The True Aim of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga

The experience of a shift in consciousness from the human ego-standpoint to the divine standpoint, and the corresponding change in the direction and focus of action in the world, is not dependent on the form of religious devotion one may adhere to or practice, nor even on a philosophical ideology or any creed, belief system or dogma. It is a matter of actual experience in consciousness. The form of devotion, the exact method of knowledge, the sadhana that one has adopted is incidental and essentially loses its relevance when the consciousness actually shifts. Thus, Sri Aurobindo does not require adherence to a specific religious tradition. Along the way, there are times and circumstances where a specific type of sadhana, spiritual practice, may be helpful, and if such a practice is available to an individual through their traditional religious background, then they can take advantage of that practice for the limited purpose of working through a specific point in the process of change. In the end however, it is not a matter of someone practicing Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism or any other form of religious belief. It is a matter of a shift in consciousness.

Humanity has tried the approach of specific religious doctrines and it has led to conflict and warfare. It is time to move beyond this approach and look to the essential change needed. This also implies that regardless of one’s religious background, one can take up and practice the integral Yoga and work toward the transformation of human consciousness and life.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “This is Sri Aurobindo’s teaching and method of practice. It is not his object to develop any one religion or to amalgamate the older religions or to found any new religion — for any of these things would lead away from his central purpose. The one aim of his Yoga is an inner self-development by which each one who follows it can in time discover the One Self in all and evolve a higher consciousness than the mental, a spiritual and supramental consciousness which will transform and divinise human nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Introduction, pp. 5-6

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