Normal People Are On The Path, Too (part of the 4 Yogas of Hinduism series!)

The general teaching in Hinduism is that everyone is on the spiritual path. (4 Yogas main)  This is understood as a long-term evolution of the soul that proceeds through many lifetimes.  Reincarnation teaches that after death we will be reborn as humans (or possibly as animals) and that we have been through many lives leading up to this one.

People who have not progressed far are on the path of desire.

The Path of Desire

  • A person seeks pleasure.

Seeking pleasure is fine, as far as it goes.  But you find over time that it doesn’t really lead to happiness.  It doesn’t even lead to joy, or when it does it’s not usually for reasons that have to do with pleasure.  So eventually the person gives up on pleasure for its own sake and starts looking for something deeper.

  • The person seeks success. The three forms of success are:

money
power
fame

Those are all fine, too. After a while that gets old, so the person starts to look for something more. Now they find…

The Path of Renunciation

Unlike the person who is seeking fame, money or power, the person who does their duty renounces their personal reward.  They are doing their duty to the community for the sake of the community and because it is their duty.

Doing one’s duty to the gods is not a thing like it is in other religions. Doing one’s duty to the community is very good. It leads to an increasingly expansive sense of “community” until…

  • The person seeks enlightenment. Enlightenment confers the of

being
knowledge, and
joy

It is said that the rest of us slobs who are not enlightened somehow already have these, but are not awake to the fact that we have it. As someone who is not enlightened, I confess I am deeply suspicious of the idea that I “somehow have” everything an enlightened person, like the Buddha or Christ, has.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Introducing the 4 Yogas of Hinduism Series « TiltedCandle
  2. writinggomer
    Jul 07, 2012 @ 12:36:34

    Hebrews 9:27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,

    Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

    Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

    Reply

  3. Conrad Cook
    Jul 07, 2012 @ 12:52:15

    I don’t go for the real dogmatic stuff, personally.

    Reply

  4. Davidya
    Jul 07, 2012 @ 13:39:09

    Thanks for the link, Conrad.
    The first commenter may be interested in reading the Gospel of Thomas. Also some Bible translations that are more true to the original texts. Dogma founded on distortion, especially for a profound teacher like Jesus, is a very sad thing.

    The Paths are often referred to as the Yogas or means of union.
    I quoted a description of Yoga here:
    http://in2deep.wordpress.com/2009/07/17/what-is-yoga/

    and, similarly to your series, talked about the Yogas as paths here:
    http://in2deep.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/the-yogas-or-paths/

    It’s worth noting that while an individual may lean more towards the intellect or the heart, etc, all yogas are aspects of all paths in all journeys.

    As to your closing remarks, what enlightenment is is revealing who you already are, beneath the erroneous conceptions of a small self. While you may not like the idea, its true. Happily, it doesn’t really matter if you believe it or not. At some point, it will be your experience, slob or not 😉

    Reply

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