To those of us in the west, Raja Yoga brings us into more familiar territory, yoga-wise. What we refer to as yoga is one part of Raja Yoga. The yoga poses we think of as yoga are called asana. The primary purpose of asana is to make meditation easier and it is, in fact, a moving meditation. The primary goal of yoga is to master the mind.
The basic premise of raja yoga is that our perception of the divine Self is obscured by the disturbances of the mind. If the mind can be made still and pure, the Self will automatically, instantaneously, shine forth.
How? To quote the Bhagavad Gita:
Patiently, little by little, spiritual aspirants must free themselves from all mental distractions, with the aid of the intelligent will. They must fix their minds upon the Atman, and never think of anything else. No matter where the restless and unquiet mind wanders, it must be drawn back and made to submit to the Atman alone.
Did You Know?
In what can best be described as the quintessential 1960's moment, Swami Vishnudevanand and Peter Sellers flew a plane painted by Peter Max over war- torn parts of the world distributing flowers. This was more than just a wacky stunt, it was actually pretty dangerous!
Watch the awesome video!
This is a commentary of the Yoga Sutras by Swami Vivekananda
Don't even get me started on Swami Vivekananda. In my opinion, one of the most brilliant people who ever lived.