Self-Consecration Is the Essential Condition for Realisation in Yoga

When we begin the path of Yoga we are faced with something of a paradox. We are asked to concentrate on the Divine, and yet we do not know or recognize the Divine upon whom we are asked to concentrate. The solution to this riddle comes from reflection that the standpoint of the ego is not, in reality, the true and essential standpoint from which actions in the universe take place. Elsewhere Sri Aurobindo has advised “He who chooses the Infinite, has been chosen by the Infinite.” Thus, before we actually know what it is we are seeking, the Divine has begun to lay out before us the path, the way and the direction. While intellectual development may be useful, it is not the essential factor. “All that the Light from above asks of us that it may begin its work is a call from the soul and a sufficient point of support in the mind. This support can be reached through an insistent idea of the Divine in the thought, a corresponding will in the dynamic parts, an aspiration, a faith, a need in the heart. Any one of these may lead or predominate, if all cannot move in unison or in an equal rhythm. The idea may be and must in the beginning be inadequate; the aspiration may be narrow and imperfect, the faith poorly illumined or even, as not surely founded on the rock of knowledge, fluctuating, uncertain, easily diminished; often even it may be extinguished and need to be lit again with difficulty like a torch in a windy pass. But if once there is a resolute self-consecration from deep within, if there is an awakening to the soul’s call, these inadequate things can be a sufficient instrument for the divine purpose.”

It must be noted here that this aspiration, this call is not restricted to any one form of knowledge or devotion, nor any particular philosophy or religious belief. “Therefore the wise have always been unwilling to limit man’s avenues towards God; they would not shut against his entry even the narrowest portal, the lowest and darkest postern, the humblest wicket-gate. Any name, any form, any symbol, any offering has been held to be sufficient if there is the consecration along with it; for the Divine knows himself in the heart of the seeker and accepts the sacrifice.”

Eventually, as the consecration develops, the seeker gains knowledge, not intellectual reasoning, but a living understanding and guidance within, and this aids in the process of concentration on the Divine that is the leverage needed to attain the complete identification and realisation in the being.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 2, Self Consecration, pp. 74-75