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  • 1. Mirra Alfassa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia New features Log in / create account Article Discussion Read Edit View history Search Mirra Alfassa From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Main page This article is about a spiritual leader known by her followers as The Mother. For other uses, see Contents The Mother (disambiguation). Featured content Current events This article needs Random article additional citations for verification. Interaction Please help improve this article About Wikipedia by adding reliable references. Community portal Unsourced material may be Recent changes challenged and removed. (October Contact Wikipedia 2007) Donate to Wikipedia Help Mirra Alfassa, later Mirra Morisset and Mirra Mirra Alfassa (1878-1973) Richard (February 21, 1878 - November 17, 1973), Toolbox also known as The Mother, was the spiritual Print/export collaborator of Sri Aurobindo. Languages She was born in Paris to Turkish and Egyptian parents and came to Sri Aurobindo's retreat on March 29, 1914 in Pondicherry, India to collaborate on editing the journal Arya (see also the general Български concept of Arya). Having to leave Pondicherry during World War I, she spent most of her time in Català Japan where she met the poet Rabindranath Tagore. Finally she returned to Pondicherry and settled Deutsch there in 1920. After November 24, 1926, when Sri Aurobindo retired into seclusion, she founded his Español ashram (Sri Aurobindo Ashram), with a handful of disciples living around the Master. With Sri Esperanto Aurobindo's full approval she became the leader of the community, a position she held until her Français death. The Trust she had registered after Sri Aurobindo's death in 1950 continues to look after the institution. Italiano Norsk (bokmål) The experiences of the last thirty years of Alfassa's life were captured in the 13-volume work The Português Agenda. In those years she attempted the physical transformation of her body in order to become Русский what she felt was the first of a new type of human individual by opening to the Supramental Truth Consciousness, a new power of spirit that Sri Aurobindo had allegedly discovered. Sri Aurobindo considered her an incarnation of the Mother Divine, hence her followers calling her "the Mother". The Divine Mother is believed by some Hindus to be the feminine aspect (Creative Energy) of the Divine consciousness and spirit. Contents [hide] 1 Early life 2 Meeting Sri Aurobindo 3 "The Mother" of the Ashram 4 Attempted physical transformation 5 Auroville 6 Footnotes 7 References[26.06.2010 17:48:32]
  • 2. Mirra Alfassa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 8 Partial bibliography 9 External links Early life [edit] Mirra (or Mira) Alfassa was born in Paris in 1878, of a Turkish Jewish father (Maurice, a banker), and an Sri Aurobindo and The Mother Egyptian Jewish mother (Mathilde Ismaloun). She had an Books elder brother named Matteo. The family had migrated to Collected Works · Life Divine · Synthesis of France the year before she was born.[1] For the first Yoga · Savitri · Agenda · eight years of her life she lived at 62 boulevard Haussmann. Teachings Involution/Involution · Evolution · Integral Alfassa describes experiences she had as a child in education · Integral psychology · Integral Paris. She says that at age five she realised she did not yoga · Intermediate zone · Supermind belong in this world, and her sadhana (spiritual discipline) began then.[2] She claims that she would Places lapse into bliss and go into a trance sometimes when Matrimandir · Pondicherry she was placed in an easy chair or during a meal, much Communities to the annoyance of her mother, who regarded this Sri Aurobindo Ashram · Auroville behaviour as a social embarrassment. Disciples Between eleven and thirteen, she claims, a series of Champaklal · N.K.Gupta · Amal Kiran · psychic and spiritual experiences revealed to her the Nirodbaran · Pavitra · M.P.Pandit · existence of God, and man's possibility of uniting with Pranab · A.B.Purani · D.K.Roy · Satprem · Him.[3] At age 12 she was practicing occultism and Indra Sen · Kapali Shastri claimed to be travelling out of her body. [4] Journals and Forums One of the experiences she claims she had, at the age Arya · Mother India · Collaboration of 13 for nearly a year every night, was of going out of her body and rising straight above the city: [5] “ I used to see myself clad in a magnificent golden robe...and as I rose higher, the robe would form a kind of immense roof over the city. Then I would see men, women, children...coming out from every side; they would gather under the outspread robe, begging for help, telling their miseries... In reply, the robe... would extend towards each one of them individually, and as soon as they had touched it they were comforted or healed, and went back to their bodies happier and stronger... Nothing seemed more beautiful to me.... and all the activities of the day seemed dull and colourless... beside this activity of the night... ” At age 14 Alfassa was sent to a studio to learn art, and a year later she wrote as a school essay a mystical treatise named The Path of Later On (Alfassa 1893). In 1893 she travelled to Italy with her mother. While at the Doge's Palace in Venice she claims to have recalled a scene from a past life where she was strangled and thrown out into the canal (The Mother - Some dates). (Later, for instance in Agenda, she would describe other incarnations, but she alternately describes these past lives as emanations.) At 16 she joined the Ecole des Beaux Arts where she acquired the nickname "the Sphinx", and later exhibited at the Paris Salon. [6] In 1897 she married Henri Morisset, a student of Moreau. They lived at Atelier, 15 rue Lemercier, Paris, and Alfassa became a part of the Paris artistic circles, befriending the likes of Auguste Rodin and Monet.[7] Alfassa claims that between nineteen and twenty she had achieved a conscious and constant union with the Divine Presence, without the help of books or teachers. Soon after, she discovered[26.06.2010 17:48:32]
  • 3. Mirra Alfassa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Vivekananda's Raja Yoga, which enabled her to make further rapid progress. She says about a year or two later she met an Indian in Paris who advised her to read the Bhagavad-Gita, taking Krishna as a symbol of the inner or immanent Divine. She obtained a French translation which—she relates— was quite poor but still enabled her to understand the substance of it. [8] On 1898 she and Morisset had a son, André. Alfassa claimed that in her meditations she saw several spiritual figures, all of whom offered her help of one type or another. Around 1904 she encountered in her dreams a dark Asiatic figure whom she called ‘Krishna’. She said that this figure guided her in her inner journey. She came to have total implicit faith in Krishna, and was hoping to meet him one day in real life (Karmayogi no date). Around 1905 she met the occultist Max Théon, who explained her psychic experiences to her. She paid two extended visits (on the second one she was accompanied by or later joined by Morisset) to Théon's estate at Tlemcen, Algeria, to live with and learn occultism firsthand from Théon and his wife.[9] Alfassa had a very high regard for Madame Théon, whom she describes as having exceptional psychokinetic powers. Later, when she had become known as "the Mother", she would often relate some of the extraordinary experiences she had at Tlemcen. In 1908 Alfassa divorced Morisset, and moved to 49 rue de Lévis, Paris. Around this time Alfassa had regular meetings with students and seekers who were attracted to psychical phenomena or to mysticism. In 1906, with her brother Matteo, she founded in Paris a group named l'Idée Nouvelle ("The New Idea"), which met at her home on Wednesday evenings, first at rue Lemercier and then at rue des Lévis, and later at 9 Rue du Val de Grace. Her book "Words of Long Ago" (vol.2 of the Collected Works) is the account of one of these meetings, along with talks she gave to the L'Union de Pensée Féminine, which was a new study group she had established. In a conversation with Prithwindra Mukherjee, one of the members of this group, Alexandra David-Neel, recalled those meetings and of Alfassa: "We spent marvellous evenings together with friends, believing in a great future. At times we went to the Bois de Boulogne gardens, and watched the grasshopper-like early aeroplanes take off. I remember her elegance, her accomplishments, her intellect endowed with mystical tendencies. In spite of her great love and sweetness, in spite even of her inherent ease of making herself forgotten after achieving some noble deed, she couldn't manage to hide very well the tremendous force she bore within herself." [10] In 1912 Alfassa organised a group of around 20 people named Cosmique, who had the aim of gaining self-knowledge and self-mastery. Although she had not yet met Sri Aurobindo, some of her ideas at the time paralleled his. [11] These were later included at the start of her small book, Conversations. In 1910 she had what she described as an experience of a reversal of consciousness in which she realised the Divine Will at the very center of her being, and from that moment onwards was no longer motivated by personal desire, but only wanted to do the Divine Will. [12] Around this time she married Paul Richard. Richard had travelled to India, seeking election to the French Senate from Pondicherry,[13] and while there had met Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry in mid- April 1910. This seems to have been when Sri Aurobindo first heard about Alfassa and her Idea group. Richard informed Alfassa of Sri Aurobindo and Sri Aurobindo remained in "material and spiritual correspondence" with the Richards for the next four years. [14] Alfassa studied philosophy with Richard, as well as correcting his dictation (The Mother - Some dates). They lived at 9 rue du Val de Grace, in a small house at the back of a garden or courtyard. André, then around twelve, was a regular visitor. This was the house where Alfassa would receive Alexandra David-Neel almost every evening. [15] During this period, she also met `Abdu'l-Bahá [16] Inayat Khan and other spiritual teachers (Van Vrekhem, 2001).[26.06.2010 17:48:32]
  • 4. Mirra Alfassa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia In 1912 she wrote her first Prayers and Meditations (the original entry probably dating to the previous year). These would later be published as part of the Collected Works (Mother's Birth Centenary Edition vol. 1). Meeting Sri Aurobindo [edit] On 7 March 1914, Alfassa and Paul embarked for India aboard the steamer Kaga Maru, reaching Pondicherry on the 29th. She later said that when she saw Sri Aurobindo for the first time, she recognized him as the person she saw in her visions of a dark Asiatic figure, whom she had earlier referred to as "Krishna". The next day she noted in her journal, “It matters not if there are hundreds of beings plunged in densest ignorance. He whom we saw yesterday is on earth; his presence is enough to prove that a day will come when darkness shall be transformed into light, when Thy reign shall be indeed established upon earth." Years before Sri Aurobindo first met Alfassa and Paul, he had given up his revolutionary activities for Indian independence from British rule, and retreated to Pondicherry (where he was safe from arrest by the British) to work on the spiritual transformation of humanity and of life on earth. After a short period of intense sadhana, Sri Aurobindo would sometimes give evening talks. In 1913 he moved to No.41 Rue François Martin, called the Guest House, where he would receive visitors in the morning (this would have been when Alfassa and Paul Richard met him), and after the group meditation (usually about 4. p.m.) he would host informal evening gatherings of his early disciples [17] . Alfassa said that when she first met Sri Aurobindo, she found that her thoughts ceased to run, her mind became quiet, and silence began to gather momentum, until two or three days later there was only the silence and the yogic consciousness. In 1958 in the Agenda (vol I pp. 163–4) she told that the two experiences, the consciousness in the psychic depths of the being realised in 1910, and the stillness connection with the Divine above the head realised when first meeting Sri Aurobindo, have remained with her ever since. On 29 March Paul suggested that Sri Aurobindo publish a journal dealing with a synthesis of the latter's philosophical ideas. The journal was named Arya, and it became the vehicle for most of Aurobindo's writings, which would later appear in book form (The Mother - Some dates). The first issue of the monthly journal came out on 15 August 1914, Aurobindo's birthday [18] . Alfassa and Paul stayed at Pondicherry until February 1915, but had to return to Paris because of the First World War. They spent a year in France before traveling to Japan where they stayed for four years, first in Tokyo (1916 to 1917) and then Kyoto (1917–1920). They were also accompanied by Dorothy Hodgson, an Englishwoman who had known Alfassa in France (Das p. 209) and who regarded Alfassa as her guru [19] . During her stay, Alfassa adopted the Japanese way of life, mannerisms and dress, and visited many Buddhist places of pilgrimage (Das 1978 p. 173) One Japanese friend recalled much later: "She came here to learn Japanese and to be one of us. But we had so much to learn from her and her charming and unpredictable ways" (Madame Kobayashi, in Das 1978 p. 193). In 1919 she met Rabindranath Tagore, who was staying at the same hotel. A group photograph in the Rabindra Museum collection at Santiniketan includes the two. Tagore presented Alfassa with the typewriter he was using at the time; she later gave it to Prithwindra Mukherjee in the mid-50s for "writing good poems"; this still remains at the Sri Aurobindo ashram (ibid p. 206). Many years later (in 1956) she also recounted meeting Tolstoy's son while in Japan [20] . On 24 April 1920 Alfassa returned with Paul to Pondicherry from Japan, accompanied by Dorothy Hodgson. On 24 November, she moved to live near Sri Aurobindo in the Guest House at Rue François Martin. Richard did not stay long; he spent a year traveling around North India (Das 1978 p. 209; The Mother - Some dates) as a sanyasi. (Some time later he initiated divorce proceedings,[26.06.2010 17:48:32]
  • 5. Mirra Alfassa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia having already remarried in the meantime). [21] Dorothy Hodgson meanwhile received the name Datta ("Consecrated") and was one of the earliest western devotees, even before the Ashram was established in 1926. In 1921, when Sri Aurobindo said that they had brought the Supermind down to the Vital Plane, Alfassa appeared (according to witnesses and her own accounts) to have a body like that of an eighteen- or twenty-year-old, while Sri Aurobindo was also glowing with health [22] . But these changes were lost when they took the Supermind down to the work of transformation in the "Subconscient". In January 1922, Alfassa, already called "the Mother" by Nolini, and some other disciples began regular evening talks and group meditations. In September or October of that year, Sri Aurobindo and Alfassa moved to no.9 Rue de la Marine, where the same informal routine of Sri Aurobindo's evening gatherings of his early disciples [23] (and Alfassa's talks and meditations) continued. As the number of disciples arriving increased, Alfassa organised what would later become the ashram, more from the wish of the sadhaks then her or Sri Aurobindo's own plans [24] . "The Mother" of the Ashram [edit] On the 24 November 1926 (Siddhi Day) Sri Aurobindo reported himself to have had an important experience in which he realised the Overmental plane and brought down to Earth, in his words, the Overmental Krishna (Das 1978 p. 233). This was also the official founding of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. At the time there were no more than 24 disciples in the Ashram (ibid pp. 233–4). In December of that year, Sri Aurobindo decided to withdraw from public view. At this point he identified Alfassa with the Divine Mother, and instructed his followers to do the same. He informed his disciples that henceforth Alfassa would take full charge of the ashram and he would live in retirement. Alfassa later said that Sri Aurobindo had not consulted her prior to the declaration nor did he inform her of his intention, but that she had heard the news for the first time along with the disciples (Karmayogi no date). Sri Aurobindo considered Alfassa to be an avatar (incarnation) of the Supreme Shakti. In 1927 he wrote: “ The One whom we adore as the Mother is the divine Conscious Force that dominates all existence, one and yet many-sided that to follow her movement is impossible even for the quickest mind and for the freest and most vast intelligence. ” The Mother p.19. Sri Aurobindo's letters and instructions to his disciples taught the path of spiritual surrender through devotion to Alfassa; a form of Bhakti Yoga. In 1927, Sri Aurobindo and Alfassa moved to Rue François Martin, where they stayed for the remainder of their lives (The Mother - Some dates). In the early years, Alfassa appeared on the ashram balcony to initiate the day with her blessings. She would also meet the heads of the various departments of the growing ashram every morning, and then the sadhaks individually. Once again, in the evening at 5:30 PM, she conducted meditation and met each sadhak once more. In 1938 Margaret Woodrow Wilson, the daughter of US President Woodrow Wilson, came to the Ashram and chose to remain there for the rest of her life. [25] . Henry Ford had also heard of Alfassa and wanted to meet her. On the eve of his departure, World War II broke out and prevented his coming to India. During the war, Sri Aurobindo and Alfassa declared their support of the Allies. They said that victory[26.06.2010 17:48:32]
