Self-realisation: When body, mind, intellect and ego become silent
Over the ages, masters have guided people to understand themselves and attain Self- realisation. Self-realisation happens when the body, mind, intellect and ego become silent.
It is then that the experience of self happens. It’s almost like graduation – once you graduate, you remain a graduate. To get there, a Guru’s hand is helpful because somebody who has already travelled that path can hold your hand and say that this is the way to go.
For recognising and realising your self, there are the paths of Bhakti Yoga (devotion path), Karma Yoga (activity path), Jnana Yoga (knowledge path), and Raja Yoga (dissolution path). These are based on what suits someone’s orientation.
While all paths are effective, the right path for you is the one that suits you, the one that is effortless and easy for you. It is the one that makes you feel aligned.
For some people, devotion or Bhakti is easy and enjoyable, and they connect in an emotional way through feeling, singing and chanting. When analysis stops, and feeling and surrendering happen, then the devotee dissolves into the One that is being worshipped.
On the Jnana path, you accumulate knowledge and then assimilate all the knowledge, digest it, and then eliminate whatever is not Consciousness. Then you dissolve. It’s slightly more difficult because the mind enters into analysis and analysis can detach you from the Truth.
Then there is the selfless service path (Karma yoga). When you serve the beings around you without the feeling of ownership, purification happens.
Knowledge, devotion and service are all gains in some way. A more powerful path of connection is the path of annihilation.
Annihilation means you lose all your identifications and just merge with the Supreme Unmanifested God, pure consciousness, or brightness. This is called the Golden Path, Raja Yoga, or the Royal Path. There are no forms attached; you connect to your soul.
The fundamental tenet of the Raja Yoga path is that things are happening; there is no ‘doing’, only ‘being’. It is a lifestyle; it’s not about activities. The Raja Yoga path is about shedding! Not shedding consciously — the moment you say, “I don’t want this,” and you move something out, its residue will stay. But if it goes off by itself because you are not using it, it will not come back.
It’s about awareness. What are you being aware of? The energy inside you. You’re remembering all the time: “I’m not this personality which I’m projecting, but I’m the energy which is activating this projection.” This remembrance is enough.
You’ll start connecting more and more to the subtle or sookshma aspect inside. Satisfaction isn’t sitting with anything outside. It’s what’s sitting inside that satisfies. You come to a state where no thoughts are produced, which means there are no desires, no inclinations, and no tendencies. You become more and more stable within, where you are not chasing anything in life. Whether a position or possession is available or not, whether a relationship is there or not, you are still stable.
And with that level of stability, you start experiencing the real energy that activates all these faculties. That’s the time when you come in contact with the soul. Your mind and body are then totally aligned and as one unit; you are fully established inside. You gain the potential to become the Universe.
It helps to be connected to the consciousness of a master, not be confused with the personality of the master. Since the master is already aligned, when you are in the master’s consciousness, then automatically you will be aligned.
So what do you get when you walk this path with full awareness of being connected? You become a master – you aren’t a slave to life anymore. In a nutshell, Raja Yoga is the yoga where you are connecting and dissolving into the Supreme Unmanifested, the intangible form of pure energy brighter than a million suns. We are not connecting to an object. It is beyond bhakti, jnana, karma, etc. or it is a mixture of everything.
Raja means king or an emperor – not bound by anything on earth. It is a state where nothing can bind you, no practice, thing, person, situation, or time. It’s a state of being totally free.