Srimad Bhagavatam 02.05.16 - Narayana is the essence of all (download mp3)
by Pavaneshwar Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
All different types of meditation or mysticism are means for realizing Nārāyaṇa. All austerities are aimed at achieving Nārāyaṇa. Culture of transcendental knowledge is for getting a glimpse of Nārāyaṇa, and ultimately salvation is entering the kingdom of Nārāyaṇa.
In meditation, there are two systems of yoga, namely aṣṭāṅga-yoga and sāṅkhya-yoga. Aṣṭāṅga-yoga is practice in concentrating the mind, releasing oneself from all engagements by the regulative processes of meditation, concentration, sitting postures, blocking the movements of the internal circulation of air, etc. Sāṅkhya-yoga is meant to distinguish the truth from ephemerals. But ultimately both systems are meant for realizing the impersonal Brahman, which is but a partial representation of Nārāyaṇa, the Personality of Godhead. As we have explained before, the impersonal Brahman effulgence is only a part of the Personality of Godhead. Impersonal Brahman is situated on the person of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and, as such, Brahman is the glorification of the Personality of the Godhead. This is confirmed both in the Bhagavad-gītā and in the Matsya Purāṇa. Gati refers to the ultimate destination, or the last word in liberation. Oneness with the impersonal brahmajyoti is not ultimate liberation; superior to that is the sublime association of the Personality of Godhead in one of the innumerable spiritual planets in the Vaikuṇṭha sky. Therefore the conclusion is that Nārāyaṇa, or the Personality of Godhead, is the ultimate destination for all kinds of yoga systems as well as all kinds of liberation.