Letters on Yoga — I

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Letters on Yoga — I
Foundations of the Integral Yoga


The Divine, Sachchidananda, Brahman and Atman

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The Divine 5
The Divine Consciousness 5
The Divine: One in All 6
Aspects of the Divine 7
The Transcendent, Cosmic and Individual Divine 7
Personal and Impersonal Sides of the Divine 11
The Divine and the Atman 12
The Divine and the Supermind 12
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Sachchidananda 13
Sat or Pure Existence 14
Chit or Consciousness 14
Outer Consciousness and Inner Consciousness 19
Consciousness and Force or Energy 24
Force, Energy, Power, Shakti 25
Ananda 27
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The Impersonal Brahman 28
The Inactive Brahman and the Active Brahman 28
Spirit and Life 29
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The Self 30
The Cosmic Spirit or Self 30
The Atman, the Soul and the Psychic Being 31
The Self and Nature or Prakriti 32

The Cosmos: Terms from Indian Systems

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Virat 37
Visva or Virat, Hiranyagarbha or Taijasa, Prajna or Ishwara 37
Vaisvanara, Taijasa, Prajna, Kutastha 38
Karana, Hiranyagarbha, Virat 38
The Seven Worlds 38
The Worlds of the Lower Hemisphere 39
Tapoloka and the Worlds of Tapas 39
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Purusha 40
Purusha and Prakriti 41
Prakriti 43
Prakriti and Shakti or Chit-Shakti 44
Purusha, Prakriti and Action 45
The Gunas or Qualities of Nature 46
Transformation of the Gunas 47
Sattwa and Liberation 48
Transformation of Rajas and Tamas 48
Transformation of Tamas into Śama 49
Mahat 50
Tanmatra 51

The Jivatman and the Psychic Being

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The Jivatman or Individual Self 55
The Jivatman, the Psychic Being and Prakriti 56
The Central Being and the Psychic Being 60
The Surrender of the Central Being 61
The Central Being after Liberation 62
The Karana Purusha 62
The Jivatman and the Caitya Puruṣa 62
The Jivatman and the Mental Purusha 62
The Jivatman, Spark-Soul and Psychic Being 64
The Jivatman in a Supramental Creation 66
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The Jivatman in Other Schools 68
The Jivatman and the Pure “I” of the Adwaita 68


The Organisation of the Being

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Men Do Not Know Themselves 79
Many Parts, Many Personalities 80
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Different Categories in Different Systems 82
The Concentric and Vertical Systems 82

The Concentric System: Outer to Inner

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The Outer and the Inner Being and Consciousness 89
The Inner, the Outer and the Process of Yoga 91
The Inner Being 93
The Inner Being, the Antaratma and the Atman 93
The Inner Being and the Psychic Being 93
The Outer Being and Consciousness 95
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The True Being 97
The True Consciousness 99
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The Psychic and the Divine 102
The Self or Spirit and the Psychic or Soul 105
The Atman, the Jivatman and the Psychic 106
The Words “Soul” and “Psychic” 109
The Psychic or Soul and Traditional Indian Systems 110
The Soul and the Psychic Being 114
The Form of the Psychic Being 119
The Psychic Being and the Intuitive Consciousness 120
The Psychic Being and the External Being 120
The Psychic or Soul and the Lower Nature 121
The Psychic Being or Soul and the Vital or Life 123
The Psychic Being and the Ego 124
The Psychic World or Plane 124

