Third Aspect of Personal Effort in Integral Yoga

Sri Aurobindo describes the 3rd aspect of personal effort required: “surrender of oneself and all one is and has and every plane of the consciousness and every movement to the Divine and the Shakti.”

This step is the next movement after the initiation of aspiration and rejection. The aspiration tunes or focuses the consciousness. The rejection removes all distracting or deviating energies from the process. Once the being is focused on the Divine and has removed obstacles and distracting influences, the next step is to allow that Divine Force, the Shakti, to enter the being and manifest itself purely and completely. That is what is intended by the concept of “surrender”.

As Sri Aurobindo has previously described, it is the Divine through his Shakti that is behind all action. The ego personality is basically a constructed formation. As the process of aspiration, rejection and surrender take place, one finds that the constructed ego personality recedes and the individual becomes a nexus or hub for the manifestation of the Divine Force.

The ego has a real difficulty with the idea of “surrender”. The subordination or elimination of the ego is equated with “death” or “dissolution” but in reality, it is a transference of the standpoint from the individual occupying the center of the universe to the more correct view that the individual is in fact a nexus of the manifestation of the universal manifestation. As the Isha Upanishad states it “individual universe of movement in the universal motion.”

One of the cardinal obstacles to achieving a deep state of inner consciousness, samadhi, is the fear of death that rises up when the consciousness meets the barrier. Eventually the spiritual seeker has to confront and overcome the fear of death in the inner spiritual quest to achieve the result.

Surrender is the recognition that the surface personality of the ego must give way in order for the true Individual, the “Jivatman”, acting as the hub or nexus of the manifestation of the Divine, to come to the fore.

Sri Aurobindo,

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