RE: About physical yoking ... HATHA and RAJA YOGA
Jan 13, 2006 04:37 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
1/13/2006 4:13 AM
Dear Friend N N:
Understood. Now what lies behind physical activity? Is it not desire or
In achieving development in any physical form, is it not guided by plans
devised by a mind which is moved by a desired object – or am I wrong ?
So to my way of thinking the desire comes first and then the mind devises
ways and means to achieve a set objective.
That which is named RAJA YOGA relates to mental and moral development (as I
read and study this ancient science).
Here is some more about it.
CONCENTRATION. In the Indian books it is called Yoga. This is translated
also as Union, meaning a union with the Supreme Being, or, as it is
otherwise put, "the object of spiritual knowledge is the Supreme Being."
There are two great divisions of Yoga found in the ancient books, and they
are called Hatha-Yoga and
Hatha-Yoga is a practical mortification of the BODY by means of which
certain powers are developed. It consists in the assumption of certain
postures that aid the work, and certain kinds of breathing that bring on
changes in the system, together with other devices. It is referred to in
the 4th chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita thus:
"Some devotees sacrifice the sense of hearing and the other senses in the
fires of restraint; some offer objects of sense, such as sound, in the fires
of the senses. Some also sacrifice inspiration of breath in expiration, and
expiration in inspiration, by blocking up the channels of inspiration and
expiration, desirous of retaining their breath. Others, by abstaining from
food, sacrifice life in their life."
In various treatises these methods are set forth in detail, and there is no
doubt at all that by pursuing them one can gain possession of sundry
abnormal powers. There is risk, however, especially in the case of people in
the West where experienced gurus or teachers of these things are not found.
These risks consist in this, that while an undirected person is doing
according to the rules of Hatha-Yoga, he arouses about him influences that
do him harm, and he also carries his natural functions to certain states now
and then when he ought to stop for a while, but, having no knowledge of the
matter, may go on beyond that and produce injurious effects.
Then, again, Hatha-Yoga is a difficult thing to pursue, and one that must be
pushed to the point of mastery and success. Few of our Western people are by
nature fitted for such continuous and difficult labor on the mental and
astral planes. Thus, being attracted to Hatha-Yoga by the novelty of it, and
by the apparent pay that it offers in visible physical results, they begin
without knowledge of the difficulty, and stopping after a period of trial
they bring down upon themselves consequences that are wholly undesirable.
The greatest objection to it, however, is that it pertains to the material
and semi-material man, roughly speaking, to the body, and what is gained
through it is lost at death.
The Bhagavad Gita refers to this and describes what happens in these words:
"All of these, indeed, being versed in sacrifice, have their sins destroyed
by these sacrifices. But he alone reaches union with the Supreme being who
eats of the ambrosia left from a sacrifice."
This means that the Hatha-Yoga practice represents the mere sacrifice
itself, whereas the other kind is the ambrosia arising from the sacrifice,
or "the perfection of spiritual cultivation," and that leads to Nirvana. The
means for attaining the "perfection of spiritual cultivation" are found in
Raj-Yoga, or, as we shall term it for the present, the Culture of
When concentration is perfected, we are in a position to use the knowledge
that is ever within reach but which ordinarily eludes us continually. That
which is usually called knowledge is only an intellectual comprehension of
the outside, visible forms assumed by certain realities.
Take what is called scientific knowledge of minerals and metals. This is
merely a classification of material phenomena and an empirical acquisition.
It knows what certain minerals and metals are useful for, and what some of
their properties are. Gold is known to be pure, soft, yellow, and extremely
ductile, and by a series of accidents it has been discovered to be useful in
medicine and the arts. But even to this day there is a controversy, not
wholly settled, as to whether gold is held mechanically or chemically in
crude ore. Similarly with minerals. The crystalline forms are known and
And yet a new theory has arisen, coming very near to the truth, that we do
not know matter in reality in this way, but only apprehend certain phenomena
presented to us by matter, and variously called, as the phenomena alter,
gold, wood, iron, stone, and so on. But whether the minerals, metals, and
vegetables have further properties that are only to be apprehended by still
other and undeveloped senses, science will not admit.
Passing from inanimate objects to the men and women about us, this ordinary
intellectual knowledge aids us no more than before. We see bodies with
different names and of different races, but below the outer phenomena our
everyday intellect will not carry us.
