Sri Aurobindo, Mira Alfassa - The Mother -
and the Integral Yoga
by Michel Montecrossa
Sri Aurobindo created the Integral Yoga. Yoga means consciousness-growth. Integral Yoga means allcomprehending consciousness-growth for a harmonious and complete unfolding of man and his possibilities.
The starting point for this unfolding is the capacity to learn. Every human being is able to learn, to gather knowledge and experience. Our way through childhood is the expression of this impulse and its force is with us throughout life.
Learning and exploring lead to the next step of our unfoldment: creative assimilation and introspection, playfulness, unveiling of possibilities, the experience of dreams and imaginations.
This stage of unfoldment too begins in childhood and continues
The interaction between learning and growing creative imagination gives form to an inner or psychological world. Learning and the creative assimilation of its contents give gradual birth in this inner world to our individuality or person we feel to be the „I“.
This egoformation, which is completed to some degree in the final stages of childhood, enables us to be a functioning man in the external world. We are capable of comprehending interactions and we are in a position to put them into some order of sequence for the benefit of life and sustenance.
The egoformation not only is the psychological center for our external person, for our activities and attitudes which we apply in the surrounding world. Our ego is also in relation with inner worlds, with a multitude of psychological realities, through which we mould our sense of personality, experience it and realize also its limits; for it is the contact with the world and fellow beings that shows us the possibilities as well as the weaknesses of the ego.
For many their progress ends in this undecided state of being and limits itself to opportunism, compromises, struggle or resignation. The impetus of youth runs dry and the living dreams and their magic get squandered in normality. The ego ties itself to family, state, church and tradition or gets wrecked by them. Finally the circle of life nears completion, possibly satisfied with the feeling of having fulfilled one’s duty, possibly restless with many open questions.
But Sri Aurobindo says that growth of consciousness does not end with the formation of the ego. We can explore our inner worlds deeper and wider, can go beyond the limits of ego and find the divine.
Sri Aurobindo tells us, that the very fact of being conscious as a person enables us to open ourselves to that in us which is vaster and truer than the limited sense of I-ness. This self-opening can be achieved through faith, sincerity and surrender. Faith in the greater spiritual reality living within us, sincerity which enables us to move forward on the way of the inner discovery without self-deceit, surrender to the influence coming from the secrecy of our inmost spiritual reality which we can feel and – in moments of clarity – comprehend.
This is the method of the Integral Yoga. Its complex effects and modes of action Sri Aurobindo explains in his writings. Thus reading them gives the needed answers to questions on the way, enlightens and opens the consciousness to new ranges.
Surrender and self-opening to our inmost reality combined with faith and sincerity is the first step of the Integral Yoga, giving us access to the experience of this reality. In the further unfoldment we become conscious of the soul and her power of love, beauty, joy and oneness with the creation to be the center of our inner spiritual world, somewhat similar as we saw at first in our external being the ego to be the relating center for the activities in the material world.
With the initial sense of the soul’s atmosphere, and finally with the knowledge and experience of our soul, we have become conscious of our inmost reality and no longer live within ego-limits. We are united with our true being, which not only gave birth to our individuality but also is the origin of all human beings and the creation in its entirety.
As a result we are now living a psychic life, a life born from the soul, and we are able not only to experience love, beauty, creative joy, strength and unity within, but are fit to express and manifest them in the physical world.
Sri Aurobindo defines this state of consciousness-growth as the psychic transformation, enabling us to live to a great extent free from the limitations of the ego.
In the ever advancing perfection of this transformation grows within us the psychic being taking over authority for managing our life from the ego and finally replacing it. We are now ready to move into ever expanding reaches of consciousness-experience, unlimited renewal, inner youth, light of knowledge, blissful creative power and intense love, all of them through their mighty joy having lasting effects on the physical life. Our body feels strong, healthy and happy, commanding an increased power of rejuvenation. Spontaneous intuition for good habits, fortification of power for action and intensity of consciousness in body, life and thought unite for the fullness of changes leading us further into new domains of evolution envisaged by the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo.
