Each of the yogic paths reviewed thus far relies on specialized practices that rely on one particular aspect of the human instrument, whether the physical body, the vital nervous being, the mind, or the higher forms of reason, emotion or will. These specialized practices are efficacious when focused on the specific area they address, and they have their place in the overall development, particularly during times when a more or less exclusive concentration to develop one aspect is called for.
When looking at the integral yoga, however, which has as its goal not simply to abandon life for an aloof spiritual consciousness, but to actually take up and transform all life into a divine life, we are inevitably faced with the powers of life, and the need to take up all of the various powers and aspects that make up the human personality.
Sri Aurobindo describes the integral yoga’s methodology: “The whole of life is the Yoga of Nature. The Yoga that we seek must also be an integral action of Nature, and the whole difference between the Yogin and the natural man will be this, that the Yogin seeks to substitute in himself for the integral action of the lower Nature working in and by ego and division the integral action of the higher Nature working in and by God and unity.”
“The method we have to pursue, then, is to put our whole conscious being into relation and contact with the Divine and to call Him in to transform our entire being into His, so that in a sense God Himself, the real Person in us, becomes the Sadhaka of the Sadhana as well as the Master of the Yoga by whom the lower personality is used as the centre of a divine transfiguration and the instrument of its own perfection.”
Our concentration on the realisation of the Divine Nature is met with a corresponding response from the Divine consciousness, bringing about the changes required throughout all the parts and aspects of the being. “The divine and all-knowing and all-effecting descends upon the limited and obscure, progressively illumines and energises the whole lower nature and substitutes its own action for all the terms of the inferior human light and mortal activity.”
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Introduction: The Conditions of the Synthesis, Chapter 5, Synthesis, pg. 40