Difference between other Traditional Yoga and Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga
Difference between other Traditional Yoga and Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga
Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga is unique in many aspects with respect to other traditional yogic paths and practices. Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga can be a bit difficult to explain in a mental level in detail in just a few pages. However, I urge you to read directly from the writings of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s books to get answers to your spiritual need. Because each word, each line, each page of Their books carries a unique Force or a unique light in itself, which will have unique impact for each Sadhak’s spiritual journey.
The following are my small humble attempt on this vast ocean of knowledge:
1. Aim of Old Yoga and versus Aim of Integral Yoga
· Old Yoga: Renounce all the worldly relations, and escape into seclusion, or a jungle or mountain top to search for that beyond and reach towards heaven by tapasya.
· Integral Yoga:
- Open the consciousness to the Divine, to live in the inner consciousness more and more while acting from it on the external life, to bring the inmost psychic into the front and by the power of the psychic to purify and change the being so that it may become ready for transformation and in union with the Divine Knowledge, Will and Love.
- Develop the Yogic consciousness, i.e. to universalise the being on all the planes, become aware of the cosmic being and cosmic forces and be in union with the Divine on all the planes up to the Overmind.
- Come into contact with the Transcendent Divine, beyond the Overmind, through the supramental consciousness, supramentalise the consciousness and the nature and make oneself an instrument for the realisation of the dynamic Divine Truth and its transforming descent into the earth-nature.
The Mother: It is the old methods of yoga which demand silence and solitude. … The yoga of tomorrow is to find the Divine in work and in relation with the world.
2. Unreal versus Real World
· Old Yoga: Considers this worldly life as all Maya, all unreal or falsehood and getting out of this creation is the only salvation. Earth is unconscious matter. Heaven is the place of consciousness and Delight and splendour.
· Integral Yoga: Accepts this world as symbolizing Truth in its essence, not falsehood. However, there is a distortion of Vaster Truth due to human ignorance. Earth is not unconscious matter, but is fully conscious. It is the Divine who has become this Creation with so many forms. This Universe is the Divine manifested Himself, He is Real and concrete and very much this Creation. Finally, the Creation must become the Creator and find the infinite possibilities. The inner realization and inner progress by men can be utilized for making this Earth more beautiful, more Divine. Rise out of the ordinary ignorant world-consciousness into the divine consciousness, and bring the supramental power of that divine consciousness down into the ignorance of mind, life and body, to transform them, to manifest the Divine here and create a divine life in Matter.
3. Definition of God and Divine
· Old Yoga: People treat Gods with various extraordinary supernatural powers. Gods have limited and static powers and help in various siddhis.
· Integral Yoga: In this yoga, Gods have their own powers too. But they do not work until it is asked for. Here we are seeking the Divine as it is indeed what we expect of Him in our deepest aspiration; Divine is all the knowledge we have to acquire, all the power we have to obtain, all the love we have to become, all the perfection we have to achieve and move, all the harmonious and progressive poise we have to manifest in light and joy, all the new and unknown splendors that have to be realized. We are all Divine under many disguises.
4. Various Types Independent Yoga Forms versus Synthesis of all Yoga
· Old Yoga: Gita mentions 18 different types of Yoga, for example, Bhakti yoga, Gnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Sankhya Yoga, etc. Apart from this, we also have Hatha Yoga, Tantra Yoga and many such yogas. Not all of them brings complete transformation of a human being, may bring transformation of one or two aspects. Gnana Yoga aims at mental perfection, Hatha Yoga aims at physical, and Karma yoga aims at uniting with the Divine through action.
· Integral Yoga: It is a synthesis of all Yogas: Karma Yoga + Gnana Yoga + Bhakti Yoga. Here the aim is not limited to only Bhakti, or Gnana or Karma but aims at self-perfection and self-transformation of human being.
