Basic Lessons on Hindu Dharma
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  Basic Lessons on Hindu Dharma ~ Level - 1  
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Chapter - 5:
An Introduction to Paths of Yoga Hindu Traditions
 
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HR105 - 08
The Spiritual Disciplines of the Four Yogas for Religious Experience
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Lesson: 5-08
A Discipline for the Mind to elevate the Spirit
Concentration of the Mind and Meditation to Super-conscious State
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Essentials of the Raja Yoga explaining the Principles Self discipline in Daily Practice
 
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Concentration and meditation are essential part of Raja Yoga. Whereas Hatha Yoga deals with the physical discipline Raja Yoga is discipline of the mind. There are five states of the mind: [i] Wandering (Kshipta) when it is scattered; [ii] Forgetful (Mudha) when it does not know anything and is dull; [iii] Distracted (Vikshipta) when it is focussed only for a short time; [iv] One-pointed (Ekagrata) when it is concentrated on one object; and [v] Controlled (Niruddha) when the thought waves are well controlled.

Controlling the mind is the first aim of the practice of yoga. Worldly pursuits and spiritual practices pull the mind in opposite directions. As the spiritual practices increases with meditation and concentration, one will get less attachment to worldly pursuits. Dharana is concentration of the mind on any object, internal Chakra or Ishta-Devatha or Deity. Dhyana is meditation or an unceasing flow of ideas concentrated on one object. Then, in Samadhi all thought waves of the mind subside and mind ceases functioning.

Concentration of any subject in full force is the next step. It leads to success in any walk of life, scientific or spiritual pursuit. It is the only key to open the treasure house of knowledge. It is the power with which the exploration of the super-conscious state is achieved. It takes a long time of regular practice. Brahmacharya, a congenial place, company of learned persons and Sattvic habits and food are auxiliaries for this.

Concentration and meditation will lead to Samadhi or Super-conscious experience. It has several stages of ascent, which are deliberation [Vitarka], analysis [Vichara], joy [Anandha], and self awareness [Asmita]. Ultimately, the Yogi is freed from births and deaths and he attains Supreme Independence, Kaivalya or final liberation.

However, some Siddhis or supernormal powers manifest as Yogic practice advances.These are obstacles to the path of liberation. Real spirituality has nothing to do with these powers, which are byproducts of concentration and may cause a down fall. The Yogi should shun away from these and march forward to his goal of Nirvikalpa Samadhi or the final liberation.

 
 

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Lessons: - :~: 5-01 :~: 5-02 :~: 5-03 :~: 5-04 :~: 5-05 :~: 5-06 :~: 5-07 :~: 5-08 :~: 5-09 :~: 5-10 :~:
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