Question: Is the practice of raja yoga necessary? In
the Bhagavad Gita it is said: “Direct your mind to Me...”
Answer: But this is just the first part of the phrase. And the second
one reads: “... submerge yourself as a consciousness into Me, then you will live
in Me!” Can you submerge yourself as a consciousness into Ishvara?
To those who are not able to do this at once, Krishna recommended meditative
But not anyone can practice meditation easily. Therefore, Krishna advised to
prepare oneself to this stage through karma yoga (that is study of ethics and ethically
correct behavior) and through sankhya — study of philosophy.
“Direct your mind to Me...” — this is a call to the initial steps of the religious
ascent. This is a call to cultivating faith, to aspiring to God.
Ritualism of various religions contributes to formation of faith. But those whose
faith is already formed and who also possess other propitious dispositions — should
advance forward along the well-known eight stages of yoga, expounded by Patanjali.
Faith is the principal issue on the spiritual Path. For it is faith that encourages
a person to strive to become better. Why should atheists try to become consider themselves and others only as mortal physical bodies?! Atheism
deprives people of the feeling of personal responsibility before God and before
one’s own further destiny.
And why are there good, kind, honest people among atheists, nonetheless? It is
because of the fact that they accustomed themselves to this in previous lives and
now live in the moral way as if by inertia. But it is easy to tempt such a person,
deprived of sound theoretical and ethic foundation, to commit a sin and to drive
him or her into hell!
So, the first step on the Path to the Perfection in a religious school — is acceptance
of faith. And with time this faith may grow — through numerous personal efforts
— into religious knowledge. And meditation plays the prime role in this transformation.