When we reflect for a moment on what the Gita is asking us to do, it becomes clear that the complete reversal of consciousness, the shifting of the standpoint from the human to the divine, and the alterations this brings about in the way of seeing and acting, is not something that can be achieved without a complete and, as Sri Aurobindo calls it, an “integral” approach. Sri Aurobindo’s teaching in fact takes up this theme and has been called “purna yoga” and “integral yoga” for this reason. It is not sufficient to change ones ideas, opinions or object of devotion. In order to accomplish a transformation of how one sees and responds to the world, virtually everything must be taken up and adjusted from the new viewpoint. No longer acting from the ego-personality, we must respond to all forms, forces and events as the Divine responds!
Sri Aurobindo discusses the conditions of this transformation: “There will be needed a complete consecration of your self and your nature and your life to the Highest and to nothing else but the Highest; for all must be held only for the sake of the Highest, nothing accepted except as it is in
God and a form of God and for the sake of the Divine.”
This impacts the intellect and mental activities: “There will be needed an admission of new truth, an entire turn and giving of your mind to a new knowledge of self and others and world and God and soul and Nature, a knowledge of oneness, a knowledge of universal Divinity, which will be at first an acceptance by the understanding but must become in the end a vision, a consciousness, a permanent state of the soul and frame of its movements.”
It must also transform our active nature through the will, the heart, the vital and physical elements of our being: “There will be needed a will that shall make this new knowledge, vision, consciousness a motive of action and the sole motive….There will be needed an uplifting of the heart in a single aspiration to the Highest, a single love of the Divine Being, a single God-adoration. And there must be a widening too of the calmed and enlightened heart to embrace God in all beings. There will be needed a change of the habitual and normal nature of man as he is now to a supreme and divine spiritual nature.”
“There will be needed in a word a Yoga which shall be at once a Yoga of integral knowledge, a Yoga of the integral will and its works, a Yoga of integral love, adoration and devotion and a Yoga of an integral spiritual perfection of the whole being and of all its parts and states and powers and motions.”
Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 24, The Message of the Gita, pp. 556-557