Raja Yoga (Vol. 4)

by Swami Sivananda

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Paperback: xii+373 pages
ISBN: 81-7052-220-X
Book Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 450 grams

Life and Works of Swami Sivananda

Volume 4

Other books in this series:

Sivananda: Biography of a Modern Sage (Vol. 1)
Health and Hatha Yoga (Vol. 2)
Karma Yoga (Vol. 3)
Raja Yoga (Vol. 4)
Bhakti Yoga (Vol. 5)
Vedanta (Vol. 6)

Table of Contents

About This Book (Back Cover)  
Preface vii
Acknowledgements viii
Introduction ix
Chapter 1: Yoga 1
What is Yoga? 1

Different Paths in Yoga

Benefits of Yoga 5

Outline of Raja Yoga

Practice 10
Who is a Yogi? 11
Karma, Bhakti and Jnana in Raja Yoga 12
Chapter 2: Sadhana 15
Four Letters From Lord Yama 18
Be Regular 19
Difficulties in Sadhana 20
Necessity for a Guru 22
Three Things 25
Chapter 3: Mysteries of the Mind 26
Nature of the Mind 27
Time — A Mode of the Mind 34
Atman is One 34
Metaphysics of the Inner Man 35
The Power Within 36
The Subconscious Mind 38
Mind is Like a Chameleon 39
Marvels of the Mind 41
Power of Thought 41
Chitta 44
Vrittis — Modifications of the Mind 46
Samskaras 50
Gunas 51
Chapter 4: Control of Mind 57
Balance of Mind 57
Purification of Mind 62
The Two Wings of the Mind-bird 65
Control Thoughts 66
Victory Over Mind 71
Desires — The Cause of Bondage 74
Vasanas — Subtle Desires 79
Vairagya — Dispassion 84
Abhyasa — Practice 85
The Mind and the Senses 86
The Sense Organs (Indriyas) 88
Control of Senses 89
Tongue (The Most Turbulent Indriya) 90
Vow of Silence (Mauna) 92
Chapter 5: Afflictions of the Mind 95
What are Afflictions? 95
How to Remove Likes, Dislikes and Clinging to Life 99
How to Remove Evil Thoughts 100
What is Pratipaksha Bhavana? 100
Root of Afflictions 101
Fruits of Afflictions 103
Karma and Environment 104
Avoid Misery 105
The Cause of Misery 105
The Means for Kaivalya 107
Chapter 6: Yama 109
Ahimsa — Non-violence 110
Satyam — Truthfulness 118
Astheyam — Non-stealing 120
Brahmacharya — Purity 122
Practice of Brahmacharya 125
Aparigraha — Non-covetousness 127
Chapter 7: Niyama 129
Saucha — Purity 130
Santosha — Contentment 130
Tapas — Austerity 132
Svadhyaya — Study of Scriptures 135
Ishvara Pranidhana — Self-surrender 136
Chapter 8: Asana 138
Asanas for Meditation 139
Benefits of Asanas 140
Chapter 9: Pranayama 141
What is Prana? 141
What is Pranayama? 144
Control of Breath 144
Pranayama and the Mind 146
Physical Benefits of Pranayama 148
Hints for Practice 148
Pranayama Exercises 150
Pranayama and Hatha Yoga 152
Pranayama and Pratyahara 153
Chapter 10: Pratyahara 154
Chapter 11: Dharana 159
Concentration as Part of Raja Yoga 162
Benefits of Concentration 164
Concentration in Daily Life 165
Ethical Basis 167
A Hard Task 168
Useful Hints for Concentration 170
Exercises in Concentration 173
Concentration on Anahata Sounds 175
Objects of Concentration 176
Attention and Interest 178
Hatha Yoga Techniques 184
Chapter 12: Dhyana 187
What is Meditation? 187
What Happens in Meditation? 189
Benefits of Meditation 192
Meditation and Rest 195
Mind and Meditation 196
Qualifications for Practice of Meditation 204


