"Religion is realization; not talk, nor doctrine, nor theories however beautiful they may be. It is being and becoming, not hearing, or acknowledging, it is the whole soul becoming what it believes. That is religion."
~ Swami Vivekananda
An ideal religion should be able to satisfy all types of minds, and all types of questions. Singing, weeping and preaching of love is not all. Modern man wants something stronger than that. He wants a little more reason and wants to understand things step by step and more rationally.
Hinduism strives to be such a religion - "a religion that will be equally acceptable to all minds, equally philosophic, equally emotional, equally mystic and equally conducive to action".
Hinduism believes that the true religion is one that must be able to show how to realize the philosophy that teaches us that this world is one.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with the Hinduism of today. Polluted by blind fanatics, Hinduism has moved far away from being that Universal religion it was meant to be.
Like people of most other religions, Hindus have associated the ideas of holiness, purity, truth, omnipresence, and such other ideals with various icons and forms. But the fundamental difference is that for Hindus, religion does not mean an intellectual ascent to certain doctrines. It is centrally focused on realization. As said Vivekananda, "Man is to become divine by realizing the divine."
An ideal human being, according to Hinduism, is one who has all the elements of philosophy, mysticism, emotion, and work present in him in equal proportions. To become harmoniously balanced in all these four directions is the ideal of Hinduism. And this religion is attained by what is known as
"Yoga" or union.
Swami Vivekananda has succinctly explained this as follows: "To the worker, it is union between men and the whole of humanity; to the mystic, between his lower and Higher Self; to the lover, union between himself and the God of love; and to the philosopher, it is union of all existence. This is what is meant by Yoga."
Theologically speaking, there are four divisions of Yoga. In Sanskrit, they are called Raja-Yoga, Karma-Yoga, Bhakti-Yoga and Jnana Yoga. And the person who seeks this kind of a union is called a Yogi. The worker is called the Karma-Yogi. One who seeks this union through mysticism is called a Raja-Yogi. One who searches this union in love is a Bhakti-Yogi. And one who seeks this Yoga through philosophy is called the Jnana-Yogi.