Techniques

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

[Swami Vivekananda]

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.

The general psychological principles (i.e. attitude of the seeker) of Integral Yoga are Aspiration, Rejection, Surrender.   ( See more on Surrender.)

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.

General

Sexuality & Relationships

Psychic

Meditation

Sleep

Vital

Physical

Jnana Yoga

Karma Yoga

Social life

On reading books

External Links

Books

The following books contain introductory material.  Click on the book to go to SABDA catalog

LivingWithin

GrowingWithin

LookingFromWithin

Practice of IY


12 thoughts on “Techniques

  1. Pingback: Issues in Sadhana (spiritual quest) for those practicing the Integral Yoga « Skylight

  2. S.Suryanarayana

    Sir,
    Just saw your website & it’s contents, the writings of Master and The Divine Mother are written in a good way.
    I am very much thankful to you efforts, in bringing the writings. I really appreciate & encourage to write more subjects on the Integral Yoga.
    Thanking you
    surya

    Reply
  3. Mohan Krishna

    Hello Sandeep,

    I must at once thank you for all the work you’ve put in to this most excellent blog! It’s sweet and to the point, and also very clear.

    Certainly I hope you’ll continue this divine work which is most useful and, needless to say, much appreciated by all those who are true seekers!

    Thank you so much,
    Mohan

    Reply
  4. Shilpa

    Dear Sandeep,
    I am very thankful for this page “Techniques of Yoga”. It is written in a very simple way which is wonderful, because I find Sri Aurobindo’s writings quite difficult to understand in one read. To understand his works, one needs to wholly dedicate the mind to the material and have zilch distractions, which has been quite a task for my monkey mind.
    Thanks once again.

    -Shilpa

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      > because I find Sri Aurobindo’s writings quite difficult to understand in one read.

      If that’s the case, you can begin with the Mother’s Collected Works instead.
      Let me know if there is any topic which I can add to the blog.

      Reply
      1. Shilpa

        Thank you so much. I don’t think I will quality to comment on any topic being added to the blog anytime soon. But I will start reading. 🙂

    2. V. Arvind

      I have found that reading Sri Aurobindo aloud helps. It is not necessary to actively “understand”. Listening is enough. Someone told me this years ago with reference to the Synthesis. He said that it is Light which is different from Knowledge.

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Gorakhnath’s enumeration of contemplation methods | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

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