Integral Yoga is a yoga of Earth-transformation. Its aim is not an escape from life or a shunning of worldly existence but a transformative change in our life even while living amidst it. It is a yoga that can be done anywhere and by anyone, regardless of his outer antecedents. One need not be a brilliant intellectual or a woman with astounding capacities to be an entrant into this Path. Nor are we called upon to leave our vocations or abandon our work and present station or change outer situations, but to see them in a New Light and to act upon them with a New Consciousness.
New Perspectives – Integral Living
Today Dr. Basu addresses the very important topic of Karma and Rebirth, a subject near and dear to him. Contrary to conventional views on Karma and its relationship to rebirth, Sri Aurobindo states in Life Divine:
It is not conceivable that the Spirit within is … a slave in this life of its past actions; the truth must be less rigid and more plastic. If a certain amount of results of past Karma is formulated in the present life, it must be with the consent of the psychic being which presides over the new formation of its earth-experience and assents not merely to an outward compulsory process (of karma), but to a secret Will and Guidance. That secret Will is not mechanical, but spiritual; the guidance comes from an Intelligence which may use mechanical processes but is not their subject. Self-expression and experience are what the soul seeks by its birth into the body; whatever is necessary for the self-expression and experience of this life . . . , that is what will be formulated: for the principle is not the working out of a mechanism of Law, but the development of the nature through cosmic experience so that eventually it may grow out of the Ignorance.
As the topic of Karma and Rebirth is a very deep and rich one, we have extended the webinar time to 90 minutes, which will exclude time for Q&A.
Sri Aurobindo identifies power, wealth and sex as the three forces having the strongest attraction for the human ego. The Mother later comments: “I believe the three are interdependent and that all three have to be conquered to be sure of having any one – when you want to conquer one you must have the other two. Unless one has mastered these three things, desire for power, desire for money and desire for sex, one cannot truly possess any of them firmly and surely. . . . Each of these three things not only has its own value in the world of desires, but leans upon the other two.” [Question and Answers, Volume-4, page no.381-382]
In this New Perspectives webinar, Dr. Basu takes a critical look at each of these forces as well as their interdependence. Dr. Soumitra Basu is a psychiatrist working with consciousness paradigms. He conducts workshops on personal growth and is a Founder-Editor of NAMAH, the Journal of Integral Health. He has authored the book “Integral Health”.
Integral Yoga demonstrates a subtler, but more enduring and powerful means of self-protection, one which points the way forward if the human being fulfils its mandate to evolve. In this exploratory and practical session, James will share ways of reinforcing the subtle shield that surrounds us. He will also look at the gradations of immunity that are available to us. We need to untap these inner resources to move forward. Join this session and reach out to true immunity.
Currently Coordinating Editor of NAMAH , the Journal of Integral Health: www.namahjournal.com a quarterly journal published in Pondicherry, India. He is fascinated by the relations between growth, wellness, transformation and spirituality.
“One can speak of the chakras only in reference to Yoga. In ordinary people the chakras are not open, it is only when they do sadhana that they open. For the chakras are the centres of the inner consciousness and belong organically to the subtle body. So much as is active in ordinary people is very little—for in them it is the outer consciousness that is active.” (CWSA Vol 28, 231)
In this webinar, Dr. Sumitra Basu explains the chakras in relation to the planes of being-consciousness and their role in Integral Yoga.
Dr. Soumitra Basu is a psychiatrist working with consciousness paradigms. He conducts workshops on personal growth and is a Founder-Editor of NAMAH, the Journal of Integral Health. He has authored the book “Integral Health”.
Modern Science has restricted itself matter and material processes alone, considering all else to be derived phenomena or outside the scope of its exploration. Sri Aurobindo refers to “a greater science” which includes matter but extends beyond to embrace higher grades of consciousness. This discussion offers a first entry into this integral approach to science, and explores its technological implications. We get a glimpse of the extraordinary potential such a science holds for the future of humanity.
Sraddhalu Ranade is a scientist, educator and scholar residing at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. He has influenced over 5000 teachers throughout India through his immersive workshops on Integral Education. He has travelled all over the world in over 30 countries delivering lectures and conducting workshop on Integral Education, Management by Consciousness, esoteric sciences, self-development, the Integral Yoga and spiritual practices. He has addressed corporate groups from a variety of sectors and has been a speaker at several Rotary International conferences, the United Nations and other forums.