5. Individual salvation versus Collective Transformation
· Old Yoga: Preaches about importance of individual salvation without any care and concern of the family or society or people of the world. Leave the family, society even the inanimate matter of the world in their undeveloped state and no help given in their transformation. Individual reaches his own heights and peaks of realization after years of painstaking efforts. One can get even Mukti (salvation). One has Nirvana or Mukti, then one lives only till the body falls — after that there is no such thing as life. Life is a dream, an unreality, only Brahman exists. Old Yoga does not believe in transformation, because mind, life and body are an ignorance, an illusion — the only reality is the featureless relationless Self or Brahman.
· Integral Yoga: Mukti or liberation is one of the goalposts during the Sadhana. Integral Yoga aims at perfection and transformation of human life. For that there is no need to escape from life, or from Earth to find and realise the Divine. You can realize The Divine here on this Earth and transform this earthly life into life Divine. Here individual sadhana aspires with a sense of Truth of Oneness for a collective aspiration. A collective mass of people tries reaching the spiritual heights. All realizations are utilized for making this Earth more and more conscious and Divine. Here the earth aspires for the Divine consciously or unconsciously. Each form is bound to be transformed towards the Divine collectively. This Collective Yoga also helps transform even the silent or mute or ignorant participants of the Earth.
Sri Aurobindo: Essentially, you must be able to find this oneness with the Divine in all forms, all aspects, in every way that has been used to reach Him. And you must go beyond that and find a new way. So, the first point to clear up in your thought — and it is a point of capital importance: you must not confuse the integral yoga with other spiritual realisations, which may be very high but cover a very limited field, for theirs is a movement only in depth.
6. Doer is the Divine not the Human being
· Old Yoga: Individual is the doer. Divine is something beyond, unreachable, sitting somewhere in heavenly creations: Saketa, Goloka, and Vaikunth.
· Integral Yoga: Divine is the doer. He is present within us and does the Sadhana for us. All creation is His Sadhana, All Evolution is His Sadhana. It is the Divine alone who is doing His work through us and reveals Himself as the true Doer. There would be no question of attachment to the work neither to its fruits.
7. Integral Yoga begins there where all others have ended
· Old Yoga: Aims at partial or minor siddhi.
· Integral Yoga: It stops not at any partial prize or imperfect fruit. Self-perfection is the aim of seeker’s self-conquest. The Supreme manifesting Himself through all our acts, our thoughts, our speech is the real Goal, so much so that even inert matter will glow with Divine Light and is meant to be transformed. This is a total and integral transformation of every atom that has the Divine hidden in its origin.
8. No Set Practices, Fixed Teachings or Cults
· Old Yoga: Old Yoga was made up of fixed religious or spiritual practices, rituals, and teachings. It was not correct to break those rules and regulations. Everybody was bound to follow the same practice, same rules, same dress codes etc.
· Integral Yoga: This yoga is a Truth which is beyond all sects, religions and philosophies. It breaks all old patterns, norms, tears apart the past habits, dogmas and formations. There is no fixed teaching, no fixed practice, and no fixed dress code. There is no set mental teaching or prescribed forms of meditation, mantras or others, but by aspiration, by a self-concentration inwards or upwards, by self-opening to an Influence, to the Divine Power above us and its workings, to the Divine Presence in the heart, and by the rejection of all that is foreign to these things. It is only by faith, aspiration and surrender that this self-opening can come. It is unique for each human being.
· The Mother: …the rules, regulations, restrictions are reduced absolutely to the minimum.
· Old Yoga: The old methods of yoga gives importance for pilgrimage to holy places and worshipping many gods and goddesses. People as a post-retirement option, visit various pilgrimage places from Kumbh, Vatican, Maccaa-Medina, etc. as a last resort to cleanse their sins and purify themselves.
· Integral Yoga: But in this yoga the Mother says: “…it (pilgrimage to holy places and worshipping many gods and goddesses) is a religious exercise for the ordinary consciousness. … We can do without the gods. We can have access to the Supermind without any of these experiences, they’re not indispensable.
Sri Aurobindo mentions about soul’s pilgrimage in Savitri, it is the soul which goes for a cosmic pilgrimage here.
And the soul pursue a cosmic pilgrimage.
Time is her road of endless pilgrimage.
His march is a battle and a pilgrimage
A battle is joined between the true and false,
A pilgrimage sets out to the divine Light.
