The Eight Spiritual Powers of Raja Yoga
You can’t always change situations. You can never change other people. The only thing you can change is yourself. The eight powers of Raja Yoga are always available to help you in every situation that you will face in life. With self-transformation as your goal, your life will be a great journey of discovery.
You will discover how to cope with every challenge and how to live well in every situation.
The power to withdraw is the ability to step back and disengage from the world around you
The power to withdraw is about perspective. It gives clarity and coolness, as well as the ability to change a situation. To withdraw is to detach or step back from whatever the current situation is, be it strong feelings, emotions, anger, or confusion.
It is the power to become a pure point of consciousness, the real self – the being who plays the character, detached from the scene, from the role being played, from the body. It does not require us to leave the world but be beyond its influence – connected to the true self.
The power to pack up is the ability to bring things to an end and to stop wasteful thinking.
This is the power to cut away everything that is destructive, useless and wasteful. It is the Power to LET GO and hold nothing of the past in the heart, or anything negative about the future in my mind. It is the strength to say ‘no’ to negativity.
Letting go requires courage, forgiveness, trust and purity. It means life starts anew from this point, and its foundation is Truth. When it becomes easy to let go of all limitations of identity, and all the expectations formed by others or society then it is possible to have greater understanding and compassion for the self and others.
The power to accommodate is the ability to expand and accept the presence, ideas and desires of others.
This is the power to provide comfort where no comfort exists. Its foundation is a constant connection with inner truth and an openness & regard for others. To accommodate does not mean to compromise…It means to maintain one’s own integrity and the integrity of others with a commitment to truth, and faith in the self.
The power to accommodate requires deep understanding and acceptance, the ability to nurture the true identity, so that what is needed in any situation becomes present. With this power, a deep contentment is experienced that is impervious to the prevailing conditions.
The power to discriminate is the ability to discern the subtle and separate what is true from what is false.
This is the power of the intellect, the divine intellect. It is the art of consulting the most elevated consciousness to understand truth and falsehood, right and wrong, reality and illusion, benefit and loss.
The power to know is the ability to discern accurately – the power of clarity that allows the best course of action to be chosen. When it becomes possible to see beyond the present moment to the future implications of any choice, there is no longer reaction, but considered response. It requires trust in the higher self, even in the face of opposing opinions, and listening to what is known deep within.
The power of judgment is the ability to assess the quality of choices, decisions and actions in yourself and in others.
This is the power of truth, the power to choose truth, to stand alone in that truth no matter what. It is intrinsically connected to the Power to KNOW and takes much of its clarity from that power. I can often know the best course of action, can be absolutely certain, but without the Power to DECIDE, I am unable to follow that knowing.
This power requires me to be completely free from any attachment to the outcome of my decision. I must make the decision, follow through but not be concerned about the result. Any expectations or investment of myself in the result can create worry, doubt, confusion and, ultimately disappointment. I must also understand that whatever decision I make is destined and accurate – I will always learn and benefit from it.
The power to face is the ability to confront and resolve external and internal obstacles, tests and challenges.
The main attributes of this power are courage and honesty. The Power to FACE means that nothing is too fearsome to handle, that I am equipped with all the powers I need to face whatever comes – fear or overwhelming emotion, lack of self-worth, attack or denigration by others; situations that seem impossible, insurmountable.
This power is not to be cajoled or negotiated with. There cannot be any acceptance of illusion or falsehood, ego, greed, desire, attachment, jealousy or anger in the self, neither should it be supported in others. Balanced with the Power to LOVE, self-respect, compassion and understanding emerge; self- deception cannot be tolerated because it devalues the truth of our natural, original nature.
The power to co-operate is the ability to give attention, time, experience and wisdom in the service of others and to work alongside them.
In many ways, the power to co-operate is the culmination of all the powers. It requires us to be free from vice: ego, jealousy/envy, attachment, lust, anger, greed – from anything that distracts from being an instrument for a task. When the attitude is detached, the innate sense of knowing accurately what is needed, plus the ability to be flexible and able to adjust to all situations and types of people, enables us to be benevolent.
To fully realise this power is to be full to the point of overflowing, beyond any need to be praised or acknowledged. Self-respect and complete contentment result, and from this state of fullness, giving freely and unconditionally is natural.
The power to tolerate is the ability to respond to external and internal events positively, yet not be affected by them.
To love the self is the greatest need. When there is genuine love and acceptance for the true self there is natural tolerance of inconsistencies and failures. There is the ability to see beyond all limitations, to love myself, the pure soul, completely.
We have been tricked into thinking we were being loving, or loved – both are an illusion, compounded of neediness, dependency, insecurity, fear, loneliness, etc.
The Power to LOVE is the power to stand independently as a child of God, a god-like being, a soul, and not confused with the role designated by the particular story in which we find ourselves playing our parts, be they a villains or heroes .
This is being fulfilled, this is a fulfilled being: aware of their own truth, their own worthiness. This is unconditional love and it requires constant fearlessness.
You can think of yourself as a superhero, who has been given eight powers. As you learn how to use your powers, they become stronger in you. Just like any superhero, you learn the skill of applying the right power at the right time and in the right situation.