Applying the Process of the Gita’s Yoga

The Gita presents a yogic path that has advantages in comparison to the austere path followed by the traditional yoga of knowledge. The primary advantages reside in the opportunity to embrace the Divine Presence in all aspects of life, with all the various capacities, powers and senses that the human being possesses. This means, as Sri Aurobindo elsewhere states, that “all life is yoga.”

At the same time, this is not something that allows one to wallow in the fulfillment of desires, and engorgement with the objects of the senses and simply consider oneself “saved”. What the Gita is actually asking us to do is to systematically confront every thought, every feeling, every impulse, every physical sensation and convert it from our normal human response and view to the point where everything we see, do, experience and respond to is seen and responded to as the Divine.

“no doubt, on this way too there are difficulties; for there is the lower nature with its fierce or dull downward gravitation which resists and battles against the motion of ascent and clogs the wings of the exaltation and the upward rapture. The divine consciousness even when it has been found at first in a wonder of great moments or in calm and splendid durations, cannot at once be altogether held or called back at will; there is felt often an inability to keep the personal consciousness fixed steadily in the Divine; there are nights of long exile from the Light, there are hours or moments of revolt, doubt or failure.”

These difficulties must be overcome with patience, persistence and perseverance. “But still by the practice of union and by constant repetition of the experience, that highest spirit grows upon the being and takes permanent possession of the nature.”

The Gita points out that even this may be a more difficult process than some can actually carry out, and therefore provides yet another option: “Then the way is simple, to do all actions for the sake of the Lord of the action, so that every outward-going movement of the mind shall be associated with the inner spiritual truth of the being and called back even in the very movement to the eternal reality and connected with its source.”

The result: “Then the presence of the Purushottama will grow upon the natural man, till he is filled with it and becomes a Godhead and a spirit; all life will become a constant remembering of God and perfection too will grow and the unity of the whole existence of the human soul with the supreme Existence.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 12, The Way and the Bhakta, pg. 388