Rāja yoga

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Rāja yoga (Sanskrit: राज योग, /ˈrɑːə ˈjɡə/) is a term with a variety of meanings depending on the context. In modern context, it refers to the Yoga school of philosophy in Hinduism. In historical context, it was the ultimate stage of yoga practice, one nearing Samadhi.[1] The modern retronym was introduced in the 19th-century by Swami Vivekananda to differentiate it as the form of yoga that includes the yoga of mind.[1] Ancient, medieval and most modern literature often refers to Yoga school of Hinduism simply as Yoga.[2][3]

Yoga philosophy is one of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism.[2] It is closely related to the Samkhya school of Hinduism. Yoga school's systematic studies to better oneself physically, mentally and spiritually has influenced all other schools of Indian philosophies.[4][5]

The epistemology of Yoga school of Hinduism, like Sāmkhya school, relies on three of six Pramanas, as the means of gaining reliable knowledge.[6] These included Pratyakṣa (perception), Anumāṇa (inference) and Sabda (Āptavacana, word/testimony of reliable sources).[7][8] The metaphysics of Yoga is built on the same dualist foundation as the Samkhya school.[9] The universe is conceptualized as of two realities in Samhkya-Yoga schools: Puruṣa (consciousness) and prakriti (matter). Jiva (a living being) is considered as a state in which puruṣa is bonded to prakriti in some form, in various permutations and combinations of various elements, senses, feelings, activity and mind.[10] During the state of imbalance or ignorance, one of more constituents overwhelm the others, creating a form of bondage. The end of this bondage is called liberation, or moksha by both Yoga and Samkhya school of Hinduism.[11] The ethical theory of Yoga school is based on Yamas and Niyama, as well as elements of the Guṇa theory of Samkhya.[9]

Yoga school of Hinduism differs from the closely related non-theistic/atheistic Samkhya school by incorporating the concept of a "personal, yet essentially inactive, deity" or "personal god" (Ishvara).[12][13][14] Samkhya school suggests that jnana (knowledge) is a sufficient means to moksha, Yoga school suggests that systematic techniques/practice (personal experimentation) combined with Samkhya's approach to knowledge is the path to moksha.[9] Yoga shares several central ideas with Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism, with the difference that Yoga philosophy is a form of experimental mysticism, while Advaita Vedanta is a form of monistic personalism.[15][16][17] Advaita Vedanta, and other schools of Hinduism, accept, adopt and build upon many of the teachings and techniques of Yoga.

A key text of Yoga school of Hinduism is the Yoga Sūtras.[9]

Etymology and usage[edit]

In the context of Hindu philosophy, rāja yoga is a retronym, introduced in the 19th-century by Swami Vivekananda.[1] In all historical texts, Rāja yoga in the modern sense of its meaning, is known simply as Yoga, where it means one of six major orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy.[3][2]

The historical use of the term Rāja yoga is found in other contexts, quite different than its modern usage. In ancient and medieval Sanskrit texts, it meant the highest state of yoga practice (one reaching samadhi).[1] Hatha Yoga Pradipika, for example, refers to Hath yoga as one of the ways to achieve such Rāja yoga. However, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a text of the Natha sampradaya,[18] is a different practice, and does not refer to modern retronym, Rāja yoga, where it means the Yoga philosophy, as taught in ancient Hindu texts such as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

In many modern scholarly philosophical, self development, cultural, and religious literature, Yoga philosophical school is simply referred to as Yoga.[2][3] In some modern literature, Raja yoga is considered one of the four paths[19] to spirituality within Yoga philosophy of Hinduism.[20] This mixing of concepts, has led to confusion in understanding historical and modern Indian literature on Yoga, particularly when the term Raja yoga is used.[1][18]

Raja yoga is sometimes also branded as or referred to "royal yoga", "royal union", "classical yoga" and "aṣṭānga yoga".


