XBK Chat Forum Index XBK Chat (unofficial archive)
A former meeting place for past members of Brahma Kumaris
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   You have no new messagesYou have no new messages   Log out  Log out  

Raja Yoga is not the property of the BKs

        XBK Chat Forum Index -> XBK discussions
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 142
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 7:17 am    Post subject: Raja Yoga is not the property of the BKs

Raja Yoga is not the property of the BKs

I understand that in the 1970's and 1980's the BKs marketed themselves, outside India at any rate, as 'Raja Yoga', and that the promotion of the name Brahma Kumaris is a more recent thing. This would explain why many "older ones" (eg eromain in his excellent child abuse report) persist on referring to the teachings of the BKWSU (or BKWSO or whatever they are in your neck of the woods) as 'Raja Yoga', and there is a blurring together of the concepts of BK "gyan" and Raja Yoga. Indeed, many BK dogmas which (in my opinion anyway) are not even part of BK gyan, have also become confused in the minds of many former and current BKs as being Raja Yoga.

This is confusing and misleading. Even within BK teachings yoga and gyan are separate subjects. But, more fundamentally, Raja Yoga is not synonymous with the BKs or BK teachings. It is not the property of the BKs. The Apple dictionary defines it as:

raja yoga : a form of Hindu yoga intended to achieve control over the mind and emotions. ORIGIN from Sanskrit, from r?jan ‘king’ + yoga .

Most people who have heard of Raja Yoga associate it with Patanjali's codification of it - see (for example) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raja_Yoga

But there are many other variants. A quick Google search reveals a host of organisations teaching various flavours of Raja Yoga. I like this simple description which came up first on the Google listing, : http://www.yogaworld.org/raja.htm

I have a book by Alice A Bailey, "From Intellect to Intuition" which is basically a tutorial on Raja Yoga - this was published in 1932 and remains available. This book helped me understand the process of Raja Yoga in a way that none of the BKs I talked to during my self imposed incarceration were able to. The BK understanding of Raja Yoga tends to be at best sketchy, there is very little practical information about it available from them, and almost no information on the higher stages of it, beyond a few, generally misunderstood, terms like 'seed stage' and 'third eye'. They claim to teach Raja Yoga, but in fact they are teaching BK 'gyan' (ie 'knowledge'). The Raja Yoga just "happens" if you are lucky (or have suitable karma?) - the spiritual atmosphere at the BK centres is very conducive to it. I suspect that those of us who "learnt" Raja Yoga from the BKs actually already knew it from previous lives of practice - either that or we were taught it subtly....

The BKs claim (of course) that their stripped down version of Raja Yoga is the real one, and the original. I don't wish to comment further on that except to say it did work for me, and I am grateful to them for steering me in its direction. But I say it is misleading and bad practice to blacken Raja Yoga with the weaknesses of BK teachings and practices, by confusing the terminology.

Raja Yoga is not a BK property. It is the original yoga of India, the king of yogas, and is highly respected (and indeed practiced) by many who have never had anything to do with the BKs.

Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:48 am    Post subject: raj yoga

This is absolutely correct. But not often admitted to by practising BKs. The older buses and other vehicles in India still have "Raja Yoga Institute" painted on their sides. Most BKs do not even know about Patanjali, although he is mentioned on their official (Indian) web site. Patanjali taught a whole long method of training including breath control etc leading up to the end result of raj yoga. There are many web sites as you say, and Ram Dass talks about learning it in his books about his early days in India. Many Indians will call themselves raj yogis instead of BKs. Some will say they are both raj yogis and BKs. I think it is well understood in India as it was a well established system since, I think about 2,500 years ago. I may be wrong on the timing, but look at the India Brahma Kumaris web site. They make no secret of it. However, if I say to a pukka BK that I just want to practise raj yoga and not be a BK they just give me a funny stare or say I don't know what I am talking about. Nevertheless, I am grateful for having learned R.Y. in its simplified BK form. It is very useful for me and I would not want to do all the postures, breathing exercises etc that Patanjali taught as a prelude to R. Y. Have you noticed how similar the BK meditation is to self hypnosis techniques? In those you relax your body, then gaze at a real or imaginary point on the wall.
By the way, it is said that Patanjali was the first yogi to teach shiva worshippers to stop smoking hashish as an aid to their meditation. As far as I know ther are still some Patanjali schools in India now, I think four schools in different cities.

Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:57 am    Post subject: raj yoga school

I forgot to say there is also a raj yoga school in the Netherlands ( Holland)
I can find the address if anyone is interested. I got it from a web site that is a kind of umbrella body for yoga schools world wide.
They just teach raja yoga, they have nothing to do with the BKs at all.

