Perfect Self-Knowledge Leads to Peace and Fulfillment

The impersonal and the personal aspects of existence each have their rationale for existence. The seeker in the Yoga of knowledge seeks the impersonal because only through that aspect can true distance be created in order to not simply be tossed around by the waves of the qualities, “Gunas”, which bind the individual and prevent him from experiencing the reality of existence in all its fullness, freely and independently. Sri Aurobindo explains: “And it is the ancient highest experience of mankind that only by arriving three, only by making oneself impersonal, one, still, self-gathered, superior to the mental and vital existence in that which is eternally superior to it, can a settled, because self-existent peace and internal freedom be acquired. Therefore this is the first, in a sense the characteristic and essential object of the Yoga of Knowledge.”

For most this result becomes the ending point of their seeking, but for the practitioner of the integral Yoga, this is clearly not sufficient because the rationale for the manifested world has not yet been understood and adopted. “Knowledge is not complete if it merely shows us how to get away from relations to that which is beyond relations, from personality to impersonality, from multiplicity to featureless unit. It must also give that key, that secret of the whole play of relations, the whole variation of multiplicity, the whole clash and interaction of personalities for which cosmic existence is seeking.”

Further the knowledge must be, not just abstract and intellectual in a sense, but also practical and able to aid the seeker in transforming his relation to that world from which he drew back initially to establish a standpoint or platform for attaining the knowledge.

“And knowledge is still incomplete if it gives us only an idea and cannot verify it in experience; we seek the key, the secret in order that we may govern the phenomenon by the reality it represents, heal its discords by the hidden principle of concord and unification behind them and arrive from the converging and diverging effort of the world to the harmony of its fulfilment. Not merely peace, but fulfilment is what the heart of the world is seeking and what a perfect and effective self-knowledge must give to it; peace can only be the eternal support, the infinite condition, the natural atmosphere of self-fulfilment.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 12, The Realisation of Sachchidananda, pp. 368-369