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In this episode, we explore the work of Swami Vivekananda, who came to the US in the early 1900s and gave us the Four Paths of Yoga – Jnana, Karma, Raja and Bhakti. We discuss:

  • Vivekananda’s influence on Western culture
  • The Four Yogas – Jnana, Karma, Raja and Bhakti
  • How to find the spiritual path that leads you to enlightenment

Resource for this episode:
Complete Book of Yoga by Swami Vivekananda

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Debra Maldonado  00:28 

Hello, everyone. Welcome back to Soul Sessions. I am Debra Maldonado, here with Dr. Rob with CreativeMinds. We’re bringing you this series on the great minds of philosophy. Today we’re going to talk about our favorite philosopher, Swami Vivekananda, and the four spiritual paths. But before we begin, I wanted to remind you to subscribe. If you’re listening to us on Spotify, iTunes, or other wonderful podcast hosting services, and you’re thinking, “This is interesting, I think I want to hear more”, click Subscribe to our podcast so you can get the next episode as we continue our series.

Robert Maldonado  01:11

Thank you for that great introduction. Vivekananda, one of our favorites. It’s hard to condense his personality and his work because he’s really an important philosopher, for us especially and for those interested in non-dualistic philosophy. He’s one of the greatest, his work has been really influential. He inspired Tesla, not the carmaker but the original, Nikola Tesla, the great experimenter, discoverer, and mentor. He also was a big influence on Gandhi, on Tagore, great essayist, writer, poet, philosopher of India, as well as Sri Aurobindo. Aurobindo, if you don’t know his work, look him up. He’s an incredible psychologist, philosopher, Hindu teacher and guru, just amazing work on yoga.

Debra Maldonado  02:21

Wasn’t he actually the first person that brought the Eastern thought and Hindu philosophy to the West? He came over here first, before Yogananda, because Yogananda came over here and started centers, but Vivekananda was actually here first and didn’t stay. He was very young when he passed, but he made a big impact on the world. When I read Vivekananda, it sounded to me like I’ve heard it before. I grew up listening to those New Thought authors, like Wallace Wattles, these ideas of your thoughts creating your life. When I read jnana yoga by Vivekananda, I said, “This is what they talked about, it’s based on Hindu philosophy.” I’m sure those authors were also influenced by Vivekananda. I like it because he puts it in a very practical application, even though for a new person it may take a little while to get what he’s saying but in more common modern language, than 800 BCE, when a lot of the other philosophers lived, the original texts. You’re getting this knowledge in a more modern way.

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