  • 6. Mirra Alfassa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia of the Nazis would have been a disaster for the spiritual work, and professed to have participated in world history, changing the course of World War II by working on the subtle levels (e.g. Purani 1982 p. 746, Reddy 2000, Van Vrekhem 2001). Through letters, Alfassa had remained in contact with her son Andre Morisset ever since leaving for Japan. In this way she kept him apprised of the development of the ashram and her and Sri Aurobindo's sadhana. He became increasingly interested, but was prevented from visiting by the outbreak of the World War II. In 1949 he finally arrived at Pondicherry [26] . The first issue of the Bulletin of Physical Education was published in 1949. In 1951, as a tribute to Sri Aurobindo's conception of pedagogy, she founded the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education: for children who had come to the ashram with their parents during World War II seeking shelter. Then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru did all he could to concretise his appreciation of Alfassa's efforts in this field. [citation needed] Alfassa was encouraged by Sri Aurobindo to wear saris and she acquired a collection of about 500. When she was offered 100,000 rupees for one, she called all the sadhikas and distributed or sold them (along with her ornaments) to raise funds for the ashram during the financially difficult years following the Master's death. [27] She considered flowers of spiritual significance, and gave names to 800 different types, according to the spiritual quality they convey (Flowers and Their Messages, Flowers and Their Spiritual Significance). These would be presented to disciples, as a vehicle for conveying her blessings and grace. Satprem records being presented with various flowers during his visits, each described according to its spiritual quality. Attempted physical transformation [edit] Sri Aurobindo said that in Alfassa he found surrender to the Divine down to physical body itself, the cells of the body (not merely the mind and emotions), the likes of which could not be found in any human being. In 1950 Sri Aurobindo died. Alfassa related that, upon his death, she came to stand beside the bed on which he lay, "and -- in a way altogether concrete -- concrete with such a strong sensation as to make one think that it could be seen -- all this supramental force which was in him passed from his body into mine". [28] After Sri Aurobindo's passing, Alfassa fully took up her promise to Sri Aurobindo to attempt the physical transformation. On 29 February 1956 ("Golden Day") she announced an experience in which she had a vast cosmic golden form and broke open the golden door that Mirra Alfassa separated the Universe from the Divine, allowing the Supramental force to stream down to Earth in an uninterrupted flow.[29] She later (24 April) announced "The manifestation of the Supramental upon earth is no more a promise but a living fact". [30] From 1960 till her death in 1973, Alfassa had a number of near-weekly meetings with one of her closest disciples, Satprem. There she discussed her progress in her physical transformation, world events and her effect on world events, the new workings of the supramental consciousness in the world, her earlier life's experiences including her spiritual experiences, the changes and spiritualisation in the functioning of her physical body, her visions of the new race, and many other topics. These conversations were kept and were published in French and English in the 13-volume[26.06.2010 17:48:32]
  • 7. Mirra Alfassa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia set known as The Agenda. In 1961 a friend of John F. Kennedy took interest in Alfassa and examined in depth the philosophy and yoga of Sri Aurobindo. He met Alfassa and asked her what were the external signs by which one could discern the attainment of the Supramental consciousness in a person. Alfassa explained to him the conditions that would reveal the attainment of the Supramental consciousness and told him that of the three, equality, was the most significant [31] . The visitor arranged for Kennedy to visit Alfassa, but it could not take place. In 1962, at the age of 84, she was forced by an illness to withdraw from close physical contact with disciples (Agenda vol.3), although she continued to give public Darshans four times a year, at which a few thousand devotees gathered and received her Grace. But she continued her inner work, concerning the transformation of the physical and cellular consciousness [32] . In her discussions, she is alleged to have had a number of formidable spiritual experiences in the 1950s through the 1970s. Her experiences are supposed to have intensified through the later 1960s and 70s. In later years she met with other renowned individuals, including the king of Nepal. She had a significant meeting with the Dalai Lama who had recently escaped from Chinese occupation of Tibet. She found him to be a man of great compassion. He asked Alfassa if Tibet would one day be freed of Chinese rule. She affirmed it would one day happen (Karmayogi no date). Concurrent with her work on the inner transformation, she worked on the outer as well. In 1956 she established the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Delhi Branch, together with Surendranath Jauhar and Alfassa's International School. In 1967 plans for were made and some land acquired to found a universal city of spiritual seekers in Gujarat, which she named Ompuri. This project, like earlier plans of 1957, did not go any further. But in 1968, Alfassa, working with architect Roger Anger, began Auroville as a 'more external extension' of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram (Mirapuri - Biography). Alfassa died on 17 November 1973; three days later her body was placed in the Samadhi, the vault in the courtyard of the Ashram where Sri Aurobindo's body was placed in 1950 [33] . Auroville [edit] In the 1960s, it was Alfassa's dream to create a place where humanity could seek the Divine without having to dredge for food and shelter. Alfassa wanted a place where "normal people" from all over the world could live together in harmony, a place where people can seek spirituality and bring it into the world. She named this place Auroville or City of Dawn. It now has a population of around 2,000 people. The city has several zones. The "Soul of Auroville" is the Matrimandir (literally, "Mother's temple"). It is constructed as a futuristic-looking sphere that houses in its center a Chamber, all white with a transculent globe at the centre lit by single ray of sunlight. this signifies "future realisation". In 1968, Alfassa formally inaugurated the new city, and the soil of 124 nations (all the independent countries in the world at that time) was placed in a lotus-shape urn at the centre of the future city. Footnotes [edit] 1. ^ Mother's Chronicles Bk I; Mother on Herself - Chronology p.83. 2. ^ Mother India Feb, 1975, p.95, in Das 1978 p.14 and Mother on Herself pp.1, 3-4. 3. ^ Bulletin of the Sri Aurobindo Center of Education, 1976 p.14, Mother on Herself pp.17-18. 4. ^ Bulletin 1974 p.63. 5. ^ On Herself pp.18-19; Das 1978 pp.24-5. 6. ^ Das 1978 pp.27, 30, 253. 7. ^ Nahar 1986.[26.06.2010 17:48:32]
  • 8. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia New features Log in / create account Article Discussion Read Edit View history Search Sri Aurobindo From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Main page Sri Aurobindo (Aurobindo Ghose) (Bengali: ( ) Contents Sri Ôrobindo) (15 August 1872 – 5 December 1950) Sri Aurobindo Featured content was an Indian nationalist and freedom fighter, major Current events Indian English poet, philosopher, and yogi.[1][2] He Random article joined the movement for India's freedom from British rule Interaction and for a duration (1905–10), became one of its most About Wikipedia important leaders, [3] before turning to developing his own Community portal vision and philosophy of human progress and spiritual Recent changes evolution. Contact Wikipedia The central theme of Sri Aurobindo's vision [4] is the Donate to Wikipedia evolution of life into a "life divine". In his own words: Help "Man is a transitional being. He is not final. The step Toolbox from man to superman is the next approaching achievement in the earth evolution. It is inevitable Print/export because it is at once the intention of the inner spirit and the logic of Nature's process". Languages Alemannisch The principal writings of Sri Aurobindo include, in prose, The Life Divine, considered his single great work of metaphysics,The Synthesis of Yoga, Secrets of the Sri Aurobindo (Aurobindo Ghosh) in 1916. Български Català Vedas, Essays on the Gita, The Human Cycle, The Ideal Date 15 August 1872 of Human Unity, Renaissance in India and other essays', of Česky Supramental Manifestation upon Earth, The Future Birth Deutsch Español Poetry, Thoughts and Aphorisms and several Place Kolkata (Calcutta), India volumes of letters. In poetry, his principal work of Esperanto birth Français is "Savitri - a Legend and a Symbol" in blank verse. [5] Birth Aurobindo Akroyd Ghosh Date 5 December 1950 (aged 78) Contents [hide] of Bahasa Indonesia 1 Biography death Italiano 1.1 Early life Place Puducherry (Pondicherry), French 1.2 England of India Latviešu death 1.3 Baroda 1.4 Kolkata Quote The spirit shall look out through 1.5 Conversion from politics to spirituality Matter's gaze. And matter shall 日本語 reveal the spirit's face. 1.6 Puducherry Norsk (bokmål) v• d • e 2 Freedom struggles and politics Polski 2.1 Beginnings Português 2.2 Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar Party Русский 2.3 Bande Mataram 2.4 National education Slovenčina[26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 9. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 2.5 Alipore bomb case Suomi 3 The Mother Svenska 4 Philosophy and spiritual vision 4.1 Evolutionary philosophy 4.1.1 Process of creation and evolution Türkçe 4.1.2 Involution Tiếng Việt 4.1.3 Evolution 中 4.1.4 Omnipresent reality (Brahman) 4.1.5 Triple transformation of the individual 4.1.6 Evolving soul (psychic being) 4.1.7 Supramental existence 4.1.8 Philosophy of social evolution 4.2 Integral Yoga 4.3 Analysis of Indian culture 4.4 Interpretation of the Vedas 5 Poetry 5.1 Savitri 5.2 The Future Poetry 6 Followers of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother 6.1 Organisations and institutes 6.2 Journals 7 Influence 8 Quotes 9 Partial bibliography 10 See also 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links Biography [edit] Early life [edit] Sri Aurobindo was born Aravinda Akroyd Ghose in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, on 15 August 1872 to Dr. Krishna Dhan Ghose, District Surgeon of Rangapur, Bengal and Swarnalata Devi, the daughter of Brahmo religious and social reformer, Rajnarayan Basu.[6] Dr. Ghose chose the middle name Akroyd to honour his friend Annette Akroyd. [7] Aurobindo spent his first five years at Rangapur, where his father had been posted since October 1871. Dr. Ghose, who had previously lived in Britain and studied medicine at King's College, Aberdeen, was determined that his children should have an English education and upbringing free of any Indian influences. In 1877, he therefore sent the young Aurobindo and two elder siblings - Manmohan and Benoybhusan - to the Loreto Convent school in Darjeeling. England [edit] Aurobindo spent two years at Loreto convent. In 1879, Aurobindo and his two elder brothers were taken to Manchester, England for a European education. The brothers were placed in the care of a Rev. and Mrs. Drewett. Rev. Drewett was an Anglican clergyman whom Dr. Ghose knew through his British friends at Rangapur. The Drewetts tutored the Ghose brothers privately. The Drewitts had been asked to keep the tuitions completely secular and to make no mention of India or its culture. In 1884,Aurobindo joined St Paul's School. Here he learned Greek and Latin, spending the last three years reading literature, especially English poetry. Dr.K. D. Ghose had aspired that his sons should[26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 10. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia pass the prestigious ICS, but in 1889 it appeared that of the three brothers, only young Aurobindo had the chance of fulfilling his father's aspirations, his brothers having already decided their future careers. To become an ICS official, students were required to pass the difficult competitive examination, as well as study at an English university for two years under probation. With his limited financial resources, the only option Aurobindo had was to secure a scholarship at an English university, which he did by passing the scholarship examinations of King's College, Cambridge University. He stood first at the examination.[8] . He also passed the written examination of ICS after a few months, where he was ranked 11th out of 250 competitors [9] . He spent the next two years at the King's College.[10] By the end of two years of probation, Aurobindo became convinced that he did not want to serve the British, he therefore failed to present himself at the horse riding examination for ICS, and was disqualified for the Service. At this time, the Maharaja of Baroda, Sayajirao Gaekwad III was travelling England. James Cotton, brother of Sir Henry Cotton, for some time Lt. Governor of Bengal and Secretary of the South Kensington Liberal Club, who knew Sri Aurobindo and his father secured for him a service in Baroda State Service and arranged a meeting between him and the prince. He left England for India, arriving there in February, 1893.[2] . In India Aurobindo's father who was waiting to receive his son was misinformed by his agents from Mumbai (Bombay) that the ship on which Aurobindo had been travelling had sunk off the coast of Portugal. Dr. Ghose who was by this time frail due to ill-health could not bear this shock and died. [11] Baroda [edit] In Baroda, Aurobindo joined the state service, working first in the Survey and Settlements department, later moving to the Department of Revenue and then to the Secretariat, writing speeches for the Gaekwad. [12] At Baroda, Aurobindo engaged in a deep study of Indian culture, teaching himself Sanskrit, Hindi and Bengali, all things that his education in England had withheld from him. Because of the lack of punctuality at work resulting from his preoccupation with these other pursuits, Aurobindo was transferred to the Baroda College as a teacher of French, where he became popular because of his unconventional teaching style. He was later promoted to the post of Vice-Principal. [12] He published the first of his collections of poetry, The Rishi from Baroda. [13] He also started taking active interest in the politics of India's freedom struggle against British rule, working behind the scenes as his position at the state of Baroda barred him from overt political activity. He linked up with resistance groups in Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, while travelling to these states. He established contact with Lokmanya Tilak and Sister Nivedita. He also arranged for the military training of Jatindra Nath Banerjee (Niralamba Swami) in the Baroda army and then dispatched him to organise the resistance groups in Bengal. He was invited by K.G. Deshpande who was in charge of the weekly Induprakash and a friend from his days in Cambridge to write about the political situation. Aurobindo started writing a series of impassioned articles under the title New Lamps for the Old pouring vitriol on the Congress for its moderate policy [14] . He wrote: "Our actual enemy is not any force exterior to ourselves, but our own crying weaknesses, our cowardice, our selfishness, our hypocrisy, our purblind sentimentalism" further adding: "I say, of the Congress, then, this, - that its aims are mistaken, that the spirit in which it proceeds towards their accomplishment is not a spirit of sincerity and whole- heartedness, and that the methods it has chosen are not the right methods, and the leaders in whom it trusts, not the right sort of men to be leaders; - in brief, that we are at present the blind led, if not by the blind, at any rate by the one-eyed."[26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 11. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Congress which practised more mild and moderate criticism itself, reacted in a way which frightened the editors of the paper who asked Aurobindo to write about cultural themes instead of Politics. Aurobindo lost interest in these writings and the series was discontinued. [12] Aurobindo's activities in Baroda also included a regimen of yogic exercises and meditation, but these were minor in comparison to the work he would take up in his later life. By 1904 he was doing yogic practices for five-six hours everyday [11] Kolkata [edit] Aurobindo used to take many excursions to Bengal, at first in a bid to re-establish links with his parents' families and his other Bengali relatives, including his cousin Sarojini and brother Barin, and later increasingly in a bid to establish resistance groups across Bengal. But he formally shifted to Kolkata (Calcutta) only in 1906 after the announcement of Partition of Bengal. During his visit to Calcutta in 1901 he married Mrinalini, daughter of Bhupal Chandra Bose, a senior official in Government service. Sri Aurobindo was then 28; the bride Mrinalini, 14. Marrying off daughters at a very young age was very common in 19th century Bengali families.[15] In Bengal with Barin's help he established contacts with revolutionaries, inspiring radicals like Bagha Jatin, Jatin Banerjee, Surendranath Tagore. He helped establish a series of youth clubs with the aim of imparting a martial and spiritual training to the youth of Bengal. He helped found the Anushilan Samiti of Calcutta in 1902. When the Partition of Bengal was announced, there was a public outpouring against the British rule in India. Aurobindo attended the Benares session of Congress in December 1905 as an observer, and witnessing the intensity of people's feelings decided to throw himself into the thick of politics. [11] He joined the National Council of Education and met Subodh Chandra Mullick who quickly became a supporter of Aurobindo's views. Mullick donated a large sum to found a National College and stipulated that Aurobindo should become its first principal. Aurobindo also started writing for Bande Mataram, as a consequence of which, his popularity as a leading voice of the hardline group soared. His arrest and acquittal for printing seditious material in Bande Mataram consolidated his position as the leader of aggressive nationalists. His call for complete political independence was considered extremely radical at the time and frequently caused friction in Congress. In 1907 at Surat session of Congress where moderates and hardliners had a major showdown, he led the hardliners along with Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The Congress split after this session.[16] In 1907–1908 Aurobindo travelled extensively to Pune, Mumbai and Baroda to firm up support for the nationalist cause, giving speeches and meeting various groups. He was arrested again in May 1908 in connection with the Alipore Bomb Case. He was acquitted in the ensuing trial and released after a year of isolated incarceration. Once out of the prison he started two new publications, Karmayogin in English and Dharma in Bengali. He also delivered the Uttarpara Speech s:Uttarpara Speech hinting at the transformation of his focus to spiritual matters . The British persecution continued because of his writings in his new journals and in April 1910 Aurobindo signalling his retirement from politics, moved to Puducherry (Pondicherry). Conversion from politics to spirituality [edit] Aurobindo's conversion from political action to spirituality occurred gradually. Aurobindo had been influenced by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother Bankim's Anandamath. In this novel, the story follows a Books monk who fights the soldiers of the British East India Collected Works · Life Divine · Synthesis of Company. When in Baroda, Aurobindo and Barin had Yoga · Savitri · Agenda · considered the plan of a national uprising of nationalist sannyasis against the empire [17] . Later when Aurobindo Teachings got involved with Congress and Bande Mataram, Barin Involution/Involution · Evolution · Integral had continued to meet spiritualists for recruitment for education · Integral psychology · Integral such a plan. In 1907, Barin introduced Aurobindo to yoga · Intermediate zone · Supermind[26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 12. