Raja Yoga

aumsm..Raja Yoga


yantra-shaktianandayoga-gurudevi-yoga-meditation-veda-vedic-hatha-raja-omRaja Yoga is referred to as the Royal Path. Raja means king. Raja Yoga is one of the four main paths of yoga. Raja Yoga is a path which states that our mind creates our world. Life, with its pleasures and pains, reflects our mind’s creation. If the mind is unsteady, it will waver with each and every distraction, obstacle or event happening in its environment. Raja Yoga is the path of the white light and also includes the discipline of the other three paths of yoga: Karma, Bhakti, and Jnana. Raja Yoga has branches of study in Hatha, Kundalini, Tantra, Manta, Kriya and others. There are 100’s of yogas under the four main yoga paths: Karma, Bhakti, Jnana, and Raja.

The yogi (yogini-female) who is the true king (or queen) of this world has achieved mind control. He/She has gained control over human desires and experiences peace and contentment living a life of happiness. The king/queen has experiences of many worldly pleasures. But if he/she does not have self-mastery, all of his/her riches and honors are to no avail. The lesson here is that without self-mastery, all the riches of this world will not give anyone a happy life.

The Raja yogi/yogini who has self-mastery is a true King or Queen, even if he or she may be a beggar, having renounced all possessions (sannyasi). Raja Yoga is known to be the yoga of royalty. It has been studied by royal families throughout history. The meaning of self-mastery is mastery over the little self or ego (ahankara); which leads the soul (jiva) to union with the higher Self or higher soul consciousness (purusha). The highest Self is Atman or the causal seed body; which is one with I Am That I Am; Absolute Reality; God and Goddess.

In the basic teaching of Raja Yoga, the mind is compared to a lake. Because of the wind and under-currents, the lake gets agitated and waves are created. The waves create movement within the lake. The wind is an external factor and the under-currents are internal factors.

The external distractions, or perceptions of the outside world through the senses (indriyas), and the internal distractions; such as memories (smrittis) and the thoughts of the mind (samskaras); act together to create changes which take place at the surface of the conscious mind.

These modifications or changes, thoughts and emotions, are called vrittis in raja yoga terminology and are best explained as thought waves or thought patterns.

If you want to see your reflection in the water, a lake with many waves will offer no reflection or a very distorted version of your likeness. Without the wind factor, the waves will gradually subside and the reflection of your face will become closer and closer to its true image.

And in comparison, trying to look within and find your own true Self, your soul, the purusha, becomes impossible when the mind is agitated. All that can be seen are the waves that stand in the way of finding your inner self. But once the mind is perfectly still, in the state of samadhi, can one identify with one’s true nature, the purusha.

The path of Raja Yoga involves practicing techniques that lead to inner control. Control of the body, the energy (prana), the senses (indriyas), and emotions and thoughts of the mind (manas).

The word mind can have several different meanings. In Sanskrit, the word citta actually refers to the heart-mind complex, and often the word manas means specifically the outer mind responsible for sensory processing, both input and output.

The Buddhi is the inner mind responsible for determining what is true and deciding on a course of action. This is referred to as the inner Christ mind in Western teachings. The ahankara, or ego, keeps us intact as an individual body-mind complex while at the same time attempting to subjugate the Buddhi through the affliction called asmita, meaning I-am-ness; identification with just the lower manifestation of the I Am That I Am.

The chief practice is meditation but other techniques exist as well. Among them are the asanas or postures, and pranayamas or breathing techniques.

The process of achieving success in the practice of meditation, involves dealing with the resistance of the mind and here lies the true difficulty of Raja Yoga. The mind has a tendency to be restless, and the ego rebels against the practice and discipline. In order to overcome each obstacle as they come, it is important to gain an understanding of the functioning of the mind. This is done through the learning of the yogic psychology.

The first thing to do is to get acquained with the eight limbs (Ashtanga) of Raja Yoga and start developing the yamas and niyamas.

>  The Eight Limbs of Ashtanga of Raja Yoga 
~ by Sri Mahashaktiananda
The Eightfold Discipline

>  The Essence of Raja Yoga
~  by Swami Jyotirmayananda

    An Outline of the Profound Mystic System of Raja Yoga

>  Living the Yoga Sutras  ~ by Swami Jnaneshvara   

    Practical Translations and Discussions    

   Traditional Yoga and Meditation of the Himalayan Masters 


>  The Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali
  by Maharishi Patanjali
Introduction & Translation  ~  by Shri Yogacharya

[ From the Introduction ]  “The Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali  ~by Shri Yogacharya

“Hinduism is based on the original Yoga with its 8 steps. After Yoga, the Sankhya philosophy came into being. The book “Science of Soul” with Manas, Buddhi, Citta, Ahamkara and Antahkarana has been largely inspired by it. The Sankhya philosophy tries to explain al the phenomena that we come across in Yoga. After that 4 more philosophical trends followed, making it all increasingly difficult to understand. In the end the cat cannot find its kittens anymore.

That is what happened to Hinduism. The Hindus walk around, but have lost their way completely. I mean, the way to heaven. They have so much information, and so many gods, and so many rituals, and so many different insights that they don’t see it themselves anymore. You can compare their
Pandits or scribes with the scribes with whom Jesus had so much trouble.

What we are trying to do, and what we can do – because we are totally independent from the Hindu culture – is to go back to the roots, without outside influences. We feel much freer. It is like a re-discovery trip by an independent third person.

You may by now realize that it is very difficult in the Yoga-world to find a version of the Yoga Sutra’s with some value. Fortunately there is the Theosophical Society, for which I have a lot of respect. Already for more than 100 years this organization tries to translate the original scripts and spread them among the people.

Theosophy means “Love for the Divine”. Theo – sophy.”

[ From the Introduction ]  “The Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali  ~by Shri Yogacharya