What is Raja Yoga?
The word Raja refers to the monarchy. A king behaves with self-sufficiency, certainty, and independence. Similarly, a Raja Yogi is self-sufficient, brave, and autonomous. The training of Raja Yoga is a kind of self-discipline and commitment.
Along with Jnana (knowledge), Bhakti (devotion), and Karma (activity), Raja yoga is amongst the four ancient schools of Yoga, each of which offers a road to moksha (spiritual emancipation) and self-realization.
Raja means king in Sanskrit, alluding to Raja yoga’s standing as a royal pathway of Yoga. Raja yoga is a term used to describe both the aim of Yoga and the means of achieving it. As a result, it points to the feeling of serenity and satisfaction from regular yoga and meditation practice.
Raja yoga is Yoga that focuses on body and mind control. It incorporates lessons from all major traditions, and Hatha Yoga, and new Asana practice developed from Raja yoga.
Because Raja yoga encompasses all three aspects of human life (physical, mental, and spiritual), practitioners may attain stability and synchronization on all three levels.
Swami Vivekananda compared Raja yoga with Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras in his 19th-century. As a result, Raja yoga and Ashtanga yoga, or the ‘eightfold road to spiritual liberation,’ have become interchangeable. Also, Raja yoga has variably been named ashtanga yoga, royal yoga, Sahaj Marg, and Classical Yoga.
The most significant impediment to self-realization, according to Raja yoga, is a busy mind, in which excessive thinking, ego, desire, attachment, and a distinct sense of self all lead to suffering.
Working through Patanjali’s eight limbs of Yoga’s mind and body practices is said to bring the trainee closer to Samadhi, an enlightened state of awareness in which he/she may experience the authentic self.
Raja Yoga has eight sections, so we often call it Ashtanga Yoga.
- Yama: Self-control
- Niyama: Discipline
- Asana: Physical Training
- Pranayama: Breathing Drills
- Pratyahara: Withdrawal of the senses from the material world
- Dharana: The Unwavering Concentration
- Dhyana: Meditation
- Samadhi: The Final Realization; Becoming one with Universe
Raja Yoga’s eight phases give a methodical approach to achieving inner calm, clarity, self-control, and Realization.
Eight Steps of Raja Yoga
Yama – Self-Control
It consists of five moralities:
Ahimsa refers to the practice of not inflicting pain or injury on any breathing being by one’s thoughts, words, or actions. Nonviolence also entails avoiding the use of lethal force.
Meat consumption causes the death of a living being. Yogis eat only vegetarian foods because of this concept.
Animals have a powerful instinct that alerts them to the fact that they are about to die. They know they are about to be butchered and are terrified of death.
They produce hormones of fear and tension throughout their bodies. These hormones are still existing in the meat of the murdered animal and are consumed by unwitting humans. This meal is the source of a lot of irrational phobias, neuroses, and psychoses.
It is excellent and proper to say the truth constantly, but how we communicate the truth is essential. We can throw facts like a dagger at someone, but we also can wrap that same reality in loving words.
To avoid violating the concept mentioned above of Ahimsa, we should follow Mahaprabhuji’s counsel, which says, “Each of your sentences should fall like blossoms from your lips.”
Being genuine also entails not hiding your sentiments, not being evasive, and not making excuses. We may conceal our natural face from the eyes of others for a while, but there is at least one person who understands our inner truth, i.e., the inner self. Therefore, our awareness serves as a testimony.
Asteya refers to the principle of never taking anything that belongs to someone else. It includes not just the taking of physical items but also the taking of mental property, such as robbing someone of a chance, hope, or pleasure.
The exploitation of nature and environmental devastation are also included in this category.
Sexual abstinence is how Brahmacharya is often translated. But there’s a lot more to it than that.
Our thoughts should constantly be directed towards God, according to Brahmacharya. It isn’t said that we shouldn’t be concerned about our responsibilities in the world.
On the contrary, we should approach these tasks with caution, constantly remembering that “I am not the doer; God alone is the doer.”