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Vishnu Bhaskar Lele, a Maharashtrian yogi. Places Aurobindo had been engaged in yogic discipline for Matrimandir · Pondicherry years, but disturbances to his progress following the Communities recent events surrounding the Congress had put him in the need of consulting a yogi. After attending the Surat Sri Aurobindo Ashram · Auroville session of the Congress in 1907, Aurobindo met Lele in Disciples Baroda. This meeting led him to retire for three days in Champaklal · N.K.Gupta · Amal Kiran · seclusion where, following Lele's instruction, Aurobindo Nirodbaran · Pavitra · M.P.Pandit · had his first major experience, called nirvana - a state of Pranab · A.B.Purani · D.K.Roy · Satprem · complete mental silence free of any thought or mental Indra Sen · Kapali Shastri activity. [18] Later, while awaiting trial as a prisoner in Journals and Forums Alipore Central Jail in Kolkata Aurobindo had a number Arya · Mother India · Collaboration of mystical experiences. In his letters, Sri Aurobindo mentions that while in jail as under-trial, spirit of Swami Vivekananda visited him for two weeks and spoke about the higher planes of consciousness leading to supermind. Sri Aurobindo later said that while imprisoned he saw the convicts, jailers, policemen, the prison bars, the trees, the judge, the lawyers as different forms of one godhead, Krishna. The trial ("Alipore Bomb Case, 1908") lasted for one full year, but eventually Sri Aurobindo was acquitted. After his acquittal, he made the famous Uttarpara Speech s:Uttarpara Speech. Afterwards Aurobindo started two new weekly papers: the Karmayogin in English and the Dharma in Bengali. However, it appeared that the British government would not tolerate his nationalist program as Lord Minto wrote about him: "I can only repeat that he is the most dangerous man we have to reckon with." The British considered the possibilities of a retrial or deportation, but objections from Lord Minto, or the Bengal government at different instances prevented immediate execution of such plans. When informed that he was sought again by the Indian police, he was guided to the French territory Chandernagore where he halted for a few days. On April 4, 1910 he finally landed in the French colony of Pondicherry. At Pondicherry he dedicated himself completely to his spiritual endeavors. Puducherry [edit] In Puducherry (Pondicherry), Sri Aurobindo completely dedicated himself to his spiritual and philosophical pursuits. In 1914, after four years of concentrated yoga, Sri Aurobindo launched Arya, a 64 page monthly review. For the next six and a half years this became the vehicle for most of his most important writings, which appeared in serialised form. These included The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on The Gita, The Secret of The Veda, Hymns to the Mystic Fire, The Upanishads, The Renaissance in India, War and Self-determination, The Human Cycle, The Ideal of Human Unity, and The Future Poetry. Many years later, Sri Aurobindo revised some of these works before they were published in book form. For some time afterwards, Sri Aurobindo's main literary output was his voluminous correspondence with his disciples. His letters, most of which were written in the 1930s, numbered in the several thousands. Many were brief comments made in the margins of his disciple's notebooks in answer to their questions and reports of their spiritual practice—others extended to several pages of carefully composed explanations of practical aspects of his teachings. These were later collected and published in book form in three volumes of Letters on Yoga. In the late 1930s, Sri Aurobindo resumed work on a poem he had started earlier—he continued to expand and revise this poem for the rest of his life. It became perhaps his greatest literary achievement, Savitri, an epic spiritual poem in blank verse of approximately 24,000 lines. During the World War II, he supported the allies, even donating money to the British Government, describing Hitler as a dark and oppressive force. On August 15, 1947, on his 75th birthday, when India achieved political independence, a message was asked from Sri Aurobindo. In his message, which was read out on the All India Radio, Sri Aurobindo dwelt briefly on the 5 dreams he has cherished all his life and which, he noted, were on[26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 13. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia the way to being fulfilled. Sri Aurobindo died on December 5, 1950 after a short illness. Freedom struggles and politics [edit] Aurobindo's observable political career lasted only four years, from 1906 to 1910. Though he had been active behind the scene surveying, organizing and supporting the nationalist cause, ever since his return to India, especially during his excursions to Bengal. This period of his activity from 1906- 1910 saw a complete transformation of India's political scene. Before Aurobindo began publishing his views, the Congress was an annual debating society whose rare victories had been instances of the empire taking a favourable view to its petitions. By the time Aurobindo left the field, the ideal of political independence had been firmly ingrained into the minds of people, and nineteen years later, it became the official raison d'etre of the Congress. [19] This change was affected by the advent of the aggressive nationalist thought of Lokmanya Tilak who declared that swaraj was his birthright and Bipin Chandra Pal who demanded "complete autonomy" from Britain. However none went as far as Aurobindo in articulating the legitimacy and necessity of complete independence. He "based his claim for freedom for India on the inherent right to freedom, not on any charge of misgovernment or oppression". He wrote : "Political freedom is the life-breath of a nation. To attempt social reform, educational reform, industrial expansion, the moral improvement of the race without aiming first and foremost at political freedom, is the very height of ignorance and futility. The primary requisite for national progress, national reform, is the habit of free and healthy national thought and action which is impossible in a state of servitude."[19] Beginnings [edit] Aurobindo had become contemptuous of the British rule in India since his days as a student in England. While at the beginning of Aurobindo's educational career, his father had been a believer in the superiority of the British People, by the time Aurobindo was nearing the end of his education in England, Dr. Ghose started mailing Aurobindo newspaper clips of atrocities unleashed by the British on the Indian people. While at King's college, Aurobindo was drawn to Irish nationalists such as Charles Stewart Parnell. He wrote, in praise of Parnell : "Patriots, behold your guerdon! This man found Erin, his Mother, beaten, chastised, bound, Naked to imputation poor, denied, While alien masters held her house of pride" This personification of the subjugated nation as the Mother in chains, was a recurring theme in Aurobindo's writings and would later come to galvanize a generation of Indian revolutionaries. From his observations of the British Politics, Aurobindo became convinced that India had little hope from the British Parliament. While in London he joined up with a society of revolutionaries called "Lotus and Dagger" who were committed to overthrowing the British. His activities in England though, were inconsequential. After his return to India, he started working to bring about a revolutionary change in the political situation in India. He came to believe that the only way to free India from the British yoke was that the common people and not just the elite that composed the erstwhile Congress, should embark upon a total revolution. Aurobindo espoused a threefold approach to this end : 1. To conduct secret revolutionary propaganda and develop organizations to prepare for an armed revolution. 2. To spread the idea of revolution and prepare the entire nation for independence. 3. To organise the people for non-cooperation and passive resistance against foreign rule. [20][26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 14. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar Party [edit] Main article: Anushilan Samiti Main article: Jugantar At the beginning of 20th century Bengal had become the central hub for voices against the British Rule and during his vacations to meet his family in Bengal, Aurobindo came in contact with many who shared his views. Aurobindo became inspired by the story of Bankim's novel Anandamath. Aurobindo frequently shared with his younger brother Barin his ideas of imparting martial and intellectual training to the youth of Bengal for the coming revolution; loosely like the sannyais of Anandamath who stir a rebellion agains the British. This concept is rooted in Shakta philosophy. Anushilan Samiti was founded as an attempt to organize Bengali youth through a program of physical fitness and spiritual training for a nationalist program. By 1902, Calcutta had three societies working under the umbrella of Anushilan Samity, a society earlier founded by a Calcutta barrister by the name of Pramatha Mitra. These included Mitra's own group, another led by a Bengali lady by the name of Sarala Devi, and a third one led by Aurobindo Ghosh. The Anushilan Samiti had Aurobindo and Deshabandhu Chittaranjan Das as the vice-presidents, Suren Tagore the treasurer. Jatindra Nath Banerjee (Niralamba Swami), Bagha Jatin, Bhupendra Nath Datta (Swami Vivekananda's brother), Barindra Ghosh were among other initial leaders. By 1905, the work of Aurobindo and his brother Barin Ghosh allowed Anushilan Samity to spread through Bengal. [21] When the first Partition of Bengal was announced in 1905, Aurobindo took an extended leave from the college in Baroda and dedicated himself to participate in anti-British activities in Bengal. Barin who was an aggressive revolutionary in his own right prodded Aurobindo to write about a plan for a Monks' rebellion. In August 1905 Aurobindo published a blueprint for such a training facility called "Bhawani Mandir" (or Bhawani's temple) [3] . This plan and its logistics were later taken over by Barin when Aurobindo devoted himself to the mainstream of Politics. Aurobindo provided the ideological foundation to the ultra-radical Jugantar party, as an offshoot of the Anushilan Samiti. The party was founded by Barin and Bhupendra Nath Dutta. Among the operational aims of this society was to sensitize and stimulate the disaffected youth of Bengal to the nationalist cause. [22] Bande Mataram [edit] Main article: Bande Mataram (publication) The views of Tilak, Aurobindo and other aggressive nationalists, being radically different from those of the moderates, created fissures in the Congress and the debate for its future direction and control spilled into the public domain. To take the extremists' view to the public, Bipin Chandra Pal had founded the nationalist Bengali newspaper Bande Mataram (spelt and pronounced as Bônde Matôrom in the Bengali language). Pal invited Aurobindo to become its editor along with Pal. Pal after a few issues discontinued contributing to the paper. The paper rapidly became a major success. [23] and the radical views finally found a popular voice. But as a result of its popularity and open espousal of aggressive methods, the paper came into frequent confrontation with the Raj. In 1907 the British Government decided to prosecute the group behind Bande Mataram, for its constant propaganda against British rule. Notices were served for using language which was a "direct incentive to violence and lawlessness." [24] On August 16, Aurobindo was sought for arrested by the Police. Aurobindo courted arrest and was released on monetary sureties. The sensational act and the events surrounding the arrest were seen as an episode of defiance against the empire and turned him into a national celebrity. Provincial and National press showered lavish praise on Aurobindo.Tagore wrote: "Rabindranath, O Aurobindo, bows to thee! O friend, my country's friend, O Voice incarnate, free, Of India's soul....The fiery[26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 15. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia messenger that with the lamp of God hath come...Rabindranath, O Aurobindo, bows to thee". [25] The prosecution was unable to establish that Sri Aurobindo was the editor of the paper and he was acquitted. Pal was sentenced to six months in prison for declining to depose. After the Bande Mataram Case, Sri Aurobindo became the recognised leader of aggressive nationalism in Bengal. [26] National education [edit] Aurobindo was a strong proponent of an indigenous system of national education. His experiences at Baroda university had convinced him about the shortcomings of the education system of the time. His views on national education frequently brought him in conflict with the moderates of Congress. When the Risley Circular banned the study or mention of politics from government aided educational institutes, Aurobindo along with others saw this as a direct challenge to his program of youth nationalism. He campaigned extensively to gain self-reliance on the front of education, writing articles about the circular and its implications. He, along with Rabindranath Tagore, Raja Subodh Chandra Mullick and Brajendra Kishore Roychowdhury decided that they would protest the partition of Bengal by setting up an institution that would challenge British rule by offering education to the masses "on national lines and under national control". The Bengal National College was set up with Aurobindo as its first principal. Later, when he founded the newspaper Karmayogin, he expounded in detail his philosophy on education in the series titled A System of National Education. Alipore bomb case [edit] Main article: Alipore bomb case The British had been keeping tabs on activities of Barin and Aurobindo since the Bande Mataram episode. On 30 April 1908, Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki, members of Barin's group, attempted to bomb Magistrate Kingsford's carriage in Alipore. They failed to discern between the identical carriages of the party and the bombs instead landed in the wrong carriage, killing two British women, the wife and daughter of another barrister. The British reaction was swift, with 33 suspects being rounded up within the next two days. Barin and Aurobindo were also arrested and put into prison. The ensuing trial lasted for a year. Aurobindo was acquitted. Khudiram Bose was found guilty and later hanged. Barin was sentenced to death, but this sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment (He was released in 1920).[citation needed] Aurobindo came out of prison and delivered the famous Uttarpara Speech . A few months after the end of his incarceration, and few other anti- British activities, Aurobindo retired from active politics and sailed to Pondicherry, where he would spend the rest of his life. The Mother [edit] Main article: Mirra Alfassa Sri Aurobindo's close spiritual collaborator, Mirra Richard (b. Alfassa), came to be known as The Mother simply because Sri Aurobindo started to call her by this name. On being inquired by why he called her the Mother, Sri Aurobindo wrote an essay "The Mother" by way of shedding light on the person of Mirra. Mirra was born in Paris on February 21, 1878, to Turkish and Egyptian parents. Involved in the cultural and spiritual life of Paris, she counted among her friends Alexandra David-Neel. She went to Pondicherry on March 29, 1914, finally settling there in 1920. Sri Aurobindo considered her his spiritual equal and collaborator. After November 24, 1926, when Sri Aurobindo retired into seclusion, he left it to her to plan, run and build the growing Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the community of disciples that had gathered around them. Some time later when families with children joined the ashram, she established and supervised the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education (which, with its pilot[26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 16. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia experiments in the field of education, impressed observers like Jawaharlal Nehru). When Sri Aurobindo died in 1950, the Mother continued their spiritual work and directed the Ashram and guided their disciples. In the mid 1960s she personally guided the founding of Auroville, an international township endorsed by UNESCO to further human unity near the town of Pondicherry, which was to be a place "where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities." It was inaugurated in 1968 in a ceremony in which representatives of 121 nations and all the states of India placed a handful of their soil in an urn near the center of the city. Auroville continues to develop and currently has approximately 2100 members from 43 countries, though the majority consists of Indians, French, and Germans. The Mother also played an active role in the merger of the French pockets in India and, according to Sri Aurobindo's wish, helped to make Pondicherry a seat of cultural exchange between India and France. The Mother stayed in Pondicherry until her death on November 17, 1973. Her later years, including her myriad of metaphysical and occult experiences, and her attempt at the transformation at the cellular level of her body, are captured in her 13 volume personal log known as Mother's Agenda. Philosophy and spiritual vision [edit] Main article: Philosophy and Spirituality of Sri Aurobindo One of Sri Aurobindo's main philosophical achievements was to introduce the concept of evolution into Vedantic thought. Samkhya philosophy had already proposed such a notion centuries earlier, but Aurobindo rejected the materialistic tendencies of both Darwinism and Samkhya, and proposed an evolution of spirit along with that of matter, and that the evolution of matter was a result of the former. He describes the limitation of the Mayavada of Advaita Vedanta, and solves the problem of the linkage between the ineffable Brahman or Absolute and the world of multiplicity by positing a hitherto unknown and unexplored level of consciousness, which he called The Supermind. The supermind is the active principle present in the transcendent Satchidananda as well in the roots of evolution: a unitary level of which our individual minds and bodies are minuscule subdivisions. Sri Aurobindo rejected a major conception of Indian philosophy that says that the World is a Maya (illusion) and that living as a renunciate was the only way out. He says that it is possible, not only to transcend human nature but also to transform it and to live in the world as a free and evolved human being with a new consciousness and a new nature which could spontaneously perceive truth of things, and proceed in all matters on the basis of inner oneness, love and light. Evolutionary philosophy [edit] Sri Aurobindo argues that humankind is not the last rung in the evolutionary scale, but can evolve spiritually beyond its current limitations to a state of spiritual and supramental existence. This evolutionary existence he called a "Divine life on Earth", characterized by a spiritualized, supramental, truth-consciousness-oriented humanity. [27] Process of creation and evolution [edit] He speaks of two central movements in the process of creation: an involution of consciousness from an original omnipresent Reality, manifesting a universe of forms, including matter; and an evolution of those material forms in creation upward toward life, mind, and spirit, reconnecting to their spiritual source. It is also a process of evolution. Involution [edit] The process by which the Energy of creation emerged from a timeless, spaceless, ineffable, immutable Reality, Sri Aurobindo refers to as the Involution. In that process the Reality extended itself[26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 17. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia to Being/Existence (Sat), Consciousness, that generated a Force - (Chit); and Bliss (Ananda)-- self enjoyment in existing and being conscious. Through the action of a fourth dimension, Supermind (i.e. Truth Consciousness), the Force (Chit) of Sat-Chit-Ananda was divided into Knowledge and Will, eventually formulating as an invisible Energy that would become the source of creation. Through its own willful self-absorption of consciousness, the universe would begin as Inconscient material existence from out of that Energy. Evolution [edit] The process of existence emerging out of the Inconscient is referred as evolution. Initially, it emerges gradually in the stages of matter, life, and mind. First matter evolves from simple to complex forms, then life emerges in matter and evolves from simple to complex forms, finally mind emerges in life and evolves from rudimentary to higher forms of thought and reason. As each new principle emerges, the previous stages remain but are integrated into the higher principle. Humanity represents the stage of development of mind in complex material forms of life. The higher development of mind in the mass of humanity is not yet a secure possession. Reason and intellect still do not dominate the life of most human beings; rather, mind tends to be turned to the purposes of the life principle, which is focused on self-preservation, self-assertion, and satisfaction of personal need and desire. But evolution does not cease with the establishment of reason and intellect; beyond mind are higher levels of a spiritual and supramental consciousness which in the nature of things must also emerge. This higher evolution is described as a dual movement; inward, away from the surface consciousness and into the depths, culminating in the realization of the Psychic Being (the personal evolving soul); and then upward to higher levels of spiritual mind Higher Mind, Illumined Mind, Intuitive Mind, and Overmind), culminating in the final stage of supramentalisation. Whereas these higher levels of consciousness have been attained in particular individuals, they must eventually emerge more universally as general stages in the evolution. When they do emerge, there will come the embodiment of a new species on earth that will be once again united in consciousness with Sachchidananda. Omnipresent reality (Brahman) [edit] A central tenet of Sri Aurobindo's philosophy is that the Truth of existence is an omnipresent Reality that both transcends the manifested universe and is inherent in it. This Reality, referred to as Brahman, is an Absolute: it is not limited by any mental conception or duality, whether personal or impersonal, existent or nonexistent, formless or manifested in form, timeless or extended in time, spaceless or extended in space. It is simultaneously all of these but is bound by none of them. It is at once the universe, each individual being and thing in the universe, and the Transcendent beyond the universe. In its highest manifested poise, its nature may be described as Sachchidananda—infinite existence, infinite consciousness, and infinite delight or bliss; a triune principle in which the three are united in a single Reality. In other words, it is a fully conscious and blissful infinite existence. The importance of this concept for humanity lies in its implication that Brahman is the deepest and secret Reality of humans, it is their true Self, and it is possible to recover this Reality of their being by removing the veil of ignorance that hides it from them and imprisons them in a false identification with an apparently divided and limited egoistic movement on the surface of the being. This is the metaphysical basis for Sri Aurobindo's yoga, the discipline given to consciously unite humans' life with their essential Reality. Triple transformation of the individual [edit] Sri Aurobindo's argues that Man is born an ignorant, divided, conflicted being; a product of the original inconscience (i.e. unconsciousness,) inherent in Matter that he evolved out of. As a result, he does not know the nature of Reality, including its source and purpose; his own nature, including the parts and integration of his being; what purpose he serves, and what his individual and spiritual potential is, amongst others. In addition, man experiences life through division and conflict, including[26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 18. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia his relationship with others, and his divided view of spirit and life. To overcome these limitations, Man must embark on a process of self-discovery in which he uncovers his Divine nature. To that end, he undertakes a three-step process, which he calls the Triple Transformation. [28] . (1) Psychic Transformation -- The first of the three stages is a movement within, away from the surface of life, to the depths, culminating in the discovery of his psychic being (the evolving soul). From that experience, he sees the oneness and unity of creation, and the harmony of all opposites experienced in life. (2) Spiritual Transformation -- As a result of making the psychic change, his mind expands and he experiences knowledge not through the hard churning of thought, but through light, intuition, and revelation of knowledge, culminating in supramental perception. Light enters from the heights and begins to transmute various parts of his being. (3) Supramental transformation -- After making the psychic and spiritual change, he makes the supramental and most radical change. It is basically a complete transformation of the mind, the heart, the emotions, and the physical body. Evolving soul (psychic being) [edit] Sri Aurobindo laid utmost stress on finding and living in the psychic being (i.e. an evolving soul) within which is the essence of our individual being. If we forge our way into the deepest parts of our being, we will come upon a personal evolving soul. From this psychic being we can overcome the limits of consciousness of the individual human. From there we perceive our true nature and essence; we become more aware of our surroundings; we become one with others and life; we experience an inner Guide that influences us to move in the right direction and catches our negative propensities as they arise on the surface; we come in touch with our universal nature; we come in touch with the transcendent reality and spiritual Force; we overcome the limits of time, bringing timelessness into time; and evoke the powers of the Infinite into this finite existence, to name several. Also when we plunge within and touch the evolving soul, it becomes easy to move up in consciousness above mind to spiritual mind of illumination, intuition, revelation, and (supramental) truth consciousness. It should also be noted that this psychic entity is itself evolving, as it enters the person's whose experience it believes it can benefit from, extracts the essence of that person's experience, and then moves on to the next birth until it is fulfilled in its journey through space and time. The connection to the evolving soul is thus the key to the evolution from this the human side, as from there we overcome the inherent Ignorance, division, dualities, and suffering of Man, enabling him to fulfill his human aspiration of God, freedom, joy, and immortality. (From the spiritual side, it is the descending Supramental Force that enables the progress of life to its ultimate capacity. The two together, the connection to the psychic being and the surrender to the descending (supramental) Force are the keys to the evolution and transformation of the individual, humanity, and life in the universe.) Supramental existence [edit] Main article: Supermind Sri Aurobindo's vision of the future includes the appearance of what may be called a new species, the supramental being, a divine being which would be as different and superior to present humanity as humanity is to the animal. It would have a consciousness different in kind than the mind of the human, a different status and quality and functioning. Even the physical form of this being would be different, more luminous and flexible and adaptable, entirely conscious and harmonious. Between this supramental being and humanity, there would be transitional beings, who would be human in birth and form, but whose consciousness would approach that of the supramental being. These transitional beings would appear prior to that of the full supramental being, and would constitute an intermediate[26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 19. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia stage in the Earth's evolution, through which the soul would pass in its growth towards its divine manifestation as the supramental being in the earth nature. Philosophy of social evolution [edit] Sri Aurobindo's spiritual vision extended beyond the perfection and transformation of the individual; it included within its scope the evolution and transformation of human society. In both the individual and in society, the soul and spirit is at first hidden and occult. This, he argues, influences the direction and course of development from behind, but allowing nature to follow its gradual, zigzagging, and conflict-ridden course. Afterwards, as mind develops and becomes more dominant over obscure impulses, the ego-centered drives of vital nature. This results in a more objective, enlightened perception and approach towards human existence and the potential developments that become possible. At the highest stage of mental development he argues that a greater possibility and principle becomes apparent, which is spiritual and supramental in nature. At this point a true solution to humanity's problems becomes visible in the context of a radical transformation of human life, into a form of divine existence. Integral Yoga [edit] Main article: Integral Yoga In The Synthesis of Yoga, and in his voluminous correspondence with his disciples collected under the title Letters on Yoga, Sri Aurobindo laid out the psychological principles and practices of the Integral Yoga or Poorna Yoga. The aim of Integral yoga is to enable the individual who undertakes it the attainment of a conscious identity with the Divine, the true Self, and to transform the mind, life, and body so they would become fit instruments for a divine life on earth[29] . Analysis of Indian culture [edit] In Renaissance in India (earlier called The Foundations of Indian Culture),[citation needed] Sri Aurobindo examines the nature of Indian civilization and culture. He looked at its central motivating tendencies and how these are expressed in its religion, spirituality, art, literature, and politics. The first section of the book provides a general defense of Indian culture from disparaging criticism due to the misunderstanding of a foreign perspective, and its possible destruction due to the aggressive expansion and infiltration of Western culture. This section is interesting in the light it sheds on the nature of both Eastern and Western civilizations, how they have developed over the centuries, how they have influenced each other throughout the ages, and the nature and significance of these exchanges in the recent period. The principle tenet of the exposition is that India has been and is one of the greatest civilizations of the world, one that stands apart from all others in its central emphasis, or rather its whole foundation, based on spirituality, and that on its survival depends the future of the human race—whether it shall be a spiritual outflowering of the divine in man, or a rational, economically-driven, and mechanized association of peoples. Interpretation of the Vedas [edit] One of the most significant contributions of Sri Aurobindo was his setting forth an esoteric meaning of the Vedas. The Vedas were considered by some to be composed by a barbaric culture worshiping violent Gods. Sri Aurobindo felt that this was due to non-grasping of vedic symbolism, both by Occidental and Oriental scholars. Sri Aurobindo believed there was a hidden spiritual meaning in the Vedas. He viewed the Rig Veda as a spiritual text written in a symbolic language in which the outer meaning was concerned with ritualistic sacrifices to the gods, and the inner meaning, which was revealed only to initiates, was concerned with an inner spiritual knowledge and practice, the aim of which was to unite in consciousness with the Divine. In this conception, Indra is the God of Mind lording over the Indriyas, that is, the senses (sight,[26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 20. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia touch, hearing, taste etc.). Vayu represents air, but in its esoteric sense means Prana, or the life force. So when the Rig Veda says "Call Indra and Vayu to drink Soma Rasa" the inner meaning is to use mind through the senses and life force to receive divine bliss (Soma means wine of Gods, but in several texts also means divine bliss, as in Right-handed Tantra). Agni, the God of the sacrificial fire in the outer sense, is the flame of the spiritual will to overcome the obstacles to unite with the Divine. So the sacrifice of the Vedas could mean sacrificing ones ego to the internal Agni, the spiritual fire. Sri Aurobindo's theory of the inner spiritual significance of the Vedas originally appeared serially in the journal Arya between 1914 and 1920, but was later published in book form as "The Secret of the Veda." Another book, "Hymns to the Mystic Fire", is Sri Aurobindo's translation of the spiritual sense of many of the verses of the Rig Veda. Poetry [edit] Sri Aurobindo, not only expressed his spiritual thought and vision in intricate metaphysical reasoning and in phenomenological terms, but also in poetry. He started writing poetry as a young student, and continued until late in his life. The theme of his poetry changed with the projects that he undertook. It ranged from revolutionary homages to mystic philosophy. Sri Aurobindo wrote in classical style. Savitri [edit] 'Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol' is Sri Aurobindo's epic poem of 12 books, 24000 lines about an individual who overcomes the Ignorance, suffering, and death in the world through Her spiritual quest, setting the stage for the emergence of a new, Divine life on earth. It is loosely based on the ancient Indian tale of 'Savitri and Satyavan' from the Mahabharata. "Savitri" is the longest poem of English Literature written outside English speaking countries of Europe & America. The Mother said of Savitri: “ ... everything is there: mysticism, occultism, philosophy, the history of evolution, the history of man, of the gods, of creation, of Nature. How the universe was created, why, for what purpose, what destiny - all is there. You can find all the answers to all your questions there. Everything is explained, even the future of man and of the evolution, all that nobody yet knows. He has described it all in beautiful and clear words so that spiritual adventurers who wish to solve the mysteries of the world may understand it more easily. ” The Future Poetry [edit] In Sri Aurobindo's theory of poetry, written under the title The Future Poetry, he writes about the significance that art and culture have for the spiritual evolution of mankind. He believed that a new, deep, and intuitive poetry could be a powerful aid to the change of consciousness and the life required to achieve the spiritual destiny of mankind which he envisioned. Unlike philosophy or psychology, poetry could make the reality of the Spirit living to the imagination and reveal its beauty and delight and captivate the deeper soul of humanity to its acceptance. It is perhaps in Sri Aurobindo's own poetry, particularly in his epic poem Savitri, that we find the fullest and most powerful statement of his spiritual thought and vision. Followers of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother [edit] The following authors/ organizations (listed in chronological order?) trace their intellectual heritage back to, or have in some measure been influenced by, The Mother and Sri Aurobindo. Sisir Kumar Maitra (1887-1963) was an academic philosopher who wrote widely on Sri Aurobindo and Western philosophy. Wrote an essay, "Sri Aurobindo and Spengler:[26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 21. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Comparison between the Integral and the Pluralistic philosophy of History" in the 1958 symposium compendium, 'The Integral Philosophy of Sri Aurobindo.' Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007) was an Indian spiritual teacher and philosopher who emigrated to the U.S. in 1964. An author, composer, artist and athlete, he was perhaps best known for holding public events on the theme of inner peace and world harmony (such as concerts, meditations, and races). In 1944, he joined his brothers and sisters in Sri Aurobindo's ashram. He has written many books about Sri Aurobindo. Nolini Kanta Gupta (1889 - 1983) was one of Sri Aurobindo's senior disciples, and wrote extensively on philosophy, mysticism, and spiritual evolution in the light of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother's teachings. Indra Sen (1903-1994), another disciple of Sri Aurobindo who, although little-known in the West, was the first to articulate integral psychology and integral philosophy, in the 1940s and 1950s. A compilation of his papers came out under the title, Integral Psychology in 1986. Ram Shankar Misra (dates?) was a scholar of Indian religious and philosophical thought and author of The Integral Advaitism of Sri Aurobindo (publ. 1957), a philosophical commentary on Sri Aurobindo's work. Sri Anirvan (1896-1978), the famous erudite scholar saint, translated "The Life Divine" in Bengali and "Savitri" into incomparably beautiful poetic Bengali in "Divya Jeevan Prasanga", published by Sri Aurobindo Pathamandir, in 1948-51, now in 2000 (fourth edition). . Satprem (1923 - 2007) was a French author and an important disciple of The Mother. Mother's Agenda (ed.1982), Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness (2000), On the Way to Supermanhood (2002) and more. Pavitra (1894 - 1969) was one of the very early disciples of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. Born as Philippe Barbier Saint-Hilaire in Paris. Pavitra left some very interesting memoirs of his conversations with Sri Aurobindo and Mother in 1925 and 1926 published as Conversations avec Pavitra. Organisations and institutes [edit] Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research , located in Pondicherry, India, provides online advanced degree programmes (e.g., MA, M.Phil., and Ph.D.) in Sri Aurobindo Studies. It works in collaboration with Indira Gandhi National Open University which grants the degrees. It also publishes books related to the thought and vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, holds conferences, and sells CDs of talks by Ananda Reddy, its Director, on Sri Aurobindo's various major works. World Union - A non-profit, non-political organisation founded on 26 November 1958 in Pondicherry, fired by the Third Dream of Sri Aurobindo; also publishes a quarterly journal with the same title. A.B. Patel was the driving force and for many years, M.P. Pandit was the leading light. The Integral Life Foundation P.O.Box 239 Waterford CT. 06385 USA has published several books by Amal Kiran. Journals [edit] Mother India is the Sri Aurobindo Ashram's originally fortnightly, now monthly, cultural review. It was started in 1949, the founding editor being K. D. Sethna (Amal Kiran), who continues as editor for over fifty years. Collaboration is a journal dedicated to the spiritual and evolutionary vision of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. Content includes articles, essays, poetry, and art. Topics range across the theory and practice of Integral Yoga, Sri Aurobindo's philosophy and metaphysics,[26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 22. Sri Aurobindo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia developments in the international township of Auroville, activities of various centers and announcements and reports about various conferences related to the Integral Yoga. Influence [edit] Sri Aurobindo's influence has been wide-ranging. In India, S. K. Maitra, Anilbaran Roy, and D. P. Chattopadhyaya commented on Sri Aurobindo's work. Writers on esotericism and traditional wisdom, such as Mircea Eliade, Paul Brunton, and Rene Guenon, all saw him as an authentic representative of the Indian spiritual tradition [30] . Haridas Chaudhuri and Frederic Spiegelberg [31] were among those who were inspired by Sri Aurobindo, who worked on the newly formed American Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco. Soon after, Chaudhuri and his wife Bina established the Cultural Integration Fellowship, from which later emerged the California Institute of Integral Studies. Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928–2007) became heavily inspired by the writings of Satprem about Sri Aurobindo during a week in May 1968, a time of which the composer was undergoing a personal crisis and had found Aurobindos philosophies were relevant to his feelings at the time. After this experience, Stockhausen's music took a completely different turn, focusing on mysticism, that was to continue right up until the end of his career. Sri Aurobindo's ideas about the further evolution of human capabilities influenced the thinking of Michael Murphy [32] – and indirectly, the human potential movement, through Murphy's writings. The American philosopher Ken Wilber, has been strongly influenced by Sri Aurobindo's thought, but has integrated some of its key ideas with other spiritual traditions and modern intellectual trends [33] (Wilber's interpretation has been criticised by Rod Hemsell[34] and others). New Age writer Andrew Harvey also looks to Sri Aurobindo as a major inspiration. Cultural historian William Irwin Thompson is also heavily influenced by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The Sri Aurobindo Ashram, the spiritual community that grew up around him and was organized and directed by the Mother, continues to operate with slightly more than 2000 members and a similar number of nonmembers who live nearby and are associated with the Ashram's activities. The experimental international city of Auroville, founded by the Mother and based on Sri Aurobindo's ideals, is located about 10 km from the Ashram; it has approximately 2000 members from around the world, and an international base of support groups called Auroville International. Based on the teaching of Sri Aurobindo and his Divine Mother, the school based in Bangalore called Sri Aurobindo Memorial School was set up. The student life begins with prayer, medidation and yoga. The children are also served Ladoo on their birthday and poems of Sri Aurobindo are recited in class everyday. Quotes [edit] “ The one aim of [my] yoga is an inner self- development by which each one who Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Sri Aurobindo follows it can in time discover the One Self in all and evolve a higher consciousness than the mental, a spiritual and supramental consciousness which will transform and divinize human nature ” —Sri Aurobindo On Himself Partial bibliography [edit][26.06.2010 17:58:49]
  • 23. Supermind (Integral thought) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia New features Log in / create account Article Discussion Read Edit View history Search Supermind (Integral thought) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Supermind (Sri Aurobindo)) Main page Contents Supermind in Sri Aurobindo's philosophy refers to the Featured content infinite unitary truth-consciousness or truth-idea Sri Aurobindo and The Mother Current events simultaneously transcendent and immanent to planes of Books Random article matter, life, and mind. Supermind is the dynamic form of Collected Works · Life Divine · Synthesis of satcitananda (being-consciousness-bliss), and the Interaction Yoga · Savitri · Agenda · necessary conduit, mediator or linkage between About Wikipedia Teachings satcitananda and the manifest creation. (Life Divine Community portal Book I, ch.14-16) Involution/Involution · Evolution · Integral Recent changes education · Integral psychology · Integral Contact Wikipedia Contents [hide] yoga · Intermediate zone · Supermind Donate to Wikipedia 1 Introduction Places Help 2 Supramental Perception Matrimandir · Pondicherry Toolbox 3 Supramentalisation 4 The supramental transformation Communities Print/export 5 The Supramental Descent Sri Aurobindo Ashram · Auroville 6 Time in the Context of Supramental consciousness Disciples 7 The Gnostic Being Champaklal · N.K.Gupta · Amal Kiran · 8 Supermind and Omega Point Nirodbaran · Pavitra · M.P.Pandit · 9 Quote Pranab · A.B.Purani · D.K.Roy · Satprem · 10 See also Indra Sen · Kapali Shastri 11 Notes Journals and Forums 12 References 13 External links Arya · Mother India · Collaboration Introduction [edit] By 'Supermind,' Sri Aurobindo means several things. For one, it a plane that resides between the 'upper hemisphere' of pure being and consciousness, and the 'lower hemisphere; of life in the universe (mind, life, and matter). This plane is what enables the Real Ideas of the Supreme to manifest as forms of that force in creation. So in that sense, Supermind is the power that enables creation; that divides the Force into the forms, forces, and powers, seen and unseen experienced in the universe. Another way of looking at Supermind is a plane of perfect knowledge that has the full, integral truth of anything. It is a plane that Man can rise to above his current limited mentality so he too can have perfect understanding of a matter that enters his mind seemingly out of nowhere through revelations of that truth. A third way of looking at Supermind is not only the means of creation, but a force and power that is leaning down on the earth's consciousness, and which we can open to in order to transform the various aspects of our being, as well as instantly or very rapidly set right the conditions of life, creating sudden good fortune ("instantaneous miraculousness") for the person opening to it.[26.06.2010 18:00:46]
  • 24. Supermind (Integral thought) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Ultimately Sri Aurobindo envisions a new race of humans who through an opening to the supramental power and knowledge have been transformed in all planes of their being, mental, vital, and spiritual, ushering in what he calls the Gnostic, supramental individual who will be the basis of a new divine life on earth. Supramental Perception [edit] When one rises above mind, even illumination, intuition, and revelation of understanding, one has the experience of supramental perception. In supermind one has the experience of the total realization/ideation of an object of knowledge without thought, as it simply is there in the mind anew. Supramental perception involves a totality of knowing, as opposed to the very partial, limited perception of mind that knows but one side of a matter. In supramental perception, one understands any issues from its many sides; as well as its essence, totality, and wholeness. Any thing know is perceived in harmony and relation to other things; almost the opposite of mind which guards its own limited opinion, not seeing its thought in relation to others concerning an object of knowledge In supermind, one perceives the object of knowledge directly, which Sri Aurobindo calls 'knowledge by identity.' Supramental perception also implies a supramental Will for its effectuation in life; i.e. the power for it to become real as a manifest, living reality. E.g. if you know a thing directly through supramental perception, there is also a power for it to manifest quickly and suddenly from seemingly out of nowhere. Sri Aurobindo refers to this power of sudden manifestation through supramental perception an opening "instantaneous miraculousness." Finally, through Supramental perception, one perceives the true nature of existence. One sees what Sri Aurobindo calls (in his opus 'The Life Divine' and elsewhere] the ‘omnipresent Reality,’ which is in essence the Divine Origin extended to all planes of life. When one has supramental perception one sees that all things – physical matter, vital life, and mental thought are various forms of the divine Reality. One also perceive how each and every individual thing in life – large or small, positive or negative, liked or dislike – plays a role in the unfolding of existence. This is what Sri Aurobindo says is 'to see the Wonder,’ which one can only perceive when one has risen beyond limited mentality to supramental perception. Supramentalisation [edit] The objective and final stage of integral yoga is to actualise the Supermind within one's being ("Supramentalisation"). This would constitute a divinisation of matter itself or a realisation of its inherent primordial propensity, and usher in a completely new, 'divine' way of existing. (Life Divine Book II, ch.26-28). This involves bringing down the Supramental consciousness to transform the entire being, and ultimately to the divinisation of the material world. Supramentalisation requires both a spiritual and a psychic transformation. Sri Aurobindo believed that most yogas and religions were concerned with 'ascent', a striving to ascend beyond the body and beyond time into a formless and timeless absolute or transcendent self. He wrote that the 'old systems' arrived at an 'infinite empty Negation or an infinite equally vacant Affirmation'. [1] He introduced the imperative for and the process by which the supramental (beyond or other than mental) consciousness would 'descend', to firmly establish itself in Earthly life. The supramental transformation [edit] The supramental transformation means the birth of a new individual fully formed by the supramental power, the same power that enabled the universe to be created in the first place from out of a Divine Source. Such individuals would be the forerunners of a new truth-consciousness based supra- humanity. Among their capacities are: a total oneness and identity with the environment and with[26.06.2010 18:00:46]
  • 25. Supermind (Integral thought) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia others; total integral knowledge replacing our essential ignorance, i.e. knowledge by identity; a unification of knowledge and will (what one knows is automatically created, what is willed is fully known in its truth); the Force of creation reunited with the Consciousness; and a complete unity of the Individual, Universal, and Transcendent purpose expressed through the person. Also, all aspects of division and ignorance of consciousness at the vital and mental levels would be overcome, replaced with a unity of consciousness at every plane, and even the physical body transformed and divinised. A new supramental species would then emerge, living a supramental, gnostic, divine life on earth. (The Life Divine book II ch.27-28) This then must be the nature of the third and final transformation which finishes the passage of the soul through the Ignorance and bases its consciousness, its life, its power and form of manifestation on a complete and completely effective self-knowledge. The Truth-Consciousness, finding evolutionary Nature ready, has to descend into her and enable her to liberate the supramental principle within her; so must be created the supramental and spiritual being as the first unveiled manifestation of the truth of the Self and Spirit in the material universe. – Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 918, 10th ed. The Supramental Descent [edit] On February 29, 1956, Sri Aurobindo's co-worker the Mother, announced, "The manifestation of the Supramental upon earth is no more a promise but a living fact, a reality. It is at work here, and one day will come when the most blind, the most unconscious, even the most unwilling shall be obliged to recognize it."[2] On January 1, 1969, the Mother (at age 90) announced the 'arrival' of the 'superman consciousness' – 'the intermediary between man and the supramental being'.[3] Time in the Context of Supramental consciousness [edit] Sri Aurobindo wrote that whereas the mind is unable to establish a "truth relation between the timeless and things in time", supramental consciousness is "founded upon the supreme consciousness of the timeless Infinite, but has too the secret of the deployment of the infinite Energy in time."[1] The last chapter of his book The Synthesis of Yoga, called 'Towards a Supramental Vision of Time', discusses the matter of time in terms of the evolution of a trikaladristi or 'knowledge of the three times'. "This unified and infinite time consciousness and this vision and knowledge are the possession of the supramental being..." The Gnostic Being [edit] The Gnostic Being in Sri Aurobindo's philosophy refers to the supramental state of divinised humanity, which (as described in the final chapters of The Life Divine) will emerge as a spirit- oriented future existence. In this highest form of social or collective life, the domination of the ordinary mind — of surface preoccupation, of partial knowledge, as well as the lower physical and vital life is replaced with a mind and life dominated by the spirit. The divinised or gnostic being is described as living a spiritual existence in an integral way; integral in his own being, and integral and one with the world around him. He has integrated and elevated the physical, vital/emotional, and mental planes of his existence to its greatest heights and fulfillment by[26.06.2010 18:00:46]
  • 26. Supermind (Integral thought) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia finding the spirit within himself and applying and elevating these planes of life with the spiritual. He also discovers that the spirit is everywhere in the world and in every other person, eliminating the separation between himself and life and himself and others around him. In other words he is whole and integrated individually and universally. "To be in the being of all and to include all in one's being, to be conscious of the consciousness of all, to be integrated in force with the universal force, to carry all action and experience in oneself and feel it as one's own action and experience, to feel all selves as one's own self, to feel all delight of being as one's own delight of being is a necessary condition of the integral divine living." — Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine In addition to integrating the planes and sublevels of one's being (individualization), and becoming one with others and the world (universalization), the individuals who will be the harbingers of this divine life will also be united with the transcendent Divine. These individuals will have found the transcendent spirit within, the spiritual force, God, the Divine in the cosmos, and feel, know, act with complete reference to its divine force, power, knowledge, and bliss. In this context a number of individuals, integrated individually, universally, and transcendently, can work together, near or apart, aware or unaware of one another, to create a new common life, superior to the present individual and common existence. A critical mass of such "gnostic individuals" could create the foundation of a new social life and order; a divine life on earth. The purpose of this divine life would be a greater unity, mutuality, and harmony. "...a greater identity of being and consciousness between individual and individual unified in their spiritual substance, feeling themselves to be self and self of one self-existence, acting in a greater unitarian force of knowledge, a greater power of being. There must be an inner and direct mutual knowledge, based upon a consciousness of oneness and identity, a consciousness of each other's being, thought, feeling, inner and outer movements...." ---Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine In this state the current vital and mental constructions of life would be replaced by gnostic individuals who live beyond the vicissitudes of human thought and the push and pull of the forces of Nature. Humanity in the current age does not have the depth of inner knowledge to understand the infinite forces that are involved in the emerging world. His limiting mind-sense and the limiting mind-sense of the collective hasn't the integral vision and knowledge and force of action to deal with the evolving society. We have created a civilization which has become too big for our limited mental capacities and understanding and our limiting ego, which narrows the truth to our own needs and desires. The current unfolding and limited blossoming of life on earth is bound by the limiting vital animal and passion nature, and the narrow opening to the full truth which is the human mind. A life of unity, mutuality, and harmony alone, emerging from individuals who are in integral relationship with themselves, others, and the transcendent spirit, can deal with the overwhelming needs of the collective life. The gnostic beings would help establish this integral, unifying gnostic consciousness on earth, which would provide a far greater power and knowledge than man now has for understanding and acting on the needs of the emerging collective. The one rule of this divine life would be the self expression of the spirit, of the divine, in all aspects of life. " existence without the reactions of success and frustration, vital joy and grief, peril and passion, pleasure and pain, the vicissitudes and uncertainties of fate and struggle and battle and endeavor, a joy of novelty and surprise and creation projecting itself into the unknown... The gnostic manifestation of life would be more full and fruitful and its interest more vivid than the creative interest of the Ignorance; it would be a greater and happier constant miracle." — Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine[26.06.2010 18:00:46]
