Sunday, December 15, 2013

What is Raja Yoga?

In my previous post, I have outlined the four paths to Divinity that are prescribed in Hinduism. These are Karma Yoga,  Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga. Each path is interesting and presents different challenges to spiritual seekers. In this post, I am going to explain in simple words about Raja Yoga, what it means and who are the spiritual masters in Hinduism who have mastered this form of Yoga. 

Raja Yoga unites Mind Power with Cosmic Power

Raja Yoga is generally seen as the path of meditation and it is known as the king among Yogas because it relies on techniques that are based on science. The mind is of utmost importance while practicing Raja Yoga. It is perceived as an instrument that looks inward and uncovers the inner self. 

In the words of Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, "Yoga unites mind power with cosmic power. Raja Yoga, the 'royal yoga,' is the science of God realization. It was masterfully systemized by the great sage Patanjali in his Yoga Sutra. It combined the highest form from all other yoga disciplines. In Raja Yoga, He has given you the science of how to direct your mind to Him - the real science of prayer by which you can contact God and commune with Him."

Some key points to keep in mind: 
1. Don't simply undertake meditation and assume that you are on the path of Raja Yoga. 

2. Meditation is just a small facet of Raja Yoga. It involves many other techniques before you can come close to mastering it. 

3. You also need the constant the guidance of a highly evolved spiritual master. The guru or teacher directs the flow of Divine energy in the aspirant towards the heart and the spine, awakening and energizing the phases of spiritual growth so that the mind ceases to wander, the heart center opens and the actual state of self-illumination is realized by the aspirant while on that path itself. 

4. During this time of spiritual evolution, there will be the blessings and guidance of divine beings such as the Rishis, saints, angel beings who are known to appear and teach the aspirant to gain knowledge and mastery over specific techniques and practices.

5. To practise Raja Yoga, you don't need to be a religious believer or practicing a specific religion as such. You rely on observation, intuition, discrimination and experience. This means that everything you learn in Raja yoga is based on direct experience.

Famous spiritual masters who are known to have practised Raja Yoga include Sri Paramahansa Yogananda and Swami Vivekananda. You can also read their books and teachings on Raja Yoga. 

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have read somewhere that, people who are in depression are adviced not to do meditation.. Is it true?

Anu said...

Informative post on Raja Yoga, looking forward to one on Karma yoga...or have I missed it?

flame93 said...

Thank you! Also check this fat burning yoga routine

Asha said...

Swapna, i watch a programme called "awakening" in aastha @7.10. Raja yoga practitioner Brahma kumari Shivani verma and Dr. Girish patel in conversation with kanupriya titled lifeskill series is very very insightful and is a precursor to anybody who wants to practice rajayoga. there is one more called "being bliss" where shivani verma is in conversation with suresh oberoi. Both the series are wonderful and are very practical for day to day life. you can catch them on youtube also.

Preen Maddox said...

Nice video. yoga exercises also helps to to improve reaction and coordination, also memory, and even IQ scores.yoga workout necessary to burn fat

Raji Rainbow said...

Thanks for creating and sharing the series on spirituality and spiritual development, Swapna. Was really looking forward to such articles from you. Thanks again!

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