The Project of History of Indian Philosophy, Science and Culture - Project of Yoga and Consciousness

Project of Yoga and Consciousness



An Explanatory Statement




Kireet Joshi

Project of Yoga and Consciousness

Project of Yoga and Consciousness

This project has been undertaken jointly by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research under the auspices of its “Sri Aurobindo Centre of Consciousness Research” and the Centre for Studies in Civilizations, both of which are located in the Darshan Bhawan, 36, Tughalakabad Institutional Area, M.B. Road, New Delhi -110 062.

This Project is, in fact, a part of the Sub-Project of a much larger Project of the Centre for Studies in Civilizations under the general title “Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture (PHISPC)”, which aims at bringing out in 50 volumes an interconnected account of the development of Science, Philosophy and Culture from the time of the Dawn of Civilisation in India right up to the present day. Twenty three volumes of this Project have already been brought out.

At the request of the Government of India, the Centre for Studies in Civilizations has added a Sub-Project on the theme of Consciousness and proposes to bring out 28 volumes in order to cover a vast panorama of subjects that will cover Consciousness, Science, Society, Value and Yoga (CONSSAVY). The Indian Council of Philosophical Research is grateful that this sub-project has been conceived comprehensively and is now being planned for execution. The Council has, under its “Sri Aurobindo Centre of Consciousness Research” decided to extend all possible support and collaboration with the Centre for Studies in Civilizations in respect of this entire sub-project, particularly, that aspect of it which is centred on Yoga and Consciousness.

In the background Note which has been circulated among all the invitees to this National Consultation Seminar has indicated that the Seminar will concentrate on the following issues:

  1. Determination of the scope and thrust of the Project on Yoga and Consciousness in Indian Culture, as a part of the larger project of CONSSAVY which is itself a part of a still larger Project of Indian History of Science Philosophy and Culture (PHISPC);
  2. Identification of institutions and scholars who could be invited to participate in the proposed theme, and who could be invited to contribute to specific themes through well articulated and authentic statements in the form of papers and essays;
  3. and Determination of the subjects of forthcoming seminars and workshops that should be held during the year 2002-03.

As a result of the informal discussions that were held with a few scholars and experts, it is felt that the Project could concentrate on developing at least five large volumes which would cover various topics, and these volumes could be organised tentatively in the following way:

Project of Yoga and Consciousness

Project of Yoga and Consciousness

Volume 1, Meaning and Nature of Yoga:

Distinguishing characteristics of Yoga; distinction of yoga from religion, occultism, philosophy, science, art and technology; yoga as applied philosophy and yoga as education; yoga as science and technology of consciousness; yoga as practical psychology.

Mystery and wonder of consciousness; consciousness in physical sciences, biological sciences, and psychological sciences; consciousness creative power; consciousness and power of self-limitation; consciousness and its various powers of concentration: exclusive concentration, multiple concentration and integral concentration; consciousness and the process of involution and evolution; evolution as the yoga of Nature; relationship between life and yoga; limitations of human consciousness; the concept of ignorance; phenomena of ignorance and boundaries of ignorance; yoga as a methodised effort to transcend Ignorance and Human Bondage; Concept of liberation in yoga; experiences of liberation; states and criteria of liberation; major realisations of liberated consciousness; distinction between yogic experiences and yogic realisations; concept of sthita prajna; experiences of yogic siddhis as described in yogic literature; liberation and perfection; liberation and immortality.

Critical problems of humanity related to consciousness; consciousness, evolution, and evolutionary crisis; yoga as the potent means of resolution of the contemporary crisis of humanity; yoga as a valid means of knowledge: objections and answers; yogic methodology and question of subjectivity and objectivity of knowledge; yoga and methods of repeatability, verification and characteristics of abiding experiences, superconscient states of consciousness and higher levels of realisations; yoga and the individual and the collective fulfilment of the human race.