The foundational text of Yoga school of Hinduism is the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. After its circulation in the first half of 1st millennium CE, many Indian scholars reviewed it, then published their Bhāṣya (notes and commentary) on it, which together form a canon of texts called the Pātañjalayogaśāstra ("The Treatise on Yoga of Patañjali").[21][22]

According to Axel Michaels, the Yoga Sutras are built upon fragments of texts and traditions from ancient India.[23] According to Feuerstein, the Yoga Sutras are a condensation of two different traditions, namely "eight limb yoga" (ashtanga yoga) and action yoga (kriya yoga).[24] The kriya yoga part is contained in chapter 1, chapter 2 verse 1-27, chapter 3 except verse 54, and chapter 4.[24] The "eight limb yoga" is described in chapter 2 verse 28-55, and chapter 3 verse 3 and 54.[24]

There are numerous parallels in the concepts in ancient Samkhya, Yoga and Abhidharma schools of thought, particularly from 2nd century BCE to 1st century AD, notes Larson.[25] Patanjali's Yoga Sutras may be a synthesis of these three traditions. From Samkhya school of Hinduism, Yoga Sutras adopt the "reflective discernment" (adhyavasaya) of prakrti and purusa (dualism), its metaphysical rationalism, as well its three epistemic methods to gaining reliable knowledge.[25] From Abhidharma Buddhism's idea of nirodhasamadhi, suggests Larson, Yoga Sutras adopt the pursuit of altered state of awareness, but unlike Buddhist's concept that there is neither self nor soul, Yoga is physicalist and realist like Samkhya in believing that each individual has a self and soul.[25] The third concept Yoga Sutras synthesize into its philosophy is the ancient ascetic traditions of meditation and introspection, as well as the yoga ideas from middle Upanishads such as Katha, Shvetashvatara and Maitri.[25]

In Indian historical timeline, marking with the arrival of Islam in India in twelfth century, further development and literature on Patanjali's Yoga philosophy went into decline.[26] By the sixteenth century Patanjali's Yoga philosophy was nearly extinct.[27] During the colonial era, particularly the 19th century, a period of sustained rediscovery and study led to the re-emergence of Yoga school of Hinduism. Vivekananda, Helena Blavatsky and others played a key role in its growth.[28]


Yoga philosophy, as conceptualized in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, is a way of life that incorporates ethical practices, a system of training one's body, mind and spirit (called limbs of yoga), aimed at achieving a liberated, free state of existence. Patanjali includes a definition of yoga of mind.


Patanjali begins his treatise by stating the purpose of his book in first sutra, followed by defining the word "yoga" in his second sutra of Book 1:[29]

योग: चित्त-वृत्ति निरोध:
(yogaś citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ)

Yoga Sutras 1.2

This terse definition hinges on the meaning of three Sanskrit terms. I. K. Taimni translates it as "Yoga is the inhibition (nirodhaḥ) of the modifications (vṛtti) of the mind (citta)".[30] Swami Vivekananda translates the sutra as "Yoga is restraining the mind-stuff (Citta) from taking various forms (Vrittis)."[31] Edwin Bryant explains that, to Patanjali, "Yoga essentially consists of meditative practices culminating in attaining a state of consciousness free from all modes of active or discursive thought, and of eventually attaining a state where consciousness is unaware of any object external to itself, that is, is only aware of its own nature as consciousness unmixed with any other object."[9][32]

Eight limbs of astanga yoga[edit]

Rāja yoga is outlined as eight anga (अङ्ग, limbs) by Patanjali's Yoga Sutras:[29]

  • Yama – ethical restraints (the don'ts)
  • Niyama – ethical observances (the dos)
  • Āsana – 84 exercises of postures and self training, each more demanding than the previous
  • Prāṇāyāma – conscious regulation and exercise of breath
  • Pratyāhāra – mastery of sensory organs, withdrawal of the senses from external objects
  • Dhāraṇā – concentration, introspective focus, one-pointedness of mind
  • Dhyāna – meditation
  • Samādhi – the quiet state of complete forgetfulness of external world and the physical, complete blissful awareness of one's mind and liberated being, superconscious state.