Make of thy daily way a pilgrimage,
For through small joys and griefs thou mov’st towards God.
10. Religions and Spirituality
· Old Yoga: Old yoga was primarily based on religious practices and rituals with a set of beliefs. Our external human mind mistakenly puts one religion against another forgetting the sole reasons of existence.
It is often said that, if Jesus came back, he would not be able to recognise what he taught in the forms that have been imposed on it, and if Buddha were to come back and see what has been made of his teaching, he would immediately run back discouraged to Nirvana! All religions have each the same story to tell. The occasion for its birth is the coming of a great Teacher of the world. He comes and reveals and is the incarnation of a Divine Truth. But men seize upon it, trade upon it, make an almost political organisation out of it.”
· Integral Yoga: This yoga focuses more on spiritual experience as the prime motive. In this yoga there is no place for unnecessary narrowness, clash and opposition.
The Mother: What we are here to make is a new creation in which there is a larger reconciling Truth than anything that went before in the past; but what will reconcile and create anew is the Power, the Light, the Knowledge that comes from above. The important thing therefore is to prepare yourself for that Power, Light and Knowledge; it is only when that descends that all will be done rightly. Nothing can be done rightly by the individual working without the Light and the Knowledge.
The Mother: We speak of Sri Aurobindo there can be no question of a teaching nor even of a revelation, but of an action from the Supreme; no religion can be founded on that.
11. Challenges and Obstacles
· Old Yoga: The rigid methods and practices thrust upon the society take a heavy toll on the body of the seeker. The methods of Hath Yoga, Kundalini Yoga have its side effects on the entire being.
· Integral Yoga: All the established forces of the ordinary ignorant world-consciousness are opposed to it and deny it and try to prevent it, and the sadhaka will find his own mind, life and body full of the most obstinate impediments to its realisation. If you can accept the ideal whole-heartedly, face all the difficulties, leave the past and its ties behind you and are ready to give up everything and risk everything for the Divine possibility, then only can you hope to discover by experience the Truth behind it.
12. Assurance of Support and Guidance from the Divine Grace
· Old Yoga: Individual had to depend on his own sheer skills and individual brilliance to face the hostile forces.
· Integral Yoga: The Sadhak never walks alone here as he is always surrounded by the Divine. Hostile Forces attack the Sadhak from within and outside. But the Supreme Mother has given direct assurance from the attack of Hostile Forces, provided the Sadhak has sincere aspiration, humility and absolute trust. The Mother says: “If you remember me between your slip and fall, I will be there to protect you.”
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have also assured us that they would never leave this Earth atmosphere until the last man is transformed. They are always present with us, we just need to switch in to the right frequency to realize this Presence in which we are constantly bathing in. Their action is concrete and constant. It is they who are doing the Sadhana in us. Many years of Sadhana can happen in just one year through your sincerity and fire of aspiration, as Supreme is directly driving this Yoga among the creation. Even a little effort will bring unprecedented results.
The Mother says, “Since the beginning of the earth, wherever and whenever there was the possibility of manifesting a ray of the Consciousness, I was there”. This is concrete assurance about their Presence whenever there was consciousness on Earth. We can understand from this, how the Creator and His Creation are interdependent. Without the Divine, there is no life. And similarly, if there is no life, no earth, no creation, then of course, the Divine is not manifest. The Purusha indeed works through the Prakriti.
13. Realisation Process
· Practising various yogas, such as Hath Yoga, Raja Yoga etc.;
· Following rituals of Vedic methods and rituals which were showing one side of the One Truth
· Following Tantra with its maximum emphasis on Shakti.
· Using Kundalini awakening method to experience inner realization. In the Tantric discipline, through purification of various centres, the Kundalini opens from down upwards, the Muladhar first.
· Transformation is not the central object of other paths as it is of this yoga-only so much purification and change is demanded by them as will lead to liberation and the beyond-life.
· The old yogas failed to transform life because, they did not go beyond mind. They used to catch at mental experiences but when they came to apply them to life they reduced it to a mental formula.
