The four yoga’s of Hinduism are Karma, Bhakti, Raja and Jnana the one that I think best describes Mahatma Gandhi is Raja yoga. Raja yoga fits into all classes of the four yoga’s with or without any belief, and it is the real instrument of religious inquiry. Raja Yoga is one of many paths of self-discovery and self-mastery. Mahatma Gandhi, who followed the precepts of Raja Yoga, was especially dedicated to the path of nonviolence. Although many mistake this path as a passive state of submission and cite it to justify inaction born of fear, is an active state that is an alternative to both fight and standing firm when confronted with injustice. Neither attacking nor retreating, Gandhi stood firm against one of the greatest forces of the time, the British Empire. But Gandhi's real struggle for power was fought less in the political world than the fight for finding himself. Gandhi learned to act not out of fear or anger, but from love and compassion and that changed the world.
I will prove this theory through relationships between the movie and Raja yoga. "An eye for an eye makes everybody blind" summarizes Gandhi’s view of violence. That statement is one of the greatest things ever said, and was borrowed by other world leaders including Martin Luther King Jr. Gandhi did not believe in violence as a technique of achieving his goal of an independent India. He preached non-violent non-cooperation. Gandhi considered non-violent non-cooperation as requiring more courage and dedication then violence. By the word non-violence Gandhi did not mean mere ignorance of the injustices that came upon his people, he supported active no cooperation, organizing non-violent marches and other events to protest the unfairness of the British occupation of India.
In the salt marches, Gandhi protested the British monopoly on salt and the salt tax Indians had to pay. He tried to provoke a violent response from the British government. Such a response would show him to the world as a victim and not a tyrant. This approach would expose the British injustice and would get the world’s public opinion on Gandhi’s side. As a result, even the English people supported his independence movement. Gandhi believed his non-violent non-cooperation required much more bravery and devotion then violent techniques. During a march on a salt plant organized by Gandhi, men stood in line to approach the guards. When they approached, the men stood defenseless, while the guards beat them with sticks. As the beaten men were carried away, new ones came forward. In this symbolic event the Indian people suffered greatly to show the world the cruelty of the British authorities and the persistence of the people of India to achieve independence. Another showing of the British cruelty was the massacre, where protesters stood peacefully while the British soldiers gunned them down. In non-violent non-cooperation Gandhi captured the support of the entire nation. Under his leadership millions of Indians sacrificed for the cause of freedom by non-violent methods. People stood defenseless while being beaten or killed to show the world the inhumane policies of the British.
In the end he was successful with his nonviolent non-cooperation efforts to free India. This shows how Raja yoga best describes him by always showing a nonviolent approach to the British Empire. When there was violence by his people Gandhi would silently protest by fasting for weeks until the violence would stop. I think Gandhi’s own words best describe why he fits the Raja yoga best. "Nonviolence in its dynamic condition means conscious suffering. It does not mean a meek submission to the will of the evil-doer, but it means putting one’s whole soul against the will of the tyrant."