Each basic form of yoga serves as the way to attain enlightenment. These are the five basic yogas:
Bhakti Yoga – stresses love and devotion
Karma Yoga – selfless work
Jnana Yoga – knowledge and discernment
Raja Yoga – eight-limbed system of disciplines emphasizing meditation.
Hatha Yoga – purification of the physical to attain purification of the mind.
Karma is defined as “to do”. Karma pertains to the principle of cause and effect which influences all of us. Karma is the effect of our previous thoughts and deeds. The devotee of Karma yoga must first realize the indisputable fact that his/her thoughts and feelings results in the future. In order to lead a more fulfilling and blissful life, he has to change his old thoughts and feelings to affect a pattern of new causes.
By replacing old habits with new causes, he can be assured that positive and successful karma awaits him and his beloved.
Karma yoga meditation requires the following:
1. Knowingly surrendering our selfish interests to the Lord. One no longer works, speaks, acts or meditate in such a way that is self-serving. A karma yogi ceases to live for oneself but to serve the greater purpose of God, or the higher self which is exemplified by the person’s soul, no longer for the ego.
2. One must offer oneself – one’s actions, thoughts, words, and feelings – to God. The karma yogi believes that God is the doer. The lower self consisting of the mind, the heart, the hands exist solely to serve God’s purposes. The devotee aims for nothing else but to be the means of expressing the Lord’s love, light, and will.