An Individual and Universal Yoga

By its very nature, the integral Yoga cannot avoid or deny the various aspects or powers of life and existence in order to achieve the goal using the methodology of an exclusive concentration. While such an effort may be helpful or necessary at various stages, in the end, the seeker of the integral path returns to the all-embracing focus and the complex needs of the manifested universe and must then take up aspects that have been put aside or left behind temporarily. By seeing the individual as a representative of the universal manifestation, the integral practitioner also cannot hide behind the illusion of individual separation and thus, eventually must confront all the forces of the manifestation. This provides serious issues and challenges as simply finding a way to individually manage a particular movement or force will not resolve the return of that force from “outside” and the immense pressure that results.

Sri Aurobindo weighs in on this unique aspect of the difficulties faced by those treading the path of integral Yoga: “Accepting life, he has to bear not only his own burden, but a great part of the world’s burden too along with it, as a continuation of his own sufficiently heavy load.”

“He has not only to conquer in himself the forces of egoistic falsehood and disorder, but to conquer them as representatives of the same adverse and inexhaustible forces in the world. Their representative character gives them a much more obstinate capacity of resistance, an almost endless right to recurrence. Often he finds that even after he has won persistently his own personal battle, he has still to win it over and over again in a seemingly interminable war, because his inner existence has already been so much enlarged that not only it contains his own being with its well-defined needs and experiences, but is in solidarity with the being of others, because in himself he contains the universe.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 2, Self Consecration, pg. 71