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Encyclopedia > Raja Yoga
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Raja Yoga (lit. Royal Yoga) is the system of yoga outlined by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras. It is also sometimes referred to as Ashtanga (eight-limbed) yoga because there are eight aspects to the path to which one must attend. Raja yoga is concerned principally with the cultivation of the mind using meditation to further one's acquaintance with reality and finally achieve liberation. Yoga (Devanagari: योग) is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy, focusing on meditation as a path to self-knowledge and liberation. ... Patañjali, is the compiler of the Yoga Sutra, a major work containing aphorisms on the practical and philosophical wisdom regarding practice of Raja yoga. ... This article is in need of attention. ... A large statue in Bangalore depicting Shiva meditating Meditation describes a state of concentrated attention on some object of thought or awareness. ... Moksha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...

Contents

Concept

Raja-Yoga is so called because it constitutes a 'royal road' to happiness and fulfilment. The mind is traditionally conceived as the 'king' of the psycho-physical structure which does it's bidding (whether or not one has realised this). Because of the relationship between the mind and the body, the body must be first 'tamed' through self-discipline. A certain level of purity and integration should be attained before the deeper aspects of yoga can be pursued. Humans have all sorts of addictions and obsessions and these preclude the attainment of tranquil abiding. Through restraint such as celibacy, abstaining from drugs and alcohol and careful attention to one's actions of body, speech and mind, which is an integral part of the Natya Yoga process, the human being becomes fit to practise meditation. Yoga (Devanagari: योग) is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy, focusing on meditation as a path to self-knowledge and liberation. ... Natya Yoga, or the spiritual path of Dance, is a combination of mainly Bhakti Yoga with many elements of Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga. ...


"Every thought, feeling, perception, or memory you may have causes a modification, or ripple, in the mind. It distorts and colors the mental mirror. If you can restrain the mind from forming into modifications, there will be no distortion, and you will experience your true Self." - Swami Satchidananda Swami Satchidananda on the cover of his biography Swami Satchidananda (1914–2002) was an Indian religious figure who gained fame and followers in the West, especially in the United States. ...


Practice

Raja Yoga is an exact science. It aims at controlling all thought-waves or mental modifications. While a Hatha Yogi starts his Sadhana with Asanas (postures) and Pranayama, a Raja Yogi starts his Sadhana with the mind, although a certain minimum of asanas and pranayama's are usually included as a preparation for the meditation and concentration. A Sadhana is a ritualistic meditation practice from Hindu and Buddhist spiritual traditions which is followed in order to achieve a form of spiritual purification or enlightenment. ... Eka-Pada-Rajakapotasana or Single Legged Pidgeon Asana is Sanskrit for seat. It is no accident that this word be chosen to describe the posture of Yoga. ... Pranayama (Devanagari: प्राणायाम, prāNāyāma) is a sanskrit word that means control (yama) of the life force (prana). ...


Eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga

The eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga are:

  • Yama - Code of conduct - self-restraint
  • Niyama - religious observances - commitments to practice, such as study and devotion
  • Āsana - integration of mind and body through physical activity
  • Pranayama - regulation of breath leading to integration of mind and body
  • Pratyahara - abstraction of the senses, withdrawal of the senses of perception from their objects
  • Dharana - concentration, one-pointedness of mind
  • Dhyana - meditation (quiet activity that leads to samadhi)
  • Samadhi - the quiet state of blissful awareness, superconscious state

Ten Traditional Yamas or Codes of Conduct The Yamas are codified as the restraints in numerous scriptures including the Shandilya and Varuha Upanishads, Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Gorakshanatha, the Tirumantiram of Tirumular and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. ... The Niyamas are codified as the observances in numerous scriptures including the Shandilya and Varuha Upanishads, Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Gorakshanatha, the Tirumantiram of Tirumular and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. ... Eka-Pada-Rajakapotasana or Single Legged Pidgeon Asana is Sanskrit for seat. It is no accident that this word be chosen to describe the posture of Yoga. ... Pranayama (Devanagari: प्राणायाम, prāNāyāma) is a sanskrit word that means control (yama) of the life force (prana). ... Pratyahara is the fifth among the Eight steps of Patanjalis Ashtanga Yoga. ... Dharana (Pronounced Dhaaranaa, with a voiced, aspirated dh) is the sixth of the eight steps of Patanjalis Ashtanga Yoga. ... According to the Hindu Yoga Sutra dhyana is one of the eight methods of Yoga, (the other seven methods are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, and Samadhi). ... Samadhi (Sanskrit, lit. ...

