Virtual Conference

Sônia Campaner Miguel Ferrari

Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil

Title: Unity as the key to mental health


Around 400 BC, Maharishi Shri Pátañjali codified in sutras (aphorisms) the process leading to the enlightenment of consciousness (Samádhi), known as Yoga. Iyengar also emphasizes the practical aspect of Yoga, which Westerners often have a difficulty to grasp. We are oriented towards mental activity, and clarity seems to be confined to what is conveyed through words. However, a comprehensive study of the Yoga Sutras reveals a purpose and meaning behind the union signified by this term:The purpose of the union of Purusha and Prakriti  is the realization, by Purusha, of its true nature and the unfolding of the inherent powers within both Purusha and Prakriti".The reference to this union reveals an apparent division between Purusha and Prakrti. However, let us revert to the concept of union to elucidate how yoga facilitates this union and thereby sheds light on why this practice brings benefits to physical and mental health. To achieve this, I intend to expound on the philosophical conceptions presented in the Vedas, which find an update in the works of Sri Aurobindo. Utilizing his work renders these concepts more comprehensible to the modern audience, as this author contemporizes them and acquaints us with the transformations and adaptations that have occurred over time. These conceptions primarily revolve around a transcendent Absolute, which, according to this author, transcends mere abstraction and becomes a palpable reality, sustaining our entire world, and closely aligning with the concept of causality. My objective here is to indicate the practices that lead to the perception of this Absolute as a source of satisfaction, a feeling of well-being, and serenity.


Sônia Campaner has completed her PHD in 2000 at the from State University of Campinas, Brazil. She is assistant professor of Language Science and Philosophy of Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo. Her research focuses on Aesthetics and Philosophy of art, Arte and Politics, and she is now directing her studies to Indian philosophy and its relations to psychology based on old texts and modern authors like Sri Aurobindo.