Aparigraha (Non-Accumulation of Possessions)
We should not amass wealth but rather acquire and utilize precisely what we need to survive. A person with many things has many concerns.
We are born with no possessions, and when we leave this world again, we leave everything behind. No accumulation also entails granting others their freedom rather than clinging to them. We also liberate ourselves by letting go. As a result, giving freedom entails being free oneself.
Niyama – Discipline
It comprises five principles. These are:
Shauca: The Purity
External cleanliness is crucial, but inner cleanliness is much more essential. Our ideas and sentiments and our clothes and bodies should all be free of impurities. We may say the same about the individuals with whom we interact.
It is very beneficial to our spiritual growth to be in the company of individuals who positively affect us, who are spiritual, and encourage us with their knowledge.
The most valuable possession we can have is contentment. Tulsidas, an Indian poet, once observed, “You may have money and precious stone mines, but inner unhappiness ruins all prosperity.”
Only when we understand that all worldly commodities bring disappointment and that inner richness brings greater delight than earthly riches can we achieve fulfillment.
Tapa: Self Control
When faced with difficulty and hurdles in life, we should never give up. Instead, we should remain steadfastly committed to our chosen course.
The secret to success is to continue to practice with self-discipline, patience, and endurance.
Svadhyaya: The Knowledge
As Yoga seekers, we should familiarise ourselves with classic Yoga literature such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, among others. These texts offer us invaluable information and support on our Yoga journey.
Ishvara Pranidhana: Devotion to God
With complete commitment, turn whatever you do over to the Divine Self. God protects all who submit with confidence and faith.
Asana: Physical Training
Pranayama: Breathing Drills
Pranayama (breathing exercises) and Asana (physical activities) are two types of Yoga themselves. Raja Yogis gain control of their minds while managing their bodies and breath.
These asana causes the inner energies to awaken, which will continue to guide you on your spiritual journey.
Pratyahara: Withdrawal of the Senses from the material world
Yogis can orient their thoughts and senses in either an inner or an outward direction at whim. A tortoise, for example, may retract its limbs and head behind its shell and then stretch them out again.
Once Pratyahara is under control, it is possible to become independent of external factors. When wanted, one may instantly remove the senses from external things and, when desired, employ the reasons deliberately and fully aware.
We practice Pratyahara in the early stages of Meditation, which involves maintaining the body immobile, the eyes closed, the mind calm, and the concentration focused inside. Pratyahara may be practiced using a variety of different approaches.
One Meditation practice begins by focusing attention on external noises, nature, distance, and other factors – just noticing the sound. Gradually, one’s consciousness is brought to one’s “inner space,” to the noises that emanate from inside the body. We can only advance to concentration until we have mastered the phase of Pratyahara.
Dharana: The Unwavering Concentration
Dharana refers to the ability to concentrate one’s thoughts and emotions on a single thing. We usually succeed for a brief time before new things enter our minds and distract us.
After only a few minutes, we become aware of our inability to concentrate. We haven’t perfected Dharana until we can focus on a single idea or object for an extended time in any scenario.
Trataka (candle meditation), Asanas, Pranayamas, and Mantra chanting aid in enhancing concentration.
All meditation techniques are only warm-ups towards true Meditation. We cannot learn to meditate in the same way that we cannot learn to sleep. We become peaceful and quiet in our bodies, and then we fall asleep. Meditation takes place when the mind is at rest.
Meditation does not allow for imagination since it is a product of the intellect. A powerful computer with a significant quantity of storage may be likened to the human brain. While it is conceivable to store all of the data in the Universe there, this “computer” is also limited.
Only the information that has been fed into our human brain may be duplicated. Meditation allows us to experience pure existence. The minute the mind is tranquil and the separate ego ceases to exist, divine light shines inside the heart, and we become one with it.
Samadhi: The Final Realization; Becoming one with Universe
The knower, the object of knowledge, and the knower’s knowledge all come together in Samadhi. The knower (i.e., the one doing the practice), knowledge (i.e., what is God), and the object of knowledge (i.e., God) all merge into one. This Part means to become one with Divine awareness.
