Consciousness expansion is not some fancy concept created by some unproductive ancient freaks sitting in isolation in a cave; it is the way to realize your highest human potential.

Going by definition ‘spirituality is a set of activities aimed at cultivating the intuitive capacity’ or ultra-cognitive abilities, which effectively boost our level of ‘consciousness’ and improve our ability to see the ‘Truth’. Once we develop this capacity we are left with a state of higher frequency, popularly known as ‘Love’, I prefer to call it ‘Love State’ (expansive mode of living). It’s in this state that we are aligned with the ‘Supreme Consciousness’ aka ‘God’. In this state our exclusive existence (dominated by ego-centricity, me-other, duality) is replaced by holistic existence (marked by heart-centric behavior, Non-duality). Different spiritual modalities, via their varied and outwardly different looking rituals, supposedly try to help us get in this elevated ‘state of being’ only. How effective they are in this objective, is matter of context appropriateness of the ritual and deservedness of the seeker.

In every age human society misses the point in a very unique manner. This situation is so typical, that in every age it deserves a very specific solution. Any past solution even though they are popular in a society, might not be an effective one, for all practical purposes. It is interesting to note that most of the mentors, gurus come with this specific solution to the contemporary problems. Whether they’re welcomed by their cultures or resisted and branded heretics by the traditionalists, depends on the situation. But experience shows that those who pay heed to their advice invariably benefit from it, and live more harmonized, meaningful and peaceful lives. Standing next to these early adopters are the people who are followers or conformists. They try to copy the early adopters in-toto. Now here lies a catch, the exemplars provide you tips to come out of suffering in a certain context. The tip is effective in that context only. It may not be as beneficial in different context, time, geography, culture, and situation. This means the rituals prescribed for X situation will not be as effective as they were in Y situation, no matter how piously observed.

There are many ways of cultivating this Higher Consciousness capacity. The most comprehensive description of these paths, to achieve ‘Yog’ (oneness, no-duality) appears in Bhagwad Gita which   prescribes 4 major paths to attain and re-establish our connection to the One-ness and Universal totality of all life, which is also the essence of our innermost being.


“By whatever path men love Me,” says Krishna to Arjuna, “by that path they come to Me. Many are the paths of men, but they all in the end come to Me.”

These 4 paths are:

  1. Karma Yog– the yog of action and selfless service

This path resonates most with those who have service attitude and outgoing nature. Karma yog purifies the heart and burns away selfish tendencies (Mala) by encouraging a detachment from the fruits of actions. In this way, there is no expectation of personal gain or recognition from the service that we do. All service is carried out with a focus on Oneness of all beings, therefore establishing a connection with the Atman or True Self. All philanthropes people dedicated to service of others are following this path of self-realization.

  1. Bhakti Yog– the yog of devotion

Found more relatable by the individuals of an emotional nature. According to this path, a lack of faith in the Divine or Sacred Essence has caused us to lose connection with our Divine Self. The solution, therefore is love, surrender, and devotion to the Divine qualities in everything. The popular Guru-disciple relationship is an example of Bhakti Yog. This path entails chanting, worship, and other devotional rituals.


  1. Rāja Yog– the yog of meditation

According to this path; most suited for those with a nature that resonates with method-based practice, rests on the premise that the restlessness of the mind (Vikshepa) causes our attention to become carried away in created stories and eventually disconnects us from our True Essence. The solution, then, is to calm the mind agitation through meditation and energy balancing in order to reveal the Oneness (Advait) that we are in our truest essence. Popular yoga classes in today’s society are steeped in the Raja Yoga path. This path is also often termed Kriya Yog.


  1. Gyāna Yog– the yog of will and intellect

This path stresses that our ego-based ignorance (Avavana) keeps us from knowing our true nature. Using the techniques of logic and reason, the Gyan yogi uses the mind to inquire into its own nature. This deep enquiry removes the veils of ignorance and forgetfulness through knowledge, and reveals the Truth to the seeker. This path is favoured more by the literate and educated seekers.

Though these paths look outwardly very different from each other, all of them point to a common destination, goal i.e. helping us ‘transcend our ego limitations and achieve higher levels of consciousness’. These paths themselves often blend together making it impossible to tread any one path exclusively, thanks to varied influences. If we look at the orientation and capacity of the contemporary seekers. Gyan yog is the starting point for most of them followed by Raja Yog which contains meditations, yoga postures and healing techniques. Usually, there is one particular path, out of 4, which resonates most, with the seeker’s nature. This path should be the starting point of their spiritual journey, as suggested very beautifully by hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan:

Madiralaya jaane ko ghar se, chalta hai peene wala
kis path se jaaoon asamanjas, me hai woh bholabhala
alag alag path batalate sab, par main yeh batalata hun
raah pakad tu ekk chalachal, paa jaaega madhushala.

(Seeking wine, the drinker leaves home for the tavern. Perplexed, he asks, “Which path will take me there?” People show him different ways, but this is what I have to say,”Pick a path and keep walking. You will find the tavern.)”