The Process of Development of Self-Consecration

The turning and focus of the being toward the Divine realisation takes place over time as each force, power and movement of the being is brought forward, tested, and guided towards its perfection in self-consecration. For those who have had an overpowering experience and realisation at the core of the being, there is certainly a strong focus and impetus, but even here, the full working out of the consecration in all aspects of the life will take time and effort. Sri Aurobindo explains: “Whatever difficulties and hesitations may ensue, they cannot eventually prevail against the power of the experience that has turned the current of the life. The call, once decisive, stands; the thing that has been born cannot eventually be stifled. Even if the force of circumstances prevents a regular pursuit or a full practical self-consecration from the first, still the mind has taken its bent and persists and returns with an ever-increasing effect upon its leading preoccupation.”

For those who have not had such an overpowering, life-changing event to trigger their focus on the Divine, the process may be somewhat less focused. “There may at first be only a vivid intellectual interest, a forcible attraction towards the idea and some imperfect form of practice. Or perhaps there is an effort not favoured by the whole nature, a decision or a turn imposed by an intellectual influence or dictated by personal affection and admiration for someone who is himself consecrated and devoted to the Highest. In such cases, a long period of preparation may be necessary before there comes the irrevocable consecration; and in some instances it may not come. There may be some advance, there may be a strong effort, even much purification and many experiences other than those that are central or supreme; but the life will either be spent in preparation or, a certain stage having been reached, the mind pushed by an insufficient driving-force may rest content at the limit of the effort possible to it.” In fact, there may be an apparent retrogression or rebound from the height or intensity of the effort, as the makeup of the individual being is complex and not all the parts may agree on the single-minded focus required for the complete success in the Yoga. Sri Aurobindo points out that such efforts, even if they do not yield the utmost fruit at this point, are not wasted. “Even if it fails in the present or arrives only at some preparatory stage or preliminary realisation, it has yet determined the soul’s future.”

The complete self-consecration requires a constant and complete focus of the being. “The secret of success in Yoga is to regard it not as one of the aims to be pursued in life, but as the whole of life.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 2, Self Consecration, pp. 64-65