The First Indispensable Movement In the Yoga Of the Gita

The practice that leads to a silent identification with the Brahman is a necessary stage to liberate the seeker from the limitations of the ego, and thereby allow a unity of the Soul with the infinite Impersonal. Sri Aurobindo points out that the concept of “Brahman” did not, for either the Upanishads or the Gita, imply only the immobile, immutable, silent and vast impersonal. The key statements were “One without a second”, combined with a corresponding insistence that “All this is the Brahman.”

The rationale for first achieving unity with the silent aspect of the Brahman is essentially that as long as we remain bound by the consciousness of the ego-personality, and immersed in the play of the Gunas, there is no realistic way to switch the standpoint from the limited to the unlimited. The focus on the silent aspect therefore has a practical result in that it facilitates the expansion and freeing of the conscious awareness.

Sri Aurobindo explains: “It is only when we lose our limited ego personality in the impersonality of the self that we arrive at the calm and free oneness by which we can possess a true unity with the universal power of the Divine in his world movement. Impersonality is a denial of limitation and division, and the cult of impersonality is a natural condition of true being, an indispensable preliminary of true knowledge and therefore a first requisite of true action. It is very clear that we cannot become one self with all or one with the universal Spirit and his vast self-knowledge, his complex will and his widespread world-purpose by insisting on our limited personality of ego; for that divides us from others and it makes us bound and self-centred in our view and in our will to action. Imprisoned in personality we can only get at a limited union by sympathy or by some relative accommodation of ourselves to the viewpoint and feeling and will of others. To be one with all and with the Divine and his will in the cosmos we must become at first impersonal and free from our ego and its claims and from the ego’s way of seeing ourselves and the world and others. And we cannot do this if there is not something in our being other than the personality, other than the ego, an impersonal self one with all existences. To lose ego and be this impersonal self, to become this impersonal Brahman in our consciousness is therefore the first movement of this Yoga.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 21, Towards the Supreme Secret, pp. 513-515