In this presentation, Marco Masi investigates consciousness, mind and the brain from the perspective of modern neuroscience and in relation to the spiritual cosmology of Sri Aurobindo. We will try to answer the question whether our mind and consciousness are only a material epiphenomenon of our brain, as the modern physicalist science assumes. We will discuss how science is slowly becoming aware that the present materialistic paradigm is increasingly untenable and it is discovering what Mother calls “the mind in the cells”.
Dr. Marco Masi worked as a scientist in universities in Italy, France and Germany. He has authored: Free progress Education, and two-volumes Quantum Physics: An Overview of a Weird World. Marco’s philosophical interest is in the synthesis of East and West – science and spirituality – as summarized in his latest book Spirit calls Nature.
The Faculties of Consciousness are the instrumentations by which Consciousness operates in this world. It is through seeing, hearing, thinking (imagining), speaking (communicating) and feeling (emoting and sensing) that we can function in the physical body, making it conscious. These are the representatives of Purusha, our Consciousness. In this webinar we shall review how the functioning of Consciousness was seen by the Vedic Rishis and how we deal with them in Integral Yoga.
Vladimir Yatsenko has an MA in Sanskrit language and literature, General and Theoretical Linguistics and a PhD in Indian Philosophy. He is a researcher and instructor in the field of Vedic and Vedantic Studies, Indian Philosophy, Philosophy of Language and Integral Yoga Psychology.
The once unbridgeable chasm between spirit and matter is closing. While the scientific method and scientific materialism have brought untold benefits to human, quantum physics has changed our view of matter as solid, objective and obvious to a view that is more complex and which includes the possibility that consciousness has a part in manifesting reality. This shift mirrors Sri Aurobindo’s Integral philosophy, which states that the universe is a manifestation of consciousness.
In this webinar, Lynda discusses the integration of Scientific and Yogic Knowledge.
There is a deep connection between consciousness and quantum mechanics, which has been obscured by a wrong interpretation of quantum theory’s mathematical formalism. What needs explaining is (i) why the general theoretical framework of modern physics is a tool for assigning probabilities to possible measurement outcomes on the basis of information provided by actual measurement outcomes, and (ii) why measurement outcomes enjoy the exalted status that they do.
Part 1 of this talk gives an overview of the forthcoming book on Consciousness-Based Psychology by Drs. Soumitra Basu and Michael Miovic. Emphasis is placed on some of its ground-breaking aspects, including the use of psychiatric medications by spiritual seekers, occultism, and the possession model of illness. Part 2 is a Question and Answer Session.
The Webinar is designed as a meditation with sprinklings of readings, explanations, contemplative questions on the topic to enable us to enlarge and deepen our understanding and practice of the uprooting of desire in a graded manner. The webinar will broadly cover the following themes, with time at the end for participation and sharing of personal experiences/anecdotes:
The Vedic Symbolism of the Four Boons received from the Lord are the conversion of the Four Primary Emanations into their Divine Prototypes: Darkness into Light, Suffering into Bliss, Falsehood into Truth, and Death into Life. In this presentation we shall try to answer the question why Sri Aurobindo chose the Myth of Savitri and Satyavan for his Magnum Opus.
Savitri is built upon layers and layers of spiritual experiences which Sri Aurobindo had in his yogic ascent, right from the day he had stepped on the Indian soil in 1893. Apart from the four major experiences which he had before going to Pondicherry, many of his explorations and experiments during the early days of his intense sadhana, 1910 to 1914, noted in his Record of Yoga, were collated in Savitri at appropriate places. Here is an attempt to find some such links between the two recordings.
Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga aims to accelerate the evolution of consciousness by an integral development of our whole being: body, heart, mind, spirit. The development of our surface being (our body-heart-mind organism) is part of sadhana, so we can be the most skilled instrument of the Divine possible, capable of the greatest contribution to the Divine unfolding.
The ongoing growth of our psychic being is reflected in the ongoing growth of our surface being or ego as well as our brain. When this growth slows down, we get symptoms such as anxiety, depression, brain fog and cognitive decline, which create interference with our deeper, inner guidance. Given the neurotoxic minefield of daily life, no one escapes this neurogenic slowing. This presentation aims to restore the brain’s natural health and growth so that our sadhana can proceed as rapidly as possible.