Main article: Yamas

The five yamas listed by Patañjali in Yogasūtra 2.30 are:[33]

  1. Ahiṃsā (अहिंसा): Non-violence, non-harming other living beings[34]
  2. Satya (सत्य): truthfulness, non-falsehood[34][35]
  3. Asteya (अस्तेय): non-stealing[34]
  4. Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य): celibacy, non-cheating on one's partner[35]
  5. Aparigraha (अपरिग्रहः): non-avarice,[34] non-possessiveness[35]

Later scholars of Yoga school expanded this list of Patanjali, such as in the Śāṇḍilya Upanishad,[36] as well as by Svātmārāma are:[37][38][39] The additional recommended yamas are:

  1. Kṣamā (क्षमा): forgiveness[40] (non-dwelling in the past or other's actions/speech)
  2. Dhṛti (धृति): fortitude (non-fear, non-giving up in adversity)
  3. Dayā (दया): compassion[40] (non-arrogance, non-self centeredness)
  4. Ārjava (आर्जव): non-hypocrisy, sincerity[41]
  5. Mitāhāra (मितहार): measured diet[42] (non-overeating, non-inappropriate eating/drinking)


Main article: Niyama
Ustrasana Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana
Pawanmuktasana Dhanurásana
Trikonasana Janusirsasana
Pasasana Dhanurasana
Paripurna-Navasana Parivrtta-Utkatasana
Eka-Pada-Chakrasana Eka-Pada-Raja-Kapotasana
Various yoga asanas.

The second limb in Patanjali's Yoga philosophy is called niyamas which include virtuous habits, behaviors and observances (the "dos").[43][44] Sadhana Pada Verse 32 lists the niyamas as:[45]

  1. Śauca: purity, clearness of mind, speech and body[46]
  2. Santoṣa: contentment, acceptance of others, acceptance of one's circumstances as they are in order to get past or change them, optimism for self[47]
  3. Tapas: persistence, perseverance, austerity[48][49]
  4. Svādhyāya: study of Vedas (see Sabda in epistemology section), study of self, self-reflection, introspection of self's thoughts, speeches and actions[49][50]
  5. Īśvarapraṇidhāna: contemplation of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality)[47][51]

Later Yoga school scholars added the following to the above list

  1. Āstika: conviction that there is knowledge in Vedas/Upanishads (orthodox school), faith in Self, or belief in God
  2. Dāna: generosity, charity, sharing with others[52]
  3. Hrī: remorse and acceptance of one's past/mistakes/ignorance, modesty, humility[53]
  4. Mati: think and reflect to understand, reconcile conflicting ideas[54]
  5. Huta: religious and social rituals, ceremonies such as yajna


Main article: Asana

Asana in the sense of a posture that one can hold for a period of time, staying relaxed and with normal (calm) breathing (or, as some sources say, "without effort").

Patanjali lists 84 asanas as main postures, of which the highest are Shirshasana (headstand) and Padmasana (lotus).

In English, the Sanskrit word asana means "seat", the place where one sits; or posture, position of the body (any position). Asanas (in the sense of Yoga "posture") are said to derive from the various positions of animals' bodies (whence are derived most of the names of the positions).


Main article: Pranayama

Prāṇāyāma is made out of two Sanskrit words (prāṇa = life energy; ayāma = control or modification). Breathing is the medium used to achieve this goal. The mind and life force are correlated to the breath.


Main article: Pratyahara

Pratyahara is bringing the awareness to reside deep within oneself, free from the senses and external world. The Goal of Pratyahara is not to disrupt the communication from the sense organ to the brain. The awareness is far removed from the five senses.


Main article: Dharana

Concentration, introspective focus, one-pointedness of mind.


Main article: Dhyana in Hinduism

In Dhyana, the meditator is not conscious of the act of meditation (i.e. is not aware that s/he is meditating) but is only aware that s/he exists (consciousness of being), and aware of the object of meditation. Dhyana is distinct from Dharana in that the meditator becomes one with the object of meditation. This means that the meditator although aware of the object through meditation detaches him/erself from its existence in the physical world.[55][56]


Main article: Samadhi

Samadhi is oneness with the object of meditation. There is no distinction between act of meditation and the object of meditation.



