The Nature and Power of Sincerity in the Practice of Integral Yoga

What exactly is the meaning of ‘sincerity’ in the context of the integral yoga, and what makes it so essential to the successful practice of this yoga? For most people, sincerity is a quality defined by adherence to a specific idea or belief and a direct translation of that belief into the external being in its relationships to the world. In other words, it is seen as a ‘transactional’ quality for interacting with others without duplicity or any form of intended deceit.

In the integral yoga, however, sincerity is an inward quality of creating coherence between the soul’s aspiration, the mind’s knowledge, the action of the life energy and even the responses of the body consciousness. The usual human form of sincerity in dealing with others is of course a natural consequence, but it represents only a small part of the quality of sincerity and its action in the life of the practitioner of yoga.

One of the biggest obstacles to achieving sincerity in the being is the ability of the vital nature to get the mind to justify just about anything it desires. Thus, sincerity is undermined by this dynamic and many things are done which are contrary to the yogic development. When the psychic being is active it can see through this process and provide the seeker both clarity and direction in maintaining the sincerity of the sadhana.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “There is one indispensable condition, sincerity.” The Mother notes: “Sincerity is the safeguard, the protection, the guide, and finally the transforming power.”

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Growing Within: The Psychology of Inner Development, Chapter III Growth of Consciousness Basic Requisites, pg. 32


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