Sri Chinmoy: You have asked a very interesting question. As you know, there are three principal paths: Bhakti, Jnana and Karma Yoga. Again, in Jnana Yoga, the branch that deals with mysticism is called Raja Yoga. Now if people say that my path is all Bhakti Yoga, then it is a mistake, because my path includes all other paths. It includes Karma Yoga, selfless service. All my disciples are doing selfless service. It includes Jnana Yoga: while my disciples are studying my writings, they are doing Jnana Yoga. What is meant by Jnana Yoga? Wisdom. What is more valuable for a man to know than the Highest? The Highest, I say, is love. If one knows this very fact that God is all Love, is this not the supreme knowledge? The supreme knowledge is that God is all Love. The deeper we go, the clearer it becomes. Through love we can know the supreme secret, which is God.
Just because we say there are three rungs in our spiritual ladder — love, devotion and surrender — people immediately associate my path with Bhakti Yoga. But in India it is not like that. In India fortunately when we say Bhakti Yoga it means all devotion, devotion, devotion. We don't care for any kind of mental illumination or mental awakening. In Bhakti one wants only to devote oneself with utmost intensity and not to cry for mental and intellectual light. But if we really love God, if we really dedicate ourselves to God, then the mind is bound to be illumined. We are not going to reject the mind; we have not come into the world to reject anything. We have not come into the world to throw anything into the dustbin. But we have to transform and illumine the mind. How do we do that? We illumine it with light. This room is all darkness at night, but with electricity we illumine it. Similarly, the mind is a dark room right now, absolutely dark. When we bring our inner light to the fore and then enter into the mind, the mind becomes all light; it is illumined. When this path of love, devotion and surrender is properly followed, it encompasses other paths as well. But just because we speak of love, people immediately take this as the path of Bhakti. Our path is not Bhakti Yoga. But it is nearer to Bhakti Yoga than to other Yogas. This path has illumination because it says that when we know, through some means, who is our Dearest, our Sweetest, our most Affectionate, our All-fulfilling, then naturally we will have wisdom. Wisdom is Jnana Yoga. Now, how do we combine all these paths? We do it with aspiration and dedication. Karma Yoga is there, in our selfless service. With our aspiration we try to know the highest within ourselves. Once we reach the Goal, which is inner awakening, we get wisdom which is the highest Jnana Yoga. So, when somebody says that our path is nearer, closer, to Bhakti Yoga than other paths, it is true. But to say that it is all Bhakti Yoga would be a mistake.