The Nature of the Works of Love in the Integral Yoga

Sri Aurobindo explores the question of the nature of the works of love for the spiritual seeker of the integral Yoga. Traditionally, there have been various responses to this question by the various paths based on devotion. There are those which treat only those devotional acts as directly related to the realisation of God, such as prayer, adoration or worship as being the only permitted acts in the spiritual path based on the power of love. Then again, there are those who recognize that there also is an interaction with the outer world of the manifestation, and thus, acts of philanthropy, goodwill, charity and compassion enter into the equation. “This is indeed the solution most commonly favoured by the religious mind of today and we see it confidently advanced on all sides as the proper field of action of the God-seeker or of the man whose life is founded on divine love and knowledge.”

Sri Aurobindo reminds us, however, that all life must eventually be taken up and transformed, and thus, either of these approaches, while positive steps forward in and of themselves in the spiritual development of humanity, cannot provide a complete solution for the seeker of the integral Yoga.

“All action must be made in it part of the God-life, our acts of knowledge, our acts of power and production and creation, our acts of joy and beauty and the soul’s pleasure, our acts of will and endeavour and strength and not our acts only of love and beneficent service. Its way to do these things will be not outward and mental, but inward and spiritual, and to that end it will bring into all activities, whatever they are, the spirit of divine love, the spirit of adoration and worship, the spirit of happiness in the Divine and in the beauty of the Divine so as to make all life a sacrifice of the works of the soul’s love to the Divine, its cult of the Master of its 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. 151-152

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