An Integral Programme of Personal Growth with Dr. Soumitra Basu

Start Date:13-May-2024

End Date:18-May-2024



An online workshop with Dr. Soumitra Basu was organised by NAMAH, the Journal of Integral Health from 13th-18th May 2024 on ‘An Integral Programme of Personal Growth’. In Sri Aurobindo's scheme, personal growth is a life-long discipline that helps one become a fit template for the transformation of consciousness. During this workshop, the participants learnt various ways to help attain psychological perfection that aids in this transformation of consciousness. Almost 30 people registered for this programme.

The first session was about the circumstances around birth and infancy where Dr Basu shared the meaning and purpose of collective yoga along with focusing on the fusion of knowledge and power at the level of Supermind. He brought to the attention of participants the importance of circumstances and intentions of parents during conception and how the education of the child starts before birth with the mother having beautiful feelings, a beautiful atmosphere, and a conscious and definite will to form the child according to the highest ideal she can conceive. The session came to a close with the speaker sharing that the Mother, with her aspiration and spiritual occult powers, was successful in building a new body in the subtle physical as a template for the Wew Creation, as the external conditions of the material world were not ready, the link of the subtle body with the material world was left for the future and in Sri Aurobindo’s observation, a greater way this link can be established which could avoid the limitations, degradations, incompleteness and heavy imperfection of the means and results solely available to the law of material force has two means – occult means (The Mother’s work) and intervention of subtle-physical processes (work of the scientists).

The second session based on tapping the physical opened with Dr Basu explaining the attributes of the physical plane of consciousness and it being the most challenging domain in the saga of transformation and a battleground for the forces (positive and negative). It should not suffer due to ascetic rejection; the physical is one of the greatest instruments for the soul to express itself. He further shared that when Sri Aurobindo left his body, he passed on the Mind of Light (physical mind receiving the Supramental Light) to the Mother on which She built on her experiences to bring down the supramental light. Mechanical repetitiveness, slow arousal, passivity and resistance to change were the characteristics discussed in detail. Dr Basu then went on to talk about some very important points to keep the physical plane free from negative forces, i.e. becoming conscious of one’s physical space and relation with food (cooking and eating) among others. The session ended with a discussion on what is meant by relaxation and for the relaxation to be complete it needs to be accompanied by the expansion of consciousness.

The third session was all about exploring the vital and Dr Basu emphasised the concept of beauty and that the vital carries turbulence of passions and can adulterate beauty whereas the physical has no such problem and can manifest beauty in all its purity. The cultivation of beauty brings purification as it refines the temperament and beauty is an attribute of the Supreme, aesthetics can be pursued as a gateway to the Divine and it is wrong to believe that aesthetics serves only our passions and sensations. He then described the various zones of creativity; form, music, thought and the fourth zone is a zone of forces where action is independent of form, sound, and thought and can be used for particular events. The session proceeded with Dr Basu sharing about the characteristics of the inner vital and the need and importance to shift to the inner vital and become simultaneously active in inner and outer vital so that an individual’s work will not bring stress and diseases. Attitudes towards and attributes of wealth were also deliberated upon during the session. The session came to a close with a discussion on the virtues.

In the fourth session on exploring the mind, Dr Basu brought the participant's attention to the importance of silencing the mind and gave them a deeper insight into Sri Aurobindo’s psychology. He explained that there is a subliminal or inner mind behind the separative mentality of the outer mind that extends to the universal mind or the cosmic consciousness. Our mind is identified with the cognitive matrices, Sri Aurobindo has also described higher levels above the ordinary mind dealing with supra-cognitive matrices (not stabilised in evolution yet). The session further dived into the Superconscious realms leading to a deliberation on global and integral cognition. The session concluded with a discussion on how, in human beings, knowledge and will have become separated resulting in problems and in sadhana, knowledge and will have to be brought together. A few experiential exercises were done during the session where the participants got a chance to experience their inner psychological landscape.

