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Synthesis of Yoga

Sapta Chatushtaya
The Sapta Chatusthaya (Seven Quartets) is the program for spiritual
practice that was revealed to Sri Aurobindo. It has four goals : Shuddhi
(purification), Mukti(liberation), Siddhi(realization) and Bhukti (enjoyment).
Correspondence with chapters in the Synthesis of Yoga

It is possible to draw an approximate correspondence between the Sapta

Chatusthaya and the chapters in the Synthesis of Yoga (referred to as SOY on
this page).
Chatusthaya (Tetrad)
Specific quality
SOY part.chapter
1.Shanti (Calm)
4.11-4.13, 1.9
2.Shakti (Power)
Virya (Strength)
Shakti (Power)
Daivi Prakriti (Mother Nature)


Sraddha (Faith)


3.Vijnana (Knowledge)

Jnanam (knowledge)


Trikaldristi (triple time vision)


Astasiddhi (Eight occult powers)




4.Sharira (Body)



5.Karma (Divine Work)






7.Siddhi (Realization)

Suddhi (purification)

4.5 to 4.7

Mukti (liberation)

2.7-2.9, 4.8, 4.9

What follows is a description of the seven tetrads. They have been arranged
roughly in order of realization.
1. Shanti Chathusthaya (Peace Quartet)

There are four things that he must have; first, equality in the most concrete
practical sense of the word, samat, freedom from mental, vital, physical
preferences, an even acceptance of all Gods workings within and around
him; secondly, a firm peace and absence of all disturbance and trouble, nti;
thirdly, a positive inner spiritual happiness and spiritual ease of the natural
being which nothing can lessen, sukham; fourthly, a clear joy and laughter of
the soul embracing life and existence. To be equal is to be infinite and
universal, not to limit oneself, not to bind oneself down to this or that form of
the mind and life and its partial preferences and desires. But since man in his
present normal nature lives by his mental and vital formations, not in the
freedom of his spirit, attachment to them and the desires and preferences

they involve is also his normal condition

[SOY (1992), The Action of Equality, p 694]

1.1. Samata (Equality)

Equality is the psychological and physical capacity to face all ups and downs
of life with equal mind. There are two sides to the cultivation of equality:
passive and active. Passive equality liberates one from the action of lower
nature (senses) while Active equality admits us into the action of the Higher

The first calm that comes is of the nature of peace, the absence of all
unquiet, grief and disturbance. As the equality becomes more intense, it
takes on a fuller substance of positive happiness and spiritual ease. This is
the joy of the spirit in itself, dependent on nothing external for its absolute
existence, nirraya, as the Gita describes it, antah-sukhontarrmah, an
exceeding inner happiness, brahmasamsparam atyantam sukham anute.
Nothing can disturb it, and it extends itself to the souls view of outward
things, imposes on them too the law of this quiet spiritual joy. For the base of
it is still calm, it is an even and tranquil neutral joy, ahaituka. And as the
supramental light grows, a greater Ananda comes, the base of the abundant
ecstasy of the spirit in all it is, becomes, sees, experiences and of the
laughter of the Shakti doing luminously the work of the Divine and taking his
Ananda in all the worlds.

[SOY (1992), The Action of Equality, p 698]

1.1.1. Passive or Negative Equality

Passive equality is of three types based on differences in approach : Titiksha

(way of will), Udasinata (way of knowledge), Nati (way of devotion). All three
approaches lead to the same goal.

Titiksha: Ability to bear all sensations without being overpowered by

unpleasant ones or overjoyed by pleasant sensations.

Udasinata:Indifference to dualities of life based on the fact that what the
outer mentality sees are illusions of life. This indifference may be of four
kinds: Tamasic(inertia), Rajasic(kinetic), Sattwic(pure), Trigunatita (that which
has conquered the three Gunas or qualities).
Nati:An equal submission to the will of the the Divine.

