The Synthesis of Yoga (2000-2001, Super school, Auroville) - Session 2 (23 October 2000)

We shall read this paragraph first. It is one of the most inspiring passages among the writings of Sri Aurobindo.

The supreme Shastra of the integral Yoga is the eternal Veda secret in the heart of every thinking and living being. The lotus of the eternal knowledge and the eternal perfection is a bud closed and folded up within us. It opens swiftly or gradually, petal by petal, through successive realisations, once the mind of man begins to turn towards the Eternal, once his heart, no longer compressed and confined by attachment to finite appearances, becomes enamoured, in whatever degree, of the Infinite. All life, all thought, all energising of the faculties, all experiences passive or active, become thenceforward so many shocks which disintegrate the teguments of the soul and remove the obstacles to the inevitable efflorescence. He who chooses the Infinite has been chosen by the Infinite. He has received the divine touch without which there is no awakening, no opening of the spirit; but once it is received, attainment is sure, whether conquered swiftly in the course of one human life or pursued patiently through many stadia of the cycle of existence in the manifested universe.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga - I: The Four Aids

There are so many treasures in this paragraph and we need to dwell upon it in many ways. So we shall stop and look into the treasures. We shall first only note down all the important words which are used and then pursue each one of them in detail.

The first word is supreme Shastra,—not only shastra but supreme Shastra. That is an important word. The other word is Integral Yoga, not yoga but Integral Yoga. The next is eternal Veda, then are eternal knowledge and eternal perfection, after we have Eternal and Infinite, teguments of the soul, then the next is one full sentence: “He who chooses the Infinite has been chosen by the Infinite.” Then comes attainment, it is sure. These are the words or expressions we shall dwell upon.

Let us see supreme Shastra. We have already seen the meaning of shastra in the first paragraph. So we shall go back and revise this word shastra. Shastra is the knowledge of the truths, principles, powers and processes that govern the realisation. It is a scientific body of knowledge, of the truths, principles, powers and processes of yoga. Yesterday I told you that there are many shastras of yoga: Veda, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita are shastra. Then there are many other shastras like the shastra on yoga written by Patanjali. Patanjali is a very great philosopher of India whose very philosophy is known as yoga philosophy. He has written in small phrases the whole yogic system. And there are many others. We have to distinguish between all these shastras and the supreme shastra. It is the supreme shastra because it belongs to Integral Yoga. The word Integral Yoga is referred to specially to explain the word supreme. The Integral Yoga is the theme of this entire book The Synthesis of Yoga. So the world supreme shastra and Integral Yoga are inter-related. And the third word which is inter-related is eternal Veda.

There is the Veda,—four Vedas: Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda. These are called Vedic samhitas. Samhita means anthology, a collection. Collection of a number of verses is called a Samhita. It is only an anthology therefore that means there must be a much bigger collection. It is even said anantaha vedaha. Anantaha means limitless are the Vedas. Even the four books of the Veda that we see physically are only a small selection. There is much more which has not been collected; and they are limitless, in the sense that you cannot even collect; limitless because they contain the knowledge of the infinite. Infinite being infinite the knowledge of the infinite also is infinite and therefore the Vedas are also infinite. The infinite is eternal and therefore the knowledge of the eternal is also eternal. Therefore that Veda is eternal Veda.

Why do we use the word Integral Yoga? First we must know what Yoga is. Actually this is a question we should have raised right at the beginning. But I deliberately did not do it because very often when we study a subject we allow it to be understood roughly, as a pedagogical way of understanding, you take for granted that you know,– in whatever way you may know it. When I used the word Yoga, I knew you had heard the word and I assumed it would make a figure in your mind,—it is only later that we entered into the subject and now one must polish one's understanding of it. Yoga is a Sanskrit word but a word which has become quite common now in a number of languages. In any case in English, French and all international languages the word yoga is used as a native word, but originally the word is Sanskrit. It comes from the root yuj which means to join, to unite. The concept means, it assumes that there is a process of joining. Yoga is a process of joining. Joining of what, of whom,—joining of that which is separated. That which was separated is to be joined now.

I come to a definition of yoga which Sri Aurobindo has given in full (page 2):

For we mean by this term a methodised effort towards self-perfection by the expression of the secret potentialities latent in the being and—highest condition of victory in that effort—a union of the human individual with the universal and transcendent Existence we see partially expressed in man and in the Cosmos.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga - I: Life and Yoga

It is a difficult sentence, but yoga is a difficult matter and we have agreed to do a difficult task so we shall not be defeated by any difficulty.