This man we suppose to have a certain character assigned to him after
experience of his conduct, but it is still only provisional, for none of us
is ready to say that we know him either in his good or his bad qualities. We
know there is more to him than we can see or reason about, but what, we
cannot tell. It eludes us continually. And when we turn to contemplate
ourselves, we are just as ignorant as we are about our fellow man. Out of
this has arisen an old saying: "Every man knows what he is, but no one knows
what he will be."
There must be in us a power of discernment, the cultivation of which will
enable us to know whatever is desired to be known. That there is such a
power is affirmed by teachers of occultism, and the way to acquire it is by
It is generally overlooked, or not believed, that the inner man who is the
one to have these powers has to grow up to maturity, just as the body has to
mature before its organs fulfill their functions fully. By inner man I do
not mean the higher self-the Ishwara before spoken of, but that part of us
which is called soul, or astral man, or vehicle, and so on. All these terms
are subject to correction, and should not be held rigidly to the meanings
given by various writers. Let us premise, first, the body now visible;
second, the inner man -- not the spirit; and third, the spirit itself.
SUCCESS in CONCENTRATION
Success in the culture of concentration is not for him who sporadically
attempts it. It is a thing that flows from "a firm position assumed with
regard to the end in view, and unremittingly kept up." …students are too apt
to think that success in occultism can be reached as one attains success in
school or college, by reading and learning printed words.
A complete knowledge of all that was ever written upon concentration will
confer no power in the practice of that about which I treat. Mere book
knowledge is derided in this school as much as it is by the clodhopper; not
that I think book knowledge is to be avoided, but that sort of acquisition
without the concentration is as useless as faith without works. It is called
in some places, I believe, "mere eye-knowledge." Such indeed it is; and such
is the sort of culture most respected in these degenerate times.
RAJA YOGA, VIRTUE and ALTRUISM
In starting these papers the true practice was called Raj Yoga. It discards
those physical motions, postures, and recipes relating solely to the present
personality, and directs the student to virtue and altruism as the bases
from which to start. This is more often rejected than accepted.
VIRTUE AS A CONTINUOUS PRACTICE
So much has been said during the last 1800 years about Rosicrucians,
Egyptian Adepts, Secret Masters, Kaballah, and wonderful magical books, that
students without a guide, attracted to these subjects, ask for information
and seek in vain for the entrance to the temple of the learning they crave,
because they say that virtue's rules are meant for babes and Sunday-schools,
but not for them.
And, in consequence, we find hundreds of books in all the languages of
Europe dealing with rites, ceremonies, invocations, and other obscurities
that will lead to nothing but loss of time and money. But few of these
authors had anything save "mere eye-knowledge." 'Tis true they have
sometimes a reputation, but it is only that accorded to an ignoramus by
those who are more ignorant.
The so-called great man, knowing how fatal to reputation it would be to tell
how really small is his practical knowledge, prates about "projections and
elementals," "philosopher's stone and elixir," but discreetly keeps from his
readers the paucity of his acquirements and the insecurity of his own mental
Let the seeker know, once for all, that the virtues cannot be discarded nor
ignored; they must be made a part of our life, and their philosophical basis
must be understood.
But it may be asked, if in the culture of concentration we will succeed
alone by the practice of virtue. The answer is No, not in this life, but
perhaps one day in a later life. The life of virtue accumulates much merit;
that merit will at some time cause one to be born in a wise family where the
real practice of concentration may perchance begin; or it may cause one to
be born in a family of devotees or those far advanced on the Path, as said
in Bhagavad-Gita. But such a birth as this, says Krishna, is difficult to
obtain; hence the virtues alone will not always lead in short space to our
We must make up our minds to a life of constant work upon this line.
The lazy ones or they who ask for pleasure may as well give it up at the
threshold and be content with the pleasant paths marked out for those who
"fear God and honor the King." Immense fields of investigation and
experiment have to be traversed; dangers unthought of and forces unknown are
to be met; and all must be overcome, for in this battle there is no quarter
asked or given.
Great stores of knowledge must be found and seized. The kingdom of heaven is
not to be had for the asking; it must be taken by violence. And the only way
in which we can gain the will and the power to thus seize and hold is by
acquiring the virtues on the one hand, and minutely understanding ourselves
on the other.
Some day we will begin to see why not one passing thought may be ignored,
not one flitting impression missed. This we can perceive is no simple task.
It is a gigantic work.
