The Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo's Teaching and Method of Practice
One of the foremost Indian philosophers of the twentieth century, Sri Aurobindo was also a political activist, a mystic and a spiritual leader. Between 1927 and 1950, Sri Aurobindo remained in seclusion while perfecting a new kind of spiritual practice he called the Integral Yoga. During this period he gave detailed guidance to disciples and seekers, responding to thousands of inquiries. This correspondence constitutes a major body of work on the practice of yoga-sadhana. The present volume brings together a comprehensive selection of Sri Aurobindo's letters, organized by area of interest. An ideal introduction to his work and vision, it will also serve as an invaluable daily handbook for seekers of all paths - beginners and experienced practitioners alike.
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Very useful in sadhana
From whatever I read so far, this comes out to be a very good book for those who want to progress in the spiritual path. The teachings only confirm the already known paths to self realization from the incomparable Gita, Samkhya, Vedanta , Tantra etc.
The beauty of the teachings is in the fact that Sri Aurobindo doesn’t hide the fact that divine grace is required for realizing the ultimate goal and doesn't attempt to explain how this grace can be obtained. Faith or belief in a supreme being that can shower this grace can help, according to Aurobindo, but this faith in itself is not a necessary condition for divine grace. There is no silver bullet in Sri Aurobindo's teachings, but provides a way that can lead a Sadhaka to his goal, provided of course, the latter has divine grace.
I am tempted to draw parallels on this aspect of divine grace. I have not yet read of a Yogi (may be barring Gopi Krishna, but I may be wrong here) who had managed to awaken super consciousness with out divine grace or intervention, from Adi Shankara to Paramahamsa Yogananda. All of them already had the inner calling from birth and their progress almost perfectly fitted, again by divine grace.
One aspect of Sri Aurobindo that is worth noticing is that Sri Aurobindo does not ascribe his sucess in Yoga to any specific Guru. His biography does mention one Bhaskar Lele, but Sri Aurobindo himslef has not specifcally mentioned any Guru, nor, unlike most others like him, does he say that you can achieve success only if you had a Guru. This is very encouraging for Sadhakas, a majority of who are their own Gurus
So how do we know if we have the grace or not? For, it seems pointless to practice if the grace is not going to be showered on you. Unfortunately there is no way to know this. What I would say however is that the fact that circumstances have arranged itself in such a way that one is reading this and other books on Yoga and Sadhana is in itself an indication that there is a high probability that this grace will be available in future, in this birth or may be in a subsequent birth or births. However, any practice one can do will only hasten the arrival of that grace.
As Lord Krishna says in Gita 'You have the right to action only , not to the fruits of your action'
An aspiring Sadhaka
The Object of the Integral Yoga
Asceticism and the Integral Yoga
THE INTEGRAL YOGA AND OTHER SYSTEMS
The Tantric Tradition
PLANES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
THE DIVINE THE GODS AND
Invisible Forces and the Divine Force
EXPERIENCES AND REALISATIONS
TRANSFORMATION OF THE NATURE
DIFFICULTIES IN TRANSFORMING
HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS IN YOGA
OTHER ASPECTS OF SRI AUROBINDOS
NOTES ON THE TEXTS
The Divine Grace
SADHANA THROUGH WORK MEDITATION