by dr. larry morris
Raja means "royal" and yoga means "union with God." "Raja Yoga" means the royal or high way to union with God through the practice of specific spiritual techniques and disciplines.
Raja Yoga stresses the disciplines of concentration, meditation, and contemplation. Based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, it teaches methods for aligning and integrating the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of one's being leading to spiritual wholeness.
Raja Yoga has also been translated to mean: the yoga that teaches us how to break contact with that which causes pain. The path of the yogi is one of learning to see and release the self-identifications and images that cause pain until the yogi is freed from all self-limiting images and discovers Moksha, Samadhi or ultimate liberation. There is an old Hindu story about Vishnu, the substainer God of the Universe: One day Vishnu is throwing pebbles in a pool of water, when all of a sudden, he falls asleep and has a dream. And Vishnu's dream is the whole Universe; everything and everyone that is or will be or ever was is simply Vishnu dreaming his dream of myriad separate existences.
The goal of Raja Yoga is for each of us to awaken to our oneness with God and with all life.