Philosophy and Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and other Essays



The Meaning of Education and Yoga

There is at present a need to clarify the meaning and aim of Education, just as it is necessary to clarify the meaning and aim of Yoga. Yoga is often identified exclusively with Hatha Yoga and thus its true psychological nature remains quite veiled. Similarly, Education is often identified with vocational training or with some kind of mental culture, but its fundamental nature of integral psychological process remains quite veiled.

"Yoga", as Swami Vivekananda has said, "may be regarded as a means of compressing one's evolution into a single life or a few months or even a few hours of bodily existence." And, Education too, when rightly understood, would mean a rapid psychological process towards perfection. Education is a search for knowledge, and it is a search for values. It is also an uncovering of the layers of faculties, cultivation of them and perfection of them. It is a process of the discovery of the self, and it aims at a true self-knowledge, which gives liberation from ego and imperfections. Sa vidya ya vimuktaye. Education is a search for that knowledge which would fulfil oneself individually and as a harmonious member of the universe. But this is also the meaning of Yoga. By Yoga, says Sri Aurobindo, "We mean ... a methodised effort towards self-perfection by the expression of the potentialities latent in the being and a union of the human individual with the universal and transcendent existence we see partially expressed in man and in the cosmos."

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