Raja Yoga, Samadhi and the Yoga of the Gita

The Gita’s inclusive method allows it to even adopt and utilize methods that have been primarily utilized by those seeking renunciation of the world through achievement of the trance state of Samadhi. In particular, specific techniques found in Raja Yoga are highlighted. It should be noted that at no point does the Gita indicate that the goal of physical renunciation of action in the world should be adopted; rather, it acknowledges the power and utility of these practices, while turning them toward its own stated goal of refocusing the conscious awareness in a standpoint that is outside that of the normal mental view. It is necessary, in order to truly move beyond the control of the Gunas and the limitations of the ego-sense to achieve a new standpoint, and clearly the techniques outlined here are able to help the seeker break out of these limitations.

Sri Aurobindo recaps the specifics with several verses from the Gita: “Having put outside of himself all outward touches and concentrated the vision between the eyebrows and made equal the prana and the apana (the inward and outward moving breaths) moving within the nostrils, having controlled the senses, the mind and the understanding, the sage devoted to liberation, from whom desire and wrath and fear have passed away is ever free.”

His commentary on this process: “There is the conquest of all the movements of the mind…; there is the control of the breathing, Pranayama; there is the drawing in of the sense and the vision. All of them are processes which lead to the inner trance of Samadhi, the object of all of them moksha, and moksha signifies in ordinary parlance the renunciation not only of the separative ego-consciousness, but of the whole active consciousness, a dissolution of our being into the highest Brahman.”

The Gita makes it clear that none of the practices that can help one move beyond the hold of the mental consciousness should be abandoned; rather, they should be reoriented toward the achievement of the true goal of integrating the active and the inactive, the involved and the uninvolved, the manifest and the unmanifest, for a balanced and complete view of the meaning of our existence.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 23, Nirvana and Works in the World, pp. 227-228

1 thought on “Raja Yoga, Samadhi and the Yoga of the Gita

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.