Skip to main content

Raja Yoga effects meaning, definition and everything you want to know

Hinduism prescribes four paths to attain self-realization on the spiritis interestingual path. These are Karma Yoga,  Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga. Each path  and presents different challenges to spiritual seekers. In this post, lets understand about Raja Yoga, what it means and who are the spiritual masters in Hinduism who have mastered this form of Yoga.  



                              [Source: Paramahansa Yogananda Facebook page]


A song by Leonardo Cohen 'Anthem' goes like this, ''There's a crack in everything. That's how the Light gets in."

Think about your heart. Way too often, it is a a broken heart with cracks that leads you to ask questions like, 'What is the purpose of my life?'. Ah yes, this is how the Light gets in, my dear friends.

Raja Yoga Meaning, Definition and Effect
Raja Yoga is generally seen as the path of meditation and it is known as the king among Yogas. Why? It relies on techniques that are based on science. The mind is of utmost importance while practicing Raja Yoga. It is perceived as an instrument that looks inward and uncovers the inner self. 

In the words of Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, "Yoga unites mind power with cosmic power. Raja Yoga, the 'royal yoga,' is the science of God realization. It was masterfully systemized by the great sage Patanjali in his Yoga Sutra. It combined the highest form from all other yoga disciplines. In Raja Yoga, He has given you the science of how to direct your mind to Him - the real science of prayer by which you can contact God and commune with Him."

Some key points to keep in mind: 

1. Mediate because you truly want to and not for any other reason.  


2. Meditation is just a small facet of Raja Yoga. It involves many other techniques before you can come close to mastering it. 


3. You also need the constant the guidance of a highly evolved spiritual master. The guru or teacher directs the flow of Divine energy in the aspirant towards the heart and the spine, awakening and energizing the phases of spiritual growth so that the mind ceases to wander, the heart center opens and the actual state of self-illumination is realized by the aspirant while on that path itself. 


4. During this time of spiritual evolution, there will be the blessings and guidance of divine beings such as the Rishis, saints, angel beings who are known to appear and teach the aspirant to gain knowledge and mastery over specific techniques and practices.


5. To practise Raja Yoga, you don't need to be a religious believer or practicing a specific religion as such. You rely on observation, intuition, discrimination and experience. Everything you learn in Raja yoga is based on direct experience.


                                   [Source: Paramahansa Yogananda Facebook page]

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda and Swami Vivekananda are Hinduism's most renowned spiritual masters on this path. To know more, read their books and teachings on Raja Yoga. 

Are you keen to learn more about Raja Yoga or are you already following it? Do share your experiences, I'd love to hear from you.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I have read somewhere that, people who are in depression are adviced not to do meditation.. Is it true?
Anu said…
Informative post on Raja Yoga, looking forward to one on Karma yoga...or have I missed it?
flame93 said…
Thank you! Also check this fat burning yoga routine
Asha said…
Swapna, i watch a programme called "awakening" in aastha @7.10. Raja yoga practitioner Brahma kumari Shivani verma and Dr. Girish patel in conversation with kanupriya titled lifeskill series is very very insightful and is a precursor to anybody who wants to practice rajayoga. there is one more called "being bliss" where shivani verma is in conversation with suresh oberoi. Both the series are wonderful and are very practical for day to day life. you can catch them on youtube also.
Preen Maddox said…
Nice video. yoga exercises also helps to to improve reaction and coordination, also memory, and even IQ scores.yoga workout necessary to burn fat
Raji Rainbow said…
Thanks for creating and sharing the series on spirituality and spiritual development, Swapna. Was really looking forward to such articles from you. Thanks again!

Most Popular Posts

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered the possibility that my thoughts and my personal journey would receive such online abuse or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience and not to insult others. My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to shout that as being insulting to your experience because our journeys are entirely different narratives. 

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.The intention of my article is to question - why are we even exchanging insults over an issue called caste? 

Should we not be aspiring to be above caste considerations instead of abusing each other …

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

Mahadmrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra nee

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Do read my post: Does Mahamrityunajaya mantra really work?Of course, it does but you need to undertstand the meaning and significance of the mantra first.
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he becam…

Sage Tiruvalluvar's golden advice on how friendship affects your life

Ruzbeh N Bharucha's latest book, ICE with Very Unusual Spirits, is a book that I have absolutely enjoyed reading. While reading every chapter, I began to contemplate a lot on the friendships in my life, as the book blends in some of the most valuable teachings of Sage Tiruvalluvar and Sai Baba of Shirdi. The essence of the book revolves around true friendship and how it can make us not just more human but it can make us divine beings too.