These stages of development are the beginning of a practically
unlimited expansion of the initial possibilities of the psychic transformation,
starting with inmost states of being and then stretching into the most
external material realities. Thinking ever more takes on the substance
of light. It changes into vast intuition and is elevated into the supramental
mode of action, as Sri Aurobindo defines it, which replaces the slow and
often erring linear way of mental thought-process. The consciousness in
the body grows ever stronger so that the inner, spiritual forces finally
gain access to the cells of the body to work there.
The meaning of the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo thus is fusing the spiritual and material realities in the consciousness of man to establish an original divine unity making possible the fulfillment of life by revealing its goal and meaning.
The effective consummation of this goal and meaning, the consciously lived unity of spirit and matter, is not limited to the individual. To the degree that individual inner development takes hold of the external life, expansion into community action becomes a necessity. Exchange of knowledge for the building of a new world conductive to the growth of the new consciousness, realization of the oneness of spiritual and material life in the individual as well as in the communal being are therefore the conclusive next steps for the application of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga.
the City of Peace and Future Man in Italy as well as Miravillage,
the first satellite of Mirapuri in Southern Germany (in Gauting near Munich)
were founded for those who not only want to read about the Integral Yoga
but want to realize it in the inner as well as outer life of the individual
and the community; for those who want to realize peace through inner soul-development
which liberates from the problems of the ‘I’ and makes possible the unfolding
of future man through work for a world of hope where all can be at home
in love, joy and oneness.
MIRA ALFASSA – THE MOTHER,
MIRAPURI AND MIRAVILLAGE
For the detailed expression and manifestation of the aims of the Integral Yoga the coming together of Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa was of decisive importance.
Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa joined their forces and in powerful teamwork could enhance the realization of the Integral Yoga to the degree where it was accepted by the human consciousness and since then is moving further and unfolding its results through and for humanity.
Sri Aurobindo and Mira Alfassa lived what they taught. They had achieved the inner perfection which is the basis of the Integral Yoga and lived in true union of consciousness. Sri Aurobindo devoted the greater part of his life to the exclusive concentration on the most intense widening of inner experience and manifesting of corresponding consciousness-forces for the Integral Yoga. This work demanded from him a life in almost total seclusion. Therefore it was the task of Mira Alfassa to channel the flow of consciousness-energy emanating from Sri Aurobindo and his explorations to humanity. She not only created a growing community-life but above all opened up an infinite multiplicity of ways and possibilities for conscious inner liberation, giving to mankind the full chance of finding its soul.
Due to this exceptional capacity to be the creative power for the consciousness-explorations of Sri Aurobindo, Mira Alfassa became known as The Mother.
In the inner, psychological realities man since his evolutionary beginnings has seen and admired the force of consciousness as The Mother of all created things. This early archetypal or holistic way of comprehension through personifications and symbols still is a basic function of human perception.
But realities of consciousness are not merely symbols or solely suprapersonal. They embody themselves in various ways and in various degrees for which we ourselves as created beings are examples.
The greatness of consciousness-force, mythologically since ages named The Mother, can and has revealed itself several times in the course of human history and was then regarded as its embodiment. These beings often were endowed by birth with strong inner capacities or harbored an exceptional knowledge.
Mira Alfassa since early childhood had mystic and visionary capacities giving her profound insights into her life-destiny. They became the foundation for the intense development of her spiritual powers, revealing Mira Alfassa, soon after she joined Sri Aurobindo, as embodiment of the force of consciousness – as The Mother.
Sri Aurobindo saw this identity and established Mira Alfassa according to her spiritual stature in the realization of the Integral Yoga as The Mother.
It is the almost superhuman self-sacrifice of The Mother that made it possible for innumerable persons to gain inner progress they by themselves would never have been able to achieve and to find the secret of their soul. It is her achievement that more and more the importance of the actively lived unity of spirit and matter is recognized and finds practical expressions. It is her legacy to the world that her life and work are here as an active presence close to our inner being as she was before, guiding and helping everyone who wants to follow the Integral Yoga as she did in her life as Mira Alfassa.
in Italy and Miravillage
in Southern Germany (in Gauting near Munich) – its first satellite
– are born from the life of Mira Alfassa, they are a gift of grace by Sri
Aurobindo and The Mother for Europe and are there for all who have the
heart and soul to recognize it.