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Celibacy/Abstinence/Difference between Raja Yoga and Kriya Yoga


Hi Dhananjay,

I have just about started the path of Brahmacharya although have been facing many pitfalls. I have been reading Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda and also have managed to read Kriya Yoga techniques. Other than the variation in names, I was seeking to know which path would lead to the Enlightenment sooner. I understand the relevance of patience and perseverance. Having said that, any techniques that would lead to faster Realisation is certainly better. Please advice.

Raja Yoga is the technique where the Yogi focuses on bringing his mind under control and finally annulling his mind so as to reside in his Atmic state. The 'Astanga Raja Yoga' propounded by Maharishi Pathanjali covers the techniques required thoroughly and is one of the most comprehensive approaches to Raja Yoga.

The very same technique is referred as Kriya Yoga by Sage Pathanjali himself in 'Yoga Darsana' and also by Lord Krishna in The Mahabharata. The word Kriya denotes the various constituent methods and practices involved in 'Astanga Yoga'. Kriya Yoga is also used to denote a particular method of Yoga devised by Mahavathar Babaji as brought to light by Shri. Lahari Mahasaya.

Control of the mind and winning it forms the basis of any kind of Yoga for self-realization. This can be achieved only by negating the past Samskara-s and Vasana-s. Raja Yoga tackles this directly. Ultimately, one takes up that path which appeals the most as decided by one's individual nature and tendency.

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)


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Questions concerning the practice of 'Brahmacharya' to know the self, & the means required are dealt with here.


The term 'Yoga' is a derivative of the Samskruth verb 'Yuj' which refers to union. 'Yoga', also called 'Brahma vidy‚' is the eternal dissolution of the individual 'Aham' (Ego) into the Atman (self) for 'Mukti' (liberation). Mere indulgence in '¬sana' or physical postures is not Yoga. ¬sana is only one limb or 'Anga' of Yoga. The eight limbs viz. Yama, Niyama, ¬sana, Pr‚n‚y‚ma, Praty‚h‚ra, Dh‚rana, Dhy‚na and Sam‚dhi are the means to Yoga. Brahmacharya or spiritually based continence is one of the important components of 'Yama'. 'Brahmacharya':- "Brahmani charyathey ithi" - "To surrender one's Ego and go with the will of the Almighty."

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