· The old yoga practitioners proceed from realisation of self to Nirvana or some Heaven and abandon life.
· Complete change at the physical level was sought for by a few more as a siddhi but
No focus on changing their outer nature, or the Earth consciousness.
Sri Aurobindo: Those who seek the self by the old Yogas separate themselves from mind, life and body and realise the self apart from these things. It is perfectly easy to separate mind, vital and physical from each other without the need of supermind. It is done by the ordinary Yogas.
· For realization, you do not have to abandon life.
Sri Aurobindo: The supramental is necessary for the transformation of terrestrial life and being, not for reaching the self. One must realise self first — only afterwards can one realise the supermind.
· All sides of the Truth are considered, in their essence, and carried to the fullest and highest significance. Man will ultimately realize himself as none other than SatChitAnanda- “I am Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.”
· Here the realization will be as follows: The Self in all and all in the Self and all as the Self, the Divine in all and all in the Divine.
· There is no willed opening of the chakras, they open of themselves by the descent of the Force of The Supreme. Here The Supreme Mother helps us in our individual sadhana, because she knows and guides better which chakras are to be awakened and when. We just have to offer ourselves completely at Her Force. But the ascent of the Force from the Muladhar also takes place.
· Way to Devotion
- Devotion:- A psychic movement that brings the constant and pure devotion.
- Surrender:- The removal of ego that makes it possible to surrender.
· Way to Knowledge:
- Meditation in the head by which there comes the opening above, the quietude or silence of the mind and the descent of peace etc. of the higher consciousness generally till it envelops the being and fills the body and begins to take up all the movements. But this involves a passage through silence, a certain emptiness of the ordinary activities — they being pushed out and done as a purely superficial action — and you strongly dislike silence and emptiness.
· Way of Work:
- Separation of the Purusha from the Prakriti — the inner silent being from the outer active one, so that one has two consciousnesses or a double consciousness, one behind watching and observing and finally controlling and changing the other which is active in front. But this also means living in an inner peace and silence and dealing with the activities as if they were a thing of the surface.
- Doing all works for the Divine: Do all works for the Mother, and not for oneself, or for others, or for humanity. Consecrate and dedicate all works till one concretely feels the Divine Force taking up the activities and doing them for one. Don’t think that only when you close your eyes, you are meditating. Anything that you do with total attention is meditation. We must remember always: All Life is Yoga.
· Triple Transformation:
- Psychic transformation: You can transform your consciousness by the opening of the psychic being within the heart. With the Divine supporting this psychic being takes charge of the sadhana and turns the whole being to the Truth, the Divine, with results in the mind, the vital and the physical consciousness.
- Spiritual Transformation: This leads to realization of Cosmic Self. We realise the one Self, Brahman, Divine, first above the body, life, mind and not only within the heart supporting them — above and free and unattached as the static Self in all and dynamic too as the active Divine Being and Power, Ishwara-Shakti, containing the world and pervading it and transcending it, manifesting all cosmic aspects. It manifests as a Transcending Light, Knowledge, Power, Purity, Peace, Ananda of which we become aware and which descends into the being and progressively replaces the ordinary consciousness itself by its own movements. The final result of this recurring ascent-descent-assimilation process is known as Liberation of the Soul.
- Supramental Transformation: The Supramental Transformation consists of
1. Ascent to the Supermind
2. Descent of the Supramental powers into the mental, vital and physical parts of the being
- The opening up and illumination of the mental, vital and physical beings;
- The making intuitive of the mind, through will etc. and the development of the hidden soul consciousness progressively replacing the surface consciousness;
- The supramentalising of the changed mental, vital and physical beings and finally the descent of the true supramental and the rising into the supramental plane. The object of supramentalisation is a body fitted to embody and express the physical consciousness on earth so long as one remains in the physical life. It is a step in the spiritual evolution on the earth, not a step in the passage towards a supraphysical world.
Sri Aurobindo: It is not a hope but a certitude that the complete transformation of the nature will take place.
Sri Aurobindo in a letter to a Sadhak: Both Self-realization and the Supramental state can be simultaneously developed and achieved here. There is no need for you to go there.”
