Thursday, May 19, 2011

Raja Yoga

Photo: (Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa)

1- Raja Yoga is concerned with the mind, its modifications and its control. There are five states of the mind - Kshipta, Mudha, Vikshipta, Ekagra and Niruddha.

The mind is always running in various directions; its rays are scattered. This is the Kshipta state. Sometimes it is self-forgetful, it is full of foolishness (Mudha). When one tries to practice concentration, the mind seems to get concentrated but gets distracted often. This is Vikshipta. But with prolonged and repeated practice of concentration again and again, and repeating Lord's Name, it becomes one-pointed. This is called the Ekagra state. Later on, it is fully controlled (Niruddha).

It is ready to be dissolved in the Supreme Purusha, when one gets into Samadhi. 2- Raja Yoga is an exact science. It aims at controlling all thought-waves or mental modifications. 3- The 8 limbs are: Yama: Self-restraint, Niyama: Commitments to practice, such as study and devotion, Āsana: The 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 and Dhayana: Meditation (quiet activity leading to samadhi), Samadhi: The quiet state of blissful awareness, superconscious state.