Recognising the Inner Guide In the Integral Yoga

As the integral Yoga involves the successive transformation of our egoistic personality into the divine consciousness using the individual as the occasion or nexus of action, it is important for us to begin to recognise the divine Master of our existence as the moving force behind our thoughts, emotions and actions. In his book The Mother, Sri Aurobindo reminds us that “In all that is done in the universe, the Divine through his Shakti is behind all action but he is veiled by his Yoga Maya and works through the ego of the Jiva in the lower nature.” (The Mother, Chapter II, pg. 8)

As the ego continues to struggle, it is difficult to recognise the inner guide; as the process develops, however, and we find that the obstacles, struggles and suffering actually are part of a process of systematically taking up all the aspects of being and working on them, changing the way we respond to them, and providing us a new standpoint from which to view them, we begin to acknowledge that there is some Force that has supported us through it all, and which is aiding us in the endeavor. Depending on our individual personality, this may be an approach through any of the gates of our personality: “It is immaterial whether he is first seen as an impersonal Wisdom, Love and Power behind all things, as an Absolute manifesting in the relative and attracting it, as one’s highest Self and the highest Self of all, as a Divine person within us and in the world, in one of his–or her–numerous forms and names or as the ideal which the mind conceives. In the end we perceive that he is all and more than all these things together. The mind’s door of entry to the conception of him must necessarily vary according to the past evolution and the present nature.”

We may not identify this inner Guide immediately, but rather recognise the truth after the fact as we reflect on the life and the events which are shaping it, and our growing ability to accept and withstand the challenges placed before us. “As we gain in clarity and the turmoil of egoistic effort gives place to a calmer self-knowledge, we recognise the source of the growing light within us. We recognise it retrospectively as we realise how all our obscure and conflicting movements have been determined towards an end that we only now begin to perceive, how even before our entrance into the path of the Yoga the evolution of our life has been designedly led towards its turning point.”

“…we feel the eternal presence of a supreme Master, Friend, Lover, Teacher.” We begin to appreciate the universal Being who takes birth in each form, in each person, and who is the true author of our lives and our efforts, and who upholds us through all until we finally reach a state of identity with that Divine Presence in our lives. “One who is the Lord or Ishwara of the Yogic philosophies, the guide in the conscious being…, the Absolute of the thinker, the Unknowable of the Agnostic, the universal Force of the materialist, the supreme Soul and the supreme Shakti, the One who is differently named and imaged by the religions, is the Master of our Yoga.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 1, The Four Aids, pp. 55-56