Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mastery of the Self




"He who has conquered the mind is a Raja Yogi. The word raja means a king. The expression Raja Yoga implies a complete mastery of the Self. Though Patanjali explains the ways to control the mind, he nowhere states in his aphorisms that this science is Raja Yoga, but calls it Ashtanga Yoga or the eight stages (limbs) of Yoga. As it implies complete mastery of the self one may call it the science of Raja Yoga."
-B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Yoga, twentieth paragraph of the Introduction.

A King claims and directs the use of the resources in his territory or Kingdom. Similarly, a Raja Yogi owns the energies of his or her life and directs them towards intended purposes.

A good king knows the terrain of the kingdom. A dedicated Yogi knows the terrain of the body, mind and spirit.

Seeing the Yogi as a King of the resources of the self is an empowering image. A Yogi is not a passive bystander in life, but someone who is active and takes charge.

The Raja Yogi conquers the aspects of mind that prevent him or her from reigning consciously over all aspects of life.


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