By Sally Janssen
It is important for the human psyche to have a concept or perceptions of our origin and our ultimate life destination. This motivates the study of psychology.
What is missing in the more material purposes of western psychology, are the components of the soul and spirit of a human being. Yet the spiritual life purpose is as important as a material one. It is a Truth to be sought and remains one of the main focal points for Vedic scholars and philosophers as for the genuine seeker for understanding of human being.
Although Indian scholars of Vedic lore will be capable of more profound discussions of psychology and analyses of human nature, most of us wish to use the tenets of Raja Yoga philosophy and teachings to help us towards the spiritual goal by relying upon the three simplest definitions of the psyche as an adjunct to what is already known to us through western psychology.
Consideration of these components serves to guide us through the labyrinth of information about the human mind and personality to illumine a clear path towards a higher destination. This spiritual path or Marga is known and highly regarded as that of kingly purpose in discovering life’s truth, hence its name Raja Yoga. However, it is a royal status that must be earned.
There are many successful exponents of Hatha Yoga who have achieved good health and balanced nature through the practices concentrating upon the body. Those who by nature have directed a strong stream of emotional development towards devotion rather than self satisfaction have succeeded in the spirit of Bhakti no matter what religious ideas they use to channel their full devotional energy – or if they follow no formal spiritual system at all. Those who explore the realities of human nature and are motivated by a search for truth are practising Raja Yoga and will find much to discover.
The simple tenets of Raja Yoga direct us to learn all we can of the three clear spheres and functions of human intelligence. They have been similarly identified by wise philosophers and leaders of mankind throughout the ages. Recognition followed by study of these three aspects of ourselves allows us in time, to integrate them.
Personality – consisting of the body and brain, emotions, and thoughts
Soul – the inhabiting intelligence, wisdom or sum-total of life experience
Spirit – the spark of life that links us with the Divine light, power and energy that has created and animates all living forms – and has entrusted us with the gift of life and free will.
Sally Janssen is a writer, and Yoga teacher well known both in Australia and abroad for her skill in demonstration of the Hatha Yoga practices and her wisdom in applying the principles of Raja Yoga -the study of the mind and consciousness. Her book “Mental Fitness: A Complete Self-help Guide” explains the principles of mental fitness that can be applied by us all.