Revealing the Divinity in the Manifested World of Forms

The central issue for a “yoga of works” is to transform the action in the outer world into a divine activity. The normal life we experience and see around us seems to be hostile to and antithetical to a Divine life. Many spiritual disciplines have therefore counseled a complete and radical break with the life of the world, so that the seeker may focus on his spiritual essential truth, on the Eternal, on the Absolute. For some, the world represents a provisional ground, filled with illusory objects of desire that distract and cloud the spiritual essence of life. While it may be accepted to some degree provisionally, eventually the seeker must abandon that life and focus on what is “real” and “eternal”.

Sri Aurobindo’s focus on what he terms “reality omnipresent” leads him to conclude that eventually, the yogic aspiration must grapple with and take up the field of life, unravel the mystery and riddle of its apparent opposition to the Truth, and bring about a Divine transformation of the actual life in the world, by revealing its true status as a Divine manifestation and as he states poetically in his epic work Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol “Matter shall reveal the Spirit’s face.”

“Yet it is precisely these activities that are claimed for a spiritual conquest and divine transformation by the integral Yoga. Abandoned altogether by the more ascetic disciplines, accepted by others only as a field of temporary ordeal or a momentary, superficial and ambiguous play of the concealed spirit, this existence is fully embraced and welcomed by the integral seeker as a field of fulfilment, a field for divine works, a field of the total self-discovery of the concealed and indwelling Spirit. A discovery of the Divinity in oneself is his first object, but a total discovery too of the Divinity in the world behind the apparent denial offered by its scheme and figures and, last, a total discovery of the dynamism of some transcendent Eternal; for by its descent this world and self will be empowered to break their disguising envelopes and become divine in revealing form and manifesting process as they now are secretly in their hidden essence.”

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. 159