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Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga
$13.00
Item Code: NAD422
Author: Wallace Slater
Publisher: The Theosophical Publishing House
Language: English
Edition: 2006
ISBN: 8170594782
Pages: 144
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 7.5 inch X 5.0 inch
weight of the book: 166 gms
About the Book

Of all the forms of yoga which are taught and practiced in the East, Raja yoga is considered the kingly science; it aims at the development of man’s full potential and the expression of his inner spiritual self.

In this small volume, the author offers the basic technique of this ancient classic system of yoga in a graded practical ‘do-it-yourself’ course divided into ten lessons. The instructions include posture, right attitudes and, most importantly, methods of meditations. This simplified course will be of inestimable value in aiding the student to find a means of inner quiet amidst the rush and turmoil of a busy life, to discover new insights and to realize himself as an integrated human being.

Preface

This simplified course of Raja Yoga is based on the author’s experience in its practice under personal tuition and with the benefit of a wide study of yoga Literature. The books on the subject go into great detail on the philosophy of yoga. Many are just commentaries on the Yoga-sutra-s of Patanjali, but they do not give detailed instructions in lesson form. There was therefore a need for a graded practical course for the guidance of those unable to have personal tuition. This book can be one’s teacher, the instructions being given in the form of ‘do this’ rather than as vague suggestions.

The course has been planned to take ten months, one lesson a month. At this rate, and going lesson by lesson, the reader will absorb the spirit and practice of Raja Yoga with its great benefits almost imperceptibly. Account has been taken of the person who has a minimum of time to devote to the subject but who, nevertheless, wants to take advantage of its benefits and to know how it may be fitted into a daily routine.

Attention is called to the companion book A Simplified Course of Ha-ha Yoga. That form of yoga is concerned with the control of the physical body. Raja Yoga is directed towards the control of the mind. Both practices are of value and one may begin with either according to natural inclination. It is said that all forms of yoga begin with Ha-ha and end with Raja.

Introduction

The term ‘yoga’ is now generally applied to many forms of asceticism, meditation and spiritual train in whether practiced by Hindus, Buddhists or Christians. It is, however, primarily an ancient Indian form of discipline which has been modified by later Indian writers, adopted by Buddhists and practiced in the West in many different forms by people professing the Christian faith or none. It is therefore to India that we look for the original source material.

Yoga, derived from you, implies ‘to bind together’, ‘to yoke’, and, in this sense, its practice is to unite the individual spirit of man with the greater Spirit of God (Ivara), or with the Over soul of humanity. But first there must be an unbinding, a separation of the external from the internal, of the ‘profane world’ from the spirit. This is achieved by various yoga practices which aim to withdraw consciousness from the periphery to the centre, from the material world of our outward senses to a calm inner centre of reality, variously called spirit, truth, wisdom, the Self, ãtman. At this level man knows that he is one with all humanity and with the Eternal. Yoga may also be regarded as a process for attaining perfection, the goal of normal evolution. According to S. Radhakrishnan, ‘the yoga discipline is nothing more than the purification of the body, mind and soul, and preparing them for the beatific vision’ (Indian Philosophy).

The withdrawal of consciousness from the outer world of the senses may be achieved by control of the physical body in order to open it to the cosmic energy by breathing and physical exercises (Hatha Yoga); by concentrating on the psychic centers to awaken the primordial cosmic energy of the individual (Laya or Kundalini Yoga); by making use of the repetition of certain words and phrases to steady the mind (Mantra Yoga). It may also be achieved by working from the centre to the periphery to effect union of higher and lower by control of thought (Jñäna Yoga); by control of one’s emotional consciousness through devotion to an ideal (Bhakti Yoga); by control of one’s actions from non-selfish motives (Karma Yoga).

These various forms of yoga and others are to be found in the Sanskrit scriptures: the Upanishad-s, particularly the Yogatattva, and the Dhyanabindu and the Nadabindu; the Mahãbhãrata, particularly the added portions, the Bhagavadgita and the Mokshadharma; and the Yoga-sutra-s of Patañjali.

The Yogatattva recognizes four kinds of yoga:

Mantra, Laya, Hatha and Raja; the Mahãbhãrata bases its yoga on direct perception of the mystical aspect of nature, with stress on purity, control of desire and compassion. The Bhagavadgitã undoubtedly represents a high point in Indian spirituality, validating all ‘paths’ of union with the highest.

The classic yoga of India is that of Patañjali, which has been recognized by brãhmana-s as one of the six orthodox systems of philosophy (darana-s). This yoga is Raja Yoga and is said to embrace all six yogas mentioned above. It has also been called the Yoga of Will. It has been defined as the earliest and most scientific treatment of the subject of self-transformation, for the attainment of union with the Real, the Eternal. It develops will through concentration and meditation by tuning the nervous system to be in harmony with higher vibrations.

Eight Steps

The Yoga-sutra-s or Aphorisms of Patanjali set out the system of Raja Yoga as eight steps, stages or subdivisions (ashtanga, literally with eight limbs). These are tabulated in his chapter II, sutra 29, as follows, the Sanskrit term being given here with a simple translation for each:

The above translations are expanded in more detail in the lessons that follow.