The Vertical System: Supermind to Subconscient

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The System of Planes or Worlds 127
The Planes and the Body 132
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Supermind and the Purushottama 133
Supermind and Sachchidananda 133
The Supracosmic, the Supramental, the Overmind and Nirvana 137
Supermind and Other Planes 144
Supermind and Overmind 146
Knowledge and Will in the Supermind 151
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Overmind and the Cosmic Consciousness 152
Planes of the Overmind 153
The Overmind, the Intuition and Below 154
The Overmind and the Supermind Descent 155
The Overmind and the Kāraṇa Deha 155
The Dividing Aspect of the Overmind 155
The Overmind and the World 156
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The Higher Planes and Higher Consciousness 158
The Plane of Intuition 159
The Plane of Intuition and the Intuitive Mind 161
Yogic Intuition and Ordinary Intuitions 162
Powers of the Intuitive Consciousness 163
The Illumined Mind 164
The Higher Mind 164
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The Higher Nature and the Lower Nature 166
The Three Planes of the Lower Hemisphere and Their Energies 166
The Adhara 167
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Mind in the Integral Yoga and in Other Indian Systems 168
Manas and Buddhi 169
Chitta 170
Western Ideas of Mind and Spirit 173
The Psychic Mind 177
The Mind Proper 177
The Thinking Mind and the Vital Mind 178
The Thinking Mind and the Physical Mind 179
The Vital Mind 179
The Physical Mind 181
The Physical Mental or Physical Mind and the Mental Physical or Mechanical Mind 182
The Mental World of the Individual 184
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The Vital 185
The True Vital Being and Consciousness 185
Parts of the Vital Being 187
The Mental Vital or Vital Mind 189
The Emotional Being or Heart 193
The Central Vital or Vital Proper 193
The Lower Vital, the Physical Vital and the Material Vital 195
A Strong Vital 196
The Vital Body 197
The Vital Nature 197
The Vital Plane and the Physical Plane 197
The Life Heavens 198
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The Physical Consciousness and Its Parts 200
Living in the Physical Consciousness 206
The Opening of the Physical Consciousness 206
The True Activity of the Senses 207
The Physical Parts of the Mind and Emotional Being 207
The Mental Physical or Mechanical Mind 207
The Vital Physical 208
The Material Consciousness or Body Consciousness 209
The Gross Physical and the Subtle Physical 210
The Physical Nerves and the Subtle Nerves 211
The Sheaths of the Indian Tradition 212
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The Environmental Consciousness around the Individual 213
The Environmental Consciousness and the Movements of the Lower Nature 214
The Environmental Consciousness and the Subconscient 215
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The Subconscient in the Integral Yoga 216
The Subconscient in Traditional Indian Terminology 222
The Subconscient and the Superconscient 223
The Subconscient and the Subliminal 223
The Subconscient Memory and Conscious Memory 223
The Subconscient and the Inconscient 225

The Chakras or Centres of Consciousness

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The Functions of the Chakras or Centres 229
The Chakras in Reference to Yoga 231
The Centres and the Planes 233
The Mind Centres 234
The Sahasradala or Sahasrara or Crown Centre 235
The Ajnachakra or Forehead Centre 237
The Throat Centre 239
The Throat Centre and the Lower Centres 240
The Heart Centre 241
The Navel and Abdominal Centres 242
The Muladhara 242
No Subconscient Centre 244
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The Parts of the Body in Yoga 245
The Cerebellum 245
The Ear, Nose, Face and Throat 245
The Chest, Stomach and Abdomen 246
The Legs and Feet 247
The Sides of the Body 247


The Supramental Evolution

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The Riddle of This World 253
The Disharmonies of Earth 262
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Human History and Spiritual Evolution 265
Spiritual and Supramental 273
The Overmind and the Supramental 274
Involution and Evolution 275
The Supermind and the Lower Creation 279
Speculations about the Supramental Descent 280

The Supramental Descent and Transformation

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Inevitability of the Descent 287
A Beginning, Not a Completion 288
Clarifications about the Supramental Descent 292
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A World-Changing Yoga 294
The Vital World and the Supramental Descent 297
The Nature and Scope of the Transformation 297
The Earth, the Earth Consciousness and the Supramental Creation 298
The Supramental Change and the Ananda Plane 299
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Preparatory Steps towards the Supramental Change 301
The Supramental Influence and Supramentalisation 301
Premature Claims of Possession of the Supermind 303
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The Transformation of the Body 305
The Transformation of the Body in Other Traditions 306
Transforming the Body Consciousness 309
Death and the Supramental Transformation 310
The Conquest of Death 312
The Reproductive Method of the Supramental 315