As human beings, we thrive on friendship. These days, I've started wondering, ''Is there real friendship out there?'' From experiences that span four decades now (yeah, I am that old!), I am beginning to wonder about the authenticity of most ''friendships.'' [Do read: How to Console a Friend who Lost her Spouse]

A friend whom we knew since childhood days invites us home for dinner but when we visit, we don't get served dinner, but popcorn. Our mistake? We arrived in an auto, instead of a taxi (it is a differe…

Why love matters - Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh has an amazing insight to share!

What is love? It means different things to different people. 

Have you thought about it? Do read: POWER OF LOVE

When a mother loves her child, have you noticed that the mother's love doesn't change with time or place or even when a child does not reciprocate it? 

Perhaps there is none of the ''my happiness', 'my priority', 'my desires' sort of mentality in the relationship. There is an element of being desireless, in the sense, that the mother wants no material or physical gain from the relationship. The mother may have big dreams of her child becoming X,Y and Z but not necessarily to materially benefit from this. Being itself is enough. 'Being a Mother' is tinged with a sense of happiness despite all the daily struggles and challenges that it brings.

Typically a mother is so engrossed and involved in raising her child, without a sense of a separation of the Self. In a sense, everything else ceases to matter. That kind of love doesn't change…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.
[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in …

Sukhamo Devi: Directed by Venu Nagavally

Not just as a fan of Venu Nagavally but as an avid movie watcher, I have to admit that Sukhamo Devi is a path breaking Malayalam movie that influenced many youths in Kerala. A campus romance with a most heart wrenching narrative and happy moments, by his own admission, Director Venu Nagavally called it a true portrayal of his own tragic love story.



The campus movie paved the way for a great shift in the realm of story telling, scripting, music and even the characterization of the protagonists. The way this movie reached out to touch and influence young minds cannot be expressed sufficiently in words. It changed our perceptions about campus romance, friendships, relationships and even the intimacy of our experiences in campus once we have come of the mould and learned to separate ourselves from those whom we once considered central to our happiness in life. 

Remember, the song ''Sukhamo Devi'' and see how it just transports you into another world altogether? Mohanlal, Sh…

A Dad's advice to the daughter he loves: Be yourself, remember you are special and treasure your strengths

Just a week ago, Dad gave me a very emotional pep talk at the Bangalore airport. The good thing is that whenever I feel emotionally vulnerable or stressed out, I replay Dad's conversation. It lifts me up and instantly brings a huge smile to my face. That's my Dad - yeah! 




As a teenager, Bangalore used to be one of my favorite cities though the garden city was not as ''global'' and ''vibrant'' as it is today. It was a pretty cool place to go shopping for stylish accessories, not that I could splurge and go crazy with shopping but I could do so on a limited budget. So, I used to look forward to our summer trips to Bangalore, from where we would head out to Whitefield. 

The busy, broad streets, the scent of street food and the vibrant atmosphere had always perked me up every time I reached Bangalore. Be it heading to Puttaparthi or Whitefield, my parents and I have traveled to Bangalore so many times that it became a kind of ''routine'…

Gayatri Mantra as Panchamukhi: Get it right or let it go

Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. It is only when I began to read Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings that I learned how sacred and powerful the chanting of the Gayatri mantra is.
The Vedas represent the breath of God. The Gayatri mantra is the very basis of the Vedas. Try not to undertake chanting the Gayatri mantra as a light endeavor or as a hobby. It has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra  and never once hesitate once you decide to do it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that the Gayatri Mantra is referred to as Pancha Mukhi, the Goddess with five faces that represent the five pranas or life forces. Here's more on it.


Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly: Pause Five Times Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra:

1. Wh…

Mumbai Police Movie Review: Prithviraj breaks the typical 'hero' mold, challenges sexual stereotyping

Exploring a completely different dimension in his latest film Mumbai Police, Director Rosshan Anddrews delivers a fast-paced, thriller film after his award winning fims such as Udayananu Tharam, Notebook and others.



To flesh out the script written by Boby Sanjay, Rosshan Anddrews ropes in actors such as Prithviraj, Rahman and Jayasurya to portray three police officers: Antony Moses, Farhan and Aryan respectively.
The story begins with a phone call that Antony Moses (starring Prithviraj) makes to Farhan (starring Rahman) saying that he has solved the murder mystery of Aryan (starring Jayasurya). Just as he says this, there is an accident and Antony Moses loses his memory. From then, Farhan's attempt is to take Antony through people and places that are likely to trigger his memory so that they can solve the murder of their close friend and colleague Aryan. A series of events happen, almost hurtling us towards it.
And I am taking the liberty to hand out trophies for the following:
'M…