Yoga school, like Samkhya school, considers Pratyakṣa or Dṛṣṭam (direct sense perception), Anumāna (inference), and Śabda or Āptavacana (verbal testimony of the sages or shāstras) to be the only valid means of knowledge or Pramana.[7] Unlike few other schools of Hinduism such as Advaita Vedanta, Yoga did not adopt the following three Pramanas: Upamāṇa (comparison and analogy), Arthāpatti (pustulation, deriving from circumstances) or Anupalabdi (non-perception, negative/cognitive proof) .[8]

  • Pratyakṣa (प्रत्यक्षाय) means perception. It is of two types in Hindu texts: external and internal. External perception is described as that arising from the interaction of five senses and worldly objects, while internal perception is described by this school as that of inner sense, the mind.[57][58] The ancient and medieval Indian texts identify four requirements for correct perception:[59] Indriyarthasannikarsa (direct experience by one's sensory organ(s) with the object, whatever is being studied), Avyapadesya (non-verbal; correct perception is not through hearsay, according to ancient Indian scholars, where one's sensory organ relies on accepting or rejecting someone else's perception), Avyabhicara (does not wander; correct perception does not change, nor is it the result of deception because one's sensory organ or means of observation is drifting, defective, suspect) and Vyavasayatmaka (definite; correct perception excludes judgments of doubt, either because of one's failure to observe all the details, or because one is mixing inference with observation and observing what one wants to observe, or not observing what one does not want to observe).[59] Some ancient scholars proposed "unusual perception" as pramana and called it internal perception, a proposal contested by other Indian scholars. The internal perception concepts included pratibha (intuition), samanyalaksanapratyaksa (a form of induction from perceived specifics to a universal), and jnanalaksanapratyaksa (a form of perception of prior processes and previous states of a 'topic of study' by observing its current state).[60] Further, some schools of Hinduism considered and refined rules of accepting uncertain knowledge from Pratyakṣa-pranama, so as to contrast nirnaya (definite judgment, conclusion) from anadhyavasaya (indefinite judgment).[61]
  • Anumāṇa (अनुमान) means inference. It is described as reaching a new conclusion and truth from one or more observations and previous truths by applying reason.[62] Observing smoke and inferring fire is an example of Anumana.[57] In all except one Hindu philosophies,[63] this is a valid and useful means to knowledge. The method of inference is explained by Indian texts as consisting of three parts: pratijna (hypothesis), hetu (a reason), and drshtanta (examples).[64] The hypothesis must further be broken down into two parts, state the ancient Indian scholars: sadhya (that idea which needs to proven or disproven) and paksha (the object on which the sadhya is predicated). The inference is conditionally true if sapaksha (positive examples as evidence) are present, and if vipaksha (negative examples as counter-evidence) are absent. For rigor, the Indian philosophies also state further epistemic steps. For example, they demand Vyapti - the requirement that the hetu (reason) must necessarily and separately account for the inference in "all" cases, in both sapaksha and vipaksha.[64][65] A conditionally proven hypothesis is called a nigamana (conclusion).[66]
  • Śabda (शब्द) means relying on word, testimony of past or present reliable experts.[67][8] Hiriyanna explains Sabda-pramana as a concept which means reliable expert testimony. The schools of Hinduism which consider it epistemically valid suggest that a human being needs to know numerous facts, and with the limited time and energy available, he can learn only a fraction of those facts and truths directly.[68] He must cooperate with others to rapidly acquire and share knowledge and thereby enrich each other's lives. This means of gaining proper knowledge is either spoken or written, but through Sabda (words).[68] The reliability of the source is important, and legitimate knowledge can only come from the Sabda of reliable sources.[68][8] The disagreement between the schools of Hinduism has been on how to establish reliability. Some schools, such as Carvaka, state that this is never possible, and therefore Sabda is not a proper pramana. Other schools debate means to establish reliability.[69]


The metaphysics of Yoga school, again like Samkhya school, is a form of dualism. It considers consciousness and matter, self/soul and body as two different realities.[70][71]

