Raja yoga

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In Hinduism, raja yoga is considered to be the “royal” or highest path to union with God, hence “the royal road to reintegration.” In raja yoga, one seeks to realize God by the control of the mind and emotions through concentration and meditation. It is looked upon as a psychological process or experiment, wherein one enters into certain mental exercises and observes the inner spiritual effects. The goal, as explained by Huston Smith in The Religions of Man, is to attain the “direct personal experience of ‘the beyond that is within.’”[1]

As defined in The Pearl of the Orient, by Geoffrey A. Barborka, the term “Râja-Yoga signifies ‘kingly union’ or the royal union of man’s faculties, spiritual, mental, moral and physical.”[2]

The ascended masters teach that raja yoga is a means of attaining integration in all of the chakras and in the I AM Presence; it is the royal road to reintegration with one’s Divine Self. The key to this reintegration is the violet flame and the science of the spoken Word, the resolution of one’s psychology and demonstrating union with God through acts beneficial to self and society.

For the student of the ascended masters, raja yoga, as well as all other forms of yoga, must include the path of the ruby ray under the ruby ray masters.

The science of raja yoga

The ascended masters encourage our study of raja yoga. Lady Master Leto says:

We have need of those who see the path of Christhood as one of experiment, experiment with the energies of self, as on the path of raja yoga, the path that is the integration of all of the yogas that mankind have known and all of the asanas, all of the meditations. It is the integration of the God Flame, the flame of Spirit within the crucible of Mater....

This is science. It is the science of the inner man becoming the manifestation of God. I desire that you should prove the way of the Christ and the Buddha scientifically, for it is Law. It can be demonstrated. It is physics. It is chemistry. It is psychology. It is beyond the senses and yet provable. It is intangible, yet tangible.[3]

The eight stages of raja yoga

Raja yoga has eight stages (also called parts or limbs).

The first stage is abstention from evil-doing. There are five abstinences: non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, chastity and non-possession. This includes refraining from possessing whatever contributes to the enjoyment of the senses. The goal of the yogi is to obtain enlightenment through concentration. Distractions in the form of possessions take him away from that end.

The second stage of raja yoga is the five observances: purity, contentment, austerity, study of the scriptures, and the constant thought of divinity.

The third stage of raja yoga is the bodily postures, the asanas of hatha yoga. There are eighty-four postures, which help to strengthen the body and stabilize the mind. Thus hatha yoga has been called “the ladder to raja yoga.”[4] According to Patanjali, “Posture becomes firm and relaxed through control of the natural tendencies of the body, and through meditation on the Infinite.”[5]

The fourth stage of raja yoga is breath control, or pranayama. Patanjali describes pranayama as “stopping the motions of inhalation and exhalation. The breath may be stopped externally, or internally, or checked in mid-motion, and regulated according to place, time and a fixed number of moments, so that the stoppage is either protracted or brief.”[6] The purpose of pranayama is to control the mind. It also purifies the body and promotes longevity.

The fifth stage of raja yoga is withdrawal of the senses from sense objects. The yogi who has faithfully practiced the first five stages should now be able to focus the mind.

But even raja yoga does not offer the violet flame. When you use the violet flame all the meandering and restlessness of the mind is transmuted, and you don’t have to go on forever fighting distractions. You are gradually purifying the mental body. So the Mind of Christ is within that mental body, and there is a flow of concentration in contemplation.

The sixth stage of raja yoga is concentration on one object, and the seventh stage is meditation or contemplation: merging with the object. The yogi should first choose an object or form to contemplate, such as the image of a deity or his guru. Or he can fix the mind upon the inner light. Patanjali tells us that we can fix our minds upon “any divine form or symbol that appeals to [us] as good.”[7] The yogi can move from contemplating this form to contemplating formlessness.

The eighth stage of raja yoga is identification or absorption in the Atman, the state called samadhi.

Samadhi

Patanjali defines samadhi as follows:

Just as the pure crystal takes color from the object which is nearest to it, so the mind, when it is cleared of thought-waves, achieves sameness or identity with the object of its concentration.... This achievement of sameness or identity with the object of concentration is known as samadhi.[8]

There are lower and higher forms of samadhi. In the lower, the yogi attains identification with the spiritual teacher, guru or deity he has chosen to contemplate. In the highest form there is no separation between Atman and Brahman. As Shankara describes it: “There is no longer any identification of the Atman with its coverings.”[9] This is the great mystery of the inner path of Hinduism.

You may also concentrate and focus your attention, as Saint Germain teaches, on your mighty I AM Presence, that focus of the I AM THAT I AM in the Chart of Your Divine Self. The painting will soon dissolve, and beyond it you will see the reality of your glorious Great God Self.

Focusing on the I AM THAT I AM polarizes your entire being to that level, which in Kabbalah is named Keter—the first sefirah to come forth out of Ein Sof. That is the point of sublime union. When you have idle moments, develop the habit of meditating on your mighty I AM Presence, pouring love to your mighty I AM Presence, exalting that Presence, thinking of all the wonderful attributes of the I AM Presence—and see how you become an electrode in the earth for drawing down the currents of that high state of consciousness into the planet.

Bringing Spirit into Matter

In the East, the whole pattern is getting Matter up to Spirit, or getting the consciousness out of Matter, escaping Matter and going into Spirit. And that’s why the word “OM” is used, because it cycles energies up into the Presence.

The emphasis in the West is bringing Spirit into Matter. We do that by the affirmation “I AM THAT I AM,” which cycles energies from the Presence down to this plane.

That is our path. If we accept it, we can have the integration that we seek, which is the integration of the soul’s reunion with the I AM Presence in the ascension. Raja yoga does not promise the ascension; the highest thing it promises is samadhi. But you come back from samadhi and you are still in this form; you are still carrying around your karma.

See also

Yoga

Sources

Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 33, no. 44, November 11, 1990.

Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Masters and the Spiritual Path

  1. Huston Smith, The Religions of Man (Harper & Row, 1965), p. 53.
  2. Geoffrey A. Barborka, The Pearl of the Orient: The Message of the Bhagavad-Gita for the Western World (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1968), p. 11.
  3. Leto, April 15, 1976.
  4. Alain Daniélou, Yoga: Mastering the Secrets of Matter and the Universe (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions International, 1991), p. 31.
  5. Patanjali, Yoga Sutra 2:47, in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., How to Know God (Hollywood, Calif.: Vedanta Press, 1981), p. 161.
  6. Patanjali, Yoga Sutra 2:49-50, in Prabhavananda and Isherwood, How to Know God, p. 162.
  7. Patanjali, Yoga Sutra 1:39, in Prabhavananda and Isherwood, How to Know God, p. 76.
  8. Patanjali, Yoga Sutra 1:41, in Prabhavananda and Isherwood, How to Know God, p. 79.
  9. Shankara, quoted in Prabhavananda and Isherwood, How to Know God, p. 93.