of us at Tamasika and Rajasika levels of devotion confine ourselves
to some prayers and rituals. Some will pray in thoughts within their
mind or Manasika Prayers at home or when they visit the temples. Then,
at a more advanced level of Rajasika form of Ananya Bhakti, they learn
from a teacher or priest some simple prayers to a particular Deity
of their choice as Ishta Devata, and some even get formal initiation
[Adhikara] for the prayers. They also visit different temples for
various prayer services. This has been well preserved over several
centuries through oral traditions, repeated recitation and memorization
of the mantras only.
they get the adhikara for performing these prayer services. One must
go further to Satvika level of devotion as Ekantha Bhakti and beyond
that to full realization of the Supreme, while still follow the proper
Karma and Bhakti paths. This path of Meditation and Raja Yoga will
lead us to the supreme bliss with the path of Knowledge or Jnaana
yoga and ultimately spiritual realization with total surrender to
the Supreme Paramathma which is also called Prapatti.
felt they were more spiritual and wanted to get beyond karma and bhakti
path, to Raja Yoga path of meditation and to Jnaana path of realization
of the Truth. But, all these are complementary and Spiritual realization
is not giving away Karma and Bhakti paths, but conditioning all of
them in the proper standard.
already noted, our sages, several centuries back, set our path right
by offering us the ultimate supreme can be reached by several paths,
but also gave us the philosophy and freedom to do that. Here, individual
determination, personal discipline and lifestyle changes will help
to condition our mind to lead that path. One may again ask, why all
these as a discipline. This is like a parade routine to discipline
a soldier before he [she] goes to fight a war. This is how, in Bhagavad
Gita, Sri Arjuna gets the doubts and Bhagavan sets him on the right
path with knowledge and discipline.
path which includes physical conditioning, proper breathing and mental
conditioning by meditation, in addition to proper lifestyle conditions
is taught in Raja Yoga as a spiritual discipline by Sage Pathanjali
Maharishi. Understanding Raja Yoga will help us to continue proper
Karma, including Vedic rituals as well as daily regular public work,
as also devotional prayers, including manthra and thantra forms of
worship as already seen along with Raja Yoga.