The Integral Realisation Reconciles Unity and Multiplicity in the Supreme

Each of the traditional paths of Yoga, whether of knowledge, works, or love, follows a specific conceptual framework to a pre-determined status of relation to the Divine, the absolute, the Brahman. The path of knowledge tends to emphasize Oneness in the Transcendent. The path of works focuses on relating to the Divine in the Universal. While the path of love focuses on the relation of the individual Soul with the Divine. In the exclusive concentration that develops in each of these paths, there is a tendency to minimize or lose sight of the underlying truth of the other paths. The integral Yoga, however, seeks the Divine in all experience and forms, and accepts the essential truth of each of these paths, and works to reconcile and integrate them into a comprehensive unity that does not deny the multiplicity but understands and support the Divine manifestation through the universal and individual forms, while basing its action in knowledge arising from unity with the transcendent consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo explains: “The Divine has many essential modes of His eternal self-manifestation, possesses and finds Himself on many planes and through many poles of His being; to each mode its purpose, to each plane or pole its fulfilment both in the apex and the supreme scope of the eternal Unity. It is necessarily through the individual Self that we must arrive at the One, for that is the basis of all our experience. By Knowledge we arrive at identity with the One; for there is, in spite of the Dualist, an essential identity by which we can plunge into our Source and free ourselves from all bondage to individuality and even from all bondage to universality.”

“The height of all our action also, we have seen, is the immersion of ourselves in the Lord through unity with the divine Will or Conscious-Power by the way of works; the height of love is the rapturous immersion of ourselves in unity of ecstatic delight with the object of our love and adoration. But again for divine works in the world the individual Self converts itself into a centre of consciousness through which the divine Will, one with the divine Love and Light, pours itself out in the multiplicity of the universe. We arrive in the same way at our unity with all our fellow-beings through the identity of this self with the Supreme and with the self in all others. At the same time in the action of Nature we preserve by it as soul-form of the One a differentiation which enables us to preserve relations of difference in Oneness with other beings and with the Supreme Himself.”

The basis of this relationship, however, starts in the Unity, and thus, instead of responding from the fragmented, isolated and separated consciousness of the human being, the realized being recognizes the essential Oneness, and the play of the multiplicity from a standpoint of Unity. “Unity will be the law, difference will be simply for the various enjoyment of that unity.”

This brings about the ultimate reconciliation of “…the two poles of being where they meet in the infinity of the Highest.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 11, The Modes of the Self, pp. 361-362