Exploration of Indian Yoga Psychology

A blog on the Transpersonal Psychology of Indian Yoga and the Spiritual Genius of India (another blog of the same author – http://integralmusings.aurosociety.org)

The Spiritual Humanism — M.S. Srinivasan

psychologyThe Indian psychology is based on a paradigm of spiritual humanism.  Indian thought viewed Man as essentially a soul, spirit and a self beyond Mind.

The human being is in his true and essential self, a universal, eternal and unconditioned spirit bound within the limitation of the ego in his body, life and mind which are the instruments of the spirit. To rediscover his true spiritual self by self-knowledge is the aim of life and the object of all evolution, progress and development. As Sri Aurobindo explains the Indian spiritual conception “—the truth of our being ( is) a soul embodied in Nature which is seeking to know itself, to find itself, to enlarge its consciousness, to arrive at a greater way of existence, to progress in the spirit and grow into full light of self-knowledge and some divine inner perfection—- religion, philosophy, science, thought, art, society, all life, means only of this growth, instruments of the spirit to be used for its service with this spiritual aim as their dominant or atleast their ultimate preoccupation“(1) Hazrat Inayat Khan, a modern Sufi mystic, echoing a similar view writes, “In India life has always begun with the soul. Therefore science, art, philosophy and mysticism were all directed to the same goal.  Not only art and science, but even professions and commerce were not without a religious view” (2)

We may reformulate this Indian conception in an integral perspective in this way: The human being is a multi-dimensional being with a Body, Life, Mind and Spirit as the four dimensions of his existence. But in the deepest and central core of his being he is a spirit.  Body, life, mind and the ego are the instruments of the spirit. They exist for the sake of the Spirit, for providing the experience needed for the growth of the Spirit and for the self-expression of the Spirit. Development of the body, life and mind is an integral part of the evolution of the Soul. But the development of this instrumental power is not the highest aim of human development. The aim of human development is the discovery of the spiritual self through progressive evolution. Development of the body, life and mind is a means or a process of this self-discovery, and in the integral view, to serve as perfect instruments for the self-expression and self- manifestation of the Spirit in life.

So in this integral view, the aim of individual human development has two facets: first, the most fundamental, is the discovery of the spiritual self; second is the development of all the powers, faculties and potentialities of the instruments, of the spirit, that is the body, life and mind, and make them perfect instruments for the self-expression of the spirit.  In other words, and to put it briefly, complete and harmonious development of all the powers, faculties and potentialities of our four-fold being.


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This entry was posted on February 20, 2013 by in The Foundations.

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