The term “yoga” has been applied to a variety of practices and methods, including Jain and Buddhist practices. In Hinduism these include Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Laya Yoga and Hatha Yoga. The so-called Raja Yoga refers to Ashtanga Yoga, the eight limbs to be practiced to attain samadhi, as described in the Yoga Sutras of Pantajali. The term raja yoga originally referred to the ultimate goal of yoga, which is usually samadhi, but was popularised by Vivekananda as the common name for Ashtanga Yoga. Buddhist meditation encompasses a variety of mediation techniques that aim to develop mindfulness, concetration, supramundane powers, tranquility, and insight.
Core techniques have been preserved in ancient Buddhist texts and have proliferated and diversified through teacher-student transmissions. Buddhist pursue meditation as part of the path toward Enlightenment andNirvana. Yoga is considered as a philosophical school in Hinduism. Yoga, in this context, is one of the six schools of Hinduism (those which accept the Vedas as source of knowledge).
Due to the influence of Vivekananda, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are nowadays considered as the foundational scripture of classical yoga, a status which it only acquired in the 20th century.Before the twentieth century, other works were considered as the most central works, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Vasistha ,while Tantric Yoga and Hatha Yoga prevailed over Ashtanga Yoga.
Ashtanga Yoga incorporates epistemology, metaphysics, ethical practices, systematic exercises and self-development techniques for body, mind and spirit. Its epistemology(pramanas) is same as the Samkhya school. Both accept three reliable means to knowledge – perception (pratyākṣa, direct sensory observations), inference (anumāna) and testimony of trustworthy experts (sabda, agama). Both these orthodox schools are also strongly dualistic. Unlike Sāṃkhya school of Hinduism which pursues non-theistic/atheistic rationalist approach, Yoga school of Hinduism accepts the concept of a “personal, yet essentially inactive, deity” or “personal god”. Along with its epistemology and metaphysical foundations, Yoga school of Hindu philosophy incorporates ethical precepts (yamas and niyamas) and an introspective way of life focused on perfecting one’s self physically, mentally and spiritually, with the ultimate goal being kaivalya (liberated, unified, content state of existence).