How many are the paths of yoga? 4 or 6?


I was just reading some articles and saw the in some of them mention that there are 4 [B]PATHS[/B] of yoga : Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga
However in some other they mention[B] BRANCHES[/B] of yoga: Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Hatha yoga and Tantra yoga.

Why is this? What would be the difference between saying path or branch?


Blessings Kindle,

This is how I look at it.
A Branch is part of a Tree (Particular System):
bearing fruits
offering shade
a place to play,
to swing
to hide,
to yoke within the moment.

are Enlightening Branches.

A Path on the other hand has many Trees.

My particular disposition in Yoga veers towards Jnana,
and some Branches I like to hang on are Raja,
and Mantra.

To be honest though,
I believe these are arbitrary divisions.

Be Blessed,

Thanks for your reply. I like the way you explained it .

There are traditionally considered to be six paths of yoga in Hindu philosophy. These paths are different approaches or disciplines that lead to spiritual realization and self-discovery. The six paths of yoga are:

  1. Hatha Yoga: Focuses on physical postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama) to prepare the body for meditation.

  2. Raja Yoga: Also known as the "royal path," it involves the practice of meditation and control of the mind and senses.

  3. Karma Yoga: Emphasizes selfless action and performing one's duties without attachment to the results, aiming for spiritual growth.

  4. Bhakti Yoga: Centers around devotion and love for a higher power or divine being, expressing spirituality through worship, prayer, and surrender.

  5. Jnana Yoga: Involves the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, focusing on self-inquiry and the study of scriptures to understand the true nature of reality.

  6. Tantra Yoga: Encompasses various practices, including rituals, mantras, and meditation, to awaken and channel the divine energy within the practitioner.

While these six paths are well-known, sometimes the four paths of yoga are also referenced, which are essentially combinations or subsets of the six paths. The four paths are:

  1. Karma Yoga

  2. Bhakti Yoga

  3. Jnana Yoga

  4. Raja Yoga

Hatha Yoga and Tantra Yoga are often considered as additional paths that complement the main four. So, depending on the context and tradition, you may encounter references to either four or six paths of yoga.