How does One become the Many? The ancient tradition considered that it was Maya which did the trick but Swami Vivekananda commented that Maya was a descriptive and not an explanatory term. Sri Aurobindo explained that the Unmanifest is programmed into creative potentialities in an integral cognitive matrix which he named as the Supermind. These potentialities become effectuating idea-forces at the level of the global cognitive field of the Overmind; each idea-force having the power to frame its own world. At the level of the ordinary mental cognition, the idea-forces become autonomous, oblivious of their unitary origin.
Can the human cognition rise to the level of the Supramental consciousness. Or, can the Supramental consciousness manifest in the earth-consciousness? Sri Aurobindo and The Mother explore these options through radical shifts in consciousness.
Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga puts the evolution of consciousness at the heart of this manifest universe. The psychic being is the evolutionary element within us, which develops progressively lifetime after lifetime toward greater consciousness, love, peace, light, joy and union with the Divine. Its location (on an inner plane) is behind the heart chakra, and the opening of the heart is essential to the awakening and coming forward of our evolving soul, our spiritual individuality.
Evolution is two pronged: outer and inner, collective and individual, extensive and intensive. This approach to evolution is the hallmark of Sri Aurobindo’s integral philosophy and yoga. This notion also ties up the ancient and modern ideas of the evolution of consciousness as well as that of the physical body.
The concept of the evolution of consciousness runs through all Sri Aurobindo’s major writings, for it opens up to the vision and possibility of the coming of the Superman – the next race beyond the human race.
New Perspectives – Transformation of Consciousness: Ascension-Descension and Deepening-Widening
We begin our life’s journey as babies entirely self-centered, feeling ourselves the center of the universe. With each step of our journey, Life teaches us to grow aware of others, to integrate our interests and needs with theirs and at the culmination of our life, to find greater joy in service to others than to ourselves. But these first lessons in widening suggest still greater possibilities of widening to embrace all humanity and even the universe itself in a cosmic consciousness and living in a cosmic delight. We explore the many steps and milestones on this journey to complete Self-fulfilment.
Going Within to Deeper Levels of Consciousness with Dr. Alok Pandey
As human beings living in these turbulent times, we look for stability, safety and happiness. We spend time and money to manipulate circumstances to get there, and yet the real key to this fulfilment escapes our grasp. For it is not found on the surface but in the depth of life. So, if we wish to change anything we must go within. This process is known as the deepening of consciousness. In essence it is an effort to dive deeper within in order to discover the Pearl of the greatest value at the core of our inner being.
In Aurobindonian terms, it is consciousness that is the fundamental matrix of reality and all that is, material or spiritual, it is consciousness that is manifesting in different forms and poises. But how can qualia manifest from non-qualia? It is an issue that cannot be understood unless we accept Sri Aurobindo’s view that it is consciousness that gets concealed in the Inconscience before revealing itself through evolution. This means that the Inconscience is phenomenal and not fundamental and this changes our whole perspective on how the being emerges and traverses the hierarchies of consciousness embodying progressively higher supra-cognitive faculties
The Divine is anantaguna, of infinite qualities, but there is a long tradition of distinguishing three major aspects of the Divine: the Cosmic (reached by the widening of consciousness), the Personal (by deepening) and the Transcendent (by heightening). In this New Perspectives webinar, Matthijs Cornelissen provides an overview of these approaches before discussing more specifically ascension to the higher levels of consciousness, and how according to Sri Aurobindo a deep integration of all three movements is required.
Other New Perspectives Integral Living Webinars
To juxtapose Physical Education and the body with Spirituality seems an anomaly as the body has always been considered an encumbrance in the spiritual pursuit. However, the most distinguishing aspect of Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s Integral Yoga is that its fulfillment includes the divinization of the body. The Mother states:
“You understand, people were asking to be divine in their mind and vital – that is, the whole history of spirituality, the same old theme for centuries – but now, it’s the BODY. It’s the body that asks to participate. Its certainly progress.”
In this New Perspectives webinar, Dr. Lakshman Sehgal, raised under the love and care of The Mother since the age of 4, addresses the unique role that the body has on our inner development and growth of the soul or psychic being. Dr. Sehgal is joined by his wife Hansa, who spent nearly a decade at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, and Vikas Bamba, Director of the Sri Aurobindo Center of Los Angeles.