Supplemental Realisations Are Required By the Integral Yoga

The Yoga of knowledge seeks a consciousness that is united with the Divine. This may come about either through the realisation of the individual Self, through the realisation of the universal Self or through the realisation of the transcendent Self. The traditional path of knowledge will treat any one of these realisations as the goal, since it has not focused on the concept of either integrating that knowledge into the life in the world, nor using it to transform that life. On the other hand, for the integral Yoga, while these realisations are clearly fundamental and essential as a foundation, they represent more or less the starting point of the further effort to fully integrate the spiritual consciousness into the life in the world. As a result, Sri Aurobindo describes what he calls “instrumental” realisations that need to be brought into the picture to provide a more complete and fully integrated knowledge and action in the world based on that knowledge.

“Other realisations there are that are imperatively needed and must be explored to the full limit of their possibilities; and if some of them appear at first sight to cover only Divine Aspects that are instrumental to the activity of existence but not inherent in its essence, yet, when followed to their end through that activity to its ever-lasting Source, it is found that they lead to a disclosure of the Divine without which our Knowledge of the Truth behind things would be left bare and incomplete. These seeming Instrumentals are the key to a secret without which the Fundamentals themselves would not unveil all their mystery. All the revelatory aspects of the Divine must be caught in the wide net of the integral Yoga.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 4, The Sacrifice, The Triune Path and the Lord of the Sacrifice, pp. 109-110