“For we mean by this term a methodised effort…” a methodised effort is an important word. There can be efforts which are not methodical. We do a lot of works in the world haphazardly. We sleep in a haphazard manner, we walk in an haphazard manner, we eat in an haphazard manner, we talk in an haphazard manner, even when we do a labour of any kind, we do it in a very unorganised and very irregular manner, unpunctually; but yoga is none of this. As long as we are irregular, unpunctual, haphazard it means that we have not done any yoga. Yoga means a methodised effort. It is an effort which is methodised, a methodical procedure. This is a very distinguishing feature. You remember when we were defining definition we had said that definition implies differentia; you should have one word in your definition which is a differentia. We go back to our definition of definition. We had said, “Definition is a statement in regard to a term in which we give reference to a term larger than the term which is in question.” When we say man is an animal, man is a term to be defined; when you say animal, animal is a larger term than man because cat also is an animal, the world animal includes many-many things including man. In a definition you should have a term larger than the term you are defining. Man being defined as an animal is a correct way of defining because you are given a term larger than the term you are defining. But that is not enough, there should be something more, a term larger than the term to be defined in addition to differentia which indicate the exact distinction from the larger term in regard to this term. When we say, man is a rational animal; the word rational distinguishes man from all other animals. If you say man is an animal it is not a complete definition, but when you say that man is a rational animal or an ethical animal or man is an aesthetical animal, then you are defining him properly. Similarly if you say, yoga is an effort, it is a good movement towards the definition, but not yet enough. Yoga is a methodised effort; it is distinguished from many kind of efforts. You can see that Sri Aurobindo statements are so precise, that everything is done perfectly well. Yoga is a methodised effort, so the distinguishing feature, the differentia is methodised. Effort is a larger term; a larger term is called genus. There should be in every definition something in it specific from all others.

“For we mean by this term a methodised effort…” but this is not enough, differentia still continues. It is a methodised effort because there are many kinds of methodised efforts in the world. When you keep accounts in your office it is also a methodised effort. How to distinguish yoga from so many methodised efforts? So Sri Aurobindo gives further differentia and he says, “methodised effort towards self–perfection…” This is the important word. The word perfection itself is a very difficult word to understand. When you say this is perfect what does it really means? There are many things that you can call perfect. It is not complete, so Sri Aurobindo goes forward: “… self–perfection by the expression of the secret potentialities latent in the being…” You can be perfect in dressing yourself and say that it is perfect. Your dress is perfect, but if you make yourself perfect by dressing that is not yoga because it is not an expression of the potentiality latent in you. And even if dressing is a part of your aesthetic feeling it is not enough. All the potentialities of your being are to be led towards perfection. Whatever is potential in you, whatever are the possibilities in you, you develop them to the highest possible degree and then you have satisfied the condition of yoga.

Let us repeat. By yoga we mean a methodised effort towards self–perfection by the expression of the secret potentialities latent in the being. This is half the definition as yet. We still have to go to the other differentia. “… and … a union of the human individual with the universal and transcendent Existence…” Now we have three terms here: the human individual, universal existence and the transcendent existence. When these three are united by means of a methodised effort then you have yoga. The last phrase is simply adjectival because if somebody asks the question: “What is universal existence, what is transcendental existence?” then Sri Aurobindo’s answer is that we see both of them partially expressed in man and in the cosmos. If you want to understand what is universal and transcendental existence the answer is that you can know them partially, to some extent, because it is expressed partially in man and in the cosmos.

For we mean by this term a methodised effort towards self-perfection by the expression of the secret potentialities latent in the being and—highest condition of victory in that effort—a union of the human individual with the universal and transcendent Existence we see partially expressed in man and in the Cosmos.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga - I: Life and Yoga

We should come back to this definition again and again, perhaps a thousand times, because the whole book being a book on yoga we shall have to come back to this word again and again. But what is important to note is that yoga is, first, a methodised effort. That is the distinguishing feature of yoga. The second is the goal of this effort is self-perfection and that this self-perfection is effectuated by development of the potentialities which are already in us. Whatever is latent in us, whatever is potential; whatever is possible you develop those potentialities to the highest perfection. This is one part of the definition,—methodised effort towards self-perfection by the expression of the potentialities latent in man. The second part of the definition is: it is a methodised effort towards the union of the human individual with the universal and transcendent existence,—when these three terms are united that is the completion of yoga. When there is an effort towards it, it is also yoga. Yoga is both the process and the result. When you unite completely, that is yoga completed, it is called yoga siddhi, but the process is also yoga. That is why Sri Aurobindo utilises the words 'effort towards'. The word towards is very important because even the process, when you are moving towards it is also yoga. These are the words to be remembered for yoga.

