Science of Yoga

Raja Yoga in Brief

The excellent Mahayoga in which the Yogi finds himself and the whole universe as God. This is the highest of all Yogas

Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi

Science of Yoga

The steps in RajaYoga, of  which non-injury, truthfulness, non- covetousness, chastity, not receiving anything from another are called Yama. This purifies the mind, the Chitta. Never producing pain by thought, word, and deed, in any living being, is what is called Ahimsa, non – injury. There is no virtue higher than non – injury. There is no happiness higher than what a man obtains by this attitude of non – offensiveness, to all creation. By truth we attain fruits of work. Through truth everything is attained. In truth everything is established. Relating facts as they are – this is truth. Not taking others’ goods by stealth or by force, is called Asteya, non -covetousness.Chastity in thought, word, and deed always and in all conditions, is what is called Brahmacharya. Not receiving any present from anybody, even when one is suffering terribly, is what is called Aparigraha. The idea is when a man receives a gift from another, his heart becomes impure, he becomes low, he loses his independence, he becomes bound and attached.

The following are helps to success in Yoga and are called Niyama or regular habits and observances; Tapas, austerity; Svadhyaya, study; Santosha, contentment; Shaucha,purity;  Ishvara –  Ranidhana, worshiping God.

Fasting, or in other ways controlling the body, is called physical Tapas. Repeating the Vedas and other Mantras, by which the Sattva material in the body is purified, is called study, Svadhyaya.

There are three sorts of repetitions of these Mantras. One is called the verbal, another semi-verbal, and the third mental. The verbal or audible is the lowest, and the inaudible is the highest of all. The repetition which is loud is the verbal; the next one is where only the lips move, but no sound is heard. The inaudible repetition of the Mantra, accompanied with the thinking of its meaning, is called the “Mental Repetition” and is the highest. The sages have said that there are two sorts of purification, external and internal. The purification of the body by Water, Earth or other materials is the external purification, as bathing etc. Purification of the mind by truth, and by all the other virtues, is what is called internal purification. Both are necessary. It is not sufficient that a man should be internally pure and externally dirty.

When both are not attainable the internal purity is the better, but no one will be a Yogi until he has both. Worship of God is by praise, by thought, by devotion.

The next is Asana (posture) the only thing to understand about it is leaving the body free, holding the chest, shoulders, and head straight. Then comes Pranayama. Prana means the vital-forces in one’s own body, Ayama means controlling them. There are three sorts of Pranayama, the very simple, the middle, and the very high. Pranayama is divided into three parts: filling, restraining, and emptying. When you begin with twelve seconds it is the lowest Pranayama; when you begin with twenty- four seconds it is the middle Pranayama; that Pranayama is the best which begins with thirty- six seconds. In the lowest kind of Pranayama there is perspiration, in the medium kind, quivering of the body, and in the highest Pranayama levitation of the body and influx of great bliss.There is a Mantra called the Gayatri. It is a very holy verse of the Vedas. “We meditate on the glory of that Being who has produced this universe; may He enlighten our minds.” Om is joined to it at the beginning and the end. In one Pranayama repeat
three Gayatris.

In all books they speak of Pranayama being divided into Rechaka (rejecting or exhaling), Puraka (inhaling), and Kumbhaka (Restraining, Stationary). The Indriyas, the organs of the senses, are acting outwards and coming in contact with external objects. Bringing them under the control of the will is what is called Pratyahara or gathering towards oneself. Fixing the mind on the lotus of the heart, or on the center of the head, is what is called Dharana. Limited to one spot, making that spot the base, a particular kind of mental waves rises; these are not swallowed up by other kinds of waves, but by degrees become prominent, while all the others recede and finally disappear. Next the multiplicity of these waves gives place to unity and one wave only is left in the mind. This is Dhyana, meditation. When no basis is necessary, when the whole of the mind has become one wave, one – formedness, it is called Samadhi. Bereft of all help from places and centers, only the meaning of the thought is present. If the mind can be fixed on the center for twelve seconds it will be a Dharana, twelve such Dharanas will be a Dhyana, and twelve such Dhyanas will be a Samadhi.