Purification on the Path of Integral Yoga with Aditi Kaul

Start Date:15-Apr-2024

End Date:18-Apr-2024



A four-day online workshop was organised by NAMAH, The Journal of Integral Health, Sri Aurobindo Society from 15th to 18th April 2024 to explore the need and ways of purification on the path of self-discovery and facilitate a deeper understanding of all parts of the being and their principles of purification.

In the first session titled, ‘The Need for Purification’, Aditi focused on the importance of exploration in freedom, without preconceived notions, judgments, and labelling. Respecting the process of unfolding of the divine presence within and approaching self-work with utmost sincerity and objectivity was emphasised as we are not seeking a temporary interaction with the divine but we aspire to establish the Presence of Permanence in the light of Integral Yoga and thus we need to ‘keep the temple clean if we aspire to establish the Divine Presence within’. The twin pursuit of opening to the Higher and purifying the lower and the relation between the two processes was discussed in detail during the session.  Neutralising the charge of impurities and creating a distance by seeing them as working of nature was the closing thought along with silent reflection on a few lines by the masters where they remind us to focus more on ‘ how to purify’ rather than thinking and identifying with impurities.

The second session focused on, ‘Purification of the Mental Being’ and started with Aditi highlighting the nature and characteristics of the mind and how can one work on the refinement of the mind. The importance of feeding the ‘right data/diet’ to the mind through different channels of the surface and specially the sensorial input was discussed. Mind’s submission to the lower nature and its potential to open itself to the Higher Planes in the light of Will-Force was central to the discussion. The shift in approaching daily engagements by developing the ability to go out in the world and experience the movements of nature, but not carrying them along or identifying with them because we are carrying the Divine presence within was the message. The Intention – Action relation was also discussed in detail. Certain reflective questions were built into the session intending to help participants reflect on their own thought patterns and actions and how they have the potential to consciously choose the purification of their surface nature.  The session concluded with contemplation on how personal effort and Divine Grace help in walking the path of Purification, accompanied by excerpts from Sri Aurobindo's teachings.

In the third session titled, ‘Purification of the Lower Mentality’, Aditi discussed the interconnectedness and interdependence of the different parts of the being along with the sense of separative ignorance being at the root of all impurities. Nature and characteristics of the vital and how to navigate through its working were discussed. Endurance, Equality, and Perseverance among other qualities as ways to work through impurities and to grow through experience and widening of consciousness was the message shared by the speaker. Even when we are working on the small aspects, we must learn to have the higher purpose /the true purpose always active in our awareness. The session progressed with an exposition of the play of desire and how it hijacks different aspects of the being and takes various forms of expression. Distraction and Justification as impurities were explored with certain everyday life examples. In the end, Aditi shared The Mother’s teachings on how to refine and re-direct the Vital in service of the Divine and what are the potentialities a refined vital holds.

The last session titled, ‘Purification and the way forward’ was all about practical everyday ways to consciously cultivate the practice of purification and not take it as something separate from daily living. When the purification happens in alignment and awareness of one’s nature, it helps to develop a more all-encompassing lens and see all that happens with a lens of purity. Aditi also summarised the basics of Integral Yoga and what it means to walk the path with the aspiration of bringing all the parts of the being in conscious collaboration for the work of the Divine. Becoming conscious of all aspects of being, Building inner discernment, Cultivating qualities like silence, calmness, sincerity, and consistency, and developing of the element of faith within as fundamental in action with the world were a few of the points shared during the session. The speaker also shared how Sri Aurobindo has spoken about purification being the first and foremost step on the path and what follows in Liberation, Perfection, and a Divine enjoyment of creation (Shuddhi, Mukti, Siddhi, and Bhukti - Four Steps of the Integral Yoga). There was some time given to the participants for self-reflection on a few questions presented to them concerning their experience of the workshop. The session ended with a silent reflection on a prayer from The Mother’s Prayers and Meditations.

This four-day exploration offered a space of subjective exploration for the participants to deeply dive into the journey of understanding and purifying the parts of the being while bringing their focus on the Fire of purification within and what facilitates and what hinders the Fire. The 20 or so people who registered enormously benefited from the overall experience.

“Let me express the gratitude from the bottom of my soul for this course. Thank you so much, Aditi and thanks to the team of organisers.”