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How Raja Yoga Is Beneficial To Modern Man

Updated on December 26, 2015

Welcome to Raja Yoga Meditation

Raja Yoga

Today, Yoga is being used as a means to help man cope with the stress of everyday, modern life. Hatha Yoga can help man deal with physical issues -- address their body's overall health and getting rid of problems for a healthy lifestyle. Another stage of yogic practice that is beneficial to modern man is the Raja Yoga to help get rid of mental stress and improve your focus in life.

Brief Facts on Raja Yoga

Raja means "royal" or "king". Raja Yoga is a yogic practice the focuses on a practitioners mind with the end result of achieving a focused meditative mind. It is a known fact that most difficult part of our body to train is our brain. Voluntary thoughts make up a majority of its faculties; however, its capabilities of involuntary thoughts makes it hard for us to meditate as we get distracted easily and lose focus over minute senses.

The focus of Raja Yoga is to discipline the mind with a series of mental exercise to get rid of obstacles and to help the practitioner focus his or her thoughts on a single goal. Whether it's to achieve a higher state of enlightenment in the yogic tradition or to achieve self-improvement for modern-day purposes, the practice of Raja Yoga helps you achieve your goals.

Raja Yoga Meditation

The Practice

The philosophy of Raja Yoga is to eliminate all the obstacles in your mind to help you reached a meditative trance-like state. This is often termed as a super-conscious mind or an enlightened mind.

Raja Yoga defines 5 states of mind that is often experienced during meditation. As you calm your physical senses and attune to your mental focus, a practitioner will experience scattered thoughts; the voluntary or involuntary change in your thought pattern is called as Kshipta.

The second state of mind is the natural tendency of man to be forgetful. This is often the result of the lack of focus or inattentiveness to what is important. This is called Mudha.

The third state of mind is called Vikshipta or distractions -- which is practically the most common obstacle when one tries to do meditation. This is often bound by the person's uncontrolled physical senses -- anything that allows us to loose focus due to physical sensation.

The fourth state of mind is called Ekagra or a focused mind. This state is achieved when a practitioner learns to focus his or her thoughts on a single object or target throughout the entire meditation. Once mastered, the last state of mind achieved called Niruddha or termed as complete control over one's mind and focus.

The Discipline

The gist of Raja Yoga is to discipline one's mind to achieve the state of Niruddha or complete control over one's mental focus. This has never been an easy task, especially to a modern man who is always exposed to physical, emotional, and mental stress. However, this self-improvement is never impossible with the right training and determination.

In most cases, the discipline taught by Raja Yoga is similar to the modern concept of "mind over body". The philosophy of Raja is defined by the mind's capability to govern all parts of the human body -- be it emotional or physical. The mind is always in control, similar to the king controlling how his domain functions.

However, ancient Yogic texts expound that physical training is necessary before proceeding to mental discipline. The fact that most of the obstacles of meditation are purely physical in nature, especially when man is entirely focused on his or her senses; it is necessary to first overcome the physical boundaries before proceeding to training your mind. Thus, Hatha Yoga is considered to be a preparation before going into Raja.

Discover the Spirit Within: Intro Raja Yoga Meditation

Modern Practice

As the need of focus increase in today's fast-paced lifestyle, especially those who are always subjected to mental stress; the practice of Raja Yoga is said to be a great discipline to master for self-improvement to lead a successful and fulfilling lifestyle.

We can never deny the fact that we can never get anything done if we don’t exercise control over our thoughts. Those who have achieved a higher sense of focus -- those who were able to control their minds -- have always come out the victor in today's stressful challenges. Whether it's for business, problem solving, dealing with people -- focus of mind is necessary.

However, before man can achieve focus, it is necessary for one to attain peace of mind. A cluttered mind is chaotic -- random thoughts and emotions get in the way of focus and your self-imposed goals. A controlled mind shuns these obstacles, allowing a person to realize his or her potential, and learn to channel all their energies to what they want to happen.

According to yogic experts, peace of mind is attainable when one realizes his place in the world, as well as integrating the 4 great virtues into their lifestyle. These virtues are: maitri (friendliness), karuna (love/compassion), mudita (tolerance/patience), and upeksha (indifference).

The Path Of Meditation

The gist of meditation exercises taught by the precepts of Raja Yoga is to learn to focus the mind and get rid of the obstacles that limit your growth. You don’t need an instructor; your mind is your own teacher in this Yogic path.

To achieve focus, a practitioner must learn to find an object, belief, or individual to center his mind's attention. A common meditation exercise is to focus all your physical and mental faculties on the area between your brows. This is also the location of your third eye or the mind's eye.

Western meditation exercise uses this philosophy as well, though with subtle variations that fits their belief system. Occult practices often find their center to achieve a meditative trance by devoting all their senses to God or devices. Buddhist monks chant sutras to achieve the same goal.

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  • Seshagopalan profile image

    Seshagopalan Murali 2 years ago from Chennai, Tamil Nadu

    I must say this is a very good hub. must read. Voted up

  • Michael Shane profile image

    Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

    I have actually thought about trying out Yoga with my wife! Great Hub!

  • gramarye profile image

    gramarye 7 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

    This really inspires me to spend more time practicing yoga.