Practitioners of Yoga speak of the opening of the Kundalini and the energy rising up from the base of the spine, through the various chakras and issuing out of the 1000 petalled lotus at the top of the skull. The experience of the rising of the Kundalini is a core development in many yogic practices. One of the disadvantages of this, however, is the potential for all kinds of unrefined energies from the lower chakras to be released and put in motion while the seeker is not yet fully prepared to deal with and manage them. This has led to some unfortunate consequences for many people.

The integral Yoga, however, starts with a different concept. The focus here is to develop the psychic opening of the heart, the purity, devotion and dedication needed to keep the aim true and the opening above to the higher Force which is then experienced as a descent from above, first impacting the mind, then the heart and eventually proceeding to open up the energies of the lower chakras. The opening of the mind and the heart help the seeker to maintain balance and perspective and thereby manage the energies that arise more effectively.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “It [the Mother’s Force] is the Divine Force which works to remove the ignorance and change the nature into the divine nature. … When I speak of the Mother’s force I do not speak of the force of Prakriti which carries in it things of the Ignorance but of the higher Force of the Divine that descends from above to transform the nature. … The Power above the head is of course the Mother’s — it is the power of the Higher Consciousness carrying in it a sense of wide and boundless existence, light, power, peace, Ananda etc. is always there above the head and when something of the spiritual Force comes down to work upon the nature, it is from there that it comes. But nothing like the full descent of the peace, bliss etc. can come so long as the being is not ready.”

“What you feel streaming down must be the Mother’s overhead Force. It flows usually from above the head and works at first in the mind-centres (head and neck) and afterwards goes down into the chest and heart and then through the movement of the whole body. … It is the effect of this working which you must be feeling in the head up to the shoulders. The Force that comes down from above is the one that works to transform the consciousness into that of a higher spiritual being. Before that the Mother’s Force works in the psychic, mental, vital and the physical plane itself to support, purify and psychically change the consciousness. … The Mother’s Force is not only above on the summit of the being. It is there with you and near you, ready to act whenever your nature will allow it. … All has to be done by the working of the Mother’s force aided by your aspiration, devotion and surrender.” Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 4 The Divine, The Gods and the Divine Force, The Mother’s Force, pp. 90-91

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at He is author of 16 books and is editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. Santosh is President of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.