Yoga Is Union Of the Individual With the Divine Consciousness

One thing which all the various paths and methods of yoga share is the ultimate aim, which is to bring about a union between the individual consciousness and the divine consciousness. The term “yoga” comes from a Sanskrit terms which means ‘to join”. Sri Aurobindo makes the following statement: “For the contact of the human and individual consciousness with the divine is the very essence of Yoga. Yoga is the union of that which has become separated in the play of the universe with its own true self, origin and universality.”

The different methods or paths of Yoga simply differentiate themselves by the part of the complex human being which takes the lead in the effort, and the methodology therefore to be employed. “It may be effected in the physical through the body; in the vital through the action of those functionings which determine the state and the experiences of our nervous being; through the mentality, whether by means of the emotional heart, the active will or the understanding mind, or more largely by a general conversion of the mental consciousness in all its activities. It may equally be accomplished through a direct awakening to the universal or transcendent Truth and Bliss by the conversion of the central ego in the mind. And according to the point of contact that we choose will be the type of the Yoga that we practice.”

In the end, it is not so much a matter of one type of Yoga being “better” than another; it is more correct to appreciate that each individual has a unique opportunity to work with his own individual human formation, and apply the appropriate yogic practices based on his own makeup and stage of development. In fact, there may be successive times or stages in the life of the individual where one or another path may predominate in the development of the yogic consciousness, the consciousness of union between the individual and the divine.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Introduction: The Conditions of the Synthesis, Chapter 4, The Systems of Yoga, pp. 27-28

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