The Samkhya-Yoga system espouses dualism between consciousness and matter by postulating two "irreducible, innate and independent realities: Purusha and Prakriti. While the Prakriti is a single entity, the Samkhya-Yoga schools admit a plurality of the Puruṣas in this world. Unintelligent, unmanifest, uncaused, ever-active, imperceptible and eternal Prakriti is alone the final source of the world of objects. The Puruṣa is considered as the conscious principle, a passive enjoyer (bhokta) and the Prakriti is the enjoyed (bhogya). Samkhya-Yoga believes that the Puruṣa cannot be regarded as the source of inanimate world, because an intelligent principle cannot transform itself into the unconscious world. This metaphysics is a pluralistic spiritualism, a form of realism built on the foundation of dualism.[72]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e Mallinson 2011-a.
  2. ^ a b c d Knut Jacobsen (2008), Theory and Practice of Yoga, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832329, pages 100-101, 333-340
  3. ^ a b c Mike Burley (2012), Classical Samkhya and Yoga - An Indian Metaphysics of Experience, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415648875, pages 43-46 and Introduction chapter
  4. ^ Mike Burley (2012), Classical Samkhya and Yoga - An Indian Metaphysics of Experience, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415648875, pages 20-29
  5. ^ Roy Perrett, Indian Ethics: Classical traditions and contemporary challenges, Volume 1 (Editor: P Bilimoria et al), Ashgate, ISBN 978-0754633013, pages 149-158
  6. ^ John A. Grimes, A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791430675, page 238
  7. ^ a b Larson 1998, p. 9
  8. ^ a b c d
    • Eliott Deutsche (2000), in Philosophy of Religion : Indian Philosophy Vol 4 (Editor: Roy Perrett), Routledge, ISBN 978-0815336112, pages 245-248;
    • John A. Grimes, A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791430675, page 238
  9. ^ a b c d e Edwin Bryant (2011, Rutgers University), The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali IEP
  10. ^ Samkhya - Hinduism Encyclopedia Britannica (2014)
  11. ^ Gerald James Larson (2011), Classical Sāṃkhya: An Interpretation of Its History and Meaning, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120805033, pages 36-47
  12. ^ Mike Burley (2012), Classical Samkhya and Yoga - An Indian Metaphysics of Experience, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415648875, page 39-41
  13. ^ Lloyd Pflueger, Person Purity and Power in Yogasutra, in Theory and Practice of Yoga (Editor: Knut Jacobsen), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832329, pages 38-39
  14. ^ Kovoor T. Behanan (2002), Yoga: Its Scientific Basis, Dover, ISBN 978-0486417929, pages 56-58
  15. ^ Phillips, Stephen H. (1995). Classical Indian Metaphysics: Refutations of Realism and the Emergence of "New Logic". Open Court Publishing. pp. 12–13. 
  16. ^ Personalism Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2013)
  17. ^ Northrop Frye (2006), Educated Imagination and Other Writings on Critical Theory, 1933-1962, University of Toronto Press, ISBN 978-0802092090, page 291
  18. ^ a b Mallinson 2011-b.
  19. ^ The other three are: Jnana yoga, Karma yoga and Bhakti yoga. See: Yoga in Hinduism - Ways to the Goal
  20. ^ Yoga in Hinduism - Ways to the Goal Oriental Philosophy, Lander University (2011)
  21. ^ Maas 2006.
  22. ^ Larson, p. 21–22.
  23. ^ Michaels 2004, p. 267.
  24. ^ a b c Feuerstein 1978, p. 108.
  25. ^ a b c d Larson, pp. 43-45
  26. ^ White 2014, pp. 6-9.
  27. ^ White 2014, pp. 6-16.
  28. ^ White 2011, p. 20-21.
  29. ^ a b
  30. ^ For text and word-by-word translation as "Yoga is the inhibition of the modifications of the mind." See: Taimni, p. 6.
  31. ^ Vivekanada, p. 115.
  32. ^ Bryant 2009, p. 10.
  33. ^ Āgāśe, K. S. (1904). Pātañjalayogasūtrāṇi. Puṇe: Ānandāśrama. p. 102. 
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  36. ^ KN Aiyar (1914), Thirty Minor Upanishads, Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 978-1164026419, Chapter 22, pages 173-176
  37. ^ Svātmārāma; Pancham Sinh (1997). The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (5 ed.). Forgotten Books. p. 14. ISBN 9781605066370. अथ यम-नियमाः अहिंसा सत्यमस्तेयं बरह्यछर्यम कश्हमा धृतिः दयार्जवं मिताहारः शौछम छैव यमा दश १७ 
  38. ^ Lorenzen, David (1972). The Kāpālikas and Kālāmukhas. University of California Press. pp. 186–190. ISBN 978-0520018426. 
  39. ^ Subramuniya (2003). Merging with Śiva: Hinduism's contemporary metaphysics. Himalayan Academy Publications. p. 155. ISBN 9780945497998. Retrieved 6 April 2009. 
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  43. ^ N Tummers (2009), Teaching Yoga for Life, ISBN 978-0736070164, page 13-16
  44. ^ Y Sawai (1987), The Nature of Faith in the Śaṅkaran Vedānta Tradition, Numen, Vol. 34, Fasc. 1 (Jun., 1987), pages 18-44
  45. ^ Āgāśe, K. S. (1904). Pātañjalayogasūtrāṇi. Puṇe: Ānandāśrama. p. 102. 
  46. ^ Sharma and Sharma, Indian Political Thought, Atlantic Publishers, ISBN 978-8171566785, page 19
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  50. ^ Polishing the mirror Yoga Journal, GARY KRAFTSOW, FEB 25, 2008
  51. ^ Īśvara + praṇidhāna, Īśvara and praṇidhāna
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  53. ^ Hri Monier Williams Sanskrit English Dictionary
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  55. ^ Underwood 2005.
  56. ^ Smith 2005.
  57. ^ a b MM Kamal (1998), The Epistemology of the Carvaka Philosophy, Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies, 46(2): 13-16
  58. ^ B Matilal (1992), Perception: An Essay in Indian Theories of Knowledge, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0198239765
  59. ^ a b Karl Potter (1977), Meaning and Truth, in Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, Volume 2, Princeton University Press, Reprinted in 1995 by Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0309-4, pages 160-168
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  62. ^ W Halbfass (1991), Tradition and Reflection, State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-7914-0362-9, page 26-27
  63. ^ Carvaka school is the exception
  64. ^ a b James Lochtefeld, "Anumana" in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1: A-M, Rosen Publishing. ISBN 0-8239-2287-1, page 46-47
  65. ^ Karl Potter (2002), Presuppositions of India's Philosophies, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-0779-0
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  71. ^ Isaac & Dangwal 1997, p. 339
  72. ^ Sharma 1997, pp. 149–68


