In the second section of The Synthesis of Yoga, Sri Aurobindo takes up the Yoga of Knowledge, Jnana Yoga. This path traditionally has focused on the systematic stilling of desire and the movement of the ego towards gratification and fulfillment in the outer world of mind, life and body. The attainment of union with the Divine is the supreme focus and goal of Jnana Yoga, and the systematic practice of discrimination between the illusory rewards of life in the world and the eternal and infinite result of Oneness with the Divine, is the recommended method.

The Yoga of Knowledge is considered an austere path, and it relies heavily on renunciation of the outer life, meditation leading to the completely indrawn state of awareness known as Samadhi, and eventually the integration of the consciousness in that larger divine consciousness which is able to manifest when the mind and senses become quiet and receptive to the higher powers of awareness.

The integral Yoga, while it insists upon the necessity of achieving this status of Oneness with the Divine, does not become fixated on abandonment and renunciation; rather it takes up the dual dicta of the Upanishads when the great call of the renunciate “One without a second” is balanced by the equally important recognition that “All this is the Brahman”.

Sri Aurobindo’s method in The Synthesis of Yoga is to first, examine each of the primary traditional paths of Yoga, the Yoga of Divine Works, the Yoga of Knowledge and the Yoga of Love and Devotion and then to integrate the goals and insights pertaining to each in the Integral Yoga, the Yoga of Self Perfection. Having now covered the Yoga of Divine Works and Yoga of Knowledge, he next turns his attention to the Yoga of Love and Devotion.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge

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