Universal Love and Spiritual Development

All yogic practice involves the expansion of the individual self outside the limits of the egoistic personality grounded in mind, life and body. The process involves a culturing of consciousness to widen into the universal standpoint, first of all, and into the even higher divine standpoint eventually. The universal standpoint is a major advance for the seeker from the limits imposed by the ego and by the individual attachments formed by the ego, even when they are first steps or stages in the process of opening up. Sri Aurobindo comments: “As with individual, so with universal Love; all that widening of the self through sympathy, goodwill, universal benevolence and beneficence, love of mankind, love of creatures, the attraction of all forms and presences that surround us by which mentally and emotionally man escapes from the first limits of his ego, has to be taken up into a unifying divine love for the universal Divine.”

The power of the emotional opening brings a vibrancy and passion to the selflessness of the karma yogin, or the one-pointed dedication and concentration of the practitioner of the yoga of knowledge. The theoretical knowledge of Oneness blossoms out into a real and moving experience: “…we perceive behind every veil the Divine, spiritually embrace all forms the All-Beautiful. A universal delight in his endless manifestation flows through us, taking in its surge every form and movement, but not bound or stationary in any and always reaching out to a greater and more perfect expression. This universal love is liberative and dynamic for transformation; for the discord of forms and appearances ceases to affect the heart that has felt the one Truth behind them all and understood their perfect significance. The impartial equality of soul of the selfless worker and knower is transformed by the magic touch of divine Love into an all-embracing ecstasy and million-bodied beatitude. All things become bodies and all movements the playthings of the divine Beloved in his infinite house of pleasure. Even pain is changed and in their reaction and even in their essence things painful alter; the forms of pain fall away, there are created in their place the forms of Ananda.”

“This is in its essence the nature of the change of consciousness which turns existence itself into a gloried field of a Divine Love and Ananda. In its essence it begins for the seeker when he passes from the ordinary to the spiritual level and looks with a new heart of luminous vision and feeling on the world and self and others. It reaches its height when the spiritual becomes also the supramental level and there also it is possible not only to feel it in essence, but realise it dynamically as a Power for the transformation of the whole inner life and the whole outer existence.”

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, pp. 150-151