Integrating the Yoga of Love With Both Knowledge and Works

Each of the 3 paths of yoga, knowledge, works and love, addresses a specific aspect of the human being’s psychology. Separately, each one can achieve certain results; together, however, they provide the all-encompassing path that is recommended by the Gita.

The yoga of love and devotion provides the motive force that transforms dry knowledge and hard works into something that is alive, captivating and all-embracing. Sri Aurobindo provides us with his insight into this process: “This love that is knowledge, this love that can be the deep heart of your action, will be your most effective force for an utter consecration and complete perfection. An integral union of the individual’s being with the Divine Being is the condition of a perfect spiritual life.”

He also describes the method: “Turn then altogether towards the Divine; make one with him by knowledge, love and works all your nature. Turn utterly towards him and give up ungrudgingly into his hands your mind and your heart and your will, all your consciousness and even your very senses and body. Let your consciousness be sovereignly moulded by him into a flawless mould of his divine consciousness. Let your heart become a lucid or flaming heart of the Divine. Let your will be an impeccable action of his will. Let your very sense and body be the rapturous sensation and body of the Divine. Adore and sacrifice to him with all you are; remember him in every thought and feeling, every impulsion and act. Persevere until all these things are wholly his and he has taken up even in most common and outward things as in the inmost sacred chamber of your spirit his constant transmuting presence.”

This is the key to turning all thoughts and actions towards the Divine. The seeker is not restricted to silent, aloof meditation, nor specific ritual actions, nor even devotion channeled through specific times of worship; rather, every moment, every action however simple or complex, every thought can be turned Godward through the utter consecration and the turning of the heart to adore and worship the Divine, seen in the abstract and the manifest, in all that exists in the universe, and in one’s deepest heart of Oneness, at all times and in all ways.

Wherever we look, we see the Divine. Whatever we do we consecrate that to the Divine. We identify with the Divine and find Oneness with all beings in that way. This is the fruit of the integration of the yoga of love with the paths of knowledge and works.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 24, The Message of the Gita, pp. 570-571