Hindu Heritage Study Program
 
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Hindu Heritage Study Program
 
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Principles and Practice of Hindu Dharma
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-HR 201.06
An Applied Method of Practice of the Agamas and the Vedas
The Right Path for a Pious and Peaceful Way of Life with True Happiness
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Lesson - 93 :
The Path Raja Yoga and Meditation
Control of Mind and Body as a first step
Please see below
for Lesson - 02
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Raja Yoga is the path that leads to union with God through control of mind, meditation, concentration and self restraint. It teaches control of the senses and thought waves that arise from the mind. It is the analysis of the mind and the exploration of the super-conscious aspect of Reality. A student of Yoga must first learn to give up all desires for worldly pleasures and enjoyment. That which is obtained by desires, greed, passion and lust ultimately leads to grief. The student must get an intense desire of learning the Eternal Truth.

There are six virtues which are important for every one to learn to get to the path of Raja Yoga. [ i ] They must be able to control the mind from wandering in thought and going outward. [ ii ] They must restrain the senses from seeking the worldly pleasures. [ iii ] They must then turn the mind inwards. [ iv ] They must be able to feel the suffering of the body and mind without murmuring. [ v ] They must be able to attach their mind to a single idea or thought. [ vi ] They must constantly be thinking of one's real nature.

The first three requisites of one practicing yoga are: [i] Purity, physical and mental; [ii] patience; [iii] Perseverance. When results are not obtained one should not give up practice but persist in it patiently. Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Prathyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are the eight limbs of Raja Yoga. Yama and Niyama are the ethical disciplines to purify the heart. Yama are the virtues. It consists of non-injury [Ahimsa], truthfulness [Sathya], abstinence [Brahmacharya], non- stealing [Astheya] and not receiving gifts conducive to luxury [Aprigraha].

Niyama is observance. It consists of internal and external purity [Saucha], contentment [Santhosha], austerity [Tapas], study of scriptures and recitation of manthras [Svadhyaya] and self-surrender to God [Ishwara- pranidhana]. Asana [steady pose], Pranayama [regulation of breath] and Prathyahara [abstraction or withdrawal of senses from their objects] are preliminary accessories to Raja Yoga. They produce serenity and steadiness of body and mind and leads to good health.

 

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Lesson - 94 :
A Discipline for the Body and Mind to elevate the Spirit
Concentration of the Mind to Super-conscious State
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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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Chapter - 6: Daily Practice of Four Yogas in the Faith - Lessons 93 & 94
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Lessons: ~: 81 & 82 :-: 83 & 84 :-: 85 & 86 :-: 87 & 88 :-: 89 & 90 :-: 91 & 92 :-: 93 & 94 :-: 95 & 96 :~:
 

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