Famous Yoga Teachers – Sri Aurobindo

Famous Yoga Teachers – Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo, a famous yoga teacher, propounded Integral (purna) yoga in the early 1900s. He described this as an essential means to free ourselves from ignorance and learn the supreme truth about the divine power which reveals itself in the universe. The fundamentals of this vital yoga fuse and complement the teachings of karma, jnana and bhakti yogas. It can even be looked as a combination of the methods adopted by the East and the West to attain spiritualism. Purna in Sanskrit means complete or full, that is why it is also referred to as supra-mental yoga. It entails the technique by which one can unify all one’s part with the absolute and harmonize all conflicting elements to acknowledge the reality of the supreme force. According to his philosophy, man is able to take the next step and become superman; it is bound to happen as the logical evolutionary step of nature.

As the objective of this arm of yoga is the complete make-over of the individual, Sri Aurobindo informs in detail about the composition and its transformation in detail. The elements of the structure of the being are called ‘vertical’ and ‘concentric’. The vertical parts can be distinguished as physical, life force and the cognitive mind; psychic and spiritual aspects are the concentric parts. This famous yoga master devised integral psychology to explain complete transformation of the being. He also presented the idea of supra-mental experience or power; he stated that the mind is unaware of the truth and seeks it, while beyond that faculty is a permanent reality- conscious force or the super-mind. As humanity will take that next step, from its state of unawareness to an advanced state of understanding, it will move towards its improved existence.

If you want to be a true follower of this philosophy, as explained by the famous yoga master, you need to take three steps. First you must aim reaching the holy existence, next you must discard all selfish wishes and then give in or subjugate completely to the sublime authority. Sri Aurobindo, a researcher of both eastern and western societies, thought that there was not just one or a set way to practice this yoga philosophy. He felt that one is at liberty to perform Integral yoga as a routine of various yoga forms. Hatha yoga postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayamas) and purifying relaxation techniques (kriyas) will cleanse and fortify the body. Raja yoga meditation will harmonize and organize the mind.

Bhakti and karma yogas will enhance selflessness, perseverance and dedication as they inculcate habits of serving others without expecting any rewards. Jnana yoga will promote learning through self observation and Japa yoga, with repetitive chanting of mantras, will advance intellectual powers in you. Holistically, the entire regimen will enable you to strive for and attain physical as well as psychological goals of yoga. You learn to sustain with the will of the divine force, you exercise total control over your body and you find complete coordination between the psychic and physical elements of your being.

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