All Life Is Yoga: Concentration - Sri Aurobindo - ebook

All Life Is Yoga: Concentration ebook

Sri Aurobindo



"Concentration does not mean meditation; on the contrary, concentration is a state one must be in continuously, whatever the outer activity. By concentration I mean that all the energy, all the will, all the aspiration must be turned only towards the Divine and His integral realisation in our consciousness." – The Mother

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Selections from the Works ofSri Aurobindo and The Mother





„All life is Yoga.” – Sri Aurobindo



Publisher‘s Note

Part 1Concentration – Its Importance in Life

Concentration – Indispensable in Life

Two Practical Examples

Part 2Introduction

What is Yogic Concentration

Two Purposes of Concentration

Its Prime Importance

Purity and Concentration

Difference Between Concentration and Meditation

Part 3Practical Guidance

Some Words of Guidance

Two Questions and Answers

How to Cultivate Concentration

A Method of Learning Identification

Part 4The Discipline

Where to Concentrate

Concentration in the Heart

Concentration in or above the Head

Integral Yoga and Concentration

The Aim of Concentration in Rajayoga

The Aim of Concentration in Integral Yoga

A Profound Meaning of Concentration

A Profound Meaning of Samadhi

Three Processes to Arrive at this Divine Status

Consummation of Concentration


Sri Aurobindo Digital Edition




Selections from the Works ofSri Aurobindo and The Mother

First edition 2018

ISBN 978-3-937701-86-8

© 2018 AURO MEDIAVerlag und FachbuchhandelWilfried Schuh

[email protected]

© Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Puducherry, India


Flower on the cover:

Euphorbia milii. Bright red

Spiritual significance and explanation given by the Mother:Does not aim at effort, but is simple and persistent.


Publisher‘s Note

This is one in a series of some e-books published by Sri Aurobindo Digital Edition under the title ”ALL LIFE IS YOGA”. Our effort is to bring together, from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, simple passages with a practical orientation on specific subjects, so that everyone may feel free to choose a book according to his inner need. The topics cover the whole field of human activity, because true spirituality is not the rejection of life but the art of perfecting life.

While the passages from Sri Aurobindo are in the original English, most of the passages from the Mother (selections from her talks and writings) are translations from the original French. We must also bear in mind that the excerpts have been taken out of their original context and that a compilation, in its very nature, is likely to have a personal and subjective approach. A sincere attempt, however, has been made to be faithful to the vision of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

The excerpts from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother carry titles and captions chosen by the editor, highlighting the theme of the excerpts and, whenever possible, borrowing a phrase from the text itself. The sources of the excerpts are given at the end of each issue.

We hope these e-books will inspire the readers to go to the complete works and will help them to mould their lives and their environments towards an ever greater perfection.


Concentration does not mean meditation; on the contrary, concentration is a state one must be in continuously, whatever the outer activity. By concentration I mean that all the energy, all the will, all the aspiration must be turned only towards the Divine and His integral realisation in our consciousness. – The Mother

Part 1

Concentration – Its Importance in Life

Concentration – Indispensable in Life

Words of the Mother

...whatever you may want to do in life, one thing is absolutely indispensable and at the basis of everything, the capacity of concentrating the attention. If you are able to gather together the rays of attention and consciousness on one point and can maintain this concentration with a persistent will, nothing can resist it – whatever it may be, from the most material physical development to the highest spiritual one. But this discipline must be followed in a constant and, it may be said, imperturbable way; not that you should always be concentrated on the same thing – that’s not what I mean, I mean learning to concentrate.

And materially, for studies, sports, all physical or mental development, it is absolutely indispensable. And the value of an individual is proportionate to the value of his attention.

And from the spiritual point of view it is still more important. There is no spiritual obstacle which can resist a penetrating power of concentration. For instance, the discovery of the psychic being, union with the inner Divine, opening to the higher spheres, all can be obtained by an intense and obstinate power of concentration – but one must learn how to do it.

There is nothing in the human or even in the superhuman field, to which the power of concentration is not the key.

You can be the best athlete, you can be the best student, you can be an artistic, literary or scientific genius, you can be the greatest saint with that faculty. And everyone has in himself a tiny little beginning of it – it is given to everybody, but people do not cultivate it.


Two Practical Examples

Words of the Mother

When one works and wants to do one’s best, one needs much time. But generally we don’t have much time, we are in a hurry. How to do one’s best when one is in a hurry?

It is a very interesting subject and I wanted to speak to you about it in detail, one day. Generally when men are in a hurry, they do not do completely what they have to do or they do badly what they do. Well, there is a third way, it is to intensify one’s concentration. If you do that you can gain half the time, even from a very short time. Take a very ordinary example: to have your bath and to dress; the time needed varies with people, doesn’t it? But let us say, half an hour is required for doing everything without losing time and without hurrying. Then, if you are in a hurry, one of two things happens: you don’t wash so well or you dress badly! But there is another way – to concentrate one’s attention and one’s energy, think only of what one is doing and not of anything else, not to make a movement too much, to make the exact movement in the most exact way, and (it is an experience lived, I can speak of it with certitude) you can do in fifteen minutes what you were formerly doing in half an hour, and do it as well, at times even better, without forgetting anything, without leaving out anything, simply by the intensity of the concentration.

And this is the best answer to all those who say, “Oh, if one wants to do things well, one must have time.” This is not true. For all that you do – study, play, work – there is only one solution: to increase one’s power of concentration. And when you acquire this concentration, it is no longer tiring. Naturally, in the beginning, it creates a tension, but when you have grown used to it, the tension diminishes, and a moment comes when what fatigues you is to be not thus concentrated, to disperse yourself, allow yourself to be swallowed by all kinds of things, and not to concentrate on what you do. One can succeed in doing things even better and more quickly by the power of concentration. And in this way you can make use of work as a means of growth...


Words of the Mother

(A student) For a mathematical problem, sometimes the solution comes quickly, sometimes it takes too long.

Yes, it is exactly that: it depends on the degree of concentration. If you observe yourself, you will notice this quite well: when it does not come, it is because of a kind of haziness in the brain, something cloudy, like a fog somewhere, and then you are there as in a dream. You push forward trying to find it, and it is as though you were pushing into cotton-wool, you do not see clearly there; and so nothing comes. You may remain in that state for hours.