The Fourfold Yoga - Part III
Union via Psychic Control ( Raja Yoga )
Union via Psychic Control is known as Raja Yoga. Raja means King and this Yoga is defined as the Regal Yoga or the king of all the yogas.
Raja Yoga has eight limbs called Ashtanga Yoga.
The Eightfold Raja Yoga
Yama - Observance of Right Conduct ( Non-violence, Truth, Non- covetousness, continence, not receiving donations )
Niyama - Meditation, Self-Study, contentment, purity internal & external, & reverence for the Lord
Asanas - Physical exercises that relax and tone up our muscles
Pranayama - Breath control exercises that slows our breathing and regulates the flow of Prana
Pratyahara - Withdrawal from the outer world or disconnecting the mind from the sensory world.
Dhyana - Meditation
Samadhi - Achievement of Cosmic Consiousness.
Without control of the mind, nothing spiritual can be achieved. Mind binds, mind liberates.Mind is the cause of all bondage.
Controlling mind is the most difficult thing in the world. You may be able to control everything but never the mind.
Mind is subtle matter,according to Indian Philosophy. ( Indian Philsophy is a humiliating term given to the twelve positive sciences in the Vedas ).
There are many definitions of mind. One definition is that Mind is finer matter in vibration. Another definition is that Mind is a steady stream of thoughts. We can say that, like a river flowing, continous thought flow is Mind.
Mind has been compared to a monkey. It jumps from one thing to another. Controlling this monkey is very difficult due to its jumping nature.
Once upon a time, there was a monkey ( Mind ). Someone gave it alcohol and it became intoxicated. Later a scorpion called Avarice bit him. Later,it was bitten by the sting of Jealousy.Then all of a sudden an evil spirit by the name of Pride possessed him. Just imagine how difficut it is to control such a mind!
The Unified Vital Energy , the Cosmic Prana
"The Unified Field is the only Reality " said Einstein. "This Unified Field is the Brahman of the Vedists and the Tao of the Chinese " averrs Dr Fritjof Capra in his book " The Tao of Physics ".
All the four basic forces in the Universe - weak nuclear force, strong nuclear force, electricity & magnetism - are but different manifestations of that Unified Power which the Vedists call Prana.
As per Raja Yoga, there are only two powerful forces in the Universe- Akasha ( Ether-principle ) and the Cosmic Energy, Prana.
All that we see around us, taste, touch and feel is simply one of the many manifestation of this Akasha. This all pervasive energy manifests as the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth etc. The other elements - Vayu ( air ), Agni ( Fire ), Apa ( water ) & Prithvi ( earth ) are only its grosser manifestations.
Our bodies belong to the Ocean of gross matter & our minds belong to the Ocean of subtle matter ( mind ). So long as Prana is active, there is life; when Prana goes to sleep, as it were, life ceases to be.
Self- purification, the process of Raja Yoga.
If we can find a method of returning gross matter to its origin, we will be amazed to observe that it vanishes leaving only subtle matter behind. and if we can still return this subtle matter to its Cause, we shall observe that it disappears, leaving only the Self behind.
This method of Self-purification is what is called the "returning process". My body will vanish when it becomes pure. Vanish ? Not literally but figuratively which means I will live as if my body were not there. My body wont assert its demands and I wont feel its weight.
This "returning process", if applied to the mind ( The word Religion is derived from the Latin Relegaire - " to go back" ) can make it invisible: it wont boss me, drag me hither and thither and I wont feel trapped in it. This process of self- purification will reveal to us " finer and finer dimensions of our being ", until we reach the finest " The Self or the
Divine ", or the Ocean of Consciousness.
I am the Silence which is more than sound!
If therewithin Thou lose thee, Thou art found!
The Nameless shoreless Ocean which is "I"
Thou cannot breathe, but in its bosom drowned! ( Tennyson )
More information about Transcendental Philosophy & Yoga can be had from http://www.astrologiavedica.com/html/yogamain.htm
Look at the Oceans of Matter, Mind & Consciousness
As waves what we should do is to look at the Ocean of the Triune Being- Matter, Mind and Consciousness. We, as waves, belong to the Ocean.
The Absolute is like an infinite Ocean. In order to merge in the Absolute we can meditate like this
Above, it is full of me; below, it is full of me; in the middle it is full of me. I am in all beings, and all beings are in me. Om Tat Sat, I am It. I am existence above mind. I am the One Spirit of the Universe. I am neither pleasure nor pain.
The body eats,drinks and so on. I am not the body. I am not the mind.... I am Consciousness, Knowledge. Bliss.
I am the essence and the nectar of Knowledge. Through Eternity, I change not. I am calm, resplendent and unchanging.