14. Permanent Central Being versus Temporary Central Being
Sadhaks dissolved their both false and individual into the Divine Impersonality but in this yoga true individual is considered as an eternal portion of the Divine necessary for His manifestation in the creation. All the ancient traditions say Central being disappears with the body.
Satprem asked to The Mother: The central being isn’t separate from the Divine, it’s one with the Divine. But does each person have a particular, individual central being, or is there one central being for everyone?
The Mother: It becomes personal in our consciousness… It’s never separate, neither from the Center nor from the whole… Individual in action, in manifestation… Sri Aurobindo says it’s permanent. It’s a mode of being. The summit of evolution would be the divinization of everything objectified, along with an unbroken progression from that moment on.
(One goes forward and then backwards, then forward and backwards again; but in this divine world, retrogression won’t be necessary: there will be a continuous ascent.)
15. Fate & Praravdha Karma:
The Prarabdha Karma was considered as the permanent elements of external character which do not change — only one gets the inner realisation and separates oneself from it so that it drops off at death like a soiled robe and leaves the spirit free to enter into Nirvana. Earlier yoga believed that human beings are just Fate-driven earth-born race. Human beings are doomed to fate. The sadhaks accept fate as an ultimate destiny with negligible exceptions.
Main objective in this yoga is a spiritual change and not merely an ethical control, but this can only come first by a spiritual rejection from within and then by a supramental descent from above. Our life is not about living a life and die. Our life’s journey can be decided not by fate any more but by my psychic will. As per Sri Aurobindo, Our Self’s will can change the fate’s plan.
But in this yoga Divine Grace is the ultimate destiny even the destiny of Fate.
E.g. King Parikhit’s destiny-Sadhana-Immortal experience in death.
Fate is a balance drawn in Destiny’s book.
Man can accept his fate, he can refuse.
And yet I know this is not all my fate
Only to live and love awhile and die.
Fate’s deaf resistance cannot break his will.
Fate shall be changed by an unchanging will.
Fate’s law may change, but not my spirit’s will.
And make the soul the artist of its fate.
My will is part of the eternal Will,
My love is stronger than the bonds of Fate:
My fate is what my spirit’s strength can make,
My fate is what my spirit’s strength can bear
Calm is self’s victory overcoming fate.
Thy spirit’s fate is a battle and ceaseless march
Against invisible opponent Powers,
A passage from Matter into timeless self.
Leave the world’s fate and her to God’s sole guard.
16. Past Lives
· Old Yoga: It was indispensable to know [about past lives]. It is sometimes a matter of interest for knowing the lines of one’s past development and how one has come to what one is now. They feel we are all tied by our past lives.
· Integral Yoga: To overpass this outward development is of course the main aim of the Yoga. Too much importance must not be given to past lives. For the purpose of this Yoga one is what one is and, still more, what one will be. What one was has a minor importance.
Sri Aurobindo says, “You must wait for direct knowledge in a liberated nature before you can know who in past lives you were. It is better not to think of past lives just now. The mind and vital would probably become active and weave things that are not true.”
17. Change in People’s Mindset and Attitude
· Old Yoga: People use to live in this world with a selfish motive. They love the child not for the sake of the child, but for the sake of the self. They love the nation, not for the sake of the nation, but for the sake of self. The practices, rituals become contaminated with rigid laws created by the human beings.
· Integral Yoga: Today also people live for their own selfish interest. But when you enter this yoga, you will gradually feel you are just part of this universe, connected with all through your psychic being. All are meant only for Divine, all people surrounding us and this entire creation is meant to express Divine alone. Everyone gets an opportunity to be transformed based on their choice that they make while on earth. Here everyone loves each other unconditionally not for any selfish motive but for the Greater Self, the Psychic being, which is present in each being.
18. Less focus / benefit from a Static Soul versus Dynamic Psychic Being
· Old Yoga: You can realise the soul with Bhakti, Karma or Gnana Yoga. There was not much focus on Soul realization.
· Integral Yoga: Each soul has a personality, known as Psychic Being, that influences the mind, vital and physical and tries to divinise them. This personality in each birth gets closer to the Divine and when fully expressed, merges with the Divine consciousness and becomes the Main instruments of the Divine.
