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THE EIGHTFOLD PATH of RAJA YOGA
(from The Patanjali Yoga Sutras)

Raja Yoga is also called the "Royal" Yoga, and includes the three paths of Karma Yoga (union with God through physical work and activity for the good of others), Bhakti Yoga (union with God through devotion) and Jnana Yoga (union with God through wisdom and mental activity and discrimination).  At one time it was said that a devotee would spend a lifetime pursuing Karma Yoga.  The following lifetime they would follow Bhakti Yoga, then a further lifetime practicing Jnana Yoga.   Later, as human beings evolved in consciousness, through the practice of Raja Yoga a student could practice all three paths in one lifetime. This accords with Gurdjieff's teaching that a person should work on all three centers simultaneously in a balanced way.

Following the Noble Eightfold Path of Raja Yoga leads to the extinction of suffering and union with His Endlessness. Irrespective of the particular path of Yoga that one follows, elements of all the yogic practices are required as part of ones daily round of Sadhana or Work. All of the practices in the Gurdjieff Work can be found in one of the following branches of Yoga:

1. Yama - social restraints (not manifesting negative behavior)

2. Niyama - self-restraint, self-discipline

3. Asana - physical postures or movements

4. Pranayama - breathing exercises

5. Pratyahara - sensory withdrawal

6. Dharana - concentration

7. Dhyana - meditation

8. Samadhi - pure consciousness (Real I)

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