Thought, Philosophy, Science and Yoga

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Intellectual Truth and Spiritual Experience 321
Intellectual Arguments against Spirituality 324
The Valley of the False Glimmer 330
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Doubt and Yoga 337
Faith in Spiritual Things 348
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Metaphysical Thinkers, East and West 351
World-Circumstances and the Divine 355
Comments on Thoughts of J. M. E. McTaggart 368
Comments on Terms Used by Henri Bergson 374
Metaphysics, Science and Spiritual Experience 375
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Science, Yoga and the Agnostic 380
Science and Spirituality 381
Science and the Supernormal 385
Science and Superstition 388
The Limitations of Science 391
Physics and Metaphysics 395
Space and Time 401
Matter 404
Animals 406
Plants 407
Life on Other Planets 408

Religion, Idealism, Morality and Yoga

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Religion and the Truth 411
Religion in India 412
Religious Ceremonies 413
Religious Fanaticism 415
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Human Perfection and Spirituality 416
The Collapse of Twentieth-Century Idealism 417
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The Spiritual Life and the Ordinary Life 419
Morality 422
Vice and Virtue 423
The Sattwic Man and the Spiritual Man 424
Selfishness and Unselfishness 428
Humility 429
Sacrifice 432
Ahimsa, Destruction and Violence 434
War and Conquest 436
Poverty 437
Natural Calamities 437
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Family, Society, Country and the Divine 438
Philanthropy 441
Humanitarianism 441
Social and Political Activism 444


The Divine and the Hostile Powers

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The Dynamic Divine, the Gods, the Asuras 449
The Soul, the Divine, the Gods, the Asuras 449
Terms in The Mother 451
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The Gods or Divine Powers 456
The Gods and the Overmind 457
Vedic Gods of the Indian Tradition 458
Post-Vedic Gods of the Indian Tradition 459
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The Existence of the Hostile Forces 461
The Nature of the Hostile Forces 463
The Conquest of the Hostile Forces 464
Asuras, Rakshasas and Other Vital Beings 465

The Avatar and the Vibhuti

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The Avatar or Incarnation 471
The Divine and Human Sides of the Avatar 472
Human Judgments of the Divine 474
The Work of the Avatar 476
The Avatar: Historicity and Symbols 478
The Avatar and the Vibhuti 485
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The Ten Avatars as a Parable of Evolution 487
Rama as an Avatar 489
Krishna as an Avatar 499
Buddha as an Avatar 500
Mahomed and Christ 501
Ramakrishna 501
Augustus Caesar and Leonardo da Vinci 502
Napoleon 502
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Greatness 504
Greatness and Vices 505

Destiny, Karma, Death and Rebirth

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Destiny 509
Free Will and Determinism 510
Predictions and Prophecy 515
Astrology and Yoga 519
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Karma 520
Karma and Heredity 521
Evolution, Karma and Ethics 522
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Death and Karma 526
Death and Grieving 528
The After-Death Sojourn 529
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The Psychic’s Choice at the Time of Death 532
Assimilation in the Psychic World 533
The Psychic Being and the Progression from Life to Life 536
The New Birth 541
Reincarnation and Soul Evolution 543
What Survives and What Does Not 544
Lines of Force and Consciousness 546
Beings of the Higher Planes 547
Fragments of a Dead Person that Reincarnate 547
Connections from Life to Life 548
Lines of Sex in Rebirth 548
Asuric Births 549
Animals and the Process of Rebirth 550
Remembering Past Lives 551
Unimportance of Past-Life Experience in Yoga 552
Speculating about Past Lives 553
Traditional Indian Ideas about Rebirth and Other Worlds 554
European Resistance to the Idea of Reincarnation 554

Occult Knowledge and Powers

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Occultism and the Supraphysical 559
Occult Forces 559
The Play of Forces 560
The Place of Occult Knowledge in Yoga 565
Spiritism 567
Séances 568
Ghosts 569
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General Remarks 571
Occult Powers Not the Object of Our Yoga 573
Ethical Rules for the Use of Occult Powers 577
Thought Reception and Thought Reading 577
Occult Powers and Health 578
The Power of Healing 579
Miracles 580
Magic 580

Notes are paraphrased from the “Publisher's Note” and “Note on the Texts”.