The word "Yoga" simply means "Union" or "Connection", and the word "Raja" means "Supreme", "King" or "Master". Raja Yoga is the king of all yogas because through it one can become self-governing. Raja Yoga gives the power to control ones`own mind, because it is the mind that is responsible for creating sorrow and distress.
The mental connection between the soul and Supreme Soul or the remembrance of the Supreme Soul by the soul is called meditation or Raja Yoga Meditation.
The aim of meditation is to become the master of the mind, even to master the personality, and of course to be the master of the physical costume the body. This is achieved through soul-consciousness, which comes through the practice of Raja Yoga Meditation.
Raja Yoga and the Soul
Through the teachings and practise of Raja Yoga, the soul is able to achieve its natural state of peace very easily.
Raja Yoga meditation is the process whereby the practitioner concentrates upon one point in order to integrate discontinuous, diffused attention, thus holding attention steady. All distractions are thus effectively closed out, and meditation proceeds.
Generally, life force is directed to move up and down the spine until it is balanced and the mind and emotions are serenely content. Then awareness is generally directed to move forward into a point in the center of the lower forehead. This meditation point, which is about half an inch above where the eyebrows meet, is called Ajna, or the third eye.
When the energy is balanced throughout the brain, body, and easily moving forward in the area of the third eye, your mind becomes very calm. While your mind is not passive, it is free of meaningless thoughts, worries, and the bric-a-brac of the subconscious mind. This state usually gives you a very pleasant sense of well-being and eternal bliss.
Raja yoga, particularly, requires a teacher because it is easy to strain yourself, and it`s also easy to mislead yourself into high level of hallucinations rather than actual experiences of your higher consciousness.
However, the genuine raja yogi lives in bliss, with his / her, will surrendered to God. Through Raja Yoga Meditation, the soul gets immense joy of an extraordinary kind from its link with the Supreme Soul.
Relationship with the Soul and God
Knowledge of the relationship between the soul and the supreme soul is very essential. In his dealings in life, man remembers every now and then only those who are bound to him by ties of one kind or another. The closer the relationship, the more easily one is reminded of it without any effort. It is very important to realize and feel that God indeed is our Supreme Father-Mother, Teacher, true Friend and Guide, and the real Protector. Relationship is the lever that can lift us to the state of Yoga. So if we have clearly before us, our relationship with God, we shall every now and then be reminded of Him and only this true link redeems all the human beings.
God is the most beautiful being
Beauty is a thing that bewitches man and attracts his mind and understanding again to itself. But beauty of physical body and other things is only temporary and subject to gradual decline and decay. On the contrary, it is the Supreme Soul, the Supreme Father, who is absolutely and truly beautiful. His beauty is spotless; it never suffers change or decline. Remembering Him will make a soul clean and beautiful.
Eight Powers of Raja Yoga Meditation
- The Power To Co-operate
Raja Yoga Meditation imparts the power to cooperate with others. It takes away your ego and selfishness. It teaches you to give as well as accept suggestions and ideas from others.
- The Power To Pack-Up
It gives the ability to go within learn how to pack up all wasteful thinking in a second, so that there is lightness and freedom from burdens and worries, though there may be many responsibilities. Often the mind is full of tensions, worries, and is not able to detach itself from these. Raja Yoga Meditation helps the mind to wind up its thoughts at will.
- Power To Tolerate
Just as trees offer the same fruits even to those who pelt stones at them, a yogi tolerates all attacks on him and does well even to those who offer brickbats to him. In the light frame of mind, one will be able to tolerate all types of situations and people to the extent that there is no sense at all of having to tolerate something or someone. With the understanding that each one is simply playing their role in this immense world-drama, impatience, irritation and annoyance disappear like mists before a strong sun.
- The Power To Accommodate
Just as the ocean accepts different rivers that flow into it, whether polluted or clean, one will be able to adjust to all that is happening around him, a yogi would be able to accommodate others with him. One will be able to adjust into all the happenings around him. Even when the atmosphere is weak and impure, they would not affect him.
- The Power Of Judgment
Meditation enables one to take correct and quick decisions. One will get the ability to accurately assess any situation with clarity and confidence. In a detached, impartial state of mind, one can judge ones own thoughts, words and actions to see if they are beneficial. One will become a judge of the self and not of others.
- The Power to Withdraw
Meditation makes you realise that you are not the body but a soul, which is nothing but an enlightened point of light that has various qualities. This fact allows the yogi to withdraw himself from all the worries and tensions and enable him to contract into a point. In the same way that a tortoise retreats into it`s shell in a moment of danger, or just to rest, a person would be able to retract himself from any situation and remain protected.
- The Power Of Discrimination
Just as an expert jeweler can easily distinguish the false from the pure diamonds, one will acquire the power to distinguish between right and wrong or good and bad. One can accurately discriminate between real truth and the apparent truth, between things of temporary value and those of eternal value and between superficial and the subtle. The power helps in recognizing illusions even when they are sweetly decorated and enticing.
- The Power To Face
Meditation develops the power to endure hardships. Adversities like death of those on whom one depends may come and high storms may rage strongly, yet his flame of equanimity does not get extinguished. Having confidence in one`s spiritual state brings the courage to face any type of situation in a positive manner.
Steps to Begin Raja Yoga Meditation
- Make an appointment with yourself for 10 or 20 minutes each morning or evening.
- Find a quiet place and relax.
- Play some soft music. It can create an appropriate atmosphere.
- Sit comfortably upright on the floor or in a chair. Keep your eyes open and, without staring, gently rest them on a chosen point somewhere in your room.
- Gently withdraw your attention from all sights and sounds. Become the observer of your own thoughts.
- Don`t try to stop thinking, just be the observer, not judging or being carried away by your own thoughts, just watching.
- Gradually they will slow down and you will begin to feel more peaceful. Create one thought for you, about yourself for example, "I am a peaceful soul."
- Hold that thought on the screen of your mind; visualize yourself being peaceful, quite and still. Stay as long as you can in the awareness of that thought. Don`t fight with other thoughts or memories that may come to distract you. Just watch them pass by and return to your created thought, "I am a peaceful soul."
- Now think of the Supreme Soul, who is the ocean of peace, bliss, love, power, knowledge, purity, and truth. Think that you- the soul- is moving out of the body and going to God`s home.
- Once you have reached God`s home- a place that is very beautiful and full of light- imagine that you are seeing God, who is also a point of light. Think of receiving a part of all is qualities.
- Acknowledge and appreciate the positive feelings and other positive thoughts, which may spring directly from this thought.
- Be stable in these feelings for a few minutes. Be aware of unrelated thoughts. Just think that you are gaining the qualities of God.
- Now after your appointment with God is over you have to come back to the earth where your body resides. While coming back think of all those who are in misery and in want of peace, love, power, knowledge, truth, bliss etc.
- Now think that you are giving your qualities that you gained from God to the needy. It is believed that the more you give the more will you gain. So give as much as possible.
- After spreading the qualities around, come back to your body.
- Finish your meditation by closing your eyes for a few moments and creating complete silence in your mind.
Understanding the basic concepts
There are a few concepts in Raja Yoga that are necessary to understand in order to get the most out of Raja Yoga Meditation.
1. The Self-The Soul
3. The Human Tree
3. Understanding the Cycle of Time
4. The Story of the Rise and Fall of Human Souls