19. Rejection versus Acceptance
· Old Yoga: It rejects the favourable/unfavorable conditions of the family, society or world and goes in search for inner siddhi. Soul escapes from nature.
· Integral Yoga: It respects the existing conditions of life, accepts our fellow beings and everything around us as a growing soul. Soul never escapes from nature, but takes the Divine Light and Force to purify the lower nature to higher. Soul accepts the attitude behind all our actions and strives us towards perfection. Soul grows within though the everyday experiences of life: through what we chose to hear, what we choose to speak, how we choose to act. Finally, after a certain point, Soul beings to assert itself with the help the Divine Force and Grace. I am not a sinner, I am the Divine, this must be our Mantra to be realized. This soul being part of the Divine manifestation in us, tries to evolve and progress, so that we can achieve perfection in this creation. Not only soul, but also inert matter, living matter, moving and thinking matter evolve progressively and manifest the Divine.
Ultimate perfection lies in the divine. When we become divinely perfect in our action, every moment will become a joy, every step on the path will be filled with Ananda, every step ahead leads us to knowledge and beauty.
20. Neglect and Respect of the Physical Matter
· Old Yoga: Physical body was not given enough importance. People used to do lots of rigorous methods such as fasting to do their tapasya.
· Integral Yoga: It is the Physical which will experience the transformation as physical also carries the Divine consciousness. “Even the body shall remember God”, Sri Aurobindo says. Even the inert matter carries the consciousness of the Supreme, we need to respect them.
21. Sadhana during Sleep
· Old Yoga: Sleep has no role in inner realization. It was never found to help in our Sadhana.
· Integral Yoga: Each moment is precious. Even in sleep, as Sri Aurobindo says, we need to be much aware and conscious. If we use it consciously, it will lead us towards higher realization. The Divine makes our falls also a means for us to rise to greater heights.
22. Yoga not about Numbers
· Old Yoga: Large number of people just get attracted to different sects easily, mesmerized by their mental and vital attractions. They create a false impression of large number of followers, but in essence, they are unable to express the real Truth of the existence.
· Integral Yoga: This Yoga is not about numbers at all. One man’s perfection can still save the Earth, says The Mother. The Mother says even if 12 perfect men on this Earth is found that will be enough to carry out the work of Transformation.
The Mother: This Yoga is only for selected few.
23. Avatar’s Direct Presence to Help and Guide
· Old Yoga: Many scriptures, such as Vedas, Upanishads, Gita, Bible, Koran, etc. were written by many gurus and Rishis and impacted the humanity in a significant way. They have played their role in different ages. However, we believe, no scripture was ever written directly by an Avatar himself.
· Integral Yoga: The last Avatar in the human form, Sri Aurobindo wrote from His spiritual experiences many books to guide the humanity. These books aim at transcending their consciousness from human level to Divine level. Savitri was one such epic written by the Master for the benefit of humanity. Each canto in Savitri was written as an ascension of consciousness. This was the victory of Love over death, the greatest hostile force on earth. In this epic, Savitri, the Divine Mother who is doing the Sadhana for us, enters the different soul regions and levels of consciousness, and every time that she meets one of her soul forces, she promises them to come back with the Divine power, light and joy so that the integral perfection is achieved. When some sages ask Savitri the secret of the sweet change that they see in Her, she mentions in the following words that it is Love which emerges as the Victor always, Love and Joy are the Source as well as the Goal of this beautiful Creation.
“Awakened to the meaning of my heart
That to feel love and oneness is to live
And this the magic of our golden change,
Is all the truth I know or seek, O sage.”
24. Approach of Other Gurus and Sri Aurobindo
This is what all gurus usually say: “Do as I do and you will reach the goal.”
And sadhaks believed that without human guru, yoga is impossible.
Sri Aurobindo says, “I don’t want people to do the something with what I have said”. One must always go farther… And every one must follow his own path. That is why it is always difficult to say to people: “Do what I do.”
