Evolution of forms is merely an outward process of evolution; the evolution of consciousness is a process of the inner evolution. -Sri Aurobindo *
My first studies with yoga over 20 years ago were based on the old yoga, I studied Sivananda and the classical approach to Hatha yoga. At that time I felt that I would never reach enlightenment because I was not ready to give up my “normal” life to sit in a cave, ashram, or mountain top to meditate for ultimate bliss. The concept of leaving the karmic wheel which is the result of enlightenment in the old yoga was pretty far from where I was at the point in my life.
At the same time, I was curious about life, not leaving it but living it to the fullest. Yoga has given me good ideas in principle, how to take care of my body by giving it good nutrition and moving it with enough exercise. Yoga has also given me a peaceful state of mind with its teachings in meditation, again very beneficial. Though enjoying these benefits I still didn’t really get why I actually should do this practice, I was looking for more meaning.
During this (soul) search which went on for almost 10 years, I had asked myself some pretty big questions. Like, why is our world in a state where there is suffering, wars, poverty, corruption, etc…? Who hasn’t asked themselves that? To my surprise, I really got some answers and sometimes I wished I wouldn’t have asked. I had a lot of fears and needed to learn to deal with them, and at the same time, I felt empowered. Now the yoga was even more important. I needed to find a way to balance how I felt about the world and some of its distressing ways and at the same time work on myself to have a good and happy life.
It was when I heard about Sri Aurobindo and The Mother for the first time that I realized what more there is to yoga.
It was the third yoga training I took, this time with the Purna Yoga College in Finland. I haven’t heard of Purna Yoga before but was attracted by their teaching and focus on the heart center or heart chakra. It felt right away that this is where I will find more meaning because I was yearning for love, acceptance, and a non-judgmental approach to yoga and life.
Aadil Palkhivala and his wife Savitri are the founders of Purna Yoga, a holistic synthesis of yogic traditions based on the work of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.*
Now I learned that I don’t have to sit in solidarity and pray for enlightenment, but to find joy in my heart and by doing so bringing more of this light into my body and mind, with the techniques taught in Heartfull Meditation(TM), as part of Purna Yoga. There was a certain neglecting of the body in the old yoga while the yoga in the west was or still is mostly body orientated. Sri Aurobindo was the first yogi from the east (despite him not practicing asana) who taught the integration of the complete being, which includes the body. His yoga was called Integral Yoga which also means Purna Yoga.
*In the words of Sri Aurobindo: “Our mental, physical, vital existence need not be destroyed by our self-exceeding, nor are they lessened and impaired by being spiritualised; they can and do become much richer, greater, more powerful and more perfect: in their divine change, they break into possibilities which in their un-spiritualised conditions could not be practicable or imaginable.” This is the main substance of Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual theory of evolution.
I remember from different spiritual books I read that everything we search for is already in us and now I heard about the seat of my soul in the heart center! I was putting the puzzles together and everything started to make sense. I knew it was always there, during years and years of search traveling around the world, looking on the outside I finally found what I’ve been looking for, and I had it with me all the time.
The Evolution of consciousness is moving us from mind-centered beings to heart-centered beings. Since the time of quickening in our mothers womb we have a thin thread of light in us which without we wouldn’t be alive. In classical yoga it’s called the Sushumna Nadi an energy channel in the body. Our work in the new yoga is to bring more of that light, our soul into the body and mind. With this new consciousness, we’ll be able to get in touch with who we are and find out why we came to this planet and for what purpose (Dharma). So, in the end, the enlightenment happens here and now, we don’t need to leave our bodies to be enlightened.
*In Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual evolution, there are three stages in the process of becoming. An involution of the spirit in the inconscience is the beginning. An evolution in the ignorance with its play of possibilities of a partial developing knowledge is the middle. A consummation in deployment of the spirit’s self-knowledge and self-power of its divine being and consciousness is the culmination.
For the first stage, it’s the meditation which teaches us to go inside (involution), the second stage is to look beyond the ignorance and gain knowledge at a deeper level while that will lead us to self-knowledge and self-power which transforms into a divine being in the end.
So what’s the purpose of this new yoga? Science already knows that our DNA contains photons, particles of light. Prof. Fritz-Albert Popp has conducted research that confirms the existence of biophotons. These particles of light, with no mass, transmit information within and between cells. His work shows that DNA in living cell stores and releases photons creating “biophotonic emissions” that may hold the key to illness and health. *
Every time I teach this concept in my yoga classes I play a game with my students, a game which is taught by my teacher Aadil. Let’s play it right now!!!
With your finger, point to the ceiling,… then, point to a window,… point to the floor,…. point to a door,…. then, point to yourself…… and now look where you’ve pointed! Did you point to your head? Did you point to your leg? Where did you point?
Everyone, everyone points to the heart (in the center of the chest on the sternum, not the physical heart), the seat of your soul, you already know where you are instinctively, now you still need to rationalize it, trust it, believe it, and we are a step closer to create what Savitri calls Heaven on Earth.
How can you use this evolution in yoga right now? Be open, be ready for a big change, TRUST IN YOUR HEART. Understand its meaning. This is the evolution where humanity must go, it’s a one-way street for divine life and it’s the first time in the history of humanity that we can participate in the evolution by choosing to evolve. Will you be part of it?
This is a section from Sri Aurobindo’s book “Savitri”:
The truth shall be the leader of their lives,
Truth shall dictate their thought and speech and act,
They shall feel theme selves lifted nearer to the sky,
As if a little lower than the gods.
For knowledge shall pour down in radiant streams
And even darkened mind quiver with new life
And kindle and burn with the Ideal’s fire
And turn to escape the mortal ignorance.
The frontiers of the Ignorance shall recede,
More and more souls shall enter into light,
Minds lit, inspired, the occult summoner hear
And lives blaze with a sudden inner flame
And hearts grow enamoured of divine light
And humans wills tune to the divine will,
The separate selves the Spirit’s oneness feel,
These senses of heavenly sense grow capable,
The flesh and nerve of a strange ethereal joy
And mortal bodies of immortality.
A divine force shall flow through tissue and cell
And take charge of breath and speech and act
And all the thoughts shall be a glow of suns
And every feeling a celestial thrill.
Often a lustrous inner dawn shall come
Lightening the chambers of a slumbering mind;
A sudden bliss shall run through every limb
And Nature with a mightier Presence fill.
Thus shall the earth open to divinity
And common natures feel the wide uplift,
Illumine common act with the Spirit’s ray
And meet the deity in common things.
Nature shall lift to manifest secret God.
The Spirit shall take up the human play,
This earthly life becomes the life divine.
Author: Nicola Moberg
RECOMMENDED READING AND WATCH:
Beyond Man – The Life and Work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother by Georges Van Vrekhem
The Live Divine by Sri Aurobindo
Conscious: Fulfilling our Higher Evolutionary Potential
Inspired by the work of Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa, the film addresses humanity’s potential to achieve a higher level of consciousness in this time of global crises. It features interviews with renowned thinkers including Stanislav Grof, Brian Thomas Swimme, Michael Murphy, and more. The film is enriched by beautiful imagery and music, and discusses cosmology, the evolution of consciousness, and the roles of love and art as vehicles for a deeper human potential. The world is preparing for a big change, will you help?