Four Yogas and the Uniqueness of Swami Vivekananda’s Philosophy

Contemporary Indian Philosophy has arisen in awareness of the need to blend the forces of tradition with those of modernity. The Contemporary Indian Philosophers are of the opinion that philosophy is to be treated like an attitude – an attitude towards life. Humanism has always been the most emphatic point for Contemporary Indian Philosophers. One of the trend-setters on this particular point of humanism is Swami Vivekananda, a stalwart of 19th and 20th century Indian Philosophy.  In the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda the concept of yoga plays a dominant role. In Yoga Philosophy, ‘yoga’ means the cessation of mental functions or modifications ( Cittavrttinirodha). The word ‘yoga’ itself is highly ambiguous. In the narrower sense it means ‘union’ while in the wider sense it means ‘marga’ or ‘discipline’. Vivekananda incorporated both these meanings in the word ‘yoga’ with a comprehensive outlook.

Reni Pal, Assistant Professor in Philosophy,   Surendranath College, Kolkata

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