieved without attaining the union with the Soul (Atma-yoga - union with the Self). People are dissolved in the worldly puzzle because they do not have a union with the Self.
To remain as the Self is atma-yoga. Realization of the Self is atma-yoga; it is your own abode. The rest are union with the body (deha-yoga) the non-self. Fasting, penance, renunciation etc., are all deha-yoga. The union with the mind, body, speech is physical. People believe this physical union as the ultimate thing. All these forms of yogas are meant to attain mastery on the physical plane, and they are beneficial in this respect. It is better for one to practice them over gambling and drinking alcohol. What are the benefits of yoga? It helps prevent external garbage from setting in and will make the mind stronger, however, without atma-yoga there is no liberation.
Book Name: Aptavani 2 (Page #321 to Page #323)