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Yoga, Raja (Meditation) Yoga, Hatha Yoga

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  • medit8ionsociety
    Now I proceed to explain the system of yoga philosophy in brief and bring home to the readers the salient and vital points in the yogic system. Yoga teaches
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 7, 2003
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      Now I proceed to explain the system of yoga philosophy in brief and
      bring home to the readers the salient and vital points in the yogic
      system. Yoga teaches how to control the vrttis (thought-waves) of the
      mind and get freedom. Yoga teaches how to curb the outgoing mind and
      attain one's pure state of bliss by going beyond the mind. Yoga
      teaches how to transmute the unregenerate nature and attain the state
      of divinity. Yoga is a complete suppression of the tendency of the -
      mind to transform itself into objects, thoughts, etc.

      Raja yoga is an exact science. One can ascend the yogic ladder
      patiently through its different rungs. The highest summit of the
      ladder is asamprajnata samadhi (superconsciousness), wherein all the
      samskaras (mental impressions), which bring about successive births,
      are absolutely fried up. The eight limbs of astanga yoga are: yama
      (self-restraint), niyama (religious observances or canons), asana
      (posture), pranayama (restraint of breath), pratyahara (abstraction
      of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi
      (super-conscious state).

      This is one kind of classification of yoga: karma, upasana, raja yoga
      and jnana. This is yogatraya (three-fold yoga). Upasana is bhakti.
      Another classification is mantra yoga, laya yoga, hatha yoga and raja
      yoga. Mantra yoga is recitation of mantras as "Om Namah Sivaya"
      of Lord Siva, "Om Namo Narayanaya" of Lord Vishnu, Gayatri, etc. Laya
      yoga is kundalini yoga. Nada anusadhana (concentration on anahata
      sounds of heart) is also laya yoga. Laya means dissolution. The mind
      is dissolved in God.

      Hatha yoga relates to the restraint of breath (pranayama), Asanas,
      bandhas, mudras, etc. 'Ha' and `Tha' means the union of sun
      and moon, union of prana and apana. Hatha means any obstinate
      practice till the object or end is achieved. Hatha is sticking to
      some spiritual practices. Mauna (vow of silence), trataka (steady
      gazing), crystal-gazing, standing on one leg ( a kind of austerity)
      etc., are all hatha practices. Hatha yoga is not separate from raja
      yoga. It prepares the student to take up raja yoga. Hatha yoga is
      concerned with the breath (prana) and the physical body. Pranayama
      purifies the pranamaya kosa (vital sheath).

      By Swami Sivananda


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