In performing our duties, in worshiping God, or in doing anything, the stronger the power of concentration, the better the outcome. This is the one call that opens the gates of nature and lets out the floods of light.
Raja Yoga is the classical system of Yoga of the Patanjali Yoga Sutras. It is a form of integral Yoga because it employs knowledge, devotion and techniques.It is primarily a path of knowledge. We find in all beings three instruments of knowledge: instinct, reason and inspiration. The instinct, which is the lowest agent of knowledge, is highly developed in animals. We find reasoning is highly developed in humans. Instinct is an inadequate tool and its sphere of action is limited to animals. This sphere of action is enlarged in human beings, who have reason. Let even reason is not sufficient because it can go only a little further and then stops. If we try to push it more, the result is helpless confusion because reason itself becomes unreasonable.
For example, let us consider the very basis of our perception: matter and force. Matter is that which is acted upon by force, and force is that which acts upon matter. We see the complication that the logicians call seesaw, that is, circular argument. Thus we find a mighty barrier before reason, beyond which reasoning cannot go. This universe that our senses feel and mind perceives is but one atom of the Infinite, which is projected on the plane of consciousness. Our reason works on this projected part defined by the networks of consciousness and not beyond.
Hence we have to use some other instrument to take us beyond.That is inspiration. Inspiration is not an accidental and mysterious happening over which the mortal has no control. When a person lives in perfect unison with the Self within, the equanimity of the mind is the result. This alone can bring out the beams of inspiration.
In all human beings, we find the germs of all the three instruments of knowledge; therefore, they can be evolved. We must remember that one instrument of knowledge is a development of the other; hence it does not contradict it but fulfills it.The test of a true teaching must be that it should not contradict reason.This is the basis of all Yogas.We have only one method of acquiring knowledge. From the lowest mortal to the highest rishi, all have to employ the same method, the method of concentration.
In performing our duties, in worshiping God, or in doing anything, the stronger the power of concentration, the better the outcome. This is the one call that opens the gates of nature and lets out the floods of light. This power of concentration is the only key to the treasure house of knowledge. The path of Raja Yoga deals almost exclusively with this. The mind has a tendency to repeat its own thoughts. In the present state of our body we are distracted, and the mind is wasting away on hundreds of trifles its energies.
As soon as we try to calm our thoughts and concentrate our minds upon any one object of knowledge, thousands of undesired impulses and thoughts rush into the mind and disturb us. How to check this and bring the mind under control is the subject of study in Raja Yoga.