Discussion on the Psychic Being was the focus of the fifth session and Dr Basu brought to the attention of the participants the two poises of the inmost being, one as Jivatman (central being) that is above the manifestation (non-evolving poise) and the second in the manifestation it projects as the psychic being (evolving poise).  He further shared that the experience of Jivatman is so satisfying that it can lead to a rejection of life, transcending theistic creeds, atheistic doubts, scientific hypotheses, and metaphysical theses. Traditionally viewed as ultimate liberation, Sri Aurobindo redefined Indian spirituality's goal from liberation to transformation. This shift emphasises not merely escaping life but transforming it. The psychic being is the storehouse for core memories that pass on from lifetime to lifetime was explained by the speaker and how when the psychic departs the body, it leaves behind physical, vital, and mental aspects, carrying only the essence of its experiences. This essence called the divine element, is gathered from these aspects, and represents the core purpose for which they exist. It is the permanent addition that aids in the soul's growth towards the Divine. Sri Aurobindo’s view on rebirth as growth in consciousness that spirals across lifetimes was discussed in depth towards the end.

The sixth session was designed in a way to bring all the learning together and discuss the important ingredients of an integral programme of personal growth. From recapitulating the attributes of Jivatman and psychic being to talking about the role and play of karma, Dr Basu shared with participants all about the possibilities of refining the physical, vital and mind.  The advent of the New Creation and the features of the new body i.e. Lightness with no feeling of inertia or unconsciousness, Adaptability in all conditions, Plasticity, and Luminosity that vibrate at the cellular level were discussed during the session. In the end, Dr Basu shared that our concept of personal growth is to grow towards the intermediary beings Sri Aurobindo described and that are of two types – one from the depths; where the psychic being is more receptive/important in the individual and the other above; the Overmind plane. Our aspiration for the New Creation in the light of Integral Yoga should be to offer ourselves to the Divine, we can aspire for psychic memories, meditate to experience moments free from the unconscious| and work on the body consciousness to build a subtle body. This would provide the raw material in the Cosmic Consciousness for the New Creation.

This six-day programme was an interactive space that provided great insights to the participants into the profound Works of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and helped them understand the concepts in detail. The importance of raising the consciousness at individual and universal levels and the work that needs to be done at our end in building the bridge towards the New Creation emerged as the key learnings from this illuminating programme.


“I enjoyed the profoundness of Dr Basu's all-encompassing knowledge of Them, and his perfectly structured teaching, which provided me a clear map of the journey to the Future.”

“I enjoyed the richness of the information by drafting a good overview, while also discerning important differences such as between the central being and the psychic being and the inner vital. I would have liked to add some details, but it was difficult to switch from the receptive state, so I intend to write/app it later to Dr Basu.”

“Open talk on the occult disturbances on the spiritual path gave me a clarity.”

“Just what my evolution needed/needs; was reading Dr Basu’s book yesterday and focusing on vital – book was the perfect tool with the classes; so grateful for the class and people who work to get us there; ready to move forward. “

[Encourage towards Integral progress?]

“Yes, absolutely – like the absolute value function – all in it comes out positive. Class also helped because I read more on vital and really needed that. Also read about inertia as I struggle with working with some folks who seem inert. Lifelong work! What a commitment the Mother makes to work on us.”

“I learnt the importance of surrender.”

“Yes, it gave help, tools and a map to make progress to the Future.” 

“Yes, particularly on how to be of service for the Future and the evolution by working on psychic memories and the subtle body.”

[Provided greater understanding of Integral Psychology?]

“Yes, moving forwards – and asking Psychic Being to take control with moving forward.”

Yes, and I think that more could be said about how the psychic can come to the forefront and lead the vital and the mental body. The Mother said that the parts of the vital and the mental that have become part of the psychic, stay with it after death, if i remember well.

[Summary Notes?]

They are great and I am very grateful, they also clarify things. Also, a big Thank You to James for organizing such high- quality courses. “

“Yes – amazing notes.”