Individual Salvation Is Not Sufficient For the Integral Seeker

The individual liberation or salvation sought as the goal of the yoga of knowledge, the yoga of works and the yoga of love, in their respective forms, does not represent the end goal envisioned by the seeker of the integral Yoga. The seeker of the integral Yoga looks for the reconciliation and ultimate meaning of the manifestation of the Divine, searches for the status that embraces the Transcendence, the Universal or Cosmic and the Individual, as well as the Impersonal and the Personal forms of the Divine. The integral seeker does not treat the world as an illusion, but as a purposeful expression and manifestation of the Divine, with an intention behind the manifestation that he is here to both understand and participate in.

Sri Aurobindo goes into depth on this question: “An individual salvation is not enough for him; for he finds himself opening to a cosmic consciousness which far exceeds by its breadth and vastness the narrower intensity of a limited individual fulfilment, and its call is imperative; driven by that immense compulsion, he must break through all separative boundaries, spread himself in world-Nature, contain the universe. Above too, there is urgent upon him a dynamic realisation pressing from the Supreme upon this world of beings, and only some encompassing and exceeding of the cosmic consciousness can release into manifestation here that yet unlavished splendour. But the cosmic consciousness too is not sufficient; for it is not all the Divine Reality, not integral. There is a divine secret behind personality that he must discover; there, waiting in it to be delivered here into Time, stands the mystery of the embodiment of the Transcendence.”

“But, again, a mere escape into some absolute Transcendence leaves personality unfulfilled and the universal action inconclusive and cannot satisfy the integral seeker. He feels that the Truth that is for ever is a Power that creates as well as a stable Existence; it is not a Power solely of illusory or ignorant manifestation. The eternal Truth can manifest its truths in Time; it can create in Knowledge and not only in Inconscience and Ignorance. A divine Descent no less than an ascent to the Divine is possible; there is a prospect of the bringing down of a future perfection and a present deliverance. As his knowledge widens, it becomes for him more and more evident that it was this for which the Master of Works cast down the soul within him here as a spark of his fire into the darkness, that it might grow there into a centre of the Light that is for ever.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 11, The Master of the Work, pp. 246-247

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