Apr 21, 2017 - Integral yoga is the system of yoga worked out by Sri Aurobindo and his spiritual collaborator, the Mother. In any yoga, the seeker (sadhak or sadhika) makes an effort (sadhana) with the ultimate aim of union with the Divine, which is the goal of yoga (yuj, union). The complexity of Sri Aurobindo’s ideas challenges the intellect, and therefore it may be expected that sadhana in his yoga will be equally complex. [...]
First, it is difficult because so much freedom is not easy to use. Secondly, it is difficult because while leading a worldly life, many obligations, responsibilities, social norms and temptations make it difficult to stay on the path. Finally, in integral yoga there is no clear prescription for sadhana. Integral yoga is not a pilgrimage on which many people have already gone, and therefore the routes and modes of transport are all well worked out. Integral yoga is an adventure through uncharted territory. ~by Dr. Ramesh Bijlani
Mythology is not science or history; it is not a narrative of the past but a symbolic representation of the Spirit of those times. All narrative belongs to history and it is bound to be full of glaring assumptions, unscrupulous accretions and methodical prevarications, a sort of inglorious extolling of half-knowledge and academic distinction. Such dubious, Nobel-worthy narratives by the western Indologists have only contributed to the misunderstanding of the esoteric symbolism of the vedic cycle. Indology dwells upon the abracadabra of the external symbol and takes it for the whole truth and therefore, it loses the plot, the significance of the esoteric idea which the symbol represents or rather hides well and instead, supplies its own data to fill in the void; the result is a self-adorning chimera, an awkward masquerade; the Seer of the symbol is replaced by a half-enlightened philistine armed with a pseudo-narrative to maim the spiritual and mystic tradition of the Veda.
Journal of a Yogin enumerates methods, approaches, paths and different practices of Yoga as found in the ancient Vedic tradition, and in the modern times perfected by the teachings of Sri Aurobindo.
Feb 17, 2017 by Raman ReddyEven accepting the devotion and adoration with which his disciples approached him is perceived by Peter Heehs as mere adulation which could have been avoided by Sri Aurobindo. I wonder what would remain of Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga, or for that matter of any Yoga, if the essential means and facilitators of spiritual union with the Divine are taken away from the seekers. [...]
But what if Hindus are not so dissatisfied with their religion because of its inherent universality and freedom to choose one’s own path? And what if many Hindus have turned to Sri Aurobindo without leaving their traditional paths and integrated his Yoga into their lives without feeling any sense of opposition? And what if traditional Yogas have also evolved and modernised themselves to suit the changing times? (I myself know a few people who are earnest followers of Sri Aurobindo and at the same time ardent devotees of Lord Venkateshwara of Tirupati.) Moreover, at the basic level of consciousness where most of us operate, the difference between traditional Yogas and Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga of transformation is mostly irrelevant in actual practice, though there is scope for considerable scholarly dispute at the intellectual level.
There is often a tendency among the exponents of Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga to grandly call for universal spirituality and glibly condemn Hinduism in the same breath without taking into account the ground realities of our present life. For a condemnation of Hinduism without having anything to replace it practically except for The Life Divine or The Synthesis of Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, which you can barely comprehend or spiritually practise, ends up only in creating a spiritual vacuum. A similar kind of facile denunciation of all religions (with Hinduism listed in all caps) has also been in vogue among some of the followers of Sri Aurobindo without realising that this attitude will soon deprive them of the very Gurus they hold in such great esteem. For Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are now themselves considered among the religious figures of Hinduism, despite their own aversion to religion. After all, it is mostly the disciples who create religion for their own convenience than the Gurus who are responsible for it. An anti-Guru tirade is also considered avant garde spirituality even as you fall easy prey to the tech talk and mumbo jumbo of new-age Gurus who look more for commercial success than the honest propagation of spiritual well-being. I would certainly propose the intervention of plenty of common sense in these matters than rely upon the conclusions of half baked scholars of the above kind. [...]
As we can see, there is a remarkable similarity of his concept of higher unsectarian Hinduism (or thesanātana dharma) with the universal basis of spirituality that he founded his Integral Yoga upon. The only difference is in the connotation of the word religion, which is used in the positive sense of spirituality in the above two passages from the early period, as opposed to the negative sense it acquired later when Sri Aurobindo clearly distinguished it from spirituality. [...]