Every movement of consciousness in Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga progresses in three stages : Witness(Sakshi), Consenter(Anumanta) and Enjoyer (Bhokta). When Sri Aurobindo said, “All life is Yoga“, he did not mean “Continue to live as you are” but rather that one must first go within, recover one’s complete consciousness and then apply this newfound consciousness to worldly life. This post demonstrates how this triple movement can be applied to every activity.
This post is a collection of some interesting terms from the Bhagavad Gita that denote various states of self-realization, along with explanatory text from the works of Sri Aurobindo. The terms covered in this post are Vyavasaya-yukta Buddhi, Atmarati, Brahmi-sthithi, Nimitta-Matra, Brahma-Nirvana, Samahita, Samyatendriyah, Samsiddhi, Samam Brahma, Udasinavat, Krsna-vit, Brahma-bhuya and Madbhava.
Once the spiritual aspirant has steadied himself(herself) in mental silence, he is faced with the next challenge and that is the surrender of the unruly vital personality. The vital (AKA life energy or pranamaya kosha) centered in the region from the heart to the navel is the reservoir of all our fears, desires, attractions and repulsions. The mental ego is easy to identify and isolate; it stamps it’s impress on the train of thoughts and begins to subside when the mind is tranquilized by mental silence. But the vital ego is much more difficult to isolate and subdue for it is stubborn and subtle in it’s working; it is the source of our self-justifications, our revolts, our feeling of self-pity and many other petty movements of our consciousness which often go unnoticed in our daily life. One such outcrop of the vital ego discussed in this post is the feeling of suffocation.
Sri Aurobindo identified three trajectories of the higher mind (Buddhi) – ethical, logical and aesthetic. The ethical mind is concerned with distinguishing right and good, the logical mind seen in scientists is concerned with reasoning while the aesthetic mind seen in artists is in pursuit of beauty in nature. This is a short note on the origin, perfection and conflicts created by these three trajectories of the mind.