RAJ YOGA is the old system or science followed by the great rishis and saints to help them in realising Self or God. It was prevalent in India long before the time of Ramayana. It was first introduced by a great rishi who lived seventy- two generations prior to Raja Dashrath of the Suryavamsh (Surya dynasty). He devoted much of his time pondering a good deal to find out the real method of achieving freedom by which problems of life could easily be solved. He was swimming in the Central Region (as described in the book), being mostly attached to the Centre itself. His state was akin to that of the present Personality now working for the Change, as required by nature. After pondering long over the subject, the great sage at last discovered the method which ultimately developed into what is known as Raj Yoga. When he was in close touch with the Centre, he discovered the reality of the world with its cause or force in existence. He found out that the motion or stir of some power from beneath the Centre brought the present world into existence. That stirring thought is in other words called Upadan Karan (Hindi) or Kshobh (Hindi). At last he arrived at the conclusion that it is the outcome of the power which is similar to or identical with the thought power of man*. Naturally he deduced that thought could bring out such results and that its power is unlimited. He then took work from the thought power which fell to our lot, and with it he started training. That is the basis of Raj Yoga or the King of yogas. The kingly thing in us is thought which ultimately develops, steering us to our goal.
*The theory relating to the origin the human mind, as expounded in this book, stands on quite rational grounds. The primary Stir, brought into action by the dormant will of God, led to the cause of existence. The stir set into motion the latent powers and the process of creation and animation started. The same root- force appearing as Stir or Stimulus descended in every being in the form of the chief active force. In man it came to be known as the Mind, at the root of which there is the same dormant will just as it was in the stir. Thus the human mind is closely identical with the root-force or the original Stir of which it is a part. As such the functions of both are also closely similar.
Sages after sages have improved and developed it as their practical experience increased. Thought ultimately takes the form of reality, and appears in naked form, so to say. This can all be verified by the persons having clairvoyant vision of a high merit. There may be different methods of teaching through this science, but the governing principle remains the same. With this power or force we establish a link with God. Improvements have, at times, been made by great sages to develop it according to the needs of the time. Commentaries have been written on the subject, discussing elaborately the philosophy of yoga. But the underlying thought is the state of vision, which a man must develop. Things appear in their true perspective, and their mystery is revealed to him who rows farther in his slender dugout and improves to the utmost. Generally the philosophers have attempted to reach the innermost core of things through reason, and not through vision. Reason, in its popular sense, may be faulty and may fail us, but if a thing is seen through the intuitional insight without the unnecessary medium of reason, it will be visible in its original form without error or defect. Things have undergone such a change that it is very difficult to describe them at their particular steps. The world is in existence from time immemorial, and the correct date is not to be traced out although certain persons have attempted to fix down the Srishti-era. Rotations and revolutions are going on; their actions are multiplying. We must always attempt to find out things after rising above everything. That is the key-point for the philosophers to note in order to reach the accuracy of things. Generally the philosophers have attempted things before actually going into the life of practice, as is commonly the case with the western philosophers, I may say that it is not certain that a philosopher, being a philosopher, cannot be corrupt or degraded. But there is no possibility of corruption or degradation if he has studied things by leading a practical life. Sages in India, generally, have attempted philosophy* by first going into the life of practicality, never mind if they have not improved to the level depicted in it or required by the philosophy. They have attempted to open up the secrets of the existing things as far as they could do at their level of advancement. The outcome is the six schools of philosophy in their different hues and colours. We should always attempt the expression of things, only when our practice or abhyas is over. In short we should try to understand things when the knots begin to open by themselves and it is the vision of the Central Region I have talked about later on. Everything that comes to our judgment from that place shall be correct without the least chance of error.
* Philosophy is a subject not based on reason but based on intuition. It starts not from ‘doubt’, as most of the western philosophers hold, but from ‘wonder. A life of practicality, undergoing all the experiences depicted therein, is therefore essential to arrive at the reality of thing