What is Raja Yoga | Meditation in Daily Life

What is Raja Yoga | Meditation in Daily Life

What is Raja Yoga | Meditation in Daily Life: PATANJALI YOGA is also known as Raja Yoga. This cessation is through meditation  or concentration which is also called Yoga          ( yogahsamadhih).

 

Raja Yoga

What is Raja Yoga | Meditation in Daily Life

Raja Yoga

Patanjali  is the traditional founder of the Yoga system. The  word ‘Yoga’  literally means ‘union’, i.e.,  spiritual union of the individual soul with the Universal Soul and is used in this sense in the Vedanta.

The Gita defines Yoga as that state than which there is nothing higher or worth realization and firmly rooted in which a person is never shaken even by the greatest pain; that state free from all pain but spiritual effort to attain perfection through the control of the body , sense and mind, and through right discrimination between purusa and prakrti .

[Raja Yoga]

Yoga  is intimately allied to sankhya . the Gita calls them one. Yoga means spiritual action and Sankhya means knowledge. Sankhya  is theory; Yoga is practice.

For all practical purpose, Sankhya and Yoga  may be treated as the theoretical and the practical sides of the same system.

Yoga mostly accepts the metaphysics and the epistemology of Sankhya. It shows the practical path by following which  one may attain  Viveka-jnana which alone leads to liberation.

[Raja Yoga]

Yoga accepts  the three pramanas — perception, inference, and testimony of Sankhya and also the twenty five metaphysical principal.

Yoga believes in God as the highest Self distinct from other selves. Hence it is sometimes called Seshvara Sankhya’ or ‘theistic Sankhya’ as distinct from classical Sankhya which is nirishvara or atheistic.

The Yoga-Sutra  is divided  into four parts:

 

  1. The first is called Samadhi-pada which deals with the nature and aim of concentration.
  2. The second is called Sadhana-pada which explains the means to realize this end.
  3. The third is called Vibhuti-pada which deals with the supra-normal powers which can be acquired through Yoga.
  4. The forth is called Kaivalya-pada which describes the nature of liberation and the reality of the transcendental self.

Raja Yoga

ASTANGA YOGA   

YOGA advocates control over the body , the senses and the mind . I does not want to kill the body , on the other hand , it recommends it perfection.

A sound mind needs a sound body. Sensual attachment and passions distract the body as well as the mind. They must be conquered.

[Raja Yoga]

To overcome them, Yoga gives us the Eightfold path of Discipline which is called Astanga Yoga :

  1. YAMA : It means abstention and includes the five vows of Jainism. It is abstention from injury through thought , word or deed ( ahimsa ), from falsehood ( satya ), from stealing ( asteya ), from passion and lust ( bramhacharya ), and from avarice ( aparigraha ).
  2. NIYAMA : It is self-culture and includes external and internal purification ( shaucha ), contentment ( santosa ), austerity ( tapas ), study ( svadhyaya ), and devotion to God ( Ishvara pranidhana ).
  3. ASANA : It means steady and comfortable posture. There are various kinds of postures which are a physical help to meditation. This is the discipline of the body.
  4. PRANAYAMA : It means control of the breath and deals with regulations of inhalation , retention and exhalation of breath. It is beneficial to health and its highly conductive to the concentration of the mind. But is must be performed under expert guidance otherwise it may have bad after-effects.
  5. PRATYAHARA : It is control of the sense and consists in with drawing the sense from their objects. Our senses have a natural tendency to go to outward objects. They must be checked and directed towards the internal goal. It is the process of introversion.   

[Raja Yoga]

                  These five are called external aids to yoga ( bahiranga Sadhana ) , while the remaining three which follow are called internal aids ( antaranga Sadhana )

  1. DHARANA : It is fixing the mind on the object of meditation like the tip of the nose or the mid-point of the eyebrows or the lotus of the heart or the image of the deity . The mind must be steadfast like the unflickering flame of a lamp.
  2. DHYANA : It means meditation and consist in the undisturbed flow of thought round the object of the meditation ( pratyayaika-tanata ) . it is the steadfast contemplation without any break .
  3. SAMADHI : It means concentration . This is the final step in Yoga. Here the is completely absorbed in the object of meditation. In dhyana the act of meditation and the object of meditation remain separate . But here they became one. It is the highest means to realize the cessation of mental modifications which is the end. It is the ecstatic state in which the connection with the external world is broken and through which one has to pass before obtaining liberation .

[Raja Yoga]

                         Samadhi is of two kinds :  Conscious or samprajnata and supra-conscious or asamprajnata . in the former consciousness of the object of meditation persists , in the latter it is transcended. The former is  Ekagra , the latter is Niruddha. In the former  the mind remains concentrate  on the object of  meditation.

[Raja Yoga] =The meditator and the object of meditation are fused together , yet the consciousness of the object of meditation persists . This state is said to be of four kinds :

  1. SAVITARKA : When the chitta is concentrated on a gross object of meditation like the tip of the nose or the mid point of the eyebrows or the image of the deity.
  2. SAVICHARA : When the chitta is concentrated on a subtler object of meditation like the tanmatras.
  3. SANANDA : When the chitta is concentrated on a still subtler object of meditation which produce joy , like the sense.
  4. SASMITA : When the chitta is concentrated on the ego-substance with which the self is generally identified. Here we have conscious ecstasy where individuality persists.

 Asamprajnata Samadhi [Raja Yoga]

                               

                          Asamprajnata Samadhi is that supra-conscious concentration where the mediator and the objects of meditation are completely fused together and there is not even consciousness of the object of meditation.

Here no new mental modifications arise . they are checked ( niruddha ) , though the latent impressions may continue.

If fire is restricted to a particular fuel , it burns that fuel alone ; but when that fuel has been completely burnt ,  the fire also dies down .

[Raja Yoga]

similarly in conscious concentration , the mind is fixed on the object of meditation alone and modification aries only in respect of this object of meditation ; but in supra-conscious concentration , even this modification ceases.

It is the highest form of yoga which is divine madness , perfect mystic ecstasy difficult to describe and more difficult to attain.   

Even those who attain it cannot retain it longer. Immediately or after very short time, the body breaks and they obtain complete liberation.

[Raja Yoga]

                              Yoga generates certain supra-normal powers. But they should be avoided and attention should be fixed only on liberation which is the end of human life .

The ideal is Kaivalya , the absolute Independence and eternal and also free life of the , Purusa , free from Prakrti .

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