Did you ever reflect that the mere passing sight of a picture, or a single
word instantly lost in the rush of the world, may be basis for a dream that
will poison the night and react upon the brain next day. Each one must be
examined. If you have not noticed it, then when you awake next day you have
to go back in memory over every word and circumstance of the preceding day,
seeking, like the astronomer through space, for the lost one. And,
similarly, without such a special reason, you must learn to be able to go
thus backward into your days so as to go over carefully and in detail all
that happened, all that you permitted to pass through the brain. Is this an
As we have to deal with the Western mind now ours, all unused as it is to
these things and over-burdened with false training and falser logic, we must
begin where we are, we must examine our present possessions and grow to know
our own present powers and mental machinery. This done, we may proceed to
see ourselves in the way that shall bring about the best result.
Extracted from “The CULTURE OF CONCENTRATION “ by W Q Judge
"Hatha-yoga is the latest and, in comparison with raja-yoga, a modern
compromise of mysticism. It is the result of centuries of the slipshod
practice of the philosophy, the victory of the external form and ritual over
the spirit of the teaching, and consequently, the gradual degeneration of
Brahma-vidya, the divine wisdom. Having lost, as the result of personal
ambition and earthly passions, the faculty for union with Brahman, that is,
with Unconditioned Nature, the majority of Brahmanas, debarred from the
final supreme initiation, the difficulties of which they could not surmount,
substituted hatha-yoga for raja-yoga...
The raja-yogi...for him there [is]...only the unconditioned, double-edged
power of creation and destruction, the one universal, primordial substance,
of which he is an inalienable, particle, even though, in the (367) deceptive
consciousness of his earthly senses, he appears to be a transient
individual. Having verified its properties by years of methodical
experiments and recognizing this power in himself...when occasion arises,
using his own will and discretion, he aims, in one direction or another,
this power, the twofold quality of which is attraction and repulsion...
For him who knows exactly nothing or very little about raja-yoga and the
real Brahma-vidya, and for him who is unfamiliar with the psychology of the
East, substance is the product of his own conceptions, or of the deductions
of Western science with its hypotheses: in other words, the result of
unquestionably relative ideas. For the Westerner every substance, from the
life-force current to the mineral, is matter. He is ignorant of the
successive levels, from conditioned and limited substance, to primordial and
unconditioned substance, i.e., primordial matter--mulaprakriti. Hence it is
exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to explain to him the nature of
the actions of the raja-yogi and of the transference of the essence of his
creative power to an inanimate object [talisman, rosary bead (rudraksha),
For the Western scientist...everything that is not matter is either (368)
'nothing' or simply and incorporeal quality...He is ignorant of the
properties and of all the conditions of force...the power that creates and
destroys, that attracts and repels...this power concentrated on any
object...[by] a raja-yogi of India, in other words, an adept initiated into
the secret sciences, is nothing else but spirit without attributes and
qualificative matter. It is this very power that has created man, the vahan
[vehicle] of Parabrahman [the Universe] and Mulaprakriti [primordial, root
In his turn, a human being who is aware in himself of this twofold power can
transmit its surplus to other vahanas. But in order to create and develop
in himself such surplus, he must, first of all, renounce his own
personality, devote himself completely to the service of mankind, forget his
personal I, make himself at first worthy of being a collaborator (369) with
nature and only then--become an adept...
In order to become a raja-yogi, it is necessary first of all to renounce
unconditionally one's own personality and to have no selfish purposes, as
only hatha-yogis are concerned with such purposes, as a result of which they
have degraded the meaning of the secret sciences in the eyes of the
--HPB "From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan" - Theosophy,
V. 71 p.366
"The Yoga system is divided into two principal parts--Raja and Hatha Yoga.
There are many divisions which can be brought under either of these heads.
Hatha Yoga was promoted and practiced by Matsendra Nath and Gorakh Nath and
their followers, and by many sects of ascetics in this country (India).
This system deals principally with the physiological part of man with a view
to establish his health and train his will. The processes prescribed to
arrive at this end are so difficult that only a few resolute souls go
through all the stages of its practice, while many have failed and died in
the attempt. It is therefore strongly denounced by all the philosophers.
The most illustrious Sankaracharya has remarked in his treatise called
Aparokshanubhuti that 'the system of Hatha Yoga was intended for those whose
worldly desires are not pacified or uprooted.' He has strongly spoken
elsewhere against this practice.
