Vedanta & Raja Yoga

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Content of Consciousness and its States are both important subject of study. There is a relation between the two and yet they could be looked at and worked with emphasis to one or the other. Content is all that we experience or think or feel and the states are broadly classified as four which are , Waking, Dream, Deep Sleep and the Fourth or that which transcends these three.

For practical purpose though it is useful to take the six modifications of mind and its content and study them. In doing so one hopes to transform both the content and the state in which mind dwells. Let us take a lazy person or an alcoholic. He would be experiencing dispersed state of mind akin to dreaming state most of the time. For an average person too though the mind may go to various states, he would perhaps not be aware of them and could be said to belong to three lower states of Dispersion (Dreaming or dissipated), confused and sporadically attentive.

Now the aim of meditation is to achieve the higher states of mind starting with intermittently attentive (normal waking), collected or attentive (should be normal waking) and totally restrained (deep sleep). For results to be lasting it is necessary to change the content of mind too and this comes by understanding. Some give emphasis to understanding (knowledge or wisdom) that brings about a change in content and others to the states though at first we may not realise that both are inextricably linked. Samadhan or resolution (Vedanta) is more important to the former and for the latter Samadhi or absorption (Raja Yoga).