An Introduction to Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga Psychology

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Integral Yoga Psychology based on the works of Sri Aurobindo has established itself as a legitimate academic entity. Integral Yoga Psychology provides a meta-theory and comprises an extensive body of related theories and practices, that has something distinct to contribute to global civilization. We believe that the introduction of Integral Yoga Psychology as a course of study and as a basis for research could awaken psychology in India into an active pursuit of understanding human nature and also greatly promotes wellness.

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Bharatiya Vijnan

Description

Integral Yoga Psychology based on the works of Sri Aurobindo has established itself as a legitimate academic entity. Integral Yoga Psychology provides a meta-theory and comprises an extensive body of related theories and practices, that has something distinct to contribute to global civilization. We believe that the introduction of Integral Yoga Psychology as a course of study and as a basis for research could awaken psychology in India into an active pursuit of understanding human nature and also greatly promotes wellness.

Bharatiya Vijnan

About the Course

Introduction

Over the last two decades (2002-22), Integral Yoga Psychology based on the works of Sri Aurobindo has established itself as a legitimate academic entity. Integral Yoga Psychology provides a meta-theory and comprises an extensive body of related theories and practices, that has something distinct to contribute to global civilization. We believe that the introduction of Integral Yoga Psychology as a course of study and as a basis for research could awaken psychology in India into an active pursuit of understanding human nature and also greatly promotes wellness.

Objectives

  • To create a basic understanding and critical appraisal of the various types of
    Knowledge is used in mainstream science and in the Indian tradition.
  • To develop critical appraisal for the inner, higher, and more intuitive type of knowledge.
  • To outline a yoga-based research methodology.

Expected Outcomes

  • At the end of the course, the learner will be acquainted with the basics of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga Psychology.

Beneficiaries

  • All seekers of knowledge, especially those wanting to know about a “Greater Psychology” (Sri Aurobindo).

Syllabus

  • Unit 1 Background: What the Indian Psychology can contribute- The two main points: Sachchidananda as the foundation of reality (an understanding of reality that encompasses both matter and spirit; consciousness and joy at the roots); Yoga as the technology of consciousness; The need for integrality and a comprehensive synthesis- Different concepts of consciousness and ways of understanding reality; The need for integrality; Why an integral synthesis of the various yoga traditions is needed and how it is to be done; Why an integral synthesis of science and Indian thought is needed and how it is to be done. (3 hours)
  • Unit 2- Sri Aurobindo’s concept of an ongoing evolution of consciousness- What Sri Aurobindo’s evolution of consciousness adds to Darwin’s purely physical evolution as background for our understanding of human existence; How an involution and subsequent emergence of such varieties of conscious existence could provide a credible third option between “evolution by design” and “evolution by chance”. (2 hours)

 

  • Unit 3- The various types of knowledge- The two Vedic kinds of knowledge: vidyā (knowledge by identity) and avidyā (socially-constructed knowledge); How according to the Isha Upanishad, vidyā and avidyā are equally needed; How they are used together in the hard sciences; Sri Aurobindo’s four types of knowledge in the ordinary waking consciousness (sense-based knowledge, introspection, experiential knowledge, knowledge by identity); The four knowledge realms in which these forms of knowledge can be used (objective, subjective, inner, and direct). (4 hours)
  • Unit 4- How to improve the quality of our psychological knowledge- Rigorous subjectivity: honing of the antaḥkaraṇa, the inner instrument of knowledge; Equanimity; Stages in the development of equanimity; Mental silence and the witness consciousness; Methods of becoming silent; Concentration (one-pointed and all-inclusive concentration). (2 hours)
  • Unit 5- Inner and higher knowledge- Intuition’s lookalikes: forms of “pseudo- intuition”; Intuition: true, unconstructed, pre-existing knowledge; Knowledge by intimate direct contact; Knowledge from other realms; Types of true intuition; Distortions and impurities; shadows on lower planes; Higher levels of the individual mind; Knowledge in the different (3 hours)
  • Unit 6- Towards a yoga-based research methodology- Yoga for healing and for knowledge; The predominance of similarities between subjective and objective research; Where yoga-based research goes beyond auto-ethnography; Developing an “objective”, impartial witness consciousness (introspection vs. witness consciousness). What IIP can add: Detailed and unbiased perception of normally subliminal processes; Active intervention in normally subliminal processes; (similar to the role of high-tech chemistry and physiology in medical research). (3 hours)

Suggested Readings

  • Aurobindo, Sri. (2010). The synthesis of yoga. Pondicherry, India: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust. Retrieved on August 14, 2016, from http://www.sriaurobindoashram.org/ashram/sriauro/writings.php
  • Aurobindo, Sri. (2007). A few representative short texts by Sri Aurobindo. Pondicherry, India: Sri Aurobindo Centre of Consciousness Studies. Retrieved on August 14, 2016, from http://www.saccs.org.in/texts/integralyoga-sa.php
  • Aurobindo, Sri. (2008). The integral yoga. Pondicherry, India: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust.
  • Aurobindo, Sri. (2007). A few representative short texts by Sri Aurobindo. Pondicherry, India: Sri Aurobindo Centre of Consciousness Studies. Retrieved on August 14, 2016, from http://www.saccs.org.in/texts/integralyoga-sa.php
  • Cornelissen, R. M. M. Infinity in a drop: an introduction to integral Indian psychology. Retrieved on August 14, 2016, from http://www.ipi.org.in/infinity/infinity-outline.php
  • Dalal, A. S. (Ed.) (2001). Greater psychology: An introduction to the psychological thought of Sri Aurobindo. New York: Penguin Putnam
  • Dalal, A. S. (Ed.) (2001). Our many selves. Pondicherry, India: Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Bharatiya Vijnan

About the Scholar

Scholar Name: Prof. Suneet Varma

Email id: forsuneet@gmail.com

Suneet Varma, Ph.D., is a Professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Delhi, India. His doctoral work was on ‘The Scientific Paradigm in Psychology: Challenges and Possibilities, which critiqued the Logical Positivist paradigm in Psychology and reviewed the potency of the Cultural Psychology/Social Constructionist perspective and Spiritual/Transpersonal Psychology as a more holistic, meaningful, and fruitful way of doing Psychology. Dr. Varma’s early work was in the area of Philosophy of Psychology/Theoretical Psychology. He now works in the area of Spirituality and Psychology, viz.-Vedanta, Yoga, Sufism, Buddhism, the Christian mystical tradition; and their links with Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga.

Bharatiya Vijnan

Course schedule and other details

Start Date: 02 July 2022

Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Sat & Sun)

Duration: 17 hours (8 Sessions, 4 Weeks)

Course Type: Cohort Course

Delivery: Live via Zoom

Eligibility: Anyone with written and spoken fluency and competence in the use of the English language (roughly Class 12 level), and a genuine thirst for deeper spiritual knowledge.

Contact: info@vedavaapi.org

Bharatiya Vijnan

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