Varieties of Yogic Experience and Integral Realisation

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Yoga: Its Distinguishing Features

Yoga as distinguished from religion is primarily a shastra and not system of beliefs, ceremonies, rituals and moral and spiritual disciplines related to the system of beliefs and prescriptions. As a shastra, it is a growing body of knowledge of truths, principles, powers and processes that govern the discipline of the body, life and mind and other higher faculties in search and realisation of psychic, spiritual and supramental reality or realities that lie beyond the body, life and mind, as also the consequences of that search and realisation for the individual and collective existence in the cosmos. Sri Aurobindo's book The Synthesis of Yoga is related to yogic experiences that can be attained by the application of yogic shastra, independent of any religion or any spiritual practice that is tied to any religion, even though spiritual disciplines of religions may coincide with or may adopt or recognise for their own aims some or other aspects of this shastra.

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