Chapter 13: Hints on Meditation 209
Places for Meditation 217
Important Places for Meditation 218
Seclusion and Meditation 221
Meditation Room 223
Best Time for Meditation 224
Reasons for Failure 227
Preparation for Meditation 232
Signs of Progress 233
The Power of Silence 235
Meditation and Work 236
Chapter 14: Kinds of Meditation 238
Light of Lights 240
Meditation on a Buffalo 242
Meditation on Virat Purusha 243
Saguna Meditation 244
Simple Saguna Exercises 245
Meditation on a Rose 247
Meditation on Twelve Virtues 247
Meditation on Divine Songs 248
Meditation on Gita Slokas 248
Meditation on Gayatri 249
Uddhava’s Meditation 250
Vedantic Meditation 251
Formulae for Meditation 253
Meditation on Mahavakyas 255
Positive Meditation 256
Negative Meditation 257
Nirguna Meditation 257
Simple Nirguna Exercises 258
Saguna and Nirguna Meditation Compared 259
Meditation and Action 261
Chapter 15: Philosophy of OM 265
Where it is Heard 266
OM as Brahman 269
Japa of OM 271
Meditation on OM 272
Meditation Exercises 273
Meditation on Soham 276
Benefits of Chanting OM 278
Chapter 16: Practice of Samyama 280
Chapter 17: Obstacles 282
Obstacles in Meditation 282
(a) Physical Obstacles 285
(b) Mental Obstacles 289

Obstacles on the Spiritual Path

(a) Subtle Obstacles 310
(b) Psychic Obstacles 316
Chapter 18: Experiences in Meditation 323
Physical Sensations 323
Feeling of Separation 325
Astral Journey 326
Visions 327
Vision of God 328
Lights in Meditation 329
Anahata Sounds 331
Experiences of Sadhaks 332
In the Hours of Meditation 335
Chapter 19: Siddhis 336
Stories of Siddhas 338
Requirements for Attaining Siddhis 339
Real Nature of Spiritual Experiences 340
Chapter 20: Samadhi 343
How to Attain Samadhi 346
The Mind in Samadhi 349
Deep Sleep and Samadhi 350
Cosmic Consciousness 351
Turiya — The Fourth State 353
Jada Samadhi and Chaitanya Samadhi 354
Savitarka Samadhi and Nirvitarka Samadhi 356
Savichara Samadhi and Nirvichara Samadhi 357
Sananda Samadhi — The Blissful Samadhi 359
Sasmita Samadhi 359
Raja Yoga Samadhi 359
Jnana Yoga Samadhi 363
Bhakti Yoga Samadhi 365
Samadhi and Work 366
Glossary 368

About This Book

A long-awaited text book on raja yoga, not by a Western scholar or Indian pundit, but by one who has attained the goal of yoga — Self-realisation. Instruction is given in language of simplicity, clarity and force. As in all his books, the spirit of Swami Sivananda permeates every page, compelling the reader to put the ideals into practice.

This book is a must for all who aspire to control their mind.

Instructive, inspiring, illuminating.


We am indebted to:

We are indebted to:

H.H. Sri Swami Venkatesanandaji Maharaj, whose mammoth task was to compile and edit almost 300 of Holy Master Sri Swami Sivanandaji’s books into 19 volumes, in spite of his demanding programmes and failing health.

Swami Lakshmi Ananda for the final editing.

The Publishers


The Inward Path to Liberation

Yoga is the union of the individual soul with the Supreme Soul. Just as camphor melts and becomes one with the fire, just as a drop of water when it is thrown into the ocean becomes one with the ocean, the individual soul — when it is purified, when it is freed from lust, greed, hatred and egoism, when it becomes pure — becomes one with the Supreme Soul.

The process of yoga embodies an ascent into purity, into that absolute perfection which is the original state of man. It implies therefore the removal of the enveloping impurities, the stilling of the discordant vibratory tempo of the lower sheaths and the establishment of a state of perfect balance and harmony.

Now, all the above-mentioned factors that bind down the individual soul may be seen to be operating on a larger scale through humanity as a whole. The present age is enmeshed in ignorance (characterised by restlessness, a blind clinging to earthly existence, perverted individualism and voluptuous abandonment to pleasures of the flesh) and violence, strife and discord in all walks of life.

Modern age is the machine age. As such it is power-ridden. Discovery of newer ways of generating power, exploiting fresh aspects of known forces and inventing machines to make machines is the present craze under man’s control, but man himself does not have his senses and his mind under his control. This has resulted in the misuse and abuse of the fruits of civilisation and science, because all power corrupts. The adoption of the yoga way of life is the release from and the guarantee against such abuse of power and the resultant disaster. Training in yoga brings to man several supernormal powers that no machine can ever generate. Yet the discipline laid down on the path ensures against their abuse.


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