Let us briefly discuss about the four well known Main yogas proposed by Dattatrey Maharaj. They are (1) mantra yoga, (2) laya yoga, (3) hatha yoga and (4) raj yoga.
(1) Mantra Yoga: “मननात त्रायते इती मंत्रः” – recitation of anything which can cause protection, elevation, which can replace danger with safety, which can cause liberation, which can transform negative attitude to positive attitude, is called mantra. Hindus generally recite “Om namah Shivayah”, while “la ilaha illallah” is recited by muslims and “om mani padme hum” is recited by Buddhists. Similarly every religion in India has one or more mantras that are chanted by the respective followers while they worship their deities. Mantra is a sacred verse that has supernatural effect. Thus it is hidden as a part of yoga. The word mantra literally means, “to detach from the mind.” Mantra is a tool used by the mind which eventually frees up one from the mind. However the journey from mantra to freedom is wonderful. Throughout the journey, mind expands and eventually dips into the essence of cosmic existence.
(2) Laya Yoga: The meaning of Sanskrit word Laya is dissolution or extinction. It refers to cessation of the ordinary world. Laya Yoga fixes your energy and attention on your higher consciousness and your essence. It lets you get absorbed into the ecstasy and creativity of consciousness without the normal attachments and distractions dominating the reactive awareness. It is regarded as the finest form of yoga. It is the pinnacle. It is the zenith of a person’s quest for serenity and discussion with his soul and synchronising with universal energy.
(3) Hatha Yoga: We shall discuss about Hatha Yoga in detail under the section of Kundalini. Here to discuss briefly, ha means sun and tha means moon. In more detail the word “ha” refers to pingala, the solar nadi and “tha” refers to ida, the lunar channel. Hatha is generally defined as the yoga which brings union of opposite pairs. It represents adverse energies such as hot and cold, male and female fire and water, positive and negative following the same concept as the yin-yang. Hatha yoga brings in balance to mind and body through “asanas” and meditation. Asanas will balance and strengthen physical body and pranayama calms the mind to attain enlightenment.
(4) Raja Yoga: Raja Yoga is also known as Samadhi. The final stage of hatha yoga forms the beginning stage of raja yoga. In hatha yoga pradeepika it is stated that
“राजयोग विना पृथ्वी राजयोग विना निषा
राजयोग विना मुद्रा विचित्रापी न शोभते ”
it means if we do not practice raja yoga, the practice of the prithvi which means asanas, nisha which means pranayama and mudra without reaching the state of raja yoga would not only become futile but also this entire journey would lose its grace. The worldly pleasures form the biggest obstacle in the path to Samadhi. These materialistic pleasures keep luring a man throughout his journey to salvation. If the person seeking this journey is not conscious about this, he would just get fascinated by these pleasures and loses the track of his actual journey. Hence when a person gets detached from materialistic desires and practices asanas, pranayama and mudra with passion will move ahead of all the stages and finally attain Samadhi which is called the raja yoga.