The best thing we can do is to study all that he has told us and endeavour to follow his example… receiving his inspirations directly… What is needed is power combined with that breath of mind capable of, understanding Sri Aurobindo’s inspiration and transmitting it…
Sri Aurobindo: If you mean myself, I may, for the sake of convenience, consent to be called the Guru, but there is no Guru in this yoga as people ordinarily understand the term. It is the Higher Force that is coming down. Generally, whenever any such Higher Force comes down then it prepares an instrument who discovers, but, really speaking, to whom the Truth is discovered and it manifests itself in him in proportion to his power of receptivity ; there, too, the power is given to him, when the Power that is coming down prepares.
In this yoga, at any rate, you can’t say that “the Guru will do everything”, and leave the whole burden to him. I do not know about other yogas; but this yoga means growing conscious every moment of what is going on in oneself. One has to give consent to the higher working, rejecting the lower movement. That is the basis.
The conditions for receiving the Guru’s help are the same as those for receiving the help of the Higher Power directly. Unless you consent to his working, even God does not help man. In this yoga there is that perfect liberty to the individual to make his choice.
25. End of Other Yoga and Beginning of Integral Yoga
The usual sadhanas have for aim the union with the Supreme Consciousness (Sat-chit-ananda). And those who reach there are satisfied with their own liberation and leave the world to its unhappy plight.
Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo says: “Our Yoga begins where the others end.” Once the union with the Supreme is realised one must bring down that realisation to the exterior world and change the conditions of life upon the earth until a total transformation is accomplished. In accordance with this aim, the sadhaks of the integral yoga do not retire from the world to lead a life of contemplation and meditation. Each one must devote at least one-third of his time to a useful work. All activities are represented in the Ashram and each one chooses the work most congenial to his nature, but must do it in a spirit of service and unselfishness, keeping always in view the aim of integral transformation.
26. Permanent Solutions to Problems of Mankind
Old Yoga: Previous practices, yogas, religions fail to provide a complete solution to the problems of mankind. Problems of mankind like Death, Destruction, Disease, Decay persist.
Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Supramental Force has provided all problems of mankind. For an Integral Yogi, here are the pointers towards Supramental being:
Death: Our Souls are timeless. There is no birth and death of soul. It makes a continuous march towards merging with the Supreme.
Disease: Our Body cells have the inherent power to heal themselves, with the help of the psychic.
Decay: The moment we stop progressing we become old. Only a supramental being will not experience any decay and destruction.
27. Visible Signs of Change
· Old Yoga: Earth has evolved over so many years. So many religions, sects, philosophies yogas were created to transcend the human consciousness, but the transformation was never total. Still Earth felt the need of something tangible and permanent change.
· Integral Yoga: We believe earth has progressed for thousands of years. This also brought about the change of human consciousness from stone age to modern age. However, after the descent and manifestation of Supramental Force by Sri Aurobindo, we observe a revolution of human consciousness happening around us. Although this Supramental change has not been fulfilled completely, but human consciousness is undergoing unprecedented changes, which can be called as sign of Change of consciousness.
- There is an urgent need of universal Unity observed at the global level.
- Man’s world view is undergoing fast changes.
- There is an enormous attack on forces of falsehood, darkness and ignorance, particularly those who are unwilling to change.
- New Supramental consciousness does not tolerate hypocrisy, pretension, and laziness but only respects the Truth. So many agents of falsehoods are getting exposed or crumbled into pieces in the new creation.
- Growing restlessness and impatience among the new generation with the old methods, and paradigms and ways of life.
- Breakdown of social, mental, moral, religious compartments, underlying cry for finding the Truth among the young mass has intensified.
- More and more youth are now eager to search for Truth in existence.
- New Consciousness does not accept half measures but accept complete transformation.
- Every human being is pushed out of his so-called comfort zones, as these are signs of inner uprising.
Note. Here are few references worth reading:
- Collected Works of The Mother
- Collected Works of Sri Aurobindo
- Letters on Yoga (Vol. 1–4)
- Life Divine
- The Synthesis of Yoga
- Talks from various Sadhaks Nirakar Bhai, Alok Pandey ji