  • 27. Supermind (Integral thought) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Supermind and Omega Point [edit] Beginning with the Catholic theologian R.C. Zaehner, a number of scholars have pointed out parallels between the respective spiritual evolutionary philosophies of Sri Aurobindo and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (see e.g. Zaehner 1971, Feys 1973, Sethna 1973, 1981, Bruteau 1974, Chetany 1978, Brookman 1988). Both describe a progression from inanimate matter through life and mind to a future consummation and Divinisation of humanity and the Earth as Supermind at Omega Point/God- Omega. Neither seems to have been aware of the other's work. A scientific basis for Pierre Teilhard de Chardin's and Sri Aurobindo's panentheistic Omega point philosophies was provided in 1994 by the physicist Frank J. Tipler's promulgation of his Omega Point Theory. Quote [edit] ‘The aim of supramental Yoga is to change into this supreme Truth-consciousness, but this truth is something beyond mind and this consciousness is far above the highest mind-consciousness. For truth of mind is always relative, uncertain and partial, but this greater Truth is preemptory and whole. Truth of mind is a representation, always an inadequate, most often a misleading representation, and even when most accurate, only a reflection, Truth's shadow and not its body. Mind does not live in the Truth or possess but only seeks after it and grasps at best some threads from its robe; the supermind lives in Truth and [is] its native substance, form and expression; it has not to seek after it, but possesses it always automatically and is what it possesses. This is the very heart of the difference. 'The change that is effected by the transition from mind to supermind is not only a revolution in knowledge or in our power for knowledge. If it is [to] be complete and stable, it must be a divine transmutation of our will too, our emotions, our sensations, all our power of life and its forces, in the end even of the very substance and functioning of our body. Then only can it be said that the supermind is there upon earth, rooted in its very earth-substance and embodied in a new race of divinised creatures. 'Supermind at its highest reach is the divine Gnosis, the Wisdom-Power-Light-Bliss of God by which the Divine knows and upholds and governs and enjoys the universe.' -– Sri Aurobindo [4] See also [edit] Omega Point Evolution (metaphysics) Notes [edit] 1. ^ a b Sri Aurobindo, Synthesis of Yoga, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, 1948. 2. ^ The Mother's Agenda, 1956, Volume 1. see link 3. ^ The Mother's Agenda, 1969, Volume 10: from January 1, 1969. 4. ^ ‘Seven drafts on Supramental Yoga [for "The Path"] from 1928-1929 to late 1930's as found on ‘Bernard's Site for Sri Aurobindo and the Mother' References [edit] Sri Aurobindo (1977) The Life Divine, (Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust), ISBN 0-941524-62-0 (hardcover), ISBN 0-941524-61-2 (paperback) Beatrice Bruteau (1974), Evolution towards Divinity (Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Ill) David M. Brookman, Teilhard and Aurobindo: A Study in Religious Complementarity, Mayur Publications, 1988[26.06.2010 18:00:46]
  • 28. Integral psychology (Sri Aurobindo) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia New features Log in / create account Article Discussion Read Edit View history Search Integral psychology (Sri Aurobindo) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Vital (Sri Aurobindo)) Main page Contents Integral psychology, in the adaptation of Sri Featured content Aurobindo's spiritual teachings, refers to an Sri Aurobindo and The Mother Current events understanding of the various planes and parts of being, Books Random article which is essential to the practice of integral yoga. Collected Works · Life Divine · Synthesis of Interaction Contents [hide] Yoga · Savitri · Agenda · About Wikipedia Teachings 1 History of Integral psychology Community portal 2 Aspects of being according to integral psychology Involution/Involution · Evolution · Integral Recent changes 2.1 Faculties ("vertical" divisions) education · Integral psychology · Contact Wikipedia 2.1.1 Subconscient Integral yoga · Intermediate zone · Donate to Wikipedia 2.1.2 Physical Supermind Help 2.1.3 Subtle physical Places Toolbox 2.1.4 Vital Matrimandir · Pondicherry 2.1.5 Mental Print/export 2.1.6 Higher levels of Mind Communities 2.1.7 Overmind Sri Aurobindo Ashram · Auroville Languages 2.1.8 Supermind Disciples 2.2 Types of being ("concentric" divisions) Русский Champaklal · N.K.Gupta · Amal Kiran · 2.2.1 The Outer Being Nirodbaran · Pavitra · M.P.Pandit · 2.2.2 The Inner Being Pranab · A.B.Purani · D.K.Roy · Satprem · 2.2.3 Psychic Being Indra Sen · Kapali Shastri 2.2.4 Central being 3 See also Journals and Forums 4 References Arya · Mother India · Collaboration 5 External links History of Integral psychology [edit] Sri Aurobindo never used the term "Integral Psychology"; the term was coined in the 1940s by Indra Sen, a devotee of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, who established the field of Integral Psychology, based on Sri Aurobindo's teachings, although his book of the same name only appeared in 1986. A further interpretation of Integral psychology was developed, although not in detail, in the 1970s by Haridas Chaudhuri, a student of Sri Aurobindo, who postulated a triadic principle of uniqueness, relatedness and transcendence, corresponding to the personal, interpersonal and transpersonal domains of human existence. According to Brant Cortright, of the California Institute of Integral Studies, Integral Psychology is born through the synthesis of Sri Aurobindo's teachings with the findings of depth psychology. He presents Integral Psychology as a synthesis of the two major streams of depth psychology – the humanistic- existential and contemporary psychoanalytic – within an integrating east-west framework.[26.06.2010 18:01:25]
  • 29. Integral psychology (Sri Aurobindo) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Aspects of being according to integral psychology [edit] Sri Aurobindo conceives of human psychology, indeed, of the Integral (spirituality) entire cosmos, as having two major types of distinctions or Historical integral thinkers: dimensions. The faculties ascend in a "vertical" fashion, from the subconscient to the higher, transpersonal realms. At the same Aurobindo Ghose time, he distinguishes between the Outer being, the Inner being, Jean Gebser and other, similarly "concentric" dimensions. The terms vertical Haridas Chaudhuri Ramchandra Gandhi and concentric are metaphors for the purpose of visualization Indra Sen and are not meant to be taken literally. Contemporary integral thinkers: Faculties ("vertical" divisions) [edit] Don Beck Subconscient Allan Combs [edit] Sean Esbjörn-Hargens This section requires expansion. Ashok Gangadean Jennifer Gidley Physical [edit] Franklin Jones The Physical faculty or part of the being, refers not just to the Ervin László George Leonard physical body, but the body's consciousness as well. The body Steve McIntosh is just as conscious as the vital and mental parts of the being, Donella Meadows only it is a different type of consciousness. As with the other Michael Murphy faculties or principles of the being, in Sri Aurobindo's Joe Perez psychology, the Physical can be subdivided into finer sub- Michel Saloff Coste grades, such as the mental physical, the vital physical, and so Charlene Spretnak on. One does not find the distinction of non-conscious body and Brian Swimme conscious mind that characterises Western thought. William Irwin Thompson In Sri Aurobindo's reading of the Taittiriya Upanishad, the Ken Wilber physical being (or perhaps just the Physical Purusha) is the Yasuhiko Kimura anna-maya-atma - the self made of food. Michael E. Zimmerman the Inner physical - the physical component of the inner Integral themes: being, which is wider and more plastic than the outer Evolution, Involution physical body. This is also called the subtle physical Integral art, Integral ecology the True physical being - is the Purusha of the physical level, Integral education which is like the Inner Physical larger than the surface body Integral psychology consciousness and in touch with the a larger spiritual Integral Theory Integral yoga consciousness. Integral humanism the Mental Physical (similar to the Physical Mind - see Transdisciplinarity "Mental") the Vital Physical or Nervous Being (which seems to be Integral organizations: equivalent to the Etheric body of western esotericism, and Cal. Inst. of Integral Studies hence pertains to one of the subtle bodies) Integral Institute the Physical Proper or pure body consciousness, which John F. Kennedy University represents the consciousness of the external physical body Institute of Transpersonal Psych. itself. Fielding Graduate University This box: view • talk • edit Like the other principles of man, the Physical not only shades upwards to higher ontological levels, but also downwards into the Subconscient, which equates to the Subconscious or Lower Unconscious, although Sri Aurobindo asserts that the Subconscient includes much more than the unconscious of (Freudian) psychology. And like all the faculties of the being, the Physical in all its aspects has to be transformed and[26.06.2010 18:01:25]
  • 30. Integral psychology (Sri Aurobindo) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia spiritualised through the practice of Integral Yoga. Subtle physical [edit] The Subtle physical is Sri Aurobindo's term for a subtler aspect of the physical nature. This has many qualities not found in the gross physical nature. In The Agenda, The Mother often refers to it. It might be compared to the etheric body and plane, or even the astral body and plane. The term "subtle physical" to distinguish from gross (sthula) or outer material physical. By the gross physical is meant the earthly and bodily physical - as experienced by the outward sense-mind and senses. But that is not the whole of Matter. There is a subtle physical also with a subtler consciousness in it which can, for instance, go to a distance from the body and yet feel and be aware of things in a not merely mental or vital way. ...the subtle physical has a freedom, plasticity, intensity, power, colour, wide and manifold play (there are thousands of things there that are not here) of which, as yet, we have no possibility on earth. – Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, part 1, section v Vital [edit] The Vital or Life faculty or part of the being, refers not simply to the life force as to the various passions, desires, feelings, emotions, affects, compulsions, and likes and dislikes that strongly determine human motivation and action through desire and enthusiasm. Unlike Western psychology, in which mind, emotions, instincts, and consciousness are all lumped together, Sri Aurobindo strongly distinguishes between the "Vital" and the "Mental" faculties. In addition to the individual Vital faculty, Sri Aurobindo refers to a Vital Plane or Vital world, which would seem to be partly equivalent to the Astral Plane of popular occultism and New Age thought. Mental [edit] The Mental faculty or part of the being, is the conceptual and cognitive mind. Unlike Western psychology, in which mind and consciousness are considered the same, Sri Aurobindo strongly distinguishes between the "Mental" and the "Vital" (emotional) faculties, as well as between Mind and pure Consciousness. Sri Aurobindo in part bases his concept of the Mental on his reading of the Taittiriya Upanishad, the mental being (or perhaps just the Mental Purusha) is the mano-maya-atma - the self made of mind (manas). For Sri Aurobindo, Mind or the Mental being is not simple and uniform, but consists itself of various strata and subdivisions, the whole contributing to an elaborate integral theory of psychology. These various faculties are described or variously referred to, usually in obliquely or in passing, in some of his books, including Savitri, which has poetic references to many types of Mind (Jyoti and Prem Sobel 1984 pp. 152–62). In his letters answering questions from disciples, Sri Aurobindo summarises the characteristics of the various levels of Mind (see Letters on Yoga vol. I pp. 324–5). These various Minds and Mental principles of being include: Higher Mind - the first and lowest of the spiritual mental grades, lying above the normal mental level. Spiritual Mind - either the spiritualised mind, or a general term for levels of mind above the normal mental level (the "Mind Proper"). Inner mind - the mental component of the Inner Being, which lies behind the surface mind or ordinary consciousness and can only be directly experienced by sadhana[26.06.2010 18:01:25]
  • 31. Integral psychology (Sri Aurobindo) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia True mental being - is the Purusha of the mental level freed from the error and ignorance of the lower Prakriti and open to the knowledge and guidance above. Psychic Mind - a movement of the mind in which the Psychic Being predominates; the mind turned towards the Divine Mind Proper - is free-fold, consisting of Thinking Mind, dynamic Mind, externalising Mind. It constitutes the sum of one's thoughts, opinions, ideas, and values, which guide conscious thinking, conceptualizing and decision-making processes, and is transformed, widened, and spiritualised through the practice of Integral Yoga. Thinking Mind - the highest aspect of the mind proper, concerned with ideas and knowledge in their own right. It is equated with the Ajna Chakra Dynamic Mind - that aspect of the ordinary mind that puts out of mental forces for realisation, acting by the idea and by reason. It is also equated with the Ajna or Brow center. Externalising Mind - the most "external" part of the mind proper, concerned with the expression of ideas in speech, in life, or in any form it can give. It is equated with the Vishuddha or Throat Chakra Vital Mind - a mediator between the vital emotions, desires, and so on the mental proper. It is limited by the vital view and feeling of things, and expresses the desires, feelings, ambitions,and other active tendencies of the vital in mental forms, such as daydreams and imaginations of greatness, happiness, and so on. As with the Externalising Mind, Sri Aurobindo associates it with the Vishuddha or Throat Chakra Physical Mind - refers to either or both the Externalising Mind and the Mental in the Physical; it is limited to a physical or materialistic perspective, and cannot go beyond that, unless enlightened from above. Mind in the physical or mental physical mentalises the experiences of outward life and things, sometimes very cleverly, but it does not go beyond that, unlike the externalising mind which deals with these things from the perspective of reason and its own higher intelligence. The Mechanical Mind is a much lower action of the mental physical which when left to itself can only repeat the same ideas and record the reflexes of the physical consciousness in its contact with outward life and things. Mind of Light - according to The Mother this is the Physical Mind receiving the supramental light and thus being able to act directly in the Physical (The Mother, 1980, pp. 63–64) A small but popular book by Jyoti and Prem Sobel, The Hierarchy of Minds, comes closest to a systematic coverage of an Aurobindonian noetology by gathering all of Sri Aurobindo's references and quotes on the subject of "Mind" and arranging these according to the type of Mind. Higher levels of Mind [edit] Includes Higher Mind, Illumined Mind, and Intuitive Mind. Overmind [edit] Overmind is the plane of Gods. Overmental plane is the highest consciousness one can achieve without transcending the mental system. Beyond overmind are the planes of Supermind or unity- consciousness. A detailed description of the Overmind is provided in Book I ch.28, and Book II ch.26, of Sri Aurobindo's philosophical opus The Life Divine. Supermind [edit] Main article: Supermind[26.06.2010 18:01:25]
  • 32. Integral psychology (Sri Aurobindo) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Supermind refers to the infinite unitary Truth Consciousness or Truth-Idea beyond the three lower planes of Matter, Life, and Mind. Supermind is the dynamic form of Sachchidananda (Being- Consciousness-Bliss), and the necessary mediator or link between the transcendent Sacchidananda and the creation. (Life Divine Book I, ch.14-16) Types of being ("concentric" divisions) [edit] The Outer Being [edit] The Outer Being refers to the superficial and limited surface existence which characterises our everyday consciousness and experience. It includes a physical, vital, and mental aspect, and is also the location of the desire soul. In Integral Yoga it is necessary to go beyond the surface consciousness to the larger life of the Inner Being, which is more open to spiritual realisation. Outer, Inner, and Innermost Being form a "concentric" sequence or hierarchy, which is a counterpart to the "vertical" hierarchy of Physical, Vital, and Mental. The Inner Being [edit] The Inner Being is the wider and more plastic subliminal faculty of one's being, that lies behind the narrow surface consciousness. As with many esotericists and Jungian and Transpersonal psychologists, Sri Aurobindo speaks of larger and deeper potentials of human nature which can be contacted through spiritual discipline and higher states of consciousness. This Inner Being includes the inner realms or aspects of the physical, vital, and mental being, which here have a larger, subtler, freer consciousness than in the small outer mental, vital, and physical nature of everyday consciousness and experience, and its realisation is essential for any higher spiritual realisation. The Inner Being is also transitional between the surface or Outer Being and the Psychic Being, which is also for this reason known as the "Innmost Being". Outer, Inner, and Innermost Being form a "concentric" sequence or hierarchy, which is a counterpart to the "vertical" hierarchy of Physical, Vital, and Mental. There are always two different consciousnesses in the human being, one outward in which he ordinarily lives, the other inward and concealed of which he knows nothing. When one does sadhana, the inner consciousness begins to open and one is able to go inside and have all kinds of experiences there. As the sadhana progresses, one begins to live more and more in this inner being and the outer becomes more and more superficial. At first the inner consciousness seems to be the dream and the outer the waking reality. Afterwards the inner consciousness becomes the reality and the outer is felt by many as a dream or delusion, or else as something superficial and external. The inner consciousness begins to be a place of deep peace, light, happiness, love, closeness to the Divine or the presence of the Divine, the Mother. One is then aware of two consciousnesses, the inner one and the outer which has to be changed into its counterpart and instrument-that also must become full of peace, light, union with the Divine. At present you are moving between the two and in this period all the feelings you have are quite natural. You must not be at all anxious about that, but wait for the full development of the inner consciousness in which you will be able to live. – Sri Aurobindo, 'Letters on Yoga', 307 Psychic Being [edit] The Psychic Being is Sri Aurobindo's term for the Personal Evolving Soul, the principle of Divine spirit in every individual.[26.06.2010 18:01:25]