1.1.2. Active or Positive Equality

While Passive equality requires the cultivation of detachment of our Self from
the outer world, Active equality implies a return and possession of the world
in the power of the calm and equal Spirit. Once we acquire the full
consciousness of the Self, we can act on the world with calm, joy, knowledge
and seeing will of the Spirit.

Active equality, like passive equality, has three approaches:

Rasa :Joyous calm based on Nati.

Priti : Pleasure of the mind in all Rasa.
Ananda : The Divine pleasure in existence, which is superior the mental

1.2. Shanti (Peace)

When Samata(Equality) mentioned above is perfected, the being reigns in

Shanti(Peace). This may be a vast passive calm founded on Passive equality
or a vast joyous calm based on Active equality. The former is an
intermediate stage which must culminate in the latter.
1.3. Sukha (Happiness)

Complete release from grief and depression. A state of positive inner

happiness and spiritual ease. This comes from fulfillment of the first two
parts of this quartet: Equality and Peace.
1.4. Hasya (Atmaprasada)

Hasya is the active side of Sukha. It is an active internal state of gladness

and cheerfulness which no adverse experience mental or physical can
trouble. Atmaprasada is a state of clearness, purity and contentment on the
whole self; equivalent to hasyam (though hasyam is sometimes regarded as a
still more positive state).
2. Shakti Chatusthaya (Power Quartet)

This may be called the Siddhi of the temperament or nature in the lower
system, in the internal Triloka of mind, life and body, Manas, Prana, Annam.
To put it from a higher standpoint, it is the Siddhi of the divine Shakti working
in these three principles. These four things are the essentials of this second
element of perfection, the full powers of the members of the instrumental
nature, the perfected dynamis of the soul nature, the assumption of them
into the action of the divine Power, and a perfect faith in all our members to
call and support that assumption, akti, vrya, daiv prakti, raddh.
2.1 Shakti (Power)

Shakti is the perfection of different parts of the system which enables them to
do their work perfectly. The development of these four powers has also been
discussed by the Mother Mirra Alfassa in her talk on the Four Austerities and
Four Liberations.

2.1.1. Deha Shakti (physical strength) : Perfect state of the body consists of
four things Mahattwa(sense of mass and force), Balam(strength and
energy), Laghuta(lightness), Dharana-Samarthya(capacity to bear intense
power of higher consciousness without strain)

2.1.2. Prana Shakti (vital strength) : Perfect state of Prana consists of four
things Purnata(fullness of vitality), Prasannata(cheerfulness),
Samata(equality in all shocks and contacts), Bhogasamarthya (bliss without
desire but also without exhaustion)

2.1.3. Chitta Shakti (psychic strength): Snigdhata(gladness of feeling),

Tejas(abounding power), Kalyanasraddha(confidence in grace),
Premasamarthya (capacity for unbounded love for all beings and objects).

2.1.4. Buddhi Shakti (intellectual strength) : Vishuddhata(purity of thinking),

Prakasha(clearness of thinking), Vichitra (richness and minuteness of
perception), Jnanadharanasamarthya (power of mind to absord any kind of
2.2. Virya (Energy of Divine Temperament)

Every man has in himself all the four Dharmas (inner capacities or laws), but
one predominates, in one he is born and that strikes the note of his character
and determines the type and cast of all his actions; the rest subordinated to
the dominant type and helps to give it its complement. The perfected man
develops in himself all four capacities and contains at once the god: of
wisdom and largeness, the god of heroism and force, the god of skill and
enjoyment, the god of work and service. Only one stands dominant and leads
and uses the others.

2.2.1. Brahmatejas : Lipsa, Jnanaprakasha, Brahmavarchasya, Sthairya

2.2.2. Kshatratejas : Abhayam, Sahasam, Yasholipsa, Atmaslagha

2.2.3. Vaishyashakti : Danam, Vyayah, Kaushalam, Bhogalipsa.

2.2.4. Shudrashakti : Kamah, Premah, Dasyalipsa, Atmasamarpanam

2.3. Daivi Prakriti (Divine Nature)

This was initially referred to as Chandibhava. The divinisation of the

perfected nature can, however, come about by calling in the divine Power, or
shakti to replace our limited human energy so that this may be shaped into

the image of and filled with the force of a greater infinite energy (daivi
prakriti, bhagavati shakti)
2.4. Sraddha (Faith)

Faith is of two kinds : aktym (faith in shakti or executive power) and

Bhagavati (faith in god or directing power)
3. Vijnana Chatusthaya (Knowledge Quartet)
3.1. Jnanam (knowledge)

Of thought : Dristi (revelation), Sruti(inspiration), Smriti (latent memory).

See Four Powers of Intuition.
Of experience : Perception of things through Bhava of Sat, Chit, Tapas and
Of action : Satyadharma is the carrying out of the jna in bhva and

3.2. Trikaladrsti (Triple time-vision)

In ancient Hindu scriptures, this capacity was referred to as Trikala-Jnana. It

is a combination of direct knowledge of the past, intuitive knowledge of the
present and prophetic knowledge of the future. It has four ways of operation

Directly without means through drishti(revelation), sruti(inspiration) and

smriti(latent memory)
By concentration on the object.
By the external sign of the object.
By the combination of vyapti and prakamya.

3.3. Ashtasiddhi (Eight powers)

The names that Sri Aurobindo gave these powers differ slightly from the
conventional names given here.

Prakamya (Wish fulfilment) : It is of four kinds : Objects distant, Objects in

other planes, Objects in past & future whose image we have in front of us,
State of mind someone may have in past which is recorded in chitta; or what
they may have in the future which is recorded in the prescient parts of chitta
Vyapti or Prapti (All-pervading) : Vyapti is agent of vashita. Control object
by spoken word, receptive of thought. To each form of prakamya, there is a
corresponding vyapti. Guru communicates by vyapti. Prakamya gives
perception of feelings, but vyapti those feelings strike in our consciousness.
Prakamya is the sight of one looking from a distance & seeing an object;
vyapti is the sensation of that object coming towards us or into contact with

There are three possible movements of this kind of supramental

observation. First, the knower may project himself in consciousness on the
object, feel his cognition in contact or enveloping or penetrating it and there,
as it were in the object itself, become aware of what he has to know. Or he
may by the contact become aware of that which is in it or belongs to it, as for
example the thought or feeling of another, coming from it and entering into
himself where he stands in his station of the witness. Or he may simply know
in himself by a sort of supramental cognition in his own witness station
without any such projection or entrance. The starting-point and apparent
basis of the observation may be the presence of the object to the physical or
other senses, but to the supermind this is not indispensable. It may be
instead an inner image or simply the idea of the object. The simple will to
know may bring to the supramental consciousness the needed knowledge
or, it may be, the will to be known or communicate itself of the object of

[SOY (1992), Supramental Instruments Thought Process, p 826]

Aishvarya (Power): Effectiveness of will acting on object without physical

means. There are four ways in which it works: Tapas of chaitanya on object,
Tapas on prakriti (general world or prakriti of object itself), Tapas on prakriti to

bring about circumstances indirectly, Without pressure but by will/thought

(ajnanam or command) which prakriti obeys. The last is highest in which Chit
and Tapas become one.
Ishita (Supremacy over Nature): Effectiveness of will by heart
Vashita (Control over natural forces)
Mahima: greatness. The power of increasing the physical mass and
density at will.
Laghima: lightness. The power of making the body light by exceeding
gravity at will. See the post : Man shall not live by bread alone
Anima: subtlety. The power of making the body subtle by reducing the
physical mass and density at will.

3.4. Samadhi

Samadhi is the power by dwelling fixedly of the chaitanya on its object to

extend the range of knowledge & consciousness through all the three states
of waking, sleep & dream, to the realisation of those tattwas of the Brahman
to which the ordinary waking consciousness is blind and to the experience,
either in reflected images or in the things themselves, of other worlds and
planes of consciousness than the material earth or this waking physical
4. Sharira Chatusthaya (Physical body Quartet)
4.1 Arogyam (Health)

Arogya is the state of being healthy. There are three stages:

When the system is normally healthy and only gets disturbed by

exceptional causes or very strong strain, such as continual exposure to cold,
overstrain of any kind.
When even exceptional causes or great overstrain cannot disturb the
system; this shows that there is full Arogya Shakti.
Immortality in the body.

4.2. Utthapana (Levitation)

Utthapana is the state of not being subject to the pressure of physical forces.
There are three stages here:

When there is a great force, lightness and strength in the body (full of vital
energy); this shows that the body is full of Prana Shakti.
When there is no physical weariness, no exhaustion of the brain or nervous
When one is not necessarily subject to the law of gravitation or other
physical laws.

4.3. Saundaryam (Beauty)

Saundarya is the state of perfection in the body. There are three stages here:

When there is brightness in the body combined with sweetness of voice

and charm of expression etc.
Continual youth.
When the features and figure can be changed to a form of perfect beauty.

4.4. Vividhananda

Manifold delight.
5. Karma Chatusthaya (Divine Work Quartet)
5.1. Krishna

Krishna is the Ishwara(Divine) taking delight in the world. Krishna-Kali is the

dual realisation of Krishna and Kali, Ishwara and Shakti, constituting the
subjective half of the Karma Chatusthaya.
5.2. Kali

Kali is the Shakti(Power) carrying out the Lila(Divine Play) according to the
pleasure of the Ishwara (Divine)
5.3. Kama

Kama is the Divine Enjoyment which arises when the action of higher
consciousness results in the flow of bliss within the body.
5.4. Karma

Karma is Divine Action. Spiritual action in the objective field along the lines
of the adesha. In case of Sri Aurobindo, this included Kriti, Daiva, Sahitya
and Kama.

There is also a speech, a supramental word, in which the higher knowledge,

vision or thought can clothe itself within us for expression. At first this may
come down as a word, a message or an inspiration that descends to us from
above or it may even seem a voice of the Self or of the Ishwara, v, dea.
Afterwards it loses that separate character and becomes the normal form of
the thought when it expresses itself in the form of an inward speech

[SOY, Part 4, Chapter 22, Supramental thought and knowledge]

His word, command, Adesha, presence, touch, guidance can come to us

through our spiritualised psychic consciousness and, as a subtly concrete
means of transmission from the spirit, it can give us a close communication
and nearness to him through all our psychic senses

[SOY, Part 4, Chapter 26, Supramental Time-consciousness]

6. Brahma Chatusthaya (Divine Quartet)

The Siddha or perfected soul will live in union with the Purushottama
(Creator) in this Brahmic consciousness, he will be conscious in the Brahman
that is the All, sarvam brahma, in the Brahman infinite in being and infinite in
quality, anantam brahma, in Brahman as self-existent consciousness and
universal knowledge, jnam brahma, in Brahman as the self-existent bliss
and its universal delight of being, nandam brahma.

[SOY, Part 4, Chapter 10, Elements of Perfection]

6.1. Sarvam Brahma: when we realize unity with the universe.

6.2. Anantam Brahma: when we realize the Infinite Force and Quality at play
in all forms.

6.3. Jnanam Brahma: when we realize the consciousness within everything

which is aware of all.

6.4. Anandam Brahma: when we realize the delight hidden within all entities.

[Record of Yoga, p 1478]

7 Siddhi Chatusthaya (Realization Quartet)
7.1 Shuddhi (Purification)

7.1.1 Purification of Prana : This brings release from Vasana or desire, that is
Asakti or attachment, action of emotion. Shanti is the negative Ananda and
those have it who rest in the Nirguna Brahman. Shuddha Bhoga is the
positive Ananda and those have it who rest in the Trigunatita Ananta

7.1.2 Purification of Chitta :

This brings release from all sanskaras(volitional formations)

Thought impulses start up from Chitta as instincts, inspirations, insights,

intuitions etc. They come up coloured by emotions, distorted by associations
and perverted by [the] imagination[s] which bring them up. Bhakti, genius,
poetic inspiration all come from this source.
Impulses of feeling are of two kinds natural or eternal and artificial or
Vikaras. Love, courage, compassion are natural and are actions caused by
Jnanam. Hatred, fear, disgust are Vikaras and are distortions or reactions
caused by Ajnanam.
Impulses of action: Shuddha Pravritti, that is, action without desire
independent of emotion. Ashuddha Pravritti, that is, action stirred by two
forces, desire and emotion. Prohibit and inhibit by will all action or speech
that starts blindly from the passions or emotions surging in the heart.

7.1.3. Purification of Manas: This is the release from habitual thoughts. The
conceptual activity of the Manas is stilled and its perceptual activity is
transferred to the higher Buddhi (a part of Prakamya).

7.1.4. Purification of Buddhi : Release from reason, imagination, memory and

logic and their replacement with their supramental counterparts.

7.1.5 Purification of Body :

7.2 Mukti(Liberation)

7.2.1. Liberation from Dvandvas (dualities) :

Liberation from dualities of Prana: See [SOY Part 2, Chapter 7, The Release
from Subjection to the Body] and [SOY Part 4, Chapter 8, The Liberation of the

Liberation from dualities of Chitta: See [SOY Part 2, Chapter 8, The Release
from the Heart and the Mind]
Liberation from dualities of Manas: See [SOY Part 2, Chapter 8, The
Release from the Heart and the Mind]

7.2.2. Liberation from Ajnanam (ignorance) and Three gunas (Sattwa, Rajas,
Tamas) :

A liberation from Nature in a quiescent bliss of the spirit is the first form of
release. A farther liberation of the Nature into a divine quality and spiritual
power of world-experience fills the supreme calm with the supreme kinetic
bliss of knowledge, power, joy and mastery. A divine unity of supreme spirit
and its supreme nature is the integral liberation

[SOY Part 4, Chapter 9, The Liberation of the Nature]

7.2.3. Liberation from Ahankara (ego or lower self) :

See [SOY Part 2, Chapter 9, The Release from the Ego]

7.3 Bhukti (Enjoyment)

Bhukti is Delight of existence in itself. It has three forms.

7.3.1. Rasagrahana : Taking delight in the mind.

7.3.2. Bhoga in Prana : This is Bhoga without Kama (i.e. enjoyment without

7.3.3. Ananda

Kamananda (Physical) : This refers to the bliss flowing in the body due to
activity of the Kundalini. (The Vedic equivalent is Soma)
Premananda (Chitta) : Universal love in the vital being.
Ahaitukananda (Manas) : Delight without cause.
Chidghananda (Vijnana) :
Shuddhananda (Ananda) :
Chidananda (Chit) : Delight of pure consciousness.
Sadananda (Sat) : Delight of pure existence

7.4. Siddhi (Realization)

And finally, the realization of all the quartets given above is the end-goal.


Sri Aurobindo. Record of Yoga. (ROY) pp 1467-1481, pp 3-23

Sri Aurobindo. Synthesis of Yoga (SOY) various pages (see Table above)
Kireet Joshi. Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. Appendix II.
Sapta_Chatusthaya at a Russian language website
(Broken link since 4th Oct, 2012) due to domain name expiration) Graph
depicting various parts of the Sapta Chatusthaya
Sri Aurobindo. CWSA volume 4. Writings in Bengali Translation. article on
Siddhi description on wikipedia

it is an active internal state of gladness and cheerfulness which no adverse

experience mental or physical can trouble.


a state of clearness, purity and contentment on the whole self;

equivalent to hasyam (though hasyam is sometimes regarded as a still more
positive state).
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19 thoughts on Sapta Chatushtaya

SS Lahiri
March 10, 2010 at 11:51 am

Excellent treatment of the subject

R v jahagirdar
July 25, 2010 at 8:45 am

October 6, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Sandeep, this is extremely helpful. Thank you so much for putting this
Arup Basu
October 16, 2010 at 3:38 am


Have you done a more detailed study of the Sapta Chatusthaya ? If so, I
would be glad to carry it in Sraddha.

