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object:1.1.02 - The Aim of the Integral Yoga
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Chapter Two

The Aim of the Integral Yoga
A Yoga of Divine Life
You have apparently a call and may be fit for Yoga; but there are different paths and each has a different aim and end before it. It is common to all the paths to conquer the desires, to put aside the ordinary relations of life, and to try to pass from uncertainty to everlasting certitude. One may also try to conquer dream and sleep, thirst and hunger etc. But it is no part of my Yoga to have nothing to do with the world or with life or to kill the senses or entirely inhibit their action. It is the object of this
Yoga to transform life by bringing down into it the Light, Power and Bliss of the divine Truth and its dynamic certitudes. This
Yoga is not a Yoga of world-shunning asceticism, but of divine
Life. Your object, on the other hand, can only be gained by entering into Samadhi and ceasing in it from all connection with world-existence.

The way of Yoga followed here has a different purpose from others, - for its aim is not only to rise out of the ordinary ignorant world-consciousness into the divine consciousness, but to bring the supramental power of that divine consciousness down into the ignorance of mind, life and body, to transform them, to manifest the Divine here and create a divine life in Matter.

This is an exceedingly difficult aim and difficult Yoga; to many or most it will seem impossible. All the established forces of the ordinary ignorant world-consciousness are opposed to it and deny it and try to prevent it, and the sadhak will find his own mind, life and body full of the most obstinate impediments to its realisation. If you can accept the ideal whole-heartedly, face all the difficulties, leave the past and its ties behind you and are ready to give up everything and risk everything for this divine


Letters on Yoga - II
possibility, then only can you hope to discover by experience the
Truth behind it.

The sadhana of this Yoga does not proceed through any set mental teaching or prescribed forms of meditation, mantras or others, but by aspiration, by a self-concentration inwards or upwards, by self-opening to an Influence, to the Divine Power above us and its workings, to the Divine Presence in the heart, and by the rejection of all that is foreign to these things. It is only by faith, aspiration and surrender that this self-opening can come.

The aim of the Yoga is to open the consciousness to the Divine, to live in the inner consciousness more and more while acting from it on the external life, to bring the inmost psychic into the front and by the power of the psychic to purify and change the being so that it may become ready for transformation and in union with the Divine Knowledge, Will and Love. Secondly, to develop the Yogic consciousness - i.e. to universalise the being on all the planes, become aware of the cosmic being and cosmic forces and be in union with the Divine on all the planes up to the Overmind. Thirdly, to come into contact with the transcendent Divine, beyond the Overmind, through the supramental consciousness, supramentalise the consciousness and the nature and make oneself an instrument for the realisation of the dynamic Divine Truth and its transforming descent into the earth-nature.

A Yoga Not for Ourselves
Well, I once wrote in my callow days, "Our Yoga is not for ourselves but humanity" - that was in the Bande Mataram times.

To get out of the hole self-created I had to explain that it was no longer for humanity, but for the Divine. The "not for ourselves" remained intact.


The Aim of the Integral Yoga


Quite possible and practical and a very rapturous thing [is absolute surrender to the Divine] as anyone who has done it can tell you. It is also the easiest and most powerful way of "getting the Divine". So it is the best policy also. The phrase ["for the
Divine"], however, means that the object of the Yoga is to enter into and be possessed by the Divine Presence and Consciousness, to love the Divine for the Divine's sake alone, to be turned in our nature into nature of the Divine and in our will and works and life to be the instrument of the Divine. Its object is not to be a great Yogi or a superman (although that may come) or to grab at the Divine for the sake of the ego's power, pride or pleasure.

It is not for salvation though liberation comes by it and all else may come; but these must not be our objects. The Divine alone is our object.

To come to this Yoga merely with the idea of being a superman would be an act of vital egoism which would defeat its own object. Those who put this object in the front of their preoccupations invariably come to grief, spiritually and otherwise. The aim of this Yoga is, first, to enter into the divine consciousness by merging into it the separative ego (incidentally, in doing so one finds one's true individual self which is not the limited, vain and selfish human ego but a portion of the Divine) and, secondly, to bring down the supramental consciousness on earth to transform mind, life and body. All else can be only a result of these two aims, not the primary object of the Yoga.

