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Sri Aurobindo

Letters of Sri Aurobindo

2. Integral Yoga and Other Paths

Fragment ID: 164

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Sri Aurobindo — Unknown addressee

March 3, 1937

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The heart spoken of by the Upanishads corresponds with the physical cardiac centre; it is the hṛdpadma1 of the Tantriks. As a subtle centre, cakra, it is supposed to have its apex on the spine and to broaden out in front. Exactly where in this area one or another feels it does not matter much; to feel it there and be guided by it is the main thing. I cannot say what M has realised – but what is described as the Self is certainly this Purusha Antaratma but concerned here rather with Mukti and a liberated action than with transformation of the nature. What the psychic realisation does bring is a psychic change of the nature purifying it and turning it altogether towards the Divine. After that or along with it comes the realisation of the cosmic Self. It is these two things that the old yogas encompassed and through them they passed to Moksha, Nirvana or the departure into some kind of celestial transcendence. The yoga practised here includes both liberation and transcendence, but it takes liberation or even a certain Nirvana, if that comes, as a first step and not as the last step of its siddhi. Whatever exit to or towards the Transcendent it achieves is an ascent accompanied by a descent of the power, light, consciousness that has been achieved and it is by such descents that is achieved the spiritual and supramental transformation here. This does not seem to be admitted in M’s thought; he considers the Descent as superfluous and logically impossible. “The Divine is here, from where will He descend?” is his argument. But the Divine is everywhere, he is above as well as within, he has many habitats, many strings to his bow of Power, there are many levels of his dynamic Consciousness and each has its own light and force. He is not confined to his position in the heart or to the single word of the psycho-spiritual realisation. He has also his supramental station above the heart-centre and mind-centre and can descend from there if he wills to do so.


1 hṛtpadma.– Ed.


2 CWSA, volumes 29, 35: the Maharshi


3 CWSA, volumes 29, 35: Brunton describes in his book


4 CWSA, volumes 29, 35: more


5 CWSA, volumes 29, 35: is to be achieved


6 CWSA, volumes 29, 35: This possibility does


7 CWSA, volumes 29, 35: the Maharshi’s


8 CWSA, volumes 29, 35: cord


9 CWSA, volumes 29, 35: mind-centres


10 CWSA, volumes 29, 35: wants


Current publication:

Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga // SABCL.- Volume 22. (≈ 28 vol. of CWSA).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1971.- 502 p.

Other publications:

[Largest or earliest found passage: ] Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Himself and the Ashram // CWSA.- Volume 35. (≈ 26 vol. of SABCL).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2011.- 658 p.

Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga. II // CWSA.- Volume 29. (≈ 22-24 vol. of SABCL).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2013.- 522 p.

Sri Aurobindo. Letters of Sri Aurobindo: In 4 Series.- Second Series [On Yoga].- Bombay: Sri Aurobindo Sircle, 1949.- 599 p.