Integral Yoga, the cornerstone of Auroville’s spiritual journey, is deeply rooted in the teachings of Sri Aurobindo. It represents a holistic path towards inner peace and transformation, encompassing every aspect of human existence. Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy serves as the guiding light for this profound spiritual practice.
Ancient Wisdom Revived: Sri Aurobindo’s teachings draw from the wellspring of ancient wisdom, particularly Vedanta and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. While many ancient darshanas and traditions have faded into obscurity, these two continue to thrive as living systems of Yoga. Sri Aurobindo, however, introduced a fresh perspective—a Yoga that aims at the integrality of the Divine within and beyond this world, leading to supramental realization.
The Essence of Integral Yoga: Integral Yoga, unlike traditional systems, seeks to transcend the limitations of the ego and material existence. It aspires to achieve conscious union with the Divine in the supermind and transform the entirety of one’s nature. While other Yogas may lead to featureless cosmic silence, Integral Yoga raises the being into the dynamic Truth of Sachchidananda, which is both static and dynamic.
Integration of All Aspects: Integral Yoga’s unique character lies in its comprehensive approach. It integrates all aspects of human existence—mind, body, heart, will, and even the subconscious. It regards every layer of consciousness as an avenue for realizing and transforming the Divine presence within.
A Holistic Path: The aim of Integral Yoga is to achieve oneness with the Divine, a state where the individual lives in perfect harmony with the Divine and becomes one with the Divine’s nature. This unity transcends the boundaries of the ego and material desires, leading to a state of inner fulfillment and peace.
The Role of the Individual: Integral Yoga acknowledges that each individual soul is both a collaborator and a helper on this spiritual journey. However, it also recognizes the ego’s limitations and potential to obstruct progress. Thus, practitioners of Integral Yoga must continually work to transcend their egos and embrace the broader, unifying purpose.
Guidance for Integral Yoga Practitioners: Integral Yoga offers guidance and principles to aid practitioners on their path. Abstaining from certain behaviors, such as sexual intercourse, smoking, and drinking alcohol, is recommended to maintain a pure and focused state of mind. The spirit in which activities are undertaken is considered essential for successful practice.
Integral Yoga in Action: Integral Yoga encourages active engagement with the world, rather than withdrawal from it. In Auroville, residents exemplify this practice by participating in various activities, always keeping the aim of integral transformation in mind. It is a Yoga of life, work, and service to humanity.
Sri Aurobindo’s teachings serve as the philosophical bedrock of Auroville’s Integral Yoga practices. This holistic approach to spiritual growth, rooted in ancient wisdom, emphasizes the harmonious integration of all aspects of human existence with the Divine. As Auroville continues to embody the principles of Integral Yoga, it stands as a beacon of hope for global human unity and inner peace through spiritual transformation.