The integral yoga is not an attempt to abandon this life and achieve some realisation beyond. There is no promise of a heaven of bliss, nor an escape from the difficulties posed by matter, life and mind and their interaction in the world. Even the achievement of any result in the integral yoga is difficult as there is no “cutting of the knot” by abandoning the difficulties of the nature to achieve a transcendent experience of an abstract Absolute; rather, there is the difficult effort required to understand and address the limitations, difficulties and obstacles posed by the body, by the life-energy and its needs and desires, and the mind, with its own limitations, fixed mode of action, and inability to grasp concepts that go outside its normal frame of action. The ego-personality continues to treat the individual as someone separate and essentially grappling with the other beings and fighting or conquering the environment in order to succeed in its own life. All of this runs counter to the truth of existence, which is one of unity and interdependence.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “The supramental is not grand, aloof, cold and austere; it is not something opposed to or inconsistent with a full vital and physical manifestation; on the contrary, it carries in it the only possibility of the full fullness of the vital force and the physical life on earth. it is because it is so, because it was so revealed to me and for no other reason that I have followed after it and persevered till I came into contact with it and was able to draw down some power of it and its influence. I am concerned with the earth, not with worlds beyond for their own sake; it is a terrestrial realisation that I seek and not a flight to distant summits. All other yogas regard this life as an illusion or a passing phase; the supramental yoga alone regards it as a thing created by the Divine for a progressive manifestation and takes the fulfilment of the life and the body for its object. The supramental is simply the Truth-Consciousness and what it brings in its descent is the full truth of life, the full truth of consciousness in Matter.” Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Supermind and the Earth, pp. 67-68

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. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.