The Need for Divine Help and Arduous Practice To Achieve the Goals of the Yoga

Having determined that achieving the withdrawal from the world is not the goal, and that achievement of the stance of the silent, unmoving infinite Brahman is a basis for further realisations, not the final realization in and of itself, it then becomes necessary to take stock of “where we are” and “how we can get there”. The practice of Yoga, after all, is not intended to be an exercise in philosophy or religion, but a practical science that brings about a change in the life and the consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo defines the next step: “As we drew back from all that constitutes our apparent self and the phenomenon of the universe in which it dwells to the self-existent, self-conscious Brahman, so we must now repossess our mind, life and body with the all-embracing self-existence, self-consciousness and self-delight of the Brahman. We must not only have the possession of a pure self-existence independent of the world-play, but possess all existence as our own; not only know ourselves as an infinite unegoistic consciousness beyond all change in Time and Space, but become one with all the outpouring of consciousness and its creative force in Time and Space; not only be capable of a fathomless peace and quiescence, but also of a free and an infinite delight in universal things. For that and not only pure calm is Sachchidananda, is the Brahman.”

The difficulty arises in that the seeker starts this process as a mental being in a vital body which has its own limitations of capacity, process and habit. The standpoint is centred around the small ego-individuality and thus, the shift to the new, wider, all-embracing outlook is a difficult one. “But man is a mental and not yet a supramental being. It is by the mind therefore that he has to aim at knowledge and realise his being, with whatever help he can get from the supramental planes. This character of our actually realised being and therefore of our Yoga imposes on us certain limitations and primary difficulties which can only be overcome by divine help or an arduous practice, and in reality only by the combination of both these aids.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 13, The Difficulties of the Mental Being, pg. 376

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