This paper was presented at
Psychology: The Indian Contribution
National Conference on
Indian Psychology, Yoga and Consciousness
organised by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research
at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education
Pondicherry, India, 10-13 December 2004

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Psychotherapy and Indian thought

Alok Pandey — Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry.

This paper examines many possible applications of ancient and modern Indian spiritual thought to psychotherapy. It considers numerous lessons and concepts from Mayavada, the positive Vedantic view, Tantra, and Sri Aurobindo that may be utilized effectively to inform our understanding of psychopathology and to promote psychological healing and growth in clients. In addition to considering the wider implications of the Indian worldview, it illustrates the specific applications of such concepts and practices as the gunas and their relative emphasis and imbalance, hathayoga, pranayama, meditation, nishkama karma, faith, the roles of adverse beings and forces, the soul, cosmic forces and beings, the Divine, and the guru-shisya relation. It provides an integral view in which psychotherapy can be viewed in the context of the spiritual evolution of mankind.