Joined: 22 Feb 2004
Posts: 167

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:58 am    Post subject:

Thanks for raising this. Actually, in the early days of foreign service this point used to be discussed frequently. Many who came to the centre from a Hindu background would talk of Patanjali's Raj Yoga and I think there were a couple of articles written on it by Jagdishbhai in the World Renewal. At least one of the early booklets - the Illustrations of Raj Yoga - sought to clarify this issue.

Essentially, the BK arguments are rooted in their faith in the cycle. It then becomes a question of "the egg and the chicken" with them claiming originality for everything on the cycle since they were the instruments of Brahma, the creative aspect of the Trinity Godhead Brahma-Vishnu-Shankar.

It is true that in the early days we proselytized the knowledge of "Raj Yoga" and called ourselves "Raj Yogis." Generally, many of us had not studied any other traditional Raj Yoga and the Brahma Kumaris told us we did not need any complex explanations of other systems of Raj Yoga since this one was being taught by God Himself and was very easy. All that was required was for you to consider yourself a soul, a point of light and energy, and consider God as the Supreme Soul, also a point of light and energy, and try to remember Him as much as you can since that was the simple method of purification that would lead to salvation. The simplicity and effectiveness of the method was impressive (as you have alluded). For that reason, we were told, this was called Sahaj Raj Yoga to distinguish it from other forms prevalent in the paths of Bhakti. Hence we called our centres "Raj Yoga Centre". This portrayal was also partly due to our not wanting to create much cultural or social conflict by using the name "Brahma Kumaris" too frequently and openly. Such concerns had also led to the revision of the Indian portrayal of the knowledge using images more acceptable to the Western mind. Consequently, the brothers and sisters at the London Centre - which had a pool of gifted artists - were given permission to create new pictures of The Cycle, The Tree, The Three Worlds etc. For instance, The Cycle now carried an image of Abraham and The Three Worlds portrayed Brahma and Saraswattie sitting side by side instead of sub-divisions with Shankar etc. In London, too, there had been strong objections to using the Swastika on the Cycle because of its association with the Nazis.

Regarding the origin of Raj Yoga: sometime ago I was surfing the web and came across a site closely associated with the sources of literature you seem to be exploring (Theosophy?). I made a direct enquiry about the source of BK knowledge and got an interesting reply from their Contact personnel that Raj Yoga was being taught by the soul of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Confused who was now engaged in this service. I did not wish to pursue the matter further (intuitively) so I let it rest at that. May be a case of 'once bitten twice shy' but I'd say watch for the point of being asked to 'surrender your all' to a system or individual as a sign of being a true seeker. We went down that road before. Just a friendly word of concern. For instance, I find the teachings of Ouspensky's System very intriguing but I also read critiques of it and that of his early mentor Gurdjiff. There's much to take note of in their teachings but ultimately there's a teacher within each of us. Indeed that is what has saved/is saving us! BKs would classify that as manmat but I believe there's a version of theirs that says 'come let us reason' and that should be the true spirit of 'churning.'

"Those were the days my friend ...."

Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 142
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 1:51 pm    Post subject:

Thanks, gyaniwasi, for the cautionary tale! - i have been reading a fair bit by theosophists, but I do read other sources too, and do not intend joining any organisations, but (good old synchronicity) i was just checking out their websites for the first time, around the very moment when you must have been writing the above..... however i have always been wary of surrendering to others - the more so since the BKs snared me with their "we are a university" spin - "once bitten twice shy" as you say.
gyaniwasi wrote:
ultimately there's a teacher within each of us. Indeed that is what has saved/is saving us!

I am listening to, and appeciating, what you are saying - so I guess thats "parmat" too - manmat and parmat in one quote...

I am off to consult my dictionaries to find out what "Sahaj" means.... Smile

Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 131

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:48 pm    Post subject: Sahaj

howiemac wrote:
I am off to consult my dictionaries to find out what "Sahaj" means.... Smile

" Sahaj " means " easy " ... perhaps Sahaj Raj Yoga was the ironic name for that stuff that the B.K.s do.


Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 142
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:05 am    Post subject: Re: Sahaj

ex-london wrote:
" perhaps Sahaj Raj Yoga was the ironic name for that stuff that the B.K.s do.

you mean sitting "at peace" in earnest supplication to guru Brahma and the divine Dadis? Wink
Display posts from previous:   
        XBK Chat Forum Index -> XBK discussions All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group