  • 33. Integral psychology (Sri Aurobindo) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Psychic is the "Innermost Being" (Amal Kiran, quoted by Craig Hamilton The Miraculous Power of the Soul - A meeting with Amal Kiran, Pondicherry ) is the permanent being in us that stands behind and supports the physical, vital and mental principles. It takes the essence of experience in the Ignorance to form a nucleus of growth in the nature; it "puts forth and uses mind, life and body as its instruments, undergoes the envelopment of their conditions, but it is other and greater than its members." (The Life Divine p. 891) The term "Psychic" or Psychic Being in this context derives originally from the occult kabbalistic teachings of Max Théon, as conveyed by The Mother. Sri Aurobindo is careful to distinguish between the Psychic Being as defined in the Yoga and the ordinary meaning of "psychic" which refers more to the desire soul, or to psychological or paranormal phenomena which are connected with the inner mind, inner vital, or subtle physical subliminal nature rather than the true Soul (The Life Divine p. 227 note). The Psychic begins its evolution completely veiled and hidden, but as it grows through successive lifetimes it gradually exerts a greater influence, organising the elements of the being, and taking on the role of spiritual Guide (The Life Divine pp. 891–4). In Integral Yoga the goal is to move inward and discover the Psychic Being, which then can bring about a transformation of the outer nature. This transformation of the outer being or ego by the Psychic is called Psychicisation; it is one of the three necessary stages in the realisation of the Supramental consciousness. This Psychic transformation is the decisive movement that enables a never-ending progress in life through the power of connecting to one's inner spirit or Divine Essence. Sri Aurobindo asserts that both Psychicisation and Spiritualisation are equally necessary, and complementary prerequistes in the drawing down of the Supermind. ...the psychic entity in us persists and is fundamentally the same always: it contains all essential possibilities of our manifestation but is not constituted by them; it is not limited by what it manifests, not contained by the incomplete forms of the manifestation, not tarnished by the imperfections and impurities, the defects and depravations of the surface being. It is an ever-pure flame of the divinity in things and nothing that comes to it, nothing that enters into our experience can pollute its purity or extinguish the flame. – Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, 891 Everything is dangerous in the sadhana or can be, except the psychic change. – Sri Aurobindo, Letters on Yoga, vol.3 Central being [edit] Central Being is a technical term used by Sri Aurobindo to designate the transcendent and eternal spirit, as opposed to the incarnate and evolving Soul, which he calls the Psychic Being, although sometimes it refers to both of them together as the essential spiritual core of the being. These definitions are found in Letters on Yoga vol.I under "Planes and Parts of Being" (pp. 265ff in the 3rd ed.) The Central Being "presides over the different births one after the other but is itself unborm" (ibid p. 269). This transcendent Central Being or Spirit is also designated the Jiva or Jivatman, although the meaning of these terms in Sri Aurobindo's philosophy differs greatly from that of much of conventional Vedanta (especially Advaita Vedanta) See also [edit][26.06.2010 18:01:25]
  • 34. Integral yoga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia New features Log in / create account Article Discussion Read Edit View history Search Integral yoga From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Main page For other uses, see Integral yoga (disambiguation). Contents In the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, Integral yoga (or Featured content Integral yoga purna yoga, Sanskrit for full or complete yoga, Current events Religious Hinduism, Vedanta sometimes also called supramental yoga) refers to the Random article origins: process of the union of all the parts of one's being with Interaction the Divine, and the transmutation of all of their jarring Regional Sri Aurobindo Ashram, About Wikipedia elements into a harmonious state of higher divine origins: India Community portal consciousness and existence. Founding Sri Aurobindo, The Mother Recent changes Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga should not be confused with Guru: Contact Wikipedia a trademark "Integral Yoga" of Swami Satchidananda. Mainstream millions, both in India and Donate to Wikipedia Sri Aurobindo defined integral yoga in the early 1900s as popularity: abroad Help "a path of integral seeking of the Divine by which all that Practice Integral transformation of the Toolbox we are is in the end liberated out of the Ignorance and its emphases: whole being, physical undivine formations into a truth beyond the Mind, a truth immortality. Print/export not only of highest spiritual status but of a dynamic Derivative none Languages spiritual self-manifestation in the universe." [citation needed] forms: Български He describes the nature and practice of integral yoga in Deutsch Related schools his opus The Synthesis of Yoga. As the title of that work Español incorporates Karma, Jnana, Raja and Bhakti yoga indicates, his integral yoga is a yoga of synthesis, Français intended to harmonize the paths of karma, jnana, and Other topics Português bhakti yoga as described in the Bhagavad Gita. It can Integral thought - The Synthesis of Yoga - Triple Русский also be considered a synthesis between Vedanta and transformation - Psychicisation Tantra, and even between Eastern and Western approaches to spirituality. Contents [hide] 1 Textual sources 2 No definitive method 3 The aim of integral yoga 3.1 Integral development 3.2 The Realisation of Supermind 4 Dangers on the Path 4.1 The Intermediate zone 4.2 Other dangers 5 Components of the integral yoga 5.1 Faculties ("vertical" divisions) 5.1.1 Physical 5.1.2 Vital 5.1.3 Mental 5.2 Types of being ("concentric" divisions)[26.06.2010 18:01:55]
  • 35. Integral yoga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 5.2.1 The Outer Being 5.2.2 The Inner Being 5.2.3 Psychic Being 6 Triple Transformation 6.1 Introduction 6.2 Psychicisation 6.3 Spiritualisation 6.4 Supramentalisation 7 The goal of Integral Yoga 8 Notes 9 Quotes 10 See also 11 References 12 External links Textual sources [edit] The theory and practice of Integral Yoga is described in several works by Sri Aurobindo. His book The Synthesis Sri Aurobindo and The Mother of Yoga, the first version of which appeared in the Arya, Books was written as a practical guide, and covers all aspects Collected Works · Life Divine · Synthesis of of Integral Yoga. Additional and revised material is found Yoga · Savitri · Agenda · in several of the later chapters of The Life Divine and in other works. Later, his replies to letters and queries by Teachings disciples (mostly written during the early 1930s) were Involution/Involution · Evolution · Integral collected into a series of volumes, the Letters on Yoga. education · Integral psychology · Integral There is also Sri Aurobindo's personal diary of his yogic yoga · Intermediate zone · Supermind experiences, written during the period from 1909 to Places 1927, and only published under the title Record of Yoga. Matrimandir · Pondicherry No definitive method [edit] Communities Sri Aurobindo Ashram · Auroville Sri Aurobindo and the Mother taught that surrendering to Disciples the ‘higher' consciousness was one of the most important processes of the supramental yoga. There is Champaklal · N.K.Gupta · Amal Kiran · no definitive method for every practitioner of the yoga, Nirodbaran · Pavitra · M.P.Pandit · Pranab · A.B.Purani · D.K.Roy · Satprem · else it would not be an adventure. supramental Indra Sen · Kapali Shastri consciousness would act and establish itself in Earthly life. Both Sri Aurobindo and the mother always explained Journals and Forums that how this will happen is for the divine to decide and Arya · Mother India · Collaboration evolve with time . The Mother decided to take this work down to the matter at the cellular level in the late 1960's . The aim of integral yoga [edit] Integral development [edit] Most yogas, except such paths as Natya Yoga, only develop a single aspect of the being, and have as their aim a state of liberation or transcendence. But the aim of integral yoga is the transformation of the entire being. Because of this, the various elements of one's make-up - Physical, Vital, Mental, Psychic, and Spiritual, and the means of their transformation, are described in great detail by Sri Aurobindo, who in this way formulates an entire integral psychology. The goal is then the[26.06.2010 18:01:55]
  • 36. Integral yoga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia transformation of the entire nature of one's being. Nothing is left behind. The process...accepts our nature...and compels all to undergo a divine change...In that ever progressive experience, we begin to perceive how this lower manifestation is constituted and that everything in it, however seemingly deformed or petty or vile, is the imperfect figure of some element in the divine nature. – Sri Aurobindo, Synthesis of Yoga, p.47) Also distinguishing Sri Aurobindo's teaching from most other mystical paths is the need for transformation of the personal and relative nature. So the integral yoga is twofold; both a spiritual realisation of God or Transcendence or Enlightenment, and, through this, a complete change and transformation of both the inner and the outer nature. Through this double action, one is thus made able and fit to manifest a divine consciousness, and in this way becomes part of a divine work. The Realisation of Supermind [edit] Sri Aurobindo considered man's present mental consciousness to be a transitional stage in terrestrial evolution, and that our civilization is at the brink of an evolutionary leap or shift towards a greater or ‘supramental' experience and capacity. With regard to supermind and mind Sri Aurobindo wrote, ‘There is an eternal dynamic Truth-consciousness beyond mind; this is what we call supermind or gnosis. For mind is or can be a truth seeker, but not truth-conscious in its inherent nature; its original stuff is made not of knowledge, but of ignorance.' [2] Sri Aurobindo considered the supermind to be an all-organizing and all-coordinating principle of truth- consciousness secretly involved in the material creation and he saw its emergence as the next logical and inevitable step in terrestrial evolution. Dangers on the Path [edit] Sri Aurobindo also details various dangers that the sadhak may encounter on the spiritual path. The Intermediate zone [edit] Main article: Intermediate zone The Intermediate zone refers to a dangerous and misleading transitional spiritual and pseudospiritual region between the ordinary consciousness of the outer being and true spiritual realisation. Other dangers [edit] Components of the integral yoga [edit] In Sri Aurobindo's integral psychology, and for that matter his metaphysic as a whole, the cosmos is described in terms of two major types of distinctions or dimensions. On the one hand there is an ascending dimension of physical, vital, mental, and higher, transpersonal realms. At the same time, there is the series of Outer being, the Inner being, and the inmost Psychic being. Outer, Inner, and Innermost Being form a "concentric" sequence or hierarchy, which is a counterpart to the "vertical" hierarchy of Physical, Vital, and Mental. All these faculties and levels have to be transformed through Integral yoga. Faculties ("vertical" divisions) [edit][26.06.2010 18:01:55]
  • 37. Integral yoga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Physical [edit] Like all the faculties of the being, and in contrast to the ascetic yogas, the Physical in all its aspects is not rejected, but has to be transformed and spiritualised through the practice of Integral Yoga. This means it is necessary not only to change Physical habits and consciousness, but also to descend into the Subconscient or Lower Unconscious, where the root of many problems lie. Vital [edit] The Vital refers not only to the life force but even more so to the various desires, emotions, compulsions, and likes and dislikes that strongly determine human motivation and action. In Integral yoga it is necessary to change the vital's striving away from self-centered desires and revolts, to make it an instrument for the yoga. Mental [edit] The Mental faculty or part of the being, is the conceptual and cognitive mind. Through right attitude, understanding, and aspiration, the mind can be turned to the Divine Types of being ("concentric" divisions) [edit] The Outer Being [edit] The Outer Being refers to the superficial and limited physical, vital and mental surface existence which characterises our everyday consciousness and experience. Integral Yoga involves going beyond this surface consciousness to the larger life of the Inner Being, which is more open to spiritual realisation. The Inner Being [edit] The Inner Being includes the inner realms or aspects of the physical, vital and mental being, which here have a larger, subtler, freer consciousness than that of the everyday consciousness, and its realisation is essential for any higher spiritual realisation. Psychic Being [edit] In Integral Yoga the goal is to move inward and discover the Psychic Being, which then can bring about a transformation of the outer nature. This transformation of the outer being or ego by the Psychic is called Psychicisation; it is one of the three necessary stages, called the Triple transformation, in the realisation of the Supramental consciousness. This Psychic transformation is the decisive movement that enables a never-ending progress in life through the power of connecting to one's inner spirit or Divine Essence. Triple Transformation [edit] Introduction [edit] The other major topic in Sri Aurobindo's integral yoga is the Triple transformation. This refers to the process through which reality is transformed into the divine. This is described in The Life Divine part 2, ch.25, and Letters on Yoga part 4, section 1. The Triple Transformation refers to the two-fold movement of spiritual transformation - the inward pychicisation by which the sadhak gets in contact with the inner divine principle or Psychic Being, and the spiritual transformation or spiritualisation. The former represents the Inner Guide which is realised through the Heart, the latter can be compared to the traditional concept of Vedantic, Buddhist and popular guru Enlightenment and the descriptions of the Causal and Ultimate stages of spiritual development in the evolutionary philosophy[26.06.2010 18:01:55]
  • 38. Integral yoga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia of the integral thinker Ken Wilber. For Sri Aurobindo, both these stages are equally necessary and important, as both serve as necessary prerequisites for the third and by far the most difficult element of change in the triple transformation, the Supramentalisation of the entire being. ...One must first acquire an inner Yogic consciousness and replace by it our ordinary view of things, natural movements, motives of life; one must revolutionise the whole present build of our being. Next, we have to go still deeper, discover our veiled psychic entity and in its light and under its government psychicise our inner and outer parts, turn mind- nature, life-nature, body-nature and all our mental, vital, physical action and states and movements into a conscious instrumentation of the soul. Afterwards or concurrently we have to spiritualise the being in its entirety by a descent of a divine Light, Force, Purity, Knowledge, freedom and wideness. It is necessary to break down the limits of the personal mind, life and physicality, dissolve the ego, enter into the cosmic consciousness, realise the self, acquire a spiritualised and universalised mind and heart, life-force, physical consciousness. Then only the passage into the supramental consciousness begins to become possible, and even then there is a difficult ascent to make each stage of which is a separate arduous achievement. – Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, 281-2 Psychicisation [edit] Psychicisation is one of the most essential stages of the integral yoga. As described in The Life Divine (book II - chapter 25) it refers to a spiritual movement inward, so that one realises the psychic being - the psychic personality or Divine Soul - in the core of one's being, and enable this to transform the outer being, as well as serve as a spiritual Guide in the yoga. It is thanks to this Psychic transformation that the sadhak can avoid the pitfalls of the spiritual path, such as the intermediate zone. The three central spiritual methods here are Consecration, Moving to the Depths (Concentration), and Surrender. Consecration is to open to the Force before engaging in an activity. Moving to the Depths (or Concentration) is a movement away from the surface existence to a deeper existence within. Surrender means offering all one's work, one's life to the Divine Force and Intent (Synthesis of Yoga Part I ch. II-III; Letters on Yoga vol. II pp.585ff (3rd ed.)) In connecting with the evolving divine soul within, the sadhak moves away from ego, ignorance, finiteness, and the limitations of the outer being Psychicisation can serve as a prequel to spiritualisation (equivalent to "Enlightenment"), although they do not have to follow any sort of order. However, both the psychic and the spiritual transformation are equally necessary for the final stage of Supramental transformation. Spiritualisation [edit] As a result of the Psychic transformation, light, peace, power is drawn into and descends into the body, transforming all of its parts — physical, vital, and mental. This is the Spiritual transformation, or Spiritualisation, which refers to the bringing down of the larger spiritual consciousness or spiritual transformation. The spiritual transformation in itself however is not sufficient to avoid pitfalls of the spiritual path, or bring about Supramentalisation. For that, the psychic transformation is needed as well. Supramentalisation [edit] Supramentalisation is the ultimate stage in the integral yoga. It refers to the bringing down of the Supramental consciousness, and the resulting transformation of the entire being.[26.06.2010 18:01:55]
