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Home > Raja Yoga > More About Raja Yoga

Western Techniques

Raja Yoga

Classical yoga or raja yoga is used in improving one’s mind to help it become more exposed to what’s happening in the environment and to free it from all stressors it encounters.  Others would refer to this form of yoga as royal yoga or royal union.  But in the Hindu philosophy, it is simply known as yoga. 

The main focus of raja yoga is the mind.  Traditionally, the mind was believed to be the “king” or the head of one’s body.  Because of this concept, it was essential that the body be “tamed” using discipline and purification in order for integration to occur.  Yoga can only be pursued deeply if the mind and body are at its optimum level of health.  But since the bodies of humans are constantly bombarded by addiction and obsession with so many harmful substances and sexual activities, the path to meditation is hindered.  Therefore, one should restrain himself by practicing celibacy, avoiding intoxicating substances, and being more careful with their actions, thoughts, and words.  Once this is achieved, a person then becomes fit to meditate.  By doing all the actions stated, one learns how to become disciplined, which again defines yoga.

Whatever things a person might conceive such as thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and memories can create an impact towards one’s mind.  This could damage how one looks at himself.  If one is able to learn how to keep one’s mind from making modifications, then there will be no more damaging thoughts, and one will know his true self.  Continuing to do this, the mind will also experience a state of calm in which there will be no mental focus.

Raja yoga exercises or practices are those which allow this state of mind to continue.  Therefore, this manner of avoiding the absorption of obsessional acts which create false images in the mind helps differentiate raja yoga from all other forms of yoga.  In the same way, other kinds of yoga are just tools to achieving a “seedless state”, which raja yoga aims to have.  This seedless state is the beginning of one’s journey in cleansing oneself from Karma and thereby attaining Nirvana.  Because of this, raja yoga is known as king of all yogas.  Those who teach this in schools, incorporate philosophy as they practice the different acts.

Raja yoga tries to control the thoughts and prevent mental distortions regarding the self.  The sadhana (spiritual practice) of raja yoga starts with one’s mind and some asanas (postures), in preparation for meditation and deep concentration.  Usually the concentration would begin by focusing one’s eyesight between one’s eyebrows.  This stems from the concept that when one trains his mind to focus on a location, whether internal or external, an energy will flow to it like a continuous current. This technique is known as dhyana.  An expert of dhyana, would automatically forget where he is and simply focus on watching.  Through this, one will only feel his existence.  He will be able to reject the negative things from his surroundings and focus only on the things within himself.  This will then allow self-realization to occur.

Let peaceful thoughts flow into your mind like streams flows into the ocean

Be as bright as the sun and as calm as the moon, your light will reduce the dark clouds of stress.



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