have never said that my Yoga was something brand new in
all its elements. I have called it the integral Yoga and
that means that it takes up the essence and many processes
of the old Yogas - its newness is in its aim, standpoint
and totality of its method. In the earlier stages which
is all I deal with in books like the "Riddle"
or the "Lights" or in the new book to be published
there is nothing in it that distinguishes it from the
old Yogas except the aim underlying its comprehensiveness,
the spirit in its movements and the ultimate significance
it keeps before it - also the scheme of its psychology
and its working: but as that was not and could not be
developed systematically or schematically in these letters,
it has not been grasped by those who are not already acquired
with it by mental familiarity or some amount of practice.
The detail or method of the later stages of the Yoga which
go into little known or untrodden regions, I have not
made public and I do not at present intend to do so.
I know very well also that there have been seemingly allied
ideals and anticipation - the perfectibility of the race,
certain Tantric Sadhanas, the effort after a complete
physical Siddhi by certain schools of Yoga, etc., etc.
I have alluded to these things myself and have put forth
the view that the spiritual past of the race has been
a preparation of Nature not merely for attaining the Divine
beyond the world, but also for this very step forward
which the evolution of the earth-consciousness has still
to make. I do not therefore care in the least, - even
though these ideals were, up to some extent parallel,
yet not identical with mine, - whether this Yoga and its
aim and method are accepted as new or not; that is in
itself a trifling matter. That it should be recognized
as true in itself by those who can accept or practise
it and should make itself true by achievement is the one
thing important; it does not matter if it is called new
or a repetition or revival of the old which was forgotten.
I laid emphasis on it as new in a letter to certain Sadhaks
so as to explain to them that a repetition of the aim
and idea of the old Yogas was not enough in my eyes, that
I was putting forward a thing to be achieved that has
not yet been achieved, not yet clearly visualised, even
though it is the natural but still secret outcome of all
the past spiritual endeavour.
It is new as compared with the old Yogas:
1. Because it aims not at a departure out of world and
life into Heaven or Nirvana, but as a distinct and central
object. If there is a descent in other Yogas, yet it is
only an incident on the way or resulting from the ascent
- the ascent is the real thing. Here the ascent is the
first step, but it is a means for the descent. It is the
descent of the new consciousness attained by the ascent
that is the stamp and seal of the Sadhana. Even the Tantra
and Vaishnavism end in the release from life; here the
object is the divine fulfillment of life.
2. Because the object sought after is not an individual
achievement of divine realization for the sake of the
individual, but something to be gained for the earth-consciousness
here, a cosmic, not solely a supra-cosmic achievement.
The thing to be gained also is the bringing in of a Power
of Consciousness (the Supramental) not yet organized or
active directly in earth nature, even in the spiritual
life, but yet to be organized and made directly active.
3. Because a method has been preconized for achieving
this purpose which is as total and integral as the aim
set before it, viz., the total and integral change of
the consciousness and nature, taking up old methods but
only as a part action and present aid to others that are
distinctive. I have not found this method (as a whole)
or anything like it professed pr realized in the old Yogas.
If I had, I should not have wasted my time in hewing out
a road and in thirty years of search and inner creation
when I could have hastened home safely to my goal in an
easy canter over paths already blazed out, laid down,
perfectly mapped, macadamised, made secure and public
our Yoga is not a retreading of old walks, but a spiritual
- Sri Aurobindo