Human Intermediaries and the Integral Yoga

Sri Aurobindo accepts and supports the validity and potential benefit to the seeker in the relationship with the Avatar, incarnation, Teacher, Guide or Guru. The limitations and difficulties of the egoistic consciousness imply that the seeker should use whatever leverage is possible to effect the transition to the Divine consciousness, avoid or overcome the difficulties along the way, and help keep the focus on the path without distraction. “The Sadhaka of the integral Yoga will make use of all these aids according to his nature…”

He also reminds the seeker, however, not to fall into the trap of the egoistic consciousness while making use of these aids along the way: “…but is is necessary that he should shun their limitations and cast from himself that exclusive tendency of egoistic mind which cries, ‘My god, my Incarnation, my Prophet, my Guru,’ and opposes it to all other realisation in a sectarian or a fanatical spirit. All sectarianism, all fanaticism must be shunned; for it is inconsistent with the integrity of the divine realisation.”

The goal of the integral Yoga is in fact to include, to widen and to integrate the consciousness: “On the contrary, the Sadhaka of the integral Yoga will not be satisfied until he has included all other names and forms of Deity in his own conception, seen his own Ishta Devata in all others, unified all Avatars in the unity of Him who descends in the Avatar, welded the truth in all teachings into the harmony of the Eternal Wisdom.”

The goal is not to worship any particular form of God. The goal is to achieve the Divine realisation: “Nor should he forget the aim of these external aids which is to awaken his soul to the Divine within him. Nothing has been finally accomplished if that has not been accomplished. It is not sufficient to worship Krishna, Christ or Buddha without, if there is not the revealing and the formation of the Buddha, the Christ or Krishna in ourselves. And all other aids equally have no other purpose; each is a bridge between man’s unconverted state and the revelation of the Divine within him.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 1, The Four Aids, pp. 59-60