The Ultimate Aim of Yoga

The science of Yoga asserts that there are states of consciousness, currently beyond our normal mental human state of awareness, which are both possible to achieve and the evolutionary goal of Nature. In particular, the states associated with the “causal body” are considered to be both beyond the mind and divine in their nature. Sri Aurobindo describes this: “There is, we say, a harmony of supreme faculties, corresponding roughly to the psychological faculties of revelation, inspiration and intuition, yet acting not in the intuitive reason or the divine mind, but on a still higher plane, which see Truth directly face to face, or rather live in the truth of things both universal and transcendent and are its formulation and luminous activity. And these faculties are the light of a conscious existence superseding the egoistic and itself both cosmic and transcendent, the nature of which is Bliss. These are obviously divine and, as man is at present apparently constituted, super-human states of consciousness and activity.”

The practices of Yoga are intended to move the consciousness beyond the ego-bound human personality through identification with and expression of this divine consciousness based on Oneness and direct experience, not mental reasoning or inference.

The Upanishads refer to Existence-Consciousness-Bliss (Sat-Chit-Ananda) as the state of awareness that represents this Oneness and KNOWS Truth through direct experience. Sri Aurobindo describes this at length in his magnum opus, The Life Divine. He points out that in the yogic view, “…they are regarded also in their psychological aspects as states of subjective existence to which our waking consciousness is now alien, but which dwell in us in a superconscious plane and to which, therefore, we may always ascend.”

Yoga focuses then, as its ultimate aim, to speed up and carry out the evolutionary intention of Nature by manifesting, and then solidifying as a foundation for knowledge and action, the psychological states corresponding with the transition from the purely human to the divine standpoint; and thereby creating the identification of the individual with the universal and transcendent divine consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Introduction: The Conditions of the Synthesis, Chapter 2, The Three Steps of Nature, pp. 12-13

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