Yama

Main article: Yamas

Yama consists of five parts: Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (not stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy), and Aparigraha (non-covetousness). Ahimsa is perfect harmlessness and positive love also. This removes the brutal nature in man and strengthens the will. Ten Traditional Yamas or Codes of Conduct The Yamas are codified as the restraints in numerous scriptures including the Shandilya and Varuha Upanishads, Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Gorakshanatha, the Tirumantiram of Tirumular and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. ... Ahimsa (अहिंसा ) is a Sanskrit term meaning non-violence (literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa). ... Satya is a true badman. ... Asteya is a Sanskrit word meaning avoidance of stealing or non-stealing. In Jainism, it is one of the five vows that all sravakas and shravikas as well as sadhus and sadhvis must take. ... Brahmacharya (pronounced /brʌmatʃərɪə/) is a Sanskrit word. ... Aparigraha is the Jain concept of non-possessiveness. ...


Niyama

Main article: Niyama

Niyama is observance of five canons: Saucha (internal and external purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (Sanskrit) (austerity), Svadhyaya (study of religious books and repetitions of Mantras), and Ishvarapranidhana (self-surrender to God, and His worship). The Niyamas are codified as the observances in numerous scriptures including the Shandilya and Varuha Upanishads, Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Gorakshanatha, the Tirumantiram of Tirumular and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. ... Santosha (सन्तोष), contentment, is one of the niyamas of Yoga. ... Tapas (tápas) in Sanskrit means heat. In Vedic religion and Hinduism, it is used figuratively, denoting spiritual suffering, mortification or austerity, and also the spiritual ecstasy of a yogin or tāpasá (a Vrddhi derivative meaning practiser of tapas). The adjective tapasvín means wretched, poor, miserable, but... In Hinduism, Svadhyaya is the incorporation of the message of the Bhagavad Gita in ones life. ... Ishvarapranidhana represents surrender to the divinity within the individual in Hinduism and Yoga. ...


He who practises meditation without ethical perfection, without the practice of Yama-Niyama cannot obtain the fruits of meditation. Purify your mind first through the practice of Yama-Niyama. Then practise regular meditation. Then you will attain illumination.


Asana

Main article: Asana

Any easy, steady, comfortable pose is Asana. Asanas steady the body. Posture is mastered by releasing tension and meditation on the unlimited. Eka-Pada-Rajakapotasana or Single Legged Pidgeon Asana is Sanskrit for seat. It is no accident that this word be chosen to describe the posture of Yoga. ...


Pranayama

Main article: Pranayama

Pranayama checks the outgoing tendencies of the mind. Pranayama (Devanagari: प्राणायाम, prāNāyāma) is a sanskrit word that means control (yama) of the life force (prana). ...


Pratyahara

Main article: Pratyahara

Pratyahara gives inner spiritual strength. It removes all sorts of distractions. It develops will-power. Pratyahara is the fifth among the Eight steps of Patanjalis Ashtanga Yoga. ...


Dharana

Main article: Dharana

Real Yoga starts from concentration. Concentration merges into meditation. Meditation ends in Samadhi. Retention of breath, Brahmacharya, Satvic (pure) food, seclusion, silence, Satsanga (being in the company of a guru), and not mixing much with people are all aids to concentration. Concentrate on Trikuti (the space between the two eyebrows) with closed eyes is preferred. The mind can be easily controlled, as this is the seat for the mind. Dharana (Pronounced Dhaaranaa, with a voiced, aspirated dh) is the sixth of the eight steps of Patanjalis Ashtanga Yoga. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into guna. ... The company of the highest knowledge and Truth; the company of a Guru; contact with a person or an assembly of persons who listen to, talk about, and assimilate the Truth. ... The minds eye (or third eye) is a phrase used to refer to ones ability to see things (such as visions) with the mind. ...