Having understood this, Sri Aurobindo has used the words Integral Yoga. What is Integral Yoga? The fact is that Integral Yoga integrates different yogas. There are many systems of yoga. Every yoga has three elements in it. This is the best way of understanding the Integral Yoga on one side and other yogas on the other. Let us at least give some names to different yogas. It will be easier for us to understand.

There is a system of yoga which is called Hatha Yoga, then there is Raja Yoga (Raja means royal, it is a Royal Yoga), then there is Karma Yoga (yoga of works), then there is Jnana Yoga (the yoga of knowledge), then there is Bhakti Yoga (yoga of devotion). These are the main systems of yogas. There are many others but we shall restrict ourselves only to five. Whenever you hear the word yoga, to understand that particular yoga best, you should ask three questions, so you can grasp every yoga very easily.

What is the goal of the yoga, the object, the aim of the yoga? This is the first question you should ask. The second question you should ask is: What is the instrument by which the goal is sought to be achieved? The third question you should ask is: What is the process by which the instrument is exercised so that the goal is achieved? If you ask these three questions with every system of yoga then you will get a precise idea without much difficulty.

What I am telling you, which is so simple, I took five years in my own life to arrive at this conclusion. You can see how Sri Aurobindo makes it so easy. I used to ask this question from the age of sixteen: What is yoga? And so many people I met and so many questions I put to them and such confusing answers I was given that I was totally blind in regard to this question: what is yoga? Only when I came to Sri Aurobindo and read this book did I find that he taught us how to answer this question, ‘what’ is yoga, in a very precise manner. And he has stated here that every yoga has three aspects. In the first place I didn't even know that there are many yogas because people speak of yoga in a very general way,—that there are many systems of yoga. Everyone who speaks of yoga speaks as if there is only yoga and there are no other yogas at all. This was a big question in my mind. Somebody says yoga is this, somebody says yoga is that, and there is such confusion that it took me five years to clarify my mind on this question. You get it very easy in five minutes. That is called progress, the benefit of coming later in life. Others have laboured and you get the fruits very easily but that is the privilege of everybody. You have now the privilege of knowing the key by which you can get a precise idea of different systems of yoga. First of all you come to know that there are different systems of yoga and then if you ask these three questions you get a precise idea.

What is the aim of Hatha yoga? The aim of Hatha yoga is a methodised effort by which you can attain the perfection of the body. This is the minimum aim of Hatha yoga. The perfection of the body is not sought after by Raja yoga, nor by Bhakti yoga, nor by Jnana yoga, nor Karma yoga. But Hatha yoga insists upon the perfection of the body. It is yoga because it aims at perfection. What is the instrument? The instrument is the body itself. The body has potentialities and possibilities and Hatha yoga proposes to use the potentialities of the body so that you can arrive at its total perfection. The next question is: What is the process? The process is asana. Hatha yogis have found out the means of perfecting the body, by a process. If you sit in special and different kinds of postures then various potentialities of the body develop. This is the secret knowledge found out by hatha yogis. Hatha yogis found out that merely by sitting in a particular posture certain faculties and capacities of the body develop. There is another process called pranayama. Pranayama is the control of breath. If you breathe in a particular manner it develops the faculties of the body. This is now known very well. In fact, all over the world when they speak of yoga they mean only asanas and pranayama. They only refer to Hatha yoga. That there are many other yogas is not even told to people. People are simply told yoga is breathing exercises and asanas. There are many kinds of postures for the body and the greatness of this yoga is that they discover so many intricate processes of postures. To make a study of Hatha yoga itself is a long process and if you practice Hatha yoga it is a very-very long process.

