Sunday, February 1, 2009

Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy outlined by the Sage Patanjali in his Yoga sutras. Raja yoga is concerned principally with the cultivation of the mind using meditation (dhyana) to finally attain moksha. Raja Yoga is sometimes called Aṣṭānga (eight-limbed) yoga because there are eight aspects to the path to which one must attend and is referred to as the king among yogas. The eight limbs are yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. The first four limbs being parallel to the lower limbs of Hatha Yoga and the rest of the four are more specific to Raja Yoga. The first three limbs practiced simultaneously constitute the Samyama.  

There are different variations to the original Raja Yoga and is practised with some modifications by different schools of thoughts. The Brahmakumaris and the Shri Ram Chandra Mission are examples of such schools of thoughts. The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU) is an international non-governmental organisation headquartered at Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, India with over 8,500 centres in 100 countries, territories and islands. The Sahaj Marg system is freely offered to seekers worldwide through the Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM) under the guidance of current living Master, Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari (also known as "Chariji").


  1. Yoga (Application) which was based on the control of the body physically and implied that a perfect control over the body and the senses led to knowledge of the ultimate reality. A detailed anatomical knowledge of the human body was necessary to the advancement of yoga and therefore those practising yoga had to keep in touch with medical knowledge. (Romila Thapar, A History of India, volume one).

    I suggest : Mind and brain are two distinct things. Brain is anatomical entity whereas mind is functional entity. Mind can be defined as the function of autonomic nervous system (ANS). It is claimed that mind can be brought under conscious control through the practice of meditation. But how? ANS is largely under hypothalamic control which is situated very close to optic chiasma (sixth chakra or ajna chakra). Protracted practice of concentration to meditate at this region brings functions of ANS say mind under one’s conscious control.

    ANS is further divided into parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS). On the basis of these facts I have discovered a mathematical relationship for spiritual quotient (S.Q.). Spiritual Quotient can be expressed mathematically as the ratio of Parasympathetic dominance to Sympathetic dominance. PSNS dominates during meditative calm and SNS dominates during stress. In this formula we assign numerical values to the physiological parameters activated or suppressed during autonomic mobilization and put in the formula to describe the state of mind of an individual and also infer his/her level of consciousness.

    Meditation is the art of looking within and science of doing nothing. We don’t use anything in meditation. We just try to concentrate to meditate at some point in human anatomy known as ‘chakra’ in Indian System of Yoga. The current of mind is flowing outward through the senses and unconsciously. The mind comes at rest gradually through regular practice of meditation. Then comes self realization and enlightenment. Protracted practice of meditation under qualified guidance will help to manage all sort of psychological problems.

    Emotional Quotient can also be expressed mathematically as the product of I.Q. and Wisdom Factor. E.Q. stands for Emotional Quotient. An intelligent person may not be wise. But a wise man will always be intelligent. An intelligent person having certain level of positive emotions can be said as wise. An intelligent person lacking wisdom will turn autocrat. A wise man will always be a democrat who respects others existence.

    Some may raise doubt that how could be the Wisdom quantified? The answer is simple -if Mental Age of I.Q. can be quantified then Wisdom can also be quantified, of course, comparatively with more efforts. Wilhelm Stern had given the formula of I.Q.. It is, Mental Age/ Chronological Age x 100. Spiritual Quotient (S.Q.) leverages both E.Q. and I.Q.

    Radha Soami Faith is a branch of Religion of Saints like Kabir, Nanak, Paltu, and others. Soamiji Maharaj is the founder of this Faith. You may call It like New Wine in Old Bottle.

    Maslow has given Hierarchy of Needs. At the top of it is need for self-actualization or self-realization.

    In our society we should learn To Live and Let Live and help to satisfy others need. When the lower order needs, physiological and sociological both, are satisfied then only a person think to satisfy need for self-realization in true sense. Else he/she may spend all his/her life to satisfy at the most the need for self-expression instead of self-realization.

    It is, therefore, the duty of every responsible person, at the least, of our society to give serious thought over it.

    For the satisfaction of need for self-realization i.e. establishment of harmony of individual consciousness with that of universal consciousness we need following three things:

    1. Mater or Guru (A Self-Realized Soul)
    2. Secret of Levels of Universal Consciousness
    3. Method for traversing the path.

    Anirudh Kumar Satsangi

  2. @Anirudh Kumar Satsangi

    Thank you very much for your enlightening post. But as a medical doctor myself, I have a few questions about your Spiritual Quotient. Since you define it as a ratio of PNS to SNS, wouldn't it simply mean that a sympathectomised patient will have a higher spiritual quotient. Infact, a surgery to decrease the SNS will increase the spiritual quotient. It needs more clarification. I guess it has more to do with higher centres of the brain and is more complex than a simple equation.

    Radha Soami Faith is a new thing for me. I would like to know about it.

    The term universal consciousness needs more elaboration. Is it the same as liberation or moksha?

  3. Surgery to decrease SNS is not a correct way to increase Spiritual Quotient. Spirituality does not approve negative approach. It is through the practice of meditation which enhances activity of PNS and diminishes SNS activity. In this way autonomic mobilization is balanced. Therefore, protracted practice of meditation under qualified supervision is recommended only, for the enhancement of Spiritual Quotient for better emotional, mental and spiritual well being.