On the other hand, the Raja Yogis try to control the mind itself by
following the rules laid down by the greatest of adepts.
Patanjali's rules compel the student not only to acquire a right knowledge
of what is and what is not real, but also to practice all virtues, and while
results in the way of psychic development are not so immediately seen as in
the case of the successful practitioner of Hatha Yoga, it is infinitely
safer and is certainly spiritual, which Hatha Yoga is not. In Patanjali's
Aphorisms there is some slight allusion to the practices of Hatha Yoga, such
as "postures," each of which is more difficult than those preceding, and
"retention of breath," but he distinctly says that mortification and other
practices are either for the purpose of extenuating certain mental
afflictions or for the more easy attainment of concentration of mind.
In Hatha Yoga practice, on the contrary, the result is psychic development
at the delay or expense of the spiritual nature. These last named practices
and results may allure the Western student, but from our knowledge of
inherent racial differences there is not much fear that many will persist in
W.Q.Judge--Patanjali Yoga Aphorisms, pp ix-x
"RAJA-YOGA (Sk.) The true system of developing psychic and spiritual
powers and union with one's Higher Self--or the Supreme Spirit, as the
profane express it. The exercise, regulation and concentration of thought.
Raja-Yoga is opposed to Hatha-Yoga, the physical or psycho-physiological
training in asceticism." T. Glos, p. 275
"...the Occult law, which prescribes silence upon the knowledge of certain
secret and invisible things perceptible only to the spiritual mind (the 6th
sense), and which cannot be expressed by "noisy" or uttered
speech...Pranayama, or regulation of the breath in Yoga practices. This
mode, however, without the previous the previous acquisition of the two
higher senses, of which there are seven, as will be shown, pertains rather
to the lower Yoga. The Hatha so called was and still is discountenanced by
the Arhats. It is injurious to the health and alone can never develop into
Raj Yoga." HPB - SD I 95
"Raj Yoga encourages no sham, requires no physical postures. It has to deal
with the inner man whose sphere lies in the world of thought. To have the
highest ideal placed before oneself and strive incessantly to rise up to it,
is the only true concentration recognized by Esoteric Philosophy which deals
with the inner world of noumena, not the outer shell of phenomena. ... The
first requisite for it is through purity of heart...A cultivation of the
feeling of unselfish philanthropy is the path which has to be traveled for
that purpose. For it is that alone which will lead to Universal Love, the
realization of which constitutes the progress towards deliverance from the
chains forged by Maya around the Ego." --D. K. MAVALANKAR. THEOS.
ARTICLES AND NOTES, p. 43
"...the Hatha Yogin--men who at times had reached through a physical and
well-organized system of training the highest powers as "wonder-workers"
--there has never been a man worthy of being considered as a true
Yogin...the Raja Yogin trains but his mental and intellectual powers,
leaving the physical alone, and making but little of the exercise of
phenomena simply of a physical character.
Hence it is the rarest thing in the world to find a real Yogi boasting of
being one, or willing to exhibit such powers--though he does acquire them as
well as the one practicing Hatha Yoga, but through another and far more
intellectual system. Generally, they deny these powers point blanc, for
reasons but too well-grounded. The latter [Raja Yogis] need not even belong
to any apparent order of ascetics, and are oftener known as private
individuals than members of a religious fraternity, nor need they
necessarily be Hindus. ... A Yogi who gets frightened at any threat is no
Yogi, but one of those who learn to produce effects without knowing or
having learnt what are the causes. Such men, if not tricksters, are simply
passive mediums--not adepts. (118)...if we look closer at the origin of
their school and study Patanjali's Yoga Vidya--we will be better able to
understand...their seemingly ridiculous practices." Theos. Articles &
Notes, pp 117-118
"Know ye not ye are Gods ?" -- Jesus John 1.12 Isis I, p.2
One of the lost chords of Christianity is Jesus’ teaching that every human
as a component of the Universal DEITY (omnipresence) has a “ray” of the
GODHEAD within . If this were truly taken then we might feel encouraged to
emulate Jesus in our lives – not merely hear His words and do as we please.
From: Nikki N
Sent: Thursday, January 12, 2006 3:29 PM
Subject: About physical yoking ...
I am a very physical person and workout in various activities with
instructors and trainers:
"Physical yoking" is indeed a reality in yoga and Pilates instruction, and
even in the gym, where words like "connect", "integrate" and "coordinate"
are used frequently.
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