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A Series of Lessons In Gnani Yoga: The Yoga of Wisdom
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The Yogi Philosophy may be divided into several great branches, or fields. What is known as "Hatha Yoga" deals with the physical body and its control; its welfare; its health; its preservation; its laws, etc. What is known as "Raja Yoga" deals with the Mind; its control; its development; its unfoldment, etc. What is known as "Bhakti Yoga" deals with the Love of the Absolute—God. What is known as "Gnani Yoga" deals with the scientific and intellectual knowing of the great questions regarding Life and what lies back of Life—the Riddle of the Universe.
Each branch of Yoga is but a path leading toward the one end—unfoldment, development, and growth. He who wishes first to develop, control and strengthen his physical body so as to render it a fit instrument of the Higher Self, follows the path of "Hatha Yoga." He who would develop his will-power and mental faculties, unfolding the inner senses, and latent powers, follows the path of "Raja Yoga."
Yogi Ramacharaka was the pseudonym of William Walker Atkinson, an American writer who was influential in turn-of-the-century (1890s-1900s) spiritual and philosophical movements such as 'New Thought' (a precursor to today's New Age movement) and Theosophy. Atkinson, writing as Ramacharaka, helped to popularize Eastern concepts in America, with Yoga and a broadly-interpreted Hinduism being particular areas of focus. Ramacharaka's Advanced Course in Yoga Philosophy and Oriental Occultism remains widely respected as an excellent primer for the Western layman, despite the fact that it reached 100 years old in 2004 and is understandably dated in some respects. There are a number of other Ramacharaka works, in addition to several popular books written by Atkinson under his own name. Many of Atkinson's works sold well at the time of their publication, although he has not been favored with significant historical recognition.
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