The extreme difficulty of these two aims has never been concealed from the sadhakas; on the contrary, difficulties and dangers have been overemphasised, rather than minimised. If still they choose and persist in this path, it is supposed that they are ready to risk everything, sacrifice everything, surrender everything in order to achieve this end or help towards its achievement.

You must get out of certain wrong ideas that you seem to have


Letters on Yoga - II
about Yoga, for these are dangerous and ought to be thrown away by every sadhak:
(1) The object of Yoga is not to become "like" Sri Aurobindo or the Mother Those who cherish this idea easily come to the further idea that they can become their equals and even greater.

This is only to feed the ego.

(2) The object of Yoga is not to get power or to be more powerful than others or to have great siddhis or to do great or wonderful or miraculous things.

(3) The object of Yoga is not to be a great Yogi or a superman. This is an egoistic way of taking the Yoga and can lead to no good; avoid it altogether.

(4) To talk about the supramental and think of bringing it down in yourself is the most dangerous of all. It may bring an entire megalomania and loss of balance. What the sadhak has to seek is the full opening to the Divine, the psychic change of his consciousness, the spiritual change. Of that change of consciousness, selflessness, desirelessness, humility, bhakti, surrender, calm, equality, peace, quiet, sincerity are necessary constituents. Until he has the psychic and spiritual change, to think of being supramental is an absurdity and an arrogant absurdity.

All these egoistic ideas, if indulged, can only aggrandise the ego, spoil the sadhana and lead to serious spiritual dangers. They should be rejected altogether.

Making fulfilment etc. the aim encourages an ego-centric attitude. Fulfilment, liberation, bliss etc. will come, but as a result of union with the Divine, not as a personal object of the sadhana.

Not Liberation But Transformation
Peace is a necessary basis, but peace is not sufficient. Peace if it is strong and permanent can liberate the inner being which can become a calm and unmoved witness of the external movements. That is the liberation of the Sannyasin. In some cases it can liberate the external also, throwing the old nature out into

The Aim of the Integral Yoga

the environmental consciousness, but even this is liberation, not transformation.

Spiritual liberation means to be free from ego and from the imprisonment in the mind and vital and physical nature and to be conscious of the spiritual Self and live in that consciousness.

Spiritual perfection and fulfilment means that the nature should be spiritualised, new-formed in the consciousness of the free Self and the divine consciousness of infinity, purity, light, power, bliss and knowledge.

In the Brahmanic condition one feels the self to be untouched and pure - but the nature remains imperfect. The ordinary Sannyasin does not care about that, because it is not his object to perfect the nature, but to separate himself from it.

The negative means [of sadhana] are not evil - they are useful for their object which is to get away from life. But from the positive point of view, they are disadvantageous because they get rid of the powers of the being instead of divinising them for the transformation of life.

Divinisation and Transformation
The fundamental difference is in the teaching that there is a dynamic divine Truth (the Supermind) and that into the present world of Ignorance that Truth can descend, create a new Truthconsciousness and divinise Life. The old Yogas go straight from mind to the absolute Divine, regard all dynamic existence as
Ignorance, Illusion or Lila: when you enter the static and immutable Divine Truth, they say, you pass out of cosmic existence.

They [the ancient Yogas] aimed at realisation and did not care


Letters on Yoga - II
about divinisation, except the Tantric and some others. The aim however even in these was rather to become saints and siddhas than anything else.

If your soul always aspires for the transformation, then that is what you have to follow after. To seek the Divine or rather some aspect of the Divine - for one cannot entirely realise the Divine if there is no transformation - may be enough for some, but not for those whose soul's aspiration is for the entire divine change.

Unless the external nature is transformed, one may go as high as possible and have the largest experiences - but the external mind remains an instrument of the Ignorance.

If the presence of the Divine is established, it means that the being is ready for the transformation which proceeds naturally.

The full transformation is the result of union with the divine consciousness.

To be in full union with the Divine is the final aim. When one has some kind of constant union, one can be called a Yogi, but the union has to be made complete. There are Yogis who have only the union on the spiritual plane, others who are united in mind and heart, others in the vital also. In our Yoga our aim is to be united too in the physical consciousness and on the supramental plane.

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