Why do men want to worship? It is much better to become than to worship. It is the reluctance to change that makes one worship.
[Mother’s Agenda, April 30, 1969]
The perfection of the integral Yoga will come when each man is able to follow his own path of Yoga, pursuing the development of his own nature in its upsurging towards that which transcends the nature. For freedom is the final law and the last consummation.
[Sri Aurobindo, Synthesis of Yoga]
“What I meant by some concrete method was things like repetition of a mantra, pranayama, asana, etc. What I mean by subtle methods is psychological, non-mechanical processes — e.g., concentration in the heart, surrender, self-purification, working out by inner means the change of the consciousness.”
[Sri Aurobindo to Dilip, Vol.3]
It is practice first and knowledge afterwards
Sri Aurobindo & The Mother for their Integral Yoga did not lay down a fixed set of techniques like the eightfold path of Buddha or Patanjali’s eight limbs of Yoga. The underlying rationale was that the techniques should evolve with the growth of consciousness and spiritual progress. Instead, Integral Yoga incorporates conventional Yoga techniques from Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Mantra Yoga as necessary. For example, one may start with some Mantra and devotional Music and then graduate to some type of Meditation. Until the mind begins to naturally enter the state of cessation of thought (Unmani Avastha), the various techniques of Pranayama are also helpful and these can be learned from other knowledgeable sources.
In Integral Yoga, emphasis is laid on 24-hour Sadhana, which implies maintaining a certain concentration (which connotes neither staring nor stargazing!) of consciousness during all activities of the day. This also includes raising the level of consciousness at night through conscious exploration of our Sleep and Dreams.
In variance to other schools of Yoga, the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother does not try to force the awakening of the Kundalini but allows it to occur naturally, and preferably as part of the descent experience. The descent of Kundalini is preferred to it’s upward rise from the bottom of the spine because the Shakti (power) which descends from the head is pure while the Shakti (power) which awakens from bottom of the spine can get contaminated by the egoistic impurities of the aspirant as it ascends. This aspect is further explained in the page on the descent experience.
Sri Aurobindo stated that his was not a world-negating Yoga which treats the phenomenal world as an illusion from which one must escape, but rather a world-affirming Yoga in which Matter and Spirit must be reconciled through the enlargement of consciousness. Towards that end, the development of the body as a fit instrument for the manifestation of the spirit through Physical culture is also given importance.
- Four Austerities and Four Liberations
- Religious, mechanical and psychological methods of self-realization
- Equanimity as the foundation of Integral Yoga
- Triple movement of Integral Yoga (Witness, Consenter and Enjoyer)
- Liminality or negative capability required in Yoga
- Interplay of faith and doubt in Yoga
- The spiritual aptitude (adhikara) needed for Yoga
- Sharing spiritual experiences with others
- The occult spirits which influence our actions
- Receiving guidance from Masters of a bygone age
- How to increase will-power
- The equipoise required for Yoga
- Practicing Yoga without a Guru
Sexuality & Relationships
- The transmutation of sexual energy
- Sublimation of the sexual urge through Yoga
- What is wrong with promiscuity?
- The foundation of spiritual relationships
- Further remarks on sexuality
- What exactly is a “crush” or “love at first sight”?
- Four stages of human love
- How to choose the right life-partner
- Should women dress modestly?
- Towards more conscious sleep and dreams
- A contemplation exercise before going to sleep
- Explaining out-of-body and near-death experiences
- Why do we forget our vivid dreams?
- How can we “see” in our dreams when our eyes are closed?
- Stabilizing the body before meditation
- Dharana Shakti : the capacity to sustain spiritual experiences
- Transcending the work-leisure cycle
- Rising above ennui or boredom
- Subtle forms of the ego – (transcending suffocation)
- Jnana Yoga : the ego blocks that have to be dissolved
- How to distinguish between right and wrong?
- The role of intellectual development in the spiritual path
- Ill-effects of television on Yoga
- How do movies affect yoga practice?
- On popular music and movie songs
- Food : How to eat like a Yogi
- Food : The rationale behind vegetarianism
- Conversation : Self-control over speech
- Conversation: On being truthful in speech
- Walking with eyes unfocused
- Reconciling Family life with Yoga
- Disrupting the routines of life
- On collective prayer and meditation
- Significance of places of worship, relics and prayer rooms
- What’s the purpose of praying in temples?
On reading books
- Guidance by random book opening
- How to read holy books
- Sravana Manana and Nidhidhyasana
- Why read Sri Aurobindo’s books
- Sri Aurobindo’s prose style – by Goutam Ghosal
- Hermeneutics: how to read holy scriptures
- Summary of Integral Yoga (Sri Aurobindo Society)
- Free book : Practical Guide to Integral Yoga based on extracts from works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
- See the article by Larry Seidlitz on “Practice of Integral Yoga” in the Collaboration magazine (pp 11-20)
- Articles at the Gnostic Centre in New Delhi, India
The following books contain introductory material. Click on the book to go to SABDA catalog