Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What is Raja Yoga / Patanjali Yoga ?

Last 2 messages we were dealing with 2 broad types of meditation – Raja Yoga Meditation and Jnana Yoga Meditation .We also saw that Jnana Yoga Meditation will only successfully lead us to the end of the spiritual journey but being very subtle and tricky not everyone can practice it and hence must first start with Raja Yoga Meditation .

Now what is Raja Yoga Meditation ? Raja Yoga Meditation is also shortly called as Raja Yoga / Ashtanga Yoga / Patanjali Yoga . It is an 8 step process for preparing the body and mind for higher spiritual quest ( i.e Jnana Yoga ) . The entire science of Raja Yoga has been codified and systematized by Maharishi Patanjali 2000 years back in his work “ Raja Yoga Sutras “ also called as “Patanjali Yoga Sutras “ . All the instructions here are in the form of short verses called “Sutras” . The entire work consist of 196 Sutras divided in to 4 Chapters .Each Chapter is called a “Pada” and the 4 Padas are 1) Samadhi Pada 2) Sadhana Pada 3) Vibuthi Pada and 4) Kaivalya Pada . Maharishi Patanjali has wonderfully systematized these 196 sutras in an 8 step process called as “Ashtanga Yoga “ ( Ashta means eight ) . Each of these eight steps fits in wonderfully in to the other and are inter-related . Just like we have tools to measure any parameter these 8 steps offer and excellent tool to the Yoga practitioner as to where he stands in the spiritual journey .These steps are so scientific and universal that none can bypass the same and have to follow the same route . This universality of Yoga Sutras is what has made Yoga a very popular science world over and everybody looks to Maharaishi Patanajali’s sutras for their spiritual inspiration . Now what are these 8 steps ? We will look at it in the next message .



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