The Methods

 Religion should be and is a matter of spiritual experience. Your religion must become a heartfelt realization that your true nature is spiritual, that you are one with the universal spirit. Vedanta stresses the idea of self-effort. It encourages everyone to realize the God within by certain methods, called yogas, which channel the tendencies we already possess. The ideal is to practice a harmonious balance of the four yogas:

is for the person with an emotional nature, the lover. It teaches a devotional relationship with God, since God is love itself.

is the approach to spiritual enlightenment through discrimination and reason. This makes strong use of the powers of the mind. It is the path of the philosopher who wants to go beyond the visible universe.

is for the worker. It teaches us how to work in a spirit that will bring peace of mind, and yet harness the natural desire to be productive.

is sometimes called the yoga of meditation. It is the soul of all the yogas. The emphasis here is on controlling the mind through concentration and meditation. Raja yoga is also called the psychological way to union with God.

None of the yogas asks you to give up your reason and put it in the hands of a religious leader.