Introduction to ASTANG (or RaJ) YOGA of Patanjali.
This booklet of introduction to RAJ YOGA is prepared for students of RAJ Yoga Classes and workshops. The 8 steps of Raj YOGA unveils soul, uplifts Spiritual Self and leads to Vision of God. Yoga is a perfect science of Body, Mind, Soul (Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost).
First of all Yoga study demands
genuine curiosity (Jignasa), devotion and deep thinking (meditation) ability. Hidden powers of conscious and sub-conscious minds unfold as the student gains control of all 5 senses. This study increases memory power and develops wonderful ability of positive thinking. Yoga knowledge brings material and spiritual achievements, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect and pride. Yoga study is useful at "all places and at all times for entire mankind, living in any part of the world, speaking any language and believing- or even not believing in secular religions, faiths or God". Thus Yoga has universal application.
RAJ means a king or kingdom. Raj Yoga asks us to become a king or a king maker like Lord Krishna. Yoga is a perfect science of physical fitness and mental health. It teaches how to live a long, active and perfect life of many achievements. We speak and hear sentences like 'Be Yourself', 'Help your self', 'God helps those who help themselves' etc. The roots of all such sentences could be traced to Indian spiritual scriptures called Upanishads and Darshans. Upanishad means 'staying near by' and 'Darshan' means Vision of Divinity'. Yoga is one out of the 6 Hindu Darshans. Study of Darshans lead to
COSMIC VISION of One Formless God (Nirakar Ishver). God is every where and HE is watching us and staying near us. All these scriptures deal with one common subject.
"Search of soul, Spiritual Self, by finding an answer to a standard question - Who am I?"
Definition: The roots of word Yoga can be traced to an ancient Veda- the Yajur-Veda (Approx. 4 millenniums BC). The noun Yoga roots from a verb 'YUJ'. YUJ means to unite with, to join, to meet, to live together, to get welded to, to merge with etc.,. Thus Yoga is an art of meeting people and living united (together) in harmony and co-operation in family and society or a country.
The word Yoga could be better understood by its antonym- the opposite word-
Viyoga. 'Viyoga' means separation, divorce, staying away from, etc.,. Many ill-informed Indian Yoga teachers teach isolation, idleness, inaction, rejection, detachment from family life and family members (Viyoga), apathy towards wealth and neglect of worldly socio-political events and progress of science, instead of teaching noble attitudes of family unity and love, respect towards elderly and women, fellow human beings, friends and relatives. They teach a sort of idle life and negative attitudes. This is wrong teaching according to Raj Yoga.