Raja yoga literally means the king of yogas. In this form of yoga, the mind is the instrument used for looking inwards and uncovering the inner self. Read on to learn more.
In raja yoga, meditation is based on directing one’s life force into balance so that the person’s attention can be easily focused on the subject of meditation. The life force is made to move up and down the spine until it is balanced, and the mind and the emotions reach a state of supreme contentment. Once this is achieved, the awareness is then brought forward into a point in the centre of the lower forehead. This meditation point is called the ajna or the third eye.
Once energy is balanced in both the brain and the body, and able to be easily moved into the third eye, the mind reaches a state of calm. This does not mean that the mind is passive. Rather, it is free of the meaningless thoughts, worries, and other things that occupy the subconscious mind. This state of calm creates a wonderful sense of wellbeing in a person.
As the consciousness continues moving, colours begin to appear in the forehead. These are pastel colours in shades of pink, yellow, white, blue, indigo, green, and violet. The colours may appear in turn or they may combine. As the life force energy becomes more concentrated and prepares you for the higher consciousness, you may begin to see things such as lightning or moonlight. Do not be scared by this as it is readying you to see yourself as pure consciousness or pure spirit.
The light will then begin to burn very brightly and appear to be brighter than the sun. This also is not frightening, in fact it is soothing. This is because this is the light of your essence revealing itself to you.
Raja yoga is one form of yoga that should always be practiced with a teacher. It is easy to strain yourself and it is possible to think that you are having hallucinations rather than actual experiences with your higher consciousness. It is possible to learn without a teacher but it is like trying to learn a language alone – it is always much easier with someone helping you. As well as correcting you when you have gone off track, the raja yoga teacher has another purpose. When a yoga teacher or yogi has control over their prana, they can bring it to the highest levels of vibration, and actually transmit it to another person, arousing in them a similar vibration. The higher the teacher’s own spiritual state, the higher the state from which they transmit their energy, and the more effective their transmission is in helping the student.