  • 39. Integral yoga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The supramental transformation is the final stage in the integral yoga, enabling the birth of a new individual fully formed by the supramental power. Such individuals would be the forerunners of a new truth-consciousness based supra-humanity. All aspects of division and ignorance of consciousness at the vital and mental levels would be overcome, replaced with a unity of consciousness at every plane, and even the physical body transformed and divinised. A new supramental species would then emerge, living a supramental, gnostic, divine life on earth. (The Life Divine book II ch.27-28) The goal of Integral Yoga [edit] In Integral Yoga, the goal is not only a transcendent liberation, nirvana, or moksha as in other spiritual paths, but also, in addition to that, the realisation of the Divine in the physical world as well. All of which is part of the same process of integral realisation. An integral method and an integral result. First, an integral realisation of Divine Being; not only a realisation of the One in its indistinguishable unity, but also in its multitude of aspects which are also necessary to the complete knowledge of it by the relative consciousness; not only realisation of unity in the Self, but of unity in the infinite diversity of activities, worlds and creatures. Therefore, also, an integral liberation. Not only the freedom born of unbroken contact of the individual being in all its parts with the Divine, sayujyamukti, by which it becomes free even in its separation, even in the duality; not only the salokyalmukti by which the whole conscious existence dwells in the same status of being as the Divine, in the state of Sachchidananda; but also the acquisition of the divine nature by the transformation of this lower being into the human image of the divine, sadharmyamukti, and the complete and final release of all, the liberation of the consciousness from the transitory mould of the ego and its unification with the One Being, universal both in the world and the individual and transcendentally one both in the world and beyond all universe. – Sri Aurobindo, Synthesis of Yoga, pp.47-48) God Descends to the Mundane Swami Ramakrishnananda, in his book “Yoga Union with Reality”, writes about the goal of integral yoga according to Sri Aurobindo’s teaching: In his description of integral yoga, Sri Aurobindo refers to “having God descend to the mundane”. In Hassidism, it is said “make Him a dwelling in the lower worlds”. However, if we go deeper, we will discover that the descent of heaven to earth is the revelation that the division of the material from the spiritual, or above from below, only exists in our egoic perspective, and that nothing needs to come down, because heaven is much closer than we believe and God dwells within us. – Swami Ramakrishnananda, Yoga Union with Reality - Chapter 1:Purna Yoga [1] Notes [edit] 1. ^ Swami Ramakrishnananda, Yoga Union with Reality, Chapter 1: Purna Yoga, Section:What is Purna Yoga Quotes [edit][26.06.2010 18:01:55]
  • 40. Integral yoga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "The movement of nature is twofold: divine and undivine. The distinction is only for practical purposes since there is nothing that is not divine. The undivine nature, that which we are and must remain so long as the faith in us is not changed, acts through limitation and ignorance and culminates in the life of the ego; but the divine nature acts by unification and knowledge, and culminates in life divine. The passage from the lower to the higher may effect itself by the transformation of the lower and its elevation to the higher nature. It is this that must be the aim of an integral yoga." -- The Synthesis of Yoga What is the integral yoga? It is a way of complete God-realisation, a complete Self-realisation, a complete fulfillment of our being and consciousness, a complete transformation of our nature - and this implies a complete perfection of life here and not only a return to an eternal perfection elsewhere -- Sri Aurobindo Archives and Research, Dec 1982, p.197 "The method we have to pursue, then, is to put our whole conscious being into contact with the divine and to call him in to transform our entire being into his, so that in a sense god himself, the real person in us, becomes the sadhaka of the sadhana as well as the master of the yoga by whom the lower personality is used. " -- The Synthesis of Yoga All life is a Yoga of Nature seeking to manifest God within itself. Yoga marks the stage at which this effort becomes capable of self-awareness and therefore of right completion in the individual. It is a gathering up and concentration of the movements dispersed and loosely combined in the lower evolution." -- The Synthesis of Yoga p.47 The first word of the supramental Yoga is surrender; its last word also is surrender. It is by a will to give oneself to the eternal Divine, for lifting into the divine consciousness, for perfection, for transformation, that the Yoga begins; it is in the entire giving that it culminates; for it is only when the self-giving is complete that there comes the finality of the Yoga, the entire taking up into the supramental Divine, the perfection of the being, the transformation of the nature." - Sri Aurobindo ‘Seven drafts on Supramental Yoga [for "The Path"] from 1928-1929 to late 1930's as found on ‘Bernard's Site for Sri Aurobindo and the Mother' ... to do the integral yoga one must first resolve to surrender entirely to the Divine, there is no other way, this is the way. But after that one must have the five psychological virtues, five psychological perfections and we say that the perfections are 1.Sincerity or Transparency 2.Faith or Trust (Trust in the Divine) 3.Devotion or Gratitude 4.Courage or Inspiration 5.Endurance or Perseverance The Mother, Collected Works of the Mother Vol.8 p.42 See also [edit] Integral thought Involution (Sri Aurobindo) References [edit] Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, fifth edition, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust 1999[26.06.2010 18:01:55]
  • 41. Spirituality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia New features Log in / create account Article Discussion Read Edit View history Search Spirituality From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Main page Not to be confused with Spiritualism. Contents Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or immaterial Featured content Current events reality; [1] an inner path enabling a person to discover the Random article essence of their being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” [2] Spiritual practices, Interaction including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are About Wikipedia intended to develop an individual's inner life; such practices Community portal often lead to an experience of connectedness with a larger Recent changes reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; with other Contact Wikipedia individuals or the human community; with nature or the Donate to Wikipedia cosmos; or with the divine realm. [3] Spirituality is often Help experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in Toolbox life. [4] It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the The Helix Nebula, sometimes called the Print/export world. "Eye of God" Languages Contents [hide] 1 Definition Bosanski 2 Spiritual path Brezhoneg 3 Religion Català 4 Science Česky 5 Personal well-being Dansk 6 Near-death experience (NDE) Deutsch 7 Opposition Español 8 Positive psychology Esperanto 9 Origin 10 History Français 11 Study Furlan 12 See also 13 Notes and references 14 Further reading Hrvatski 15 External links Íslenska Italiano ‫עברית‬ Definition [edit] Kiswahili This section requires expansion with: Lëtzebuergesch more about how the different religions Lietuvių define spirituality. Traditionally, religions have regarded spirituality as an integral aspect of religious experience. Many Bahasa Melayu do still equate spirituality with religion, but declining membership of organized religions and the Nederlands growth of secularism in the western world has given rise to a broader view of spirituality.[26.06.2010 18:05:37]
  • 42. Spirituality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Secular spirituality carries connotations of an individual having a spiritual outlook which is more 日本語 personalized, less structured, more open to new ideas/influences, and more pluralistic than that of the Norsk (bokmål) doctrinal faiths of organized religions. At one end of the spectrum, even some atheists are spiritual. While atheism tends to lean towards skepticism regarding supernatural claims and the existence of an Polski actual "spirit", some atheists define "spiritual" as nurturing thoughts, emotions, words and actions that Português are in harmony with a belief that the entire universe is, in some way, connected; even if only by the Română mysterious flow of cause and effect at every scale.[5] Русский Shqip In contrast, those of a more 'New-Age' disposition see spirituality as the active connection to some Simple English force/power/energy/spirit, facilitating a sense of a deep self. Srpskohrvatski / For some, spirituality includes introspection, and the development of an individual's inner life through Српскохрватски practices such as meditation, prayer and contemplation. Some modern religions also see spirituality in Suomi everything: see pantheism and neo-Pantheism. In a similar vein, Religious Naturalism has a spiritual Svenska attitude towards the awe, majesty and mystery it sees in the natural world. Tagalog For a Christian, to refer to him or herself as "more spiritual than religious" [citation needed] may (but not Türkçe always) imply relative deprecation of rules, rituals, and tradition while preferring an intimate Українська relationship with God. The basis for this belief is that Jesus Christ came to free humankind from Winaray those rules, rituals, and traditions, giving humankind the ability to "walk in the spirit" thus maintaining a "Christian" lifestyle through that one-to-one relationship with God. Žemaitėška 中 Spiritual path [edit] Spirituality, in a wide variety of cultural and religious concepts, is itself often seen as incorporating a spiritual path, along which one advances to achieve a given objective, such as a higher state of awareness, outreach wisdom or communion with God or with creation. Plato's Allegory of the Cave, which appears in book VII of The Republic, is a description of such a journey, as are the writings of Teresa of Avila. The spiritual journey is a path that has a dimension primarily subjective and individual. For a spiritual path may be considered a path of short duration, directed at a specific target, or a lifetime. Every event of life is part of this journey, but in particular one can introduce some significant moments or milestones, such as the practice of various spiritual disciplines (including meditation, prayer, fasting), the comparison with a person believed with deep spiritual experience (called a teacher, assistant or spiritual preceptor, guru or otherwise, depending on the cultural context), the personal approach to sacred texts, etc. If the spiritual path is the same in whole or in part, with an initiatory path, there may be real evidence to overcome. Such tests usually before a social significance, are a "test" for the individual of his reaching a certain level. Spirituality is also described as a process in two phases: the first on inner growth, and the second on the manifestation of this result daily in the world. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] Religion [edit] Whilst the terms spirituality and religion can both refer to the search for the Absolute or God, an increasing number of people have come to see the two as separate entities, religion being just one way in which humans can experience spirituality. Cultural historian and yogi William Irwin Thompson states, "Religion is not identical with spirituality; rather religion is the form spirituality takes in civilization." [citation needed] Those who speak of spirituality outside of religion often define themselves as "spiritual but not religious" and generally believe in the existence of many different "spiritual paths" - emphasizing the importance of finding one's own individual path to spirituality. According to one poll, some 24±4% of the United States population identifies itself as spiritual but not religious. [18] One might say then, that a key difference is that religion is a type of formal external search, while spirituality is defined as a search within oneself.[26.06.2010 18:05:37]
  • 43. Spirituality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The experience of 'spirituality'; the human emotions of awe, wonder and reverence, are also the province of the secular/scientific, in response to their highest values, [vague] or when observing or studying nature, or the universe.[19] Science [edit] See also: Relationship between religion and science and Quantum mysticism A number of authors have suggested that there are spiritual consequences of quantum physics. Examples are physicist-philosopher Fritjof Capra;[20] Ken Wilber, who proposes an "Integral Theory of Consciousness"; theoretical nuclear physicist Amit Goswami, who views a universal consciousness, not matter, as the ground of all existence (monistic idealism); Ervin László, who posits the "quantum vacuum" as the fundamental energy- and information-carrying field ("Akashic field") that informs not just the current universe, but all universes past and present (collectively, the "Metaverse"). [21] Personal well-being [edit] In keeping with a general increase in interest in spirituality and complementary and alternative treatments, prayer has garnered attention among some behavioral scientists. Masters and Spielmans[22] have conducted a meta-analysis of the effects of distant intercessory prayer, but detected no discernible effects. Spirituality has played a central role in self-help movements such as Alcoholics Anonymous: "...if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead...." [23] If spirituality is understood as the search for or the development of inner peace or the foundations of happiness, then spiritual practice of some kind is essential for personal well being. This activity may or may not include belief in supernatural beings. If one has such a belief and feels that relationship to such beings is the foundation of happiness then spiritual practice will be pursued on that basis: if one has no such belief spiritual practice is still essential for the management and understanding of thoughts and emotions which otherwise prevent happiness. Many techniques and practices developed and explored in religious contexts, such as meditation, are immensely valuable in themselves as skills for managing aspects of the inner life.[24][25] Near-death experience (NDE) [edit] Main article: Near death experience If consciousness exists apart from the body, which includes the brain, one is attached not only to the material world, but to a non-temporal (spiritual) world as well. This thesis is considered to be analyzed by testing the reports from people who have experienced death. However, some researchers consider that NDEs are actually REM intrusions triggered in the brain by traumatic events like cardiac arrest [26] . Opposition [edit] The scientific method takes as its basis empirical, repeatable observations of the natural world. Critics such as William F. Williams have labeled spirituality as pseudoscientific and opposed ideas and beliefs that include supernatural forces yet are presented as having a scientific character, citing the imprecision of spiritual concepts and the subjectivity of spiritual experience. [citation needed] Positive psychology [edit][26.06.2010 18:05:37]
  • 44. Spirituality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Spirituality has been studied in positive psychology and defined as the search for "the sacred," where "the sacred" is broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration. Spirituality can be sought not only through traditional organized religions, but also through movements such as the feminist theology and ecological spirituality (see Green politics). Spirituality is associated with mental health, managing substance abuse, marital functioning, parenting, and coping. It has been suggested that spirituality also leads to finding purpose and meaning in life. [27] Origin [edit] See Timeline of religion and Evolutionary origin of religions History [edit] See also: History of religion Spiritual innovators who operated within the context of a religious tradition became marginalized or suppressed as heretics or separated out as schismatics. In these circumstances, anthropologists generally treat so-called "spiritual" practices such as shamanism in the sphere of the religious, and class even non-traditional activities such as those of Robespierre's Cult of the Supreme Being in the province of religion. [28] Eighteenth-century Enlightenment thinkers, often opposed to clericalism and skeptical of religion, sometimes came to express their more emotional responses to the world under the rubric of "the Sublime" rather than discussing "spirituality". The spread of the ideas of modernity began to diminish the role of religion in society and in popular thought. Schmidt sees Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) as a pioneer of the idea of spirituality as a distinct field. [29] In the wake of the Nietzschean concept of the "death of God" in 1882, people not persuaded by scientific rationalism turned increasingly to the idea of spirituality as an alternative both to materialism and to traditional religious dogma. Important early 20th century writers who studied the phenomenon of spirituality include William James (The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902)) and Rudolph Otto (especially The Idea of the Holy (1917)). The distinction between the spiritual and the religious became more common in the popular mind during the late 20th century with the rise of secularism and the advent of the New Age movement. Authors such as Chris Griscom and Shirley MacLaine explored it in numerous ways in their books. Paul Heelas noted the development within New Age circles of what he called "seminar spirituality": [30] structured offerings complementing consumer choice with spiritual options. Study [edit] The scholarly field of spirituality remains ill-defined. It overlaps with disciplines such as theology, religious studies, kabbalah, anthropology, sociology, psychology, parapsychology, pneumatology, monadology, logic (if involving a spiritual Logos) and esotericism. In the late 19th century a Pakistani scholar Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi wrote of and taught about the science of Islamic spirituality, of which the best known form remains the Sufi tradition (famous through Rumi and Hafez) in which a spiritual master or pir transmits spiritual discipline to students.[31] Building on both the Western esoteric tradition and theosophy,[32] Rudolf Steiner and others in the anthroposophic tradition have attempted to apply systematic methodology to the study of spiritual phenomena, [33] building upon ontological and epistemological questions that arose out of transcendental philosophy.[34] This enterprise does not attempt to redefine natural science, but to explore inner experience — especially our thinking — with the same rigor that we apply to outer[26.06.2010 18:05:37]