The Central Purpose and Method of the Integral Yoga

While some paths of Yoga aim for release from life in this world, and others focus on creating a concentration that leads either to the silence of the Infinite or the ecstatic devotion of the lover of God, the integral Yoga sets as its aim the transformation of the life in the world of manifestation. The integral Yoga does not attempt to avoid the problem of existence by denying its reality; rather, it sees that all life is ultimately real, the manifestation of the Divine, by the Divine, for the Divine’s purpose.

Sri Aurobindo describes the goal: “The transformation of our superficial, narrow and fragmentary human way of thinking, seeing, feeling and being into a deep and wide spiritual consciousness and an integrated inner and outer existence and of our ordinary human living into the divine way of life must be its central purpose.”

In order to achieve this aim, the integral Yoga does not depend on specific exclusive techniques or forms of concentration as are found in other paths of Yoga; rather, the integral Yoga depends on an all-embracing concentration that involves all the powers and aspects of the being on a constant basis: “The means towards this supreme end is a self-giving of all our nature to the Divine. Everything must be given to the Divine within us, to the universal All and to the transcendent Supreme. An absolute concentration of our will, our heart and our thought on that one and manifold Divine, an unreserved self-consecration of our whole being to the Divine alone–this is the decisive movement, the turning of the ego to That which is infinitely greater than itself, its self-giving and indispensable surrender.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 3, Self-Surrender in Works–The Way of the Gita, pg. 82