Can anyone list out the number of ways a person can realize his self? Apart from Bhakthi and Jnana, is there any other way to realize self?
Brahman is defined in Vedanta as Sat Chit Ananda. Sat means knowledge, Chit means existence and Ananda means bliss. Jivas are also in some sense sat chit ananda. The problem is that we jivas are equally confident that we are no such thing but mere humans. Various Yogas are methods to let us experience our true nature as sat chit ananda and thus attain moksha.
MASTER (smiling): "What are the three paths you speak of?"
MAHIMA: "The path of Sat, which is the path of knowledge. Next, the path of Chit, of yoga, of karmayoga, which includes the duties and functions of the four stages of life. Last, the path of Ananda, the path of devotion and ecstatic love. You are an adept in all three paths; you can speak of them all with authority."
Sri Ramakrishna laughed.
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Chapter 46, The Master and Dr. Sarkar, October 24, 1885
Karma Yoga allows us to find oneness in all existence or chit. If we are succesful in Karma Yoga then we find out our nature as chit. That would automatically allow us to know our nature as sat and ananda. Sat, Chit and Ananda are not separate things but come together.
If we gain knowledge of our nature then we will know sat and thus automatically know chit and ananda. Success in Jnana marga allows us to know our real nature.
Bhakti Yoga is a way to explore the anandamaya (blissful) Brahman through the path of devotion. If we are successful then we will know our true nature.
Two other methods
Raja Yoga/Patanjali’s Yoga
For people who can not do any of the three Yogas discussed above usually do Raja Yoga. Here one takes help of our body’s spiritual energy known as Kundalini to know our nature. You can read on line Swami Vivekananda’s Raja Yoga and his free translation of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra here:
A good book on the Yoga Sutra is ‘Yoga philosophy of Patanjali’ by Swami Hariharananda Aranya translated by P.Mukherji.
In this yoga one uses various Asanas and the idea that body affects our minds to raise the Kundalini shakti. It has to be supplemented by Raja Yoga.
Yoga(union with Brahman) is liberation or Moksha.
Having said that, there are essentially four paths to achieve this.
THE FOUR PATHS OF YOGA
There are four main paths of Yoga - Karma Yoga, Janna Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Raja Yoga. Each is suited to a different temperament or approach to life. All the paths lead ultimately to the same destination - to union with Brahman or God - and the lessons of each of them need to be integrated if true wisdom is to be attained.
Of the above four paths, the first two paths are very tough to practise. Likewise, Bhakti Yoga is relatively easier than the first two, but virtually impossible in modern times.
Raja Yoga (Royal Yoga) is also referred to as Dhyana Yoga in Gita, is the highest form of yoga.
Raja Yoga is also known as Ashtanga Yoga (Eight Steps of Yoga), because it is organised in eight parts:
Yama - Self-control
Asana - Physical exercises
Pranayama - Breath exercises
Pratyahara - Withdrawal of the senses from external objects
Dharana - Concentration
Dhyana - Meditation
Samadhi - Complete Realisation
The eight steps of Raja Yoga provide systematic instruction to attain inner peace, clarity, self-control and Realisation.
And other sub-sects are mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, Nada Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Hatha Yoga,Kundalini Yoga and Tantra.