Introduction: The Spiritual Discipline Given in the Vedas.
Philosophical teachings of Hinduism, like any scientific theory,
are of no use to the common man unless it is applied for their daily
practice. It has survived the test of time for many thousand years
and still remains popular due to the sound principles on which its
practice is based. It gives different rules of ethics and conducts
for various categories of people. The Dharma Sasthras and Smrithis
teach us of normal conduct in performing our work. Dharma, Artha,
Kama and Moksha are the four Purusharthas that govern out activity.
The Teachings of the Vedas Applied for the Practice
is the proper rules of one's duty, which literally means "that
which holds" the universe and its beings. They are classified
as Samanya Dharma or the general and universal rules and Visesha
Dharma or specific personal rules for each individual. They give
peace, joy, strength and tranquillity.
and Kama are the materialistic desire and passion that also govern
our actions. Unless one seeks the material benefits and pleasures
within the scope of Dharma, it will cause grief with greed and lust.
Moksha is the relief from pain and suffering and ultimate liberation
that is the main reason for all our actions. Performance of one's
duty without devotion to God is dry and empty. Performance of such
duty should be without any attachment to its fruit but as a devotion
to God. Hindu Dharma has given us the four Vedas, the three Agamas,
the six Dharsanas and the four Yogas.
The Four Yogas as a Discipline to follow the Dharma
rituals became popular and were being considered as the sole path
for the eternal bliss, the soundness of its philosophy and ethics
of practice were reestablished by the sages. The four Yogas give
us the spiritual discipline of our conduct. Karma Yoga is
the correct path of performing work without greed or desire and
the action performed without looking for the fruits of benefit or
loss. Raja Yoga is the discipline of control of our body
and mind. It teaches concentration, meditation, breathing and physical
exercise and a state of equanimity of the mind as a natural reaction
to all activities. Bhakthi Yoga is the spiritual discipline
of absolute devotion and love of God. It teaches prayers and surrender
to God at all times. It teaches to see and feel God in all people
and all actions. Jnana Yoga is the path of obtaining Spiritual
knowledge through action, study, meditation and devotion.
Development of the Gunas in Culture and Tradition
describe three personality traits, Sathvika, Rajasika and Tamasika.
Sathvika Gunas are present in the pious person who follows
all teachings of the faith and Dharma. Compassion to all animals,
Ahimsa and vegetarianism are advocated as Sathvika Guna. The Rajasika
Gunas are present in people who enjoyed some amount of worldly
pleasures directed by desire and ego, which are Artha and Kama.
Tamasika persons have no knowledge of the proper Dharma or
they do not care for them. They are driven solely by Artha and Kama
which are passion, greed and lust.
Gunas are present in all but one is dominant. The Yogas advocate
the ways to follow the superior Sathva Guna and the ways to suppress
the undesirable Artha and Kama without the proper Dharma. Performance
of proper Dharma and all the Karma leads to a sense of peace and
equanimity of mind and eternal bliss. The individual makeup of a
person, his Guna and effects of his Karma determines the rebirth
and ultimate liberation.