Mental tension is often the cause of distress, disease and crime. In order to relieve tension, some people take tranquillisers, smoke marijuana or use stimulant drugs. But these substances do not provide lasting relief. Rather, they harm one’s mental faculties and lead to addiction. It has been found that practice of Rajyoga meditation, even for a short while every day, is one of the most effective ways of getting freedom from mental tension.
It is instructive to know what causes mental tension and how Rajyoga relieves it. The key factor responsible for mental tension is one’s attitude towards events, people and things. The main mechanism through which we react to these external stimuli is the brain and the network of sensory and motor nerves connected with it. At the heart of this mechanism is the soul, in which consciousness resides. The soul lives near the pituitary gland, which receives external stimuli through the hypothalamus, which receives information from the cerebral cortex of the brain and passes it on to the soul. The soul’s response to such stimuli is shaped by its tendencies, beliefs, values etc. Rajyoga enables the soul to develop the right attitudes, values and will power. If, for example, the soul looks upon life as a drama in which every human soul is playing its role and every event is a passing scene, it will not be saddened by painful or adverse events. It will remain a detached observer of every situation.
Also, if the soul remembers that it is originally a calm and peaceful being, and that all other humans are also souls, related to it as brothers, it would treat everyone with love. Even if others behave badly, it would forgive them and extricate itself from an unpleasant situation rather than get distressed or embroiled in a confrontation.
Further, such a person, having firm belief in God as the omnipotent and merciful Father who helps those who help themselves by acting according to divine law, remains free of worry, feels secure and experiences God’s love. All these save the soul from any harmful effect of external stimuli and help it remain relaxed and peaceful.