The principle Patanjali set forth for the practice of samyajma provided that one would be identified with and gain complete knowledge with the object of the practice of concentration. Those who choose to identify with the vast galactic panorama of stars and space would find their consciousness widened and they would loosen the bonds of the narrow ego personality. Since the ego-personality is the knot of what the spiritual disciplines call bondage to the world of illusions, maya, this practice provides a useful opportunity to shift the consciousness to a wider and more disinterested sphere.

The Mother writes: “One must, if one can, widen one’s consciousness. I knew somebody who wanted to widen his consciousness; he said he had found a way, it was to lie flat on his back at night, out-of-doors, and look at the stars and try to identify himself with them, and go away deep into an immense world, and so lose completely all sense of proportion, of the order of the earth and all its little things, and become vast as the sky… you couldn’t say as vast as the universe, for we see only a tiny bit of it, but vast as the sky with all its stars. And so, you know, the little impurities fall off for the time being and one understands things on a very vast scale. It is a good exercise.”

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, Exercises for Growth and Mastery, Widening the Consciousness, pp. 150-155

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast 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.