Dhyana

Main articles: Dhyana in Hinduism and Dhyana

Sleep, tossing of mind, attachment to objects, subtle desires and cravings, laziness, lack of Brahmacharya, gluttony are all obstacles in meditation. Reduce your wants. Cultivate dispassion. You will have progress in Yoga. Vairagya thins out the mind. Do not mix much. Do not talk much. Do not walk much. Do not eat much. Do not sleep much. Do not exert much. Never wrestle with the mind during meditation. Do not use any violent efforts at concentration. If evil thoughts enter your mind, do not use your will force in driving them. You will tax your will. You will lose your energy. You will fatigue yourself. The greater the efforts you make, the more the evil thoughts will return with redoubled force. Be indifferent. Become a witness of those thoughts. Substitute divine thoughts. They will pass away. Never miss a day in meditation. Regularity is of paramount importance. When the mind is tired, do not concentrate. Do not take heavy food at night. According to the Hindu Yoga Sutra dhyana is one of the eight methods of Yoga, (the other seven methods are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, and Samadhi). ... Dhyāna is a term in Sanskrit which refers to a type or aspect of meditation. ... Brahmacharya (pronounced /brʌmatʃərɪə/) is a Sanskrit word. ... Vairagya is a Sanskrit term used in Hindu philosophy that roughly translates as dispassion or renunciation, in particular renunciation from the pains and pleasures in the material world. ...


The mind passes into many conditions or states as it is made up of three qualities-Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Kshipta (wandering), Vikshipta (gathering), Mudha (ignorant), Ekagra (one-pointed), and Nirodha (contrary) are the five states of the mind.


By controlling the thoughts the Sadhaka attains great Siddhis. He becomes an adept. He attains Asamprajnata Samadhi or Kaivalya. Do not run after Siddhis. Siddhis are great temptations. They will bring about your downfall. A Raja Yogi practises Samyama or the combined practice of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi at one and the same time and gets detailed knowledge of an object. Not to be confused with the African-descended Siddi people of India (though sometimes spelt in the same way). ...


Control the mind by Abhyasa (practice) and Vairagya (dispassion). Any practice which steadies the mind and makes it one-pointed is Abhyasa. Dull Vairagya will not help you in attaining perfection in Yoga. You must have Para Vairagya or Theevra Vairagya, intense dispassion.


Samadhi

Main article: Samadhi

Meditation on OM with Bhava and its meaning removes obstacles in Sadhana and helps to attain Samadhi. Avidya (ignorance), Asmita (egoism), Raga-Dvesha (likes and dislikes), Abhinivesha (clinging to mundane life) are the five Kleshas or afflictions. Destroy these afflictions. You will attain Samadhi. Samadhi (Sanskrit, lit. ...


Samadhi is of two kinds:

  • Savikalpa, Samprajnata or Sabija; and
  • Nirvikalpa, Asamprajnata or Nirbija.

In Savikalpa or Sabija, there is Triputi or the triad (knower, known and knowledge). The Samskaras are not burnt or fried. Savitarka, Nirvitarka, Savichara, Nirvichara, Sasmita and Saananda are the different forms of Savikalpa Samadhi. In Nirbija Samadhi or Asamprajnata Samadhi there is no triad.


A Bhakta gets Bhava-Samadhi, a Jnani gets Badha-Samadhi, a Raja Yogi gets Nirodha Samadhi.


Results

Practice of these precepts is said to result in a state in which one's behavior spontaneously follows the five ethical precepts (Yamas): Ten Traditional Yamas or Codes of Conduct The Yamas are codified as the restraints in numerous scriptures including the Shandilya and Varuha Upanishads, Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Gorakshanatha, the Tirumantiram of Tirumular and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. ...

  • Ahimsa - refraining from injury (non-life supporting action)
  • satya - truthfulness
  • asteya - freedom from stealing
  • bramacharya - living within the Self (moderation; abstinence)
  • aparigraha - freedom from attachment to possessions

  Results from FactBites:
 
Raja Yoga (837 words)
The second sutra states, "Yogas chitta vritti nirodhah," or, "The restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is Yoga." Every thought, feeling, perception, or memory you may have causes a modification, or ripple, in the mind.
In this light, our own Integral Yoga, which is a synthesis of the various branches of Yoga aimed at perfecting all aspects of the individual and gaining mastery over the mind, is Raja Yoga.
The compiler of the sutras and Father of Yoga, Sri Patanjali Maharishi, presented the ancient teachings of Yoga in a systematic way that could be well utilized by his students.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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