And the results, the aims of Hatha yoga are known. It gives you tremendous health, even if muscle power is not developed. Hatha yogis are not muscle men but their health is extremely great. They can bear any kind of cold, any kind of heat. The body has become so powerful that even in winter they can go into the Ganges and swim without any difficulty at all. We have heard the story of the yogi Dayanand Saraswati who every night used to go to the bank of Ganges almost naked and sleep on the cold sands even in mid-winter without any effect of cold at all. This is only one of the potential achievements of the body. The body can achieve this perfection. The processes are only two: pranayama and asana. So, the instrument is the body and pranayama and asana are methodised. The minimum method of pranayama is inhalation and exhalation —but methodically. Normally we breathe just like that but in yoga you make it a methodised effort. You breathe in a certain process and there is a time limit given: your inhaling is half the time of exhaling, and then there is what is called Kumbhaka when you keep the breath steady in your body neither exhaling or inhaling and you slowly increase this time so the breath reaches every part of the body.

Normally we exhale and inhale so fast that the breath does not reach all parts of the body. Keeping the breath in the body is very important. There are many results that come such as strength and other capacities. Many methodical methods have been found out by hatha yogis as the result of which you get tremendous capacities of the body. There are many hatha yogis who attain such strength they can bend steel merely by puffing up the breath in the breast; the body can be made as light as possible, like a feather; it can be made as heavier as an elephant. These are the potentialities which have been tested, verified. I have myself seen a hatha yogi in a big conference where the yogi lay on the floor and said, you lift me now. And four muscle-men came forward and they couldn’t lift him. It was a very heavy body. After some time he said, now lift me again, and he was so easily lifted, like a feather. It is only a question how you breathe, and the power of breathing, as the result of which you can be heavy or very light. The hatha yogis can even live without breathing. The yogi can be put down in a cave of earth where no oxygen moves, it is purely solid, and the yogi can remain for hours and when you open the soil afterwards he comes out as alive as you and I are. These are proven facts; it is not as if these are stories or fictions. In many parts of India you have hatha yogis who can manifest these powers. They can prolong their life for an indefinite period. I have met a yogi in Uttar Pradesh called Devariya Baba, a very famous name. How old he was nobody knew, but it was said that he was at least four hundred years old and he used to remain absolutely naked in summer and in winter. When I met him it was winter and he was sitting far away and when I went there he himself told his disciple to call me. There were many people, it was a big crowd but from far he spotted me and said, call him. He said some very nice things about me and then he said: “Now I want to swim.” His platform was on the banks of Yamuna, the water was absolutely cold, and he just jumped into the water, naked, and swam in the water for quite some time and then he came out. I have seen a man of this kind myself. His eyesight was perfect at this old age; he could spot me from such a long distance; he could speak very nicely, there was no sign of any feebleness in his voice, only his body looked quite old, that is a fact. But he was more than a hatha yogi, he was also doing a lot of other yogas. In India you have many extraordinary feats of Hatha yoga and these results are not imaginary: they can be verified. It is a proof that yoga is a scientific process, as in a laboratory you can see the results, even so by the practice of yoga you can produce effective results.

Let us now summarise. Hatha yoga is a process of breath control and posture of the body by means of which the potentialities of the body are developed to their highest possible perfection. The aim is perfection of the body; the instrument is the body; and the method is asana and pranayama.

Let us now study Raja yoga. The aim of Raja yoga is to attain to the perfection of mental powers and secondly the discovery and realisation of the Immobile Individual distinguished from all which is mobile. In our normal experience we see only that which is mobile. Even what is immobile, like matter, stone, even that is in some way mobile. Even the stone gradually becomes dust, maybe after thousands of years, because it is mobile. As you now every material piece consists of electrons and protons which are in constant motion. Therefore even the so-called stable things are really mobile. Raja yoga aims at the discovery of the Immobile Individual as distinguished from the mobile. It is a discovery because normally you don’t find something immobile. That which is mobile is called Nature. All nature is mobile. In Sanskrit the world nature is called Prakriti. The Immobile individual is called in Sanskrit Purusha. One special attribute of Purusha is that it is immobile. It may be mobile but also it is immobile. This is an important point. The way by which you can distinguish between Purusha and Prakriti is that while Prakriti is always mobile Purusha is in any case immobile,—even though it is mobile also but it is also immobile. But according to Raja yoga Purusha is immobile? It is never mobile. When you go further in Integral yoga you will find that Purusha is also mobile. But Raja Yoga only gives the realisation of the immobile Purusha as distinguished from mobile Prakriti. And when this happens, when you discover the immobile Purusha you have an experience of release. The teguments, the ties, that you have with your body, with what is mobile, they seem to be broken. The ties are supposed to be your bondage, the ropes of bondage by which you are tied. According to Raja yoga the aim is to give the discovery of the immobile individual,—the Purusha in an experience in which the individual feels that the teguments by which he is tied to mobility, vanishes. It is also called the experience of liberation; we feel liberated. Nothing, nothing, nothing touches you thereafter. Sorrow does not touch you, happiness does not touch you, relations does not touch you, body does not touch you. Even when the body is in pain Purusha is experienced to be immobile. It is an extraordinary experience that you gain. That is the aim. It is two fold: perfection of the mental powers, and release of the immobile Purusha from the ties of the mobile Prakriti.