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  • Maehle, Gregor (2007), Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy, New World Library 
  • Mallinson, James (2011-a), "Hatha Yoga", Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism Vol.3, BRILL  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • Mallinson, James (2011-b), "Nāth Sampradāya", Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism Vol.3, BRILL  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • Michaels, Axel (2004), Hinduism. Past and present, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press 
  • Prabhavananda, Swami; Isherwood, Christopher. How to Know God. Vedanta Press & Bookshop. ISBN 978-0-87481-041-7. 
  • Pradhan, Basant (2015), Yoga and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Springer 
  • Sen, Amiya P. (2006). "Raja Yoga: The Science of Self-Realization". The Indispensable Vivekananda. Orient Blackswan. pp. 219–227. ISBN 978-81-7824-130-2. 
  • Smith, Brian (2005), Yoga. In: "New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. Ed. Maryanne Cline Horowitz. Vol. 6.", Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005 
  • Tola, Fernando; Dragonetti, Carmen; Prithipaul, K. Dad (1987), The Yogasūtras of Patañjali on concentration of mind, Motilal Banarsidass 
  • Underwood, Frederic B. (2005), Meditation. In: "Encyclopedia of Religion. Ed. Lindsay Jones. 2nd ed. Vol. 9., Macmillan Reference USA. 5816-822. Gale Virtual Reference Library 
  • Vivekananda, Swami (1980). Raja Yoga. Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center. ISBN 0-911206-23-X. 
  • Whicher, Ian (1998), The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga, SUNY Press 
  • White, David Gordon (2011), Yoga, Brief History of an Idea (Chapter 1 of "Yoga in practice"), Princeton University Press 
  • White, David Gordon (2014), The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A Biography, Princeton University Press 
  • Wood, Ernest (1951). Practical Yoga, Ancient and Modern, Being a New, Independent Translation of Patanjali's Yoga Aphorisms. Rider and Company. 
  • Wujastyk, Dominik (2011), The Path to Liberation through Yogic Mindfulness in Early Ayurveda. In: David Gordon White (ed.), "Yoga in practice", Princeton University Press 
  • Wynne, Alexander (2007), The Origin of Buddhist Meditation, Routledge 


Further reading[edit]

  • White, David Gordon (2014), The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali: A Biography, Princeton University Press 
  • Maehle, Gregor (2007), Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy, New World Library 

External links[edit]

  • Raja Yoga Sutras – Three translations of the Yoga Sutras (one of the core Raja Yoga texts), with cross referencing, word for word and index for easy study.