Volume 2, Part I: History of Yoga and Systems of Yoga in India:

Yoga in the Veda and the Upanishads; yoga in the Epics; yoga and the systems of Indian philosophy; Yoga and Buddhism, Yoga and Jainism, Yoga in Nyāya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Yoga Philosophy, Poorva Mimāmsā, Úttar Mimāmsā (including Advaita, Vishistādvaita, Dvaita, Achintya Bhedabhedavada, etc.); yoga in the Puranas: Yoga and Tantra, Hatha Yoga; Raja Yoga; Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga; Bhakti Yoga, Mantra Yoga; Kriya Yoga and Laya Yoga: yoga and Bhakti Movement, Yoga in Zoroastrianism, Yoga and Taoism, Yoga in Christianity, Yoga in Islam, and Yoga in Sikhism.

Volume 2, Part 11 : Yoga and Bhakti Movement:

Specialities of Bhakti Movement in India; Bhakti Yoga and its various forms; Bhakti Yoga and Shaivism and Vaishnavism; Bhakti Yoga as illustrated in the lives and works of the great saints, sages and seers, Bhakti literature of India and Bhaku Yoga; Para-Bhakti and synthesis of yoga; Bhakti Yoga and synthesis of religions: life and work of Guru Nanak; life and work of Sri Chaitanya.

Volume 2, Part III : Yoga in Reawakened India:

Yoga in reawakened India; yoga and the life and work of Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati; Yoga of Brahmo Samaj; Yoga of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa and Swami Vivekananda; Yoga of Rabindra Nath Tagore; Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

Project of Yoga and Consciousness

Project of Yoga and Consciousness

Volume 3, Synthesis of Yoga:

Claims and counter-claims of various systems of yoga: varieties of yogic Experiences, necessity of synthesis of yoga; synthesis of yoga in the Veda; synthesis of yoga in the Upanishads; synthesis of yoga in the Bhagavadgita; synthesis of yoga in the Tantra; synthesis of yoga in Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa and Swami Vivekananda; Synthesis of yoga in Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

Volume 4, Important Yogic Concepts:

Concepts of Rita-Chit and Aditi in the Vedas; concepts of Intuiton, Inspiration and Revelation in the Veda; Yogic meanings of Vedic Symbols; concept of Uma Haimavati in Kenopanishad; Yogic quest in the Upanishads and concepts such as those of Jagrat, Swapna, Sushupti, Tūriya, etc.; concept of Para-Prakriti in the Bhagavadgita; concept of Maya in Advaita; concept of Nitya Vibhuti and Leela Vibhuti in Vishistadvaita and corresponding concepts in other systems of Indian philosophy; concept of Goloka, Swarga and similar concepts in various systems of yoga; concept of Supermind in Sri Aurobindo and the concept of Integral Transformation for the mutation of human species and the divine body; other important concepts in yogic literature.

Volume 5, Monographs:

A monograph devoted to Sri Chaitanya; a monograph devoted to Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa and Swami Vivekananda and a monograph devoted to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother; other similar monographs where special compilations of important experiences or realisations and yogic siddhis have been clearly stated and described.

The above design of the Project is tentative and it is presented in order to elicit from the participants of the present Seminar their suggestions to modify or to alter it altogether. Participants may like to suggest a new design that may seem appropriate in the light of discussions of the Seminar

We are also presenting in the Annexure, a Consultative Questionnaire with a request that the participants may kindly present their answers to various questions in writing, so that in the light of the answers received, the design of the Project could be evolved.

In the various sessions of the present Seminar, participants may like to dwell upon the topics which have been mentioned in the above tentative design or on any other topic they may like to suggest for special attention

It will be extremely useful if the participants suggest the names of authors who should be invited in subsequent seminars and who would be helpful in presenting written papers not only for the seminars but also for the final volumes of the Project.

Participants may also give the relevant addresses of the concerned authors. 

Project of Yoga and Consciousness

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