Spiritual evolution is the purpose of life for all soul beings in the Earth sphere. Earth sphere is a school for souls. We attend here until we graduate our various courses. Graduation means the end of samsara and is followed by a rebirth as spiritual being in another phase of existence.
School presents courses suitable to all levels of students from the most junior young souls, to the oldest of senior souls about to graduate.
Karma manages the curriculum of learning opportunities presented to us.
All these paths lead to enlightenment, the student does not have to change paths. Changing paths at the right time may hasten the end result, karma would even help us to change paths when the need arise, but ultimately all paths are good.
The eight Paths of spiritual evolution are:
- The Gnani Path. The Yogic lifestyle concerned mostly with gaining knowledge, reading scripture, studying philosophy, and extracting wisdom from the ancient teaching.
- The Bhkati Path. The Yogic lifestyle concerned mostly with praxis of devotion and love aimed the the Lord, deities or the Unnameable one, and extracting wisdom from the experiences.
- The Karma Path. The Yogic lifestyle concerned mostly with good intentions, good actions, living a life of loving-kindness in service of natural beings and supernatural beings (deities), and extracting wisdom from the experiences.
- The Royal Path. The Yogic lifestyle that combines in equal ratio the Gnani, Bhakti and Karma Paths, and extracting wisdom from the experiences.
- The Laissez-faire Path. The lifestyle that is mainly concerned with leaving spiritual things aside, concentrating on living this life for its own sake, and extracting wisdom from the experiences.
- The Wu-Wei Path. The Yogic lifestyle that is concerned mostly with the cultivation of a mental state in which our actions are effortlessly in alignment with the flow of life, the Way.
- The Righteous Path. The lifestyle that is concerned mostly with being righteous in the eyes of the gods and the community. Religious effort is invested to appease the gods, to gain good merits and boons, to buy off bad karma, to ensure a better here-and-now and a better birth or existence in the hereafter.
- Nirvanalaksanayoga Tantra Path. The Yogic lifestyle that is concerned mostly with a direct and dedicated existential experience of spiritual evolution and radical personal transformation. Nirvanalaksana Tantra takes a therapeutic approach to transformation and bring about that metamorphosis which heals the ailment samsara.
At the higher end of each of the eight paths you will find the mystics of that Path sitting in contemplation and meditation.
The difference in the Paths is mainly that of readiness and evolution. When the student is ready the teacher appears. The Righteous Path appeals to students who are ready for it, and students who have evolved beyond that Path will not find it attractive, and students who are not ready for another Path, will also not find it attractive and may even find it insensible and/or ludicrous.
By: Jean duPlessis (2015)
The Righteous Path is furthest from and the Tantra Path is closest. Souls in the Righteous Path have more lifetimes to go before graduating from the School of Life on Earth, while souls in the Tantra Path are preparing for graduation as we speak.
However, Tantra Path is fraught with dangers when engaged by students who are not yet ready, and when facilitated by teachers who are not qualified. This is no indictment, it is simple logic. One should not attempt a 4th-year psychology, chemistry or physcics class at university before having completed required preperatory courses—the student just wont get enough of it and the little she gets may even prove to be dangerous when put to use.
The Path calls you.
You must investigate all the Paths. The right Path for you at the time, is the one that most appeals to you as a truth, a dharmic challenge, not necessarily the one in which you feel most comfortable.
There may be higher aspects of your current path that you have not yet achieved or considered. It is not always necessary to change paths. If you feel that you still have a way to go in your current Path, and you find it challenging, you are on the right Path for now.
Yes. You are on a path. Check the list above.