"The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāńga-yoga. And when one surpasses the aṣṭāńga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is called bhakti yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other yogas. The yogī who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune. One who sticks to a particular point and does not make further progress is called by that particular name: karma-yogī, jñāna-yogī or dhyāna-yogī, rāja-yogī, haṭha-yogī, etc. If one is fortunate enough to come to the point of bhakti-yoga, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all other yogas. Therefore, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is the highest stage of yoga, just as, when we speak of Himālayan, we refer to the world's highest mountains, of which the highest peak, Mount Everest, is considered to be the culmination."
[From Srila Prabhupada's purport on BG 6.47]
Therefore beware because:
The Bhāgavatam (11.5.3) confirms this as follows: "Anyone who does not render service and neglects his duty unto the primeval Lord, who is the source of all living entities, will certainly fall down from his constitutional position."
Three questions poped up in my mind after reading this most clear, precise and enlightening explanation of yoga:
1. Why do people think to themselves they know and understand what is *yoga*? ~ They are superficial posers, bad merchants, playing very hazardous games.
2. Why don't they want to *know* - instead they pretend to know something about it?
3. Have they ever read Bhagavad Gita, if nothing else? Why they don't read it? And if so, why don't they *understand* it??? And finally -- what in the world are they actually doing??!??
I really don't understand what kind of curtain is placed upon their eyes......
And then the answers came to me: this confusion about what is yoga is due to missunderstood terms from ancient original Vedic scriptures and original teachings. For example: one can read the text I posted above, and skip the key term here:self-realization. Without knowing and understanding all the stages of self-realization, one can not understand sole and ultimate purpose of human existence. And self-realization comes in package with God's realization, and God's realization is not the realization "I am God!" LOL! LOL!
Furthermore, without knowing clearly one's original eternal spiritual *constituional position*, how is one to understand ~ the way back to their original position? So if we want to connect these two dots: from understanding one's *constituional position* to* self-realization* - there is the path of *yoga*. And the process of yoga is meant for making this particular linking of eternal individual spirit soul with God, the Supreme Person, from whom everything emanates, in order to re-establish personal, fully conscious, joyful and unique relationship, no more-no less. :)
Few tips that might be helpful about definitions on self-realization from dictionary:
self-re·al·i·za·tion - Noun
~ Fulfillment of one's own potential
~Soul recognition. The entering of Soul into the Soul Plane and there beholding Itself as pure Spirit. A state of seeing, knowing, and being.
~The spiritual search takes us in many directions, introduces many new ideas, give promises and via many well meaning teachers. But it is only when we come into contact with a self realized being that our search can be directed meaningfully. ...
~The progressive experiential comprehension of the self as consciousness, as soul and of God.