The Power of Love in the Spiritual Quest

The traditional seekers of the Eternal have primarily focused on the force of Knowledge to act as the lever for achieving the wide, unlimited standpoint of the Eternal. The integral Yoga, which focuses on a complete transformation of all the powers and aspects of life, also harnesses the powers of love and works to provide a fullness to the consciousness that is missing for those who abandon life in order to achieve spiritual knowledge. The integral Yoga develops the power and centrality of the psychic being, the true soul in man, to guide, and then brings in all the powers to uplift and transform.

Sri Aurobindo describes the benefits derived from bringing the power of love to bear on the quest: “If the sacrifice of knowledge rightly done is easily the largest and purest offering we can bring to the Highest, the sacrifice of love is not less demanded of us for our spiritual perfection; it is even more intense and rich in its singleness and can be made not less vast and pure. This pure wideness is brought into the intensity of the sacrifice of love when into all our activities there is poured the spirit and power of a divine infinite joy and the whole atmosphere of our life is suffused with an engrossing adoration of the One who is the All and the Highest. For then does the sacrifice of love attain its utter perfection when, offered to the Divine All, it becomes integral, catholic and boundless and when, uplifted to the Supreme, it ceases to be the weak, superficial and transient movement men call love and becomes a pure and grand and deep unity Ananda.”

Sri Aurobindo calls up on us to recognize the difference between this divine power of love and the ordinary human movement that parades under that name. This requires a purification of the energy and a clarity of purpose and focus that does not get misdirected, misled or misguided into transferring the energy solely to any outer object in the aspect of a separated and isolated individual form, and which does not get perverted by the force of desire confusing the mind with its subtle promptings.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 6, The Ascent of the Sacrifice-2, The Works of Love–The Works of Life, pg. 148