Swami Sarvagatananda conducted Thursday evening Raja Yoga classes at the Rama- krishna Vedanta Society of Massachusetts, in Boston, between September 1977 and June 1981. There were one hundred and thirty two lectures in all. About thirty of us, college students, professors, office workers and retirees, had the good fortune to participate in these classes. It was a character transforming experience for us. We learned that Raja Yoga deals primarily with the mind and its control. But this control cannot be attained without leading a pure life, full of loving concern for all, and reflecting rather than re- acting to negative thoughts or circumstances. As the classes progressed their intensity increased. We listened in fascination as the Swami went deeper into the intricacies of the mind, the method of concentration and its culmination in meditation. The Swami's inti- mate knowledge of this difficult subject enabled him to clear up all our doubts in simple yet convincing language in a question and answer session at the end of each class.
These two volumes contain the transcripts of all of Swami's 132 Raja Yoga lectures, inclu- sive of the question and answer sessions. They are a gift to us from George Mraz, Swami's devoted personal attendant, who has lived with him and served him in innumerable ways for over 35 years. Those of us who have made the attempt, know how difficult it is to transcribe even a single one-hour lecture from a tape. The task can easily consume sev- eral hours of concentrated effort. Nevertheless George painstakingly transcribed all 132 lectures, each lasting almost two hours, with a typewriter. Much later, when the technol- ogy became available, George converted the typewritten manuscript into electronic form. This was a crucial step, for it enabled us to re-format the text into its present form with appropriate type-setting tools. But for George's labor of love, extending over more than ten years, these two volumes would never have come out. We owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude.
Raja Yoga is a science because its entire approach is very scientific. It has been worked out very thoroughly. One can verify every step. One can demonstrate, experience, and explain it in terms of the human psyche. Raja Yoga means the Kingly Path. Whynd it called so? Here nothing is based on imagination, or any kind of belief, or faith of conviction or authority. This is one discipline which helps us to grow, to evolve and to gain depth, not from the outside but from within. The mandate is from within. The satisfaction that you get is based on your own experience. It is a great challenge because the whole thing is based on one instrument of experience called the mind. This mind of ours is so mysterious, so valuable, and so precious in our day to day life. Raja Yoga deals with this mind. It is the science of the mind. You need not go anywhere, you can feel every step of its progress. In many of the Upanishads the Rishis indirectly mention the mental discipline and how it helps us in all spiritual struggles. But in Raja Yoga the whole stress is on the mind, not only from the point of the ultimate realization but also from the point of our day to day experience -how you can make your life more sublime, more fruitful, more happy, more peaceful, more integrated. This is one uniqueness that you find in Raja Yoga.
You do not have to wait until ultimate realization comes before results come - every step that you move in this discipline gives you joy in living, makes you feel more harmonious with yourself, with the rest of the world. That is why it has more appeal to the human mind in the East and the West, ancient and modern.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Bhakti Yoga (15)
Hatha Yoga (73)
Karma Yoga (30)
Kriya Yoga (66)
Kundalini Yoga (47)
Yoga For Children (12)
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