Your Spiritual Practice and Raja Yoga – Br. Shankara

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March 5, 2020

June is a month for study of Raja Yoga, a spiritual path often called the yoga of meditation. As a raja yogi, you use ancient, proven spiritual techniques to quiet your mind and gain control of your attention.

Regular daily practice of Raja Yoga increases your ability to concentrate, and may lead to meditation. This can unite you with the Divine Presence, the source of your being, and liberate you from the cycle of rebirth and death.

What happens when you simply follow a holy person’s instructions? In his Gospel, Sri Ramakrishna gives this example: You receive a letter asking you to buy some things — a certain amount of cloth, a quantity of food, and so on — and send them to the one who wrote you the letter, by parcel post. You do as you are asked; task complete. What then? The Master says no need to keep the letter; you can discard it. And, there’s no need to ask for further instructions.

What’s the point? A holy person’s teachings are like that letter: You are told what to do; if you do those things, the outcome is predictable. For example, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are a long letter from a realized soul, with detailed instructions on spiritual practice. Great teachers of the Ramakrishna Order — Vivekananda, Prabhavananda and others — translated the Sutras into English and commented on them, so you would know how to make Raja Yoga part of your daily routine. That’s what we talk about here.