Psychology in India: A future perspective

Aster Patel

We take our stand today at very interesting frontiers of knowledge. The scientist has undergone a reversal in his view of the universe. The notions of parts and their constitutiveness is exceeded in the greater truth of the whole. This change of perspective is beginning to re-shape the body of psychological knowledge and to determine our very quest. In India, since the earliest times, such an approach was made, resulting in a vast body of knowledge, with a wealth of insights into the human personality and its workings. The ancients thus formulated their quest: how to know the Real in concrete experience, so as to realize the truth of the universe and of the manifestation? Experience was pursued by a process of deep introspection into the many realms of conscious existence, by an act of willed and conscious identity with the Whole from the heights of the Spirit to the core of matter. Today, the pursuit of Yoga, -- as a conscious handling of man's being - is becoming part of the great modern endeavours. Sri Aurobindo and the The Mother set out, in the early years of the last century, to experiment with a process of Yoga, which would disengage the central dynamic elements of the past disciplines practiced in India, and to discover an integral dynamism of process, which would be in line with the evolutionary progression of Nature in her upward strivings. This process is known as the Integral Yoga. For almost a hundred years now, people have been attracted to its pursuit. This is India's original contribution to the modern world. It compliments from the side of consciousness the work that the scientist is doing through matter. Till Matter can reveal the consciousness hidden in its core and Reality be given in an experience of the Whole.

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This paper was presented at the
National Conference on
Yoga and Indian Approaches to Psychology

Pondicherry, India, September 29 - October 1, 2002