Shri Narayana Menon has explained the basis and need for an integral approach. The four paths prescribed by yoga are on the basis of predominant mental attitudes of love, reason, physical activity and mysticism. Each individual has an element of all the qualities in different levels. Therefore, integration is necessary.
Shri Narayana Menon exemplifies in his own life, the philosophy, method of action and mental attitude of the true yogi and therefore is eminently fitted to show the way, which he has done so ably through this and the earlier publications. This book 'Unity with Eternity' is a 'labour of love' dedicated to the truth and wisdom of `Yoga'. I am sure, this publication will help all aspiring people to understand and realise its theme "Unity with Eternity". I sincerely hope that Shri Narayana Menon, with his wide erudition and deep and integral understanding, will bring out more such books on different aspects of Yoga for the benefit of those who wish to learn and practice the science of Yoga. I feel honoured at being asked to write this introduction and I thank Shri Narayana Menon for giving me this opportunity.
It is acknowledged that 'Yoga' represents the quintessence of ancient Indian spiritual tradition. It is the path for the conscious evolution of the human psyche or soul which leads one to ultimate spiritual realisation. It may appear that it concerns only the few who have given up the worldly way of life and have taken to a life of total abnegation, that of the Sanyasin or monk. But a little reflection will convince us that Yoga is relevant and applicable not only for those who have only spiritual aims in life but also for all those who wish to lead a good, strong, purposeful and enlightened life. We are today living in a world of science and technology and its frontiers are ever widening with new discoveries and inventions. Science and Technology are expected to take care of the material needs of the humans and help him or her to reach higher and more glorious levels of living. But we know from actual experience that mere development of science and technology by themselves cannot ensure the true well-being of the human race and lead to a nobler and peaceful life on this earth. This calls for the conscious development of a power other than that given by science and technology.
The excellence in any field of thought and action depends on the ability to acquire the necessary equipment, be it in the physical, intellectual, emotional or mental area. One can have these equipments only through the development and use of will power. Yoga is the well established and time tested system for developing the inner power. As distinguished from experimental sciences, this can be called the experiential science. Though Yoga has spiritual development as its aim, it is relevant and applicable for achieving mundane objectives also. It is a comprehensive discipline which helps to develop the faculties and powers inherent in the human being. As such it is available for purposes other than spiritual salvation also.
Dr. R.R. Diwakar who has made a deep study of all aspects of Yoga and was himself a practitioner has stated thus :
"Yoga is the science and art of making a human being fully aware holistically of all the energies; physical, mental, vital, aesthetic and spiritual inherent or dormant in him or her. Yoga enables one if one wills to develop harmoniously and engineer them for yoking them integrally for evolving a mastery of all of them so that one may reach higher levels of existence. Earlier in the history of yoga it was mainly used for one's spiritual emancipation and total liberation (kaivalya). But the science and art as such is available and ought to be harnessed for the integral evolution not only of individuals but of humanity as a whole so that the human race itself takes the next step in fuller, higher and nobler joyful living."
The single and extra-ordinary and creative contribution of yoga is the deep study of consciousness as an energy in itself and its potentialities when disciplined and applied. Today yoga in its various aspects is used as therapy, as mental hygiene and so on. Our educational system ought to be able to utilise the principles of yoga in disciplining the young minds towards the mastery of their energies so that they become integrated personalities. It is a pity that in the beginning our governments looked upon 'Yoga' as only physical culture. Now when the world has awakened to the comprehensive nature of yogic science, we ought to study deeper our own heritage and introduce appropriate and graded aspects of it in our educational system. Due to misconceptions and lack of awareness about the relevance and applicability of yoga, our educational policy makers and planners have not been able to offer the vast potentialities of yoga to the younger generations. Today yoga, while retaining its essential characteristic as a path of redemption for the individual has acquired broader and deeper dimensions as an effective method for community action also.
Obviously yoga being an experiential science concerns basically the individual and his/her inner experience. One has to learn and practice it and for this, competent guidance is necessary. This guidance could be had in ancient days and even now from a 'Guru' or preceptor. Today, when there is a tremendous change and expansion in the communication media, new methods and possibilities have opened. But this has not made the role of a proper 'Guru' irrelevant or unncessary. The written word also continues to be equally important and its need and utility for the beginner seeking guidance has not diminished.
Yogacharya Shri M. Narayana Menon has mastered the theoretical as well as practical aspects of yoga and is a Guru personally guiding hundreds of aspirants. He has done a distinct and valuable service to those who desire to learn and practice yoga by preparing this book on 'Raja Yoga' and arranging to publish it under the title "Unity with Eternity". He has earlier published two other books on "Yogasanas" and "Karma Yoga". In the present publication he has brought together all aspects of "Raja Yoga" as propounded in the. Upanishads, Bhagavad Geetha, Patanjali's Yogasastra, Adi Sankara's Commentaries and other sources. < As the author himself has stated, this book contains a practical method following which one can learn and practice the eight-fold spiritual disciplines enunciated in the Raja Yoga, step by step even if he is leading the life of a house holder. 'Raja Yoga' according to him is more suited to an intellectually developed person who looks for logic and reason behind the spiritual disciplines.
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