Raja yoga or “royal yoga” is the science of the mind. It deals with exploring the inner world and unleashing knowledge and power contained within. When you look at the system of raja yoga, you see techniques and the possible experiences, and the outcome of those techniques and experiences is balance of mind. That is the aim of raja yoga.
Raja yoga consists of the following systems:
- kriya yoga
- kundalini or laya yoga
- dhyana yoga
- mantra yoga
- Patanjali yoga
This site mainly deals in Patanjali yoga. It is one of the highest forms of yoga in regard of the aspirant’s spiritual development. To be more precise – only after having purified oneself by karma yoga and after having unified the mental tendencies by bhakhti yoga, the aspirant is being given instructions on yoga as defined by Patanjali. By this it is meant that those instructions on yoga become intelligible, fruitful and also palatable to those whose hearts are pure and whose minds are at rest, otherwise not.
The main path of Patanjali yoga is contained within eight fundamental stages. These are:
- social code,
- personal code
- sitting pose
- control of prana
- sense withdrawal
- concentration of the mind
You can read more about them here.
Definition of yoga
This brings us to the definition of what is yoga in raja yoga system. Yoga in raja yoga is as defined in second sutra of Patanjali Yoga Sutras: “To block the patterns of consciousness is yoga”. This in a nutshell means that if you have total control of mind, you achieve the state of yoga. It is impossible for 99% of people to hold their minds under control for even a minute, less alone become even close to the ultimate goal of raja yoga. If you want to read about various patterns of consciousness as defined by Patanjali, continue reading here.
Control the mind
If you would like to get an idea of what takes to control one’s mind watch the following video – make mind your friend not the oppressed one: