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Concentration Mediation

Concentration means fixing the consciousness in one place or on one object and in a single condition.

Meditation can be diffusive, e.g. thinking about the Divine, receiving impressions and discriminating, watching what goes on in the nature and acting upon it etc.[1]

Concentration does not mean meditation; on the contrary, concentration is a state one must be in continuously, whatever the outer activity.

To keep constantly a concentrated and in-gathered attitude is more important than having fixed hours of meditation.[2]

Concentration is a gathering together of the consciousness and either centralising at one point or turning on a single object, e.g. the Divine—there can also be a gathered condition throughout the whole being, not at a point.

In meditation it is not indispensable to gather like this, one can simply remain with a quiet mind thinking of one subject or observing what comes in the consciousness and dealing with it. [3]

In concentration proper there is not a series of thoughts, but the mind is silently fixed on one object, name, idea, place etc.

Meditation means thinking on one subject in a concentrated way. [4]

Concentration, for our Yoga, means when the consciousness is fixed in a particular state (e.g. peace) or movement (e.g. aspiration, will, coming into contact with the Mother, taking the Mother’s name);

meditation is when the inner mind is looking at things to get the right knowledge. [5]

Concentration is a more active state. You may concentrate mentally, you may concentrate vitally, psychically, physically, and you may concentrate integrally. Concentration or the capacity to gather oneself at one point is more difficult than meditation. You may gather together one portion of your being or consciousness or you may gather together the whole of your consciousness or even fragments of it, that is, the concentration may be partial, total or integral, and in each case the result will be different.

If you have the capacity to concentrate, your meditation will be more interesting and easier. But one can meditate without concentrating. Many follow a chain of ideas in their meditation—it is meditation, not concentration.

Meditation is a purely mental activity, it interests only the mental being. One can concentrate while meditating but this is a mental concentration; one can get a silence but it is a purely mental silence, and the other parts of the being are kept immobile and inactive so as not to disturb the meditation. You may pass twenty hours of the day in meditation and for the remaining four hours you will be an altogether ordinary man because only the mind has been occupied—the rest of the being, the vital and the physical, is kept under pressure so that it may not disturb. In meditation nothing is directly done for the other parts of the being.

Certainly this indirect action can have an effect, but… I have known in my life people whose capacity for meditation was remarkable but who, when not in meditation, were quite ordinary men, even at times ill-natured people, who would become furious if their meditation was disturbed. For they had learnt to master only their mind, not the rest of their being. [6]

Passive Meditation and Concentration

What happened in the beginning of his sadhana must have been that he made the mistake of entering into a passive meditation instead of into a concentration proper. This kind of passive meditation can bring a great peace and quiet and joy. The Light also may come and other spiritual experiences. But it leaves the vital and body passive and without defence against inertia, illness etc. instead of bringing it either a dynamic force or a strong self-contained peace. The consciousness instead of being concentrated gets widely diffused and loosely extended. From the passivity came the weakness and disinclination for the worldly duties; from the diffusion the play of activity in the mind which prevented sleep and could not be controlled in a tendency also for the subtle being to go out of the body in the waking condition instead of through sleep as it ordinarily does, whence the beating of the heart and the cold feet. Concentration must in the earlier stages be active and dynamic with the consciousness gathered and capable of turning the will in any direction. [7]


  1. Sri Aurobindo. sabcl/23/sadhana-through-meditation-i
  2. The Mother. cwm/16/letters-to-a-young-sadhak-vi
  3. Sri Aurobindo. (2015). The Synthetic Method of the Integral Yoga. In Letters on yoga II. Retrieved from
  4. Sri Aurobindo. (2015). The Synthetic Method of the Integral Yoga. In Letters on yoga II. Retrieved from
  5. Sri Aurobindo. cwsa/29/concentration-and-meditation
  6. The Mother. cwm/04/25-december-1950
  7. Sri Aurobindo. cwsa/29/concentration-and-meditation