Of the many Yoga paths leading to God or the Supreme Reality, four are more commonlyknown.TheseareKarmaYogaorthePathofSelflessService,BhaktiYogaorthePathofDevotion,Raja Yoga or the Path of Mind Control and Jnana Yoga or the Path of Intellectual Analysis. Evenamong these, Raja Yoga is popularly known as just “Yoga”; and similarly, Jnana Yoga is known as just “Vedanta”.Ofthefourpaths,again,RajaYogaistheonewhichisthemostscientificallyorganised.Itisalso known as Ashtanga Yoga or the Yoga of Eight Steps, each step or rung leading in logicalprogression to the next one. Raja Yoga is the ladder connecting our phenomenal existence with theGreatNoumenonandwehavetoascendthisladderstepbystepwithgreatcareandcircumspection.Nostepcanbeignoredorbypassedexceptatone’sownperil.Progressisassuredprovidedtherulesof the game are adhered to. And violation of the rules is bound to cause its own peril. Such is RajaYoga propounded by that ancient sage Patanjali in the form of Sutras or terse aphorismscollectively known as Yoga Darshana.Yoga Darshana is a difficult text, difficult to understand straightaway even by those with agood knowledge of Sanskrit. So Maharshi Vyasa wrote a commentary on Yoga Darshana, andsubsequently, one Vachaspati Mishra wrote a more elaborate Gloss explaining the full meaning of SageVyasa’sCommentary.AlltheseSanskrittextswillstillbeGreekandLatintothemodernmanunfamiliar with that ancient language.Sowebroughtoutin1982aseriesofdiscoursesgiveninEnglishbySwamiKrishnanandajionPatanjali’sYogaSutrasunderthetitle,
.Itwasverywellreceivedbythe public thirsting for a knowledge of the deeper implications of the great science of Yoga. WehavegreatpleasurenowtobringoutthiscompanionvolumeonthesamesubjectofAshtangaYogaby Swami Chidanandaji. The present volume contains the edited version of a series of lecturesgiven by Sri Swamiji to the Third Batch of trainees who underwent the Three Months’ Course runby the Yoga-Vedanta Forest Academy of the Divine Life Society. In the hands of SwamiChidanandaji, the Yoga Darshana comes to new life as a vibrant, living guide to spiritual practice.And Swamiji has delved deep into all the most essential aspects of Yoga Sadhana, and in doing so,has beautifully maintained logical sequence. And the whole volume reflects his earnest desire andlonging that spiritual seekers should put to use this marvellous science of Yoga for furthering theirspiritual advancement.An earlier publication of ours,
Path to Blessedness
by Swami Chidanandaji, also deals withRaja Yoga, but it is more elementary in scope. It contains the essence of the discourses given by SriSwamiji nearly thirty-five years ago. The reader who goes through both these volumes cannot failto notice that the present work is the outcome, not only of the academic knowledge of the author onthe subject, but more so of his own intense practice of the teachings of Patanjali.We acknowledge with thanks the painstaking work put in by Kumari Srilata Bellare whotranscribed Swami Chidanandaji’s lectures from the tapes and by Sri N. Ananthanarayanan, whoedited the manuscript into its present shape. May God’s blessings be ever with them.