The mental powers of a Raja yogi are tremendous. There is one full chapter given by Patanjali in his book on yoga in which the powers of the mind are described. One of the powers of the mind is to know the language of the birds and if you practice the Raja yoga you can understand the language of the birds. You can know what is happening thirty thousand kilometers away and you can see the objects very clearly regarding that subject. As in Hatha yoga, there are the powers of the body; there are numerous powers of the mind. There is a very interesting chapter in the Collected Works of Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda has given lots of lectures as you know and one of the lectures was on the powers of the mind. He has described his encounter with a yogi who had developed many powers of the mind. One of the experiences when he went to meet this Raja yogi was: That yogi gave him a piece of folded paper and said: “Don’t open it.” So, Vivekananda put this piece of paper in his pocket and there was long talk and afterward the yogi suddenly said: “I can tell you, what is your mind? Think of an idea... So he thought of an idea, a very difficult idea and that too in a language which Vivekananda thought this man will never know. Then he wrote down that sentence and gave it to the yogi. Then the yogi said: “Now please open the piece of paper which I gave you when you came in.” It was exactly the sentence which Vivekananda wrote much after coming into the room and he said: “I had decided that you will think of this when I ask you to think.” This is an example given by Vivekananda of his own personal experience. It is not fiction. This is the power of the mind. Raja yoga can develop extraordinary powers of the mind. There is a special chapter in the Patanjali yoga which is called Yoga Sutra. Sutra means aphoristic expression. In that chapter there is a part called Vibhuti Pada,—vibhuti means extraordinary powers. You can read this chapter one day.

Now the question is what is the instrument? Just as in Hatha yoga the instrument was the body, similarly in Raja yoga the instrument is the mind. Raja yogis don’t do all kinds of asanas except one or two, Raja yogi concentrate upon the mind. Mind is the instrument, the conquest of the mind.

What is the process? The process is a gradual movement of the mind by which it attains to concentration in the state of stillness. The mind is used for developing a capacity of concentration to such a degree that in the state of concentration there is complete stillness, complete silence of the mind. This is the process, gradual process and gradual movement.

In Raja yoga there are eight steps of the process. The first two steps are the longest. They take a very long time, years and years. The first step is called yama and the second niyama. In Raja yoga you cannot attain to the stillness of the mind unless you practice this for years and years. Yesterday I spoke to you of five yamas: satya, ahimsa, brahmacharya, aparigraha, asteya,—truth, non-violence, self-control, self-limitation to the minimum, and non-stealing. These are the five great yamas. In Raja yoga you cannot attain to the stillness of the mind unless you practice this for years and years. Then the mind becomes controlled a little when you do this practice for years. Be truthful always, be non-violent, control your senses again and again and again in all different circumstances. And then niyama: you must follow rules of daily life. You should first have cleanliness, be absolutely clean every day, then have contentment, no grudges, no grumblings. Whatever happens you bear, endure and be contented. It is a very difficult task to be contented. Then comes swadhyay,—study regularly. Regular means exactly at the right time you should read, not at irregular times? Ten thirty means that at ten thirty you must be here and study by yourself, it is free progress, not imposed upon you, on your own you want to study, even if it is difficult you will study. Then comes Ishvara pranidhana? Submission to the Divine. These are what are called niyamas, regular practices in every circumstance for many-many years. When you have done this then you do pranayama or you can simultaneously do pranayama, breathe control and asana, but not as in Hatha yoga. Simple pranayama, exercises of inhaling, exhaling and retaining. Puraka, Rechaka, Kumbhaka. In Hatha yoga these three processes are long processes, various kinds of retaining for long-long hours. In Raja yoga it is just enough, comfortable. There is no insistence that you must be a great controller of your breath and asana. In the case of Hatha yoga there are various kinds of asanas, scores of them. But in Raja yoga any posture in which you feel comfortable is enough, but you should be able to sit in one posture for hours. It is one condition. Normally we sit in a comfortable position, then we change it after sometime, becoming comfortable again and changing it again. In Raja yoga normally what is proposed is that your back should be straight and erect. The spinal cord should be straight, your head must be erect not drooping down, absolutely straight and you should be able to keep your feet crossed but comfortably. For many people that is not easy. In India, of course, most of the children right from childhood sit in cross legged form, so there is no problem. But it is not imposed that it should be only one kind of posture, whatever posture you decide. You can even lie down; it is also a posture but lie down completely still —not tossing about in the bed which is not asana. Asana means seated in a still form, really seated. To be able to live in one place for years is also asana. Human beings have the habit of loitering, going from one place to another but according to Raja yoga you should be able to live in a place for years and years and years. But the minimum is one comfortable posture and for quite some time you should be able to keep it. Once you are comfortable in one posture and remain in that posture for quite some time then you begin the real practice of Raja yoga. All this is preliminary. Now comes the real process.

