Imagine a book that could change your life forever, for so little money. The amount is just secondary consideration, given the concept of Raja Yoga.
About the author:
Swami Vivekananda, one of the few philosophers who lived by what he taught (i dont want to use the word preach here), gives an authoritative commentary on RajaYoga - one of the four main yogas (the others being Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga). The other 3 yoga books are basically a series of lectures by SV. But Raja Yoga is more than a lecture. Its roots are actually in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. There are several good translations of YS, but SV's is the first (translated in mid 1890s when he was in Thousand Islands, NY) and the most comprehensive.
The first part explains the concept of Raja yoga. The second part is verbatim translation of YS with sanskrit text and additional commentary. The sutras by themselves reveal little meaning to a beginner. But when it is reflected from the minds of great people like SV, they reveal a deeper and significant meaning and suddenly everything becomes clear; the perspective of life has shifted a bit and one gains more confidence.
I can not stress much of the value of the book in a single review, Raja Yoga is a companion to life. It is not limited to any particular person or religion. Anybody, even an atheist or communist can practice it. Raja Yoga is a set of principles that any man can follow to the "ultimate liberation". You dont have to practice all the principles. Just look at the effects of one of the principles - namely Asana (roughly = yogic postures) - yields in ones life. Yoga transforms a man. For eg, SV explains the difference between the "yogic sleep" and ordinary sleep. A thief goes into ordinary sleep and wakes up as a theif. But in yogic state a thief goes into, comes out a sage.
This book is not for reading and adorning the bookshelf, but for thinking for oneself and determining a path of life.
This book is both profound and easy to understand. It is valuable for persons knowledgable and new to Raja-Yoga alike. In progressive chapters beginning with an introduction and the "eight steps" of Raja-yoga, to more complex concepts such as Dhyana and Samadhi, everything is explained with conciseness and ease. The latter half of the book covers an Introduction to the Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali, here Concentration is explained, both its practical uses and its practice. In conclusion there are also explanations of the Powers of the Mind, Reincarnation and Discipleship. A Pronounciation table and a Glossary are also provided. All of these make this the best book by far on Raja-Yoga. What really sets this book apart however, is the direct manner in which Swami Vivekananda addresses the reader. The prose is concise, yet easy to understand. After reading this you come away feeling that you have had a conversation with a friend who cares about you. A truly excellent book.