Textbooks usually treat the subject sequentially in the above order on the principle that each stage depends upon some mastery of the earlier stages. In this course each lesson embraces several subdivisions to enable the student to proceed at a steady all-round pace along the several lines of development.

The first two stages are essential preliminary preparation or requirements and deal with morality and ethics. The next three are concerned with the discipline of the body and the senses. The five are thus external preparation (bahiranga).

The last three stages are internal (antaranga) and cover all aspects of mind control. 1. Yama
2. Niyama
3. Asana
4. Frãnayãma
5. Pratyãhãra
6. Dhãranã
7. Dhyãna
8. Samãdhi

self-restraint self-discipline posture control of breath control of the senses concentration meditation contemplation

The above translations are expanded in more detail in the lessons that follow. Textbooks usually treat the subject sequentially in the above order on the principle that each stage depends upon some mastery of the earlier stages. In this course each lesson embraces several subdivisions to enable the student to proceed at a steady all-round pace along the several lines of development.

The first two stages are essential preliminary preparation or requirements and deal with morality and ethics. The next three are concerned with the discipline of the body and the senses. The five are thus external preparation (bahiranga).

The last three stages are internal (antaranga) and cover all aspects of mind control.

The instructions and exercises in this course are grouped under five headings:

Behavior. This covers self-restraint and self discipline, yama and niyama, and is particularly concerned with the moral and ethical requirements before full yoga practices can be effective or even safe.

Body Discipline. This deals with those postures, ãsana-s, used for meditation, but includes general advice for the health of the body by attention to personal hygiene, diet and relaxation.

Breathing. Control of breath, pranaydma.

Sense Restraint. Control of the senses, pratyahara, literally ‘drawing back’, hence restraining the mind from following the impressions of the senses, or freedom from the senses.

Meditation. This is the most important practice in Rj a Yoga and covers all aspects of mind control from concentration of thought (dhãranã, or exclusive attention to one idea), through meditation (dhyana, or continued attention taken beyond the plane of sensuous perception) to contemplation (samJdhi, the final fulfillment or state of ecstasy). This threefold process is called samyama, which has been translated as ‘poise’; its literal meaning is ‘holding together’.

The above classification is used throughout the lessons. The course is meant to be a practical one to be taken slowly, making sure of the careful practice of each lesson before proceeding to the next one.

Sanskrit terms

Throughout this course Sanskrit terms have been included because they will be of help for reference purposes when consulting other books on yoga, some of which use only Sanskrit terms. There is, otherwise, no need to be concerned about them, except insofar as they give a meaning beyond the simple English translation. This will become evident as the course proceeds.

Contents

Preface ix
Introduction 1
Eight Steps 3
Lesson 1
Behavior I (Restraint and Discipline) 7
Non-violence 9
Cleanliness 11
Body Discipline 1 12
Personal Hygiene 13
Relaxation 15
Breathing 1 16
Basic Breath 16
Daily Practice 17
Lesson 2
Behavior 2 18
Non-falsehood 18
Contentment 19
Body Discipline 2 20
Diet 1 20
Breathing 2 21
Prang 22
Pena Breathing 23
Daily Practice 23
Lesson 3
Behavior 3 25
Non-stealing 25
Austerity 26
Body Discipline 3 28
Postures 28
Simple Cross-legged 29
Egyptian 29
Breathing 3 30
Regular Deep (rhythmic) Breathing 30
Daily Practice 31
Lesson 4
Behavior 4 33
Non-sensuality 33
Self-study 34
Body Discipline 4 35
Advanced Cross-legged Posture 35
Lotus Posture 36
Diet 2 37
Breathing 4 38
Bellows Breath 39
Sense Restraint 1 40
Sight 41
Smell and Taste 42
Daily Practice 44
Lesson 5
Behavior 5 45
Non-acquisitiveness 46
Devotion to an Ideal 47
Sense Restrain to 2 48
Hearing 48
Touch 50
Meditation in General concentration 1 51
on an External Object 53
On an Internal Object 55
on an Idea 57
Daily Practice 58
Lesson 6
Sense Restraint 3 60
Concentration 2 64
on a Journey 65
Selective Thinking 66
Meditation 1 66
on a concrete Object 68
Daily Practice 69
Lesson 7
Revision Of First Five Steps 71
Concentration 3 72
on an Occult Centre 73
on a Quotation or Mantra 76
Examples of Mantra-s 78
Meditation 2 80
on a Virtue 81
Daily Practice 82
Lesson 8
Vehicles Of Consciousness 85
Concentration 4 87
on the Self 87
Meditation 3 88
on a Quotation 89
on the Self 91
Contemplation 1 93
using a Quotation 96
on Virtue 98
Daily Practice 98
Lesson 9
Contemplation 2 100
on the Self 101
on the Impersonal 103
on Unity 105
Meditation On Helping Others 107
Therajayog1n 110
Daily Practice 111
Lesson 10
Revision And Advice For The Future 112
Behaviour 113
Body Discipline 114
Breathing 115
Sense Restraint 116
Concentration 117
Meditation 118
Contemplation 123
Typical Daily Practice 124
The Path 127
Index 131

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