The real process is the withdrawal of the mind from everything else excepting one object which you chose. You can choose any object as you like, a book or a stone or the tip of a flame, you may even keep as object a word such as aum; just keep your consciousness upon the letters of the word; any object you concentrate upon, the condition is that you withdraw your mind from everything else. That is a difficult task. The mind runs after many-many things particularly when you want to centralise your attention on one object. To withdraw the mind from all the other objects excepting one that you have chosen is the fifth step of Raja yoga. The first step is yama, the second is niyama, third step is asana, the fourth is pranayama then the fifth is pratyahara. The meaning of pratyahara is to withdraw the mind from all other objects except the one that you have chosen. The emphasis is upon withdrawal. Whenever the mind runs you just withdraw it, it is like horses running and you control them. And the sixth step is when you can fix the mind on that object for sometime at least. Having withdrawn your mind from all others your mind should be able to dwell, at least for some time, on the object that you have chosen. You should not be deflected at that time, remain absolutely on that spot, at least for some time. This is called dharana in Sanskrit. Then comes the next step, when you can dwell upon that object for a long time. That is called dhyana. It is the seventh step of Raja yoga. Dhyana is a concentration, called either meditation or concentration. Concentration has two varieties, meditation and contemplation.

Then comes the eighth step: samadhi. The word samadhi is very famous all over the world. Samadhi means the absorption of the mind in the object. There is no difference between your mind and the object, the idea and the object become one. And in that state the object becomes luminous. All that is in the object becomes known to you, the object reveals itself. You don’t need to read the books; this is the secret of Raja yoga. Swami Vivekananda has written somewhere? You must know a lot about Vivekananda because he did yoga in a very extraordinary manner in the short time of his life. He says: “If I knew in my childhood the power of yoga, the power of concentration of the mind I would have spent my time in developing concentration rather than reading books because if you know concentration then any knowledge that you want can be acquired, even without reading books.” This is the secret that Raja yoga has discovered. By external knowledge you can get a good deal, by reading, by hearing, you can get a lot of knowledge that is true, but even without reading, without hearing if you just concentrate upon an object the knowledge automatically blooms in you. This is the discovery of Raja yoga? An extraordinary discovery. You can command knowledge. Therefore a Raja yogi if he wants any knowledge he just concentrates upon the object and the knowledge flows. This may look like magic but this is the claim of Raja yoga. If you concentrate upon any object the object reveals itself. The concentration has such a power. Even when you read you will find that if you don’t attain concentration you don’t understand. It is a fact. That is why people say read with concentration because concentration is the real means; if you don’t concentrate, knowledge will not grow in you. So, even when you use external methods the real method of knowledge is concentration. Only when you concentrate you gain knowledge. These are the eight steps. This is the process of Raja yoga.

The aim is, as I told you, perfection of the mental power and the discovery of the immobile Purusha freed from all mobility of nature. The instrument is the mind and the method, the process is eight-fold: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi.

Tomorrow we shall deal with Karma yoga, Jnana yoga, Bhakti yoga and you will see in each yoga the aim is specific, the instrument is specific and the process is specific. Once we gain the knowledge of all the yogas then we shall be in a position to understand the word Integral yoga.