Sandeep Post author
October 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

I havent Arup but let me think about it.

Mahesh Vaishnav
August 17, 2011 at 9:41 am

Dear Sandeepji,

Do you know the source of Sapta Chatushtaya I mean the scripture or

scriptures from which it is taken?


Sandeep Post author
August 17, 2011 at 9:49 am


According to available info, the source is not scripture but revelation. Sri
Aurobindo is said to have received the Mantras during his spiritual

See this post: The Origin of the Sapta Chatusthaya

I had heard from Mahaguru Shree Aurobindo that during his silent
tapasya (practice) in Alipore Prison, a series of mantras was revealed in his
spiritual experience, which were felt by him as signals or landmarks of his
new yogic consciousness. These were recorded by him as we believe-just
after he came out of jail-and this record in several pages of his own handwriting-an invaluable document, is still in our possession.

December 2, 2011 at 8:56 am

In Record Of Yoga, Sri Aurobindo has noted the stages he went thru and i
guess for the Mother, its the journey through Savitri and earlier part Prayers
and Meditation.

But if a series can be written on Record of Yoga of Sri Aurobindo journey

mostly only covering the practical things or insight which an aspiration can
use as an guideline for the spiritual journey will be great help. Its very hard to

understand and too vast.

Sandeep Post author
December 2, 2011 at 11:44 am

> for the Mother, its the journey through Savitri and earlier part Prayers
and Meditation.

For the Mother, there is also the Agenda.

> But if a series can be written on Record of Yoga of Sri Aurobindo

Basic details can be outlined. I will think about it.

April 4, 2012 at 11:58 am

But if a series can be written on Record of Yoga of Sri Aurobindo journey

mostly only covering the practical things or insight which an aspiration can
use as an guideline for the spiritual journey will be great help.

This is being done. All posts on the Record of Yoga can be accessed
under the tag :
There are five posts so far directly relevant to the topic
Sandeep Post author
April 25, 2012 at 9:20 am

For more on the Sapta Chathusthaya, see a recent book Seven Quartets in
Becoming by Debashish Banerji

Pingback: History of Yoga part 2 | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The
September 25, 2012 at 3:26 pm

7.Siddhi (Realization)
Suddhi (purification)

SOY part.chapter

How is 5.7 ?
Sandeep Post author
September 25, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Typo! Changed it to 4.7. thanks.


October 9, 2012 at 11:00 am

link in references not working:

5.Graph depicting various parts of the Sapta Chatusthaya this link is only
showing adverts
Sandeep Post author
October 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

The sites domain name expired 5 days ago. Thats a pity because it was
a nice diagram. I will edit the link to say site is suspended for now
August 18, 2015 at 11:39 am

I think SOY 2.8 has good indications wrt Sharir Chatushtya. Ut mentions
how on developing detachment towards to body by deepening the Witness
attitude, one can gain progressively greater control over the body and use
mental fiat for reducing hunger and thirst, warding attacks of illness,
conquering strain, fatigue, incapacity and developing power, freedom,
swiftness and effectiveness by manipulating the play of vital forces.
August 19, 2015 at 9:20 am

Is tht relevant to sharir chatushtya?

Dr. Dinesh Divyam
November 19, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Nice Presentation of the subjects! Thanks!!


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24-hour Sadhana
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Top Articles

Sublimating the sexual urge through Yoga

The transmutation of sexual energy
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Symbols seen during spiritual experiences
Pancha-mahabhutas: the five subtle constituents of matter
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How to utilize money to grow spiritually
Concentration on Mother's photograph
Karma can be changed. Your destiny is in your hands

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