Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga is the king of Yogas. It concerns directly with the mind. In this Yoga there is no struggling with Prana or physical body. There are no Hatha Yogic Kriyas. The Yogi seats at ease, watches his mind and silences the bubbling thoughts. He stills the mind, restraints the thought-waves and enters into the thoughtless state or Asamprajnata Samadhi, Hence the name Raja Yoga. Though Raja Yoga is a dualistic philosophy and treats of Prakriti and Purusha, it helps the student in Advaitic  Realization of oneness eventually. Though there is the mention of Purusha, ultimately the Purusha becomes identical with Highest Self or Purusha, or Brahman of Upanishads. Raja Yoga pushes the student to the highest rung of the spiritual ladder of Advaitic realization of Brahman.

Patanjali’s Yoga system is written in Sutras. A ‘Sutra’ is a terse verse. It is an aphoristic saying. It is pregnant with deep, hidden significance. Rishis of yore have expressed philosophical ideas and their realization in the form of Sutras only. It is very difficult to understand the meaning of the Sutras without the help of a commentary, a gloss or a teacher who is well-versed in Yoga. A Yogi with full realization can explain the Sutras beautifully. Literally, Sutra means a thread. Just as various kinds of flowers with different colours are nicely arranged in a string, to make a garland, just as rows of pearls are beautifully arranged in a string to form a necklace, so also Yogic ideas are well-arranged in Sutras. They are arranged into Chapters.

By: Swami Sivananda

Divine Life Society