Those who achieve Samadhi see a heavenly, bright light, hear a piece of cosmic music and experience an endless expanse inside themselves. When we achieve Samadhi, we are like a river that ultimately pours into the sea after a long and painful trip. All hurdles are overawed, and the river and the ocean are permanently linked.
A Yogi reaches the end of the road and merges with the Supreme Consciousness in the same manner. The Yogi’s awareness discovers everlasting peace, happiness, and tranquillity – the Yogi is free. The only one who has suffered pain knows what suffering feels like; the one who has loved knows what love feels like, and the one who has experienced Samadhi knows how Samadhi feels.
All dualism disintegrates at this moment. There is no such thing as day or night, darkness or light, characteristics or colors. In the Supreme Self, everything is unified. Yoga’s purpose is to unite the human soul with the Cosmic soul.
Benefits of Raja Yoga
Helps in fighting Stress, Anxiety, and Hypertension
Everybody needs to pick up the opportunity from anxiety and stress, and Yoga has been elevated as a go-to apparatus for definitive alleviation. Be that as it may.
However, Yoga manages the breathing procedure; the contemplation method of Raja yoga manages the brain and its condition of tranquillity. For instance, if somebody is furious or yelling at you, you can’t breathe normally and rehearse yoga asanas, yet a quiet personality is constantly valuable to confront the circumstance.
Improve Personal Relationships
Interpersonal connections may strengthen with the ideas that are the heart of Raja yoga. Every one of us forms a soul and an element of the Universe.
The soul has no religion tied to it. Everybody has their own weaknesses and strengths. Eventually, take a peek at the qualities and overlook the flaws. Therefore, this is the most refined technique to develop deep connections.
Create a Sense of Well-Being
A sense of wealth may be created simply by having a calm demeanor, doing beautiful deeds, attempting to get the job done efficiently, having beautiful relationships, and attempting to alter yourself rather than others.
Raja Yoga Meditation focuses on all of these standpoints and serves as a guide for putting these ideas into practice.
Enhances Cognitive Functions
Remaining in the current moment is the best way to improve memory and concentration. Raja yoga meditation teaches you to be present in the present moment and to focus on one problem at a time.
Focusing on a single task at a time improves productivity and allows you to achieve the best results. If this Meditation is practiced from an early age, it aids in developing mental capacity and outperforms aspirations in various areas, including examinations, athletics, extracurriculars, etc., by enhancing self-assurance.
More Mind Clarity and Reduced Brain Fog
People claim that the ultimate achievement to date is just not accumulating all the fame, wealth, and assets. The most significant achievement is figuring out what is your purpose in life.
Life becomes more enjoyable the very day you discover that justification and achieve a balance among your wants and necessities. It entails spending some time silently for yourself and tapping into your innermost self. This Meditation can help people consider how silence may significantly impact personal and global development.
Reduce Negativity and Anger
In various periods of life, the soul establishes unfavorable tendencies resulting from a forced birth, resulting from a living situation, environment, and behavior.
Therefore, Raja Yoga Meditation is based on the soul’s core values, such as Wisdom, Respect, Harmony, Pleasure, Ecstasy, Integrity, and Empowerment. These are all great attributes, and whenever they are absorbed into our life, they push away the negativity from the mind.
Induces Deep Sleep
The most important aspect of maintaining a healthy character and physique is to get enough sleep. A pressure, stress, and other factors may all contribute to a lack of resting capability.
Mainly, pressure occurs when we are doing things inappropriately, and hence. As a result, uneasiness arises. This Yoga teaches us to focus on proper conduct and to think positively about everything.
- The information given in this blog is relying on detailed online analysis and published for educational purposes only and therefore does not qualify for expert health advice.
- I advise people to contact a licensed specialist or healthcare provider if they’re seeking a medical diagnosis, treatment, or medication.
- I am not responsible for risks or problems involved with utilizing or relying upon the knowledge in this section.