Raja Yoga

What Is Raja Yoga

The Impediments

Sat Ripu - The Six Enemies

Moral Practice

Yama and Niyama

What is Raja Yoga
Translator: Shani Evenstain
The Chakras
Raja Yoga is an ancient technique that teaches those who practice it how to quiet the consciousness and senses, as well as restore one’s morals, through a unique series of exercises. This is an essential step on the way to becoming an apt vehicle,
that can manifest the inner truth that lies in all of us
To understand the essence of Raja Yoga, the soul we want to reach is frequently compared to the bottom of a lake, the water in it to the Chitta - our memories and impressions, and the waves on its surface to Vrittis - the mental waves. As long as there are waves on the surface and the water is not clear, we cannot see the bottom of the lake. Only when the waves dissolve and the water is still, can the bottom of the lake be seen.
How was Raja Yoga, the householders’ Yoga path, created?
According to the Bhrigu Yoga tradition, the ancient Yogis had led solitary lives while practicing various Yogic methods, in order to reach self-awareness. They were financially supported by householders, who lived at the feet of Mt. Himalaya. However, these people, who were busy with their duties to their families and to society, had also begun looking for ways to reach Moksha, so they would also be freed from the strains of the material world. Since they were not able to live in solitude, they knew they would not be able to reach Moksha the way Yogis before them did. They therefore turned to the kings who ruled their region for help. The kings agreed to mediate and called for the Wise and the Yogis, who then created a unique path that would suit the life and routine of householders. This path included short but condense and highly effective exercises, which enabled reaching enlightenment, while carrying a busy family life. They called this path the Royal Yoga, or Raja Yoga.
The eight staged or limbs of Raja Yoga
1) Yama
Discipline, code of conduct and self restraint. Yama includes five directives, which guide the Sadhaka how to behave in order to acquire moral purity.
2) Niama
Observance. Niama includes five directives for inner work. This practice gradually removes the roots of sufferance from the consciousness and prepares the Yogi for the highest state of consciousness.
3) Asana
Physical postures.
4) Pranayama
Control of life energy.
5) Pratyahara
Withdrawal, control of the senses, directing the senses inwards.
6) Dharana
Inner or outer concentration.
7) Dhyana
Meditation, stable concentration.
8) Samadhi
A Supreme state of consciousness; convergence with God; beyond time and space, beyond duality.