I am That, whereof Being is the likeness
Mine, the Amrit is;
And immortality is Mine
And Mine perfect felicity ! ( The Song Celestial )
The Invisible Channels ( Nadis )
Raja Yoga postulates that the human body has invisible channels called Nadis. The major left Nadi is called the Ida and the major right Nadi, the Pingala. The Sepentine coiled Energy called Kundalini, lies coiled in the base Root Chakra ( Muladhara ). Through another invisible channel called the Sushumna, the Kundalini, the Serpent Power, rises in its ascent towards the Crown Chakra ( Sahasrara ). By Pranayama, this mighty corresponding microcosmic power of the Cosmic Shakthi, which is latent in all beings, can be evoked.
A Power to call Eternity into Time
And make the body's joy as vivid as the soul's ( Aurobindo )
It is this Power-aspect of the Consciousness which India has represented as the Divine Mother - Prakriti in Sankhya, Maya in Vedanta & Shakti in Tantra.
Many think Pranayama is the control of breath. This is far from true. Pranayama means to know & control the Vital energy or Prana. Control of this mighty energy gives us infinite power. If a man can know & control Prana, where power is there not in him ?
He can control everything from microcosm to macrocosm, the whole universe comes under his control.
The ancient Seers sought Truth within themselves and asked the perennial question " What is it, when known, everything is known ? "
Since it is impossible to study all sciences in a lifetime ( each science being an infinite ocean) , the ancient Seers were after the mighty Secret, some special knowledge of Substance, which when known, everything is known!
All principles have a Unitary principle as the base. If that is comprehended, then everything is comprehended. All powers are but manifestations of that Cosmic Energy, Prana. He who has controlled Prana has controlled all the minds in the universe; all the bodies of the Universe: for Prana is the base of all Manifestation !
How to control Prana is the aim of Pranayama.
The sum total energy in the Universe is an absolute constant: Universal Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; hence it is indestructible. It has two aspects, unmanifest and manifest. This power is Prana & its
control is Pranayama.
The main aim or Pranayama is to arouse the Kundalini. In ordinary mortals the base of the Sushumna will not be open. To open it is the function of Pranayama.
In Sanskrit, Kundalini means the coiled Energy. The base of all mental impulses is the Root Chakra and the Consciousness - Force power is this coiled energy. When we concentrate deeply or meditate intensely, we find that this place of the Root Chakra is heated up. When we do Raja Yoga, we experience a subtle warmth. This coiled Serpentine energy rises via the Sushumna and when it hits the different Chakras, it creates tremendous reactions.
Practice of Pranayama - The Three techniques
We have to breathe in deeply ( as deeply as possible ) through both the nostrils and then breathe out slowly. We have to do this initially to prepare ourselves for the practice of Pranayama. Here the time taken for exhalation and inhalation should be equal. Normally instead of counting one, two, three, in the Orient, mantras are chanted. Om is the usual mantra chanted.
Inhalation is known as Pooraka
Retention is known as Kumbhaka
Exhalation is known as Rechaka
First inhale, then retain breath & then exhale.
If inhalation is 4 seconds, retention of breath should be 16 seconds and exhalation 8 seconds. During this process, one should meditate upon the triangular Root Chakra ( Muladhara ). Mind should concentrate on this Chakra.
In this technique, first do Pooraka ( inhalation ). Then immediately do Rechaka ( exhalation ). Then do Retention ( Kumbhaka )
If you do the first technique, your voice will become beautiful. Your face will appear peaceful. The more you practise this technique, the more peace you will get.
Once the Golden Serpent rises, your thinking will change.Your perceptions will change. Then you need not rely on books. Then your mind will become your book. This wonderful phenomenon called the mind is a repository of endless knowledge. Once the Kundalini via the Sushumna rises, we reach a transcendental plane. The main aim of the Yogi is to open the Sushumna. On the path of the Sushmna are the Chakras, dynamoes of cosmic energy in man.
She sports as Universal Power in the Macrocosm; and in the microcosm as the coiled Serpent Power!
Infinite Power of the Absolute art Thou!
The Cause of the Universe as Maya
The entire Creation is Thy Play
Thy blessing is Bliss Absolute !
The essence of all sciences art Thou
All women Thy manifestations !
The visible Universe Thou art
And the dormant Serpentine Power !
The Scientific basis for observing continence
Semen and the mind are interrelated. That is why Continence has been prescribed for controlling the mind. Dhanwantri, the Father of Ayurveda told his disciples that the panacea for all ills is Brahmacharya ( Continence).
The basic principle of Raja Yoga is that seminal energy has properties of Vidyut ( electricity ) Ojas ( light ) & Tapas ( heat ). This energy when preserved is converted to spiritual energy and stored in the brain. This process is called sublimation. Havelock Ellis, in his Psychology of Sex, opines that the sublimation of the seminal energy can give skills, artistic and scientific. He only proved what Raja Yoga proclaimed thousand of years ago.
This seminal energy ( Urdhwa Retas ) is stored by the Raja Yogi in the body by observing Brahmacharya. Raja Yoga advocates the preservation of the seminal energy for 12 years for the yogic faculties to blossom. Once sublimated, this energy goes by the name of Ojas ( Effulgence ) and is stored in the brain !