The various paths of realization each begin from one major power within the human being, whether it be the path of works, the path of knowledge or the path of love and devotion. One can view the rise of spiritual and religious traditions throughout the world with this lens and see that they tend to fit, more or less cleanly, into one or the other of these three frames. In many cases, the adherents of one path or religion tend to conflate their own methodology with being the only true method, and they then may tend to either denigrate or look down upon the adherents of other ways. In the end, however, it becomes clear that an integral realization must eventually recognize the bona fide importance of each of these three major streams of growth into the divine status.
Sri Aurobindo observes: “The integrality of them, the union of man with God in all the three, must therefore, as we have seen, be the foundation of an integral Yoga.”
Due to the need for action in life, will in works is the general first phase of the spiritual development: “When the will in him is made one with the divine will and the whole action of the being proceeds from the Divine and is directed towards the Divine, the union in works is perfectly accomplished. But works fulfil themselves in knowledge; all the totality of works, says the Gita, finds its rounded culmination in knowledge…. By union in will and works we become one in the omnipresent conscious being from whom all our will and works have their rise and draw their power and in whom they fulfil the round of their energies. And the crown of this union is love; for love is the delight of conscious union with the Being in whom we live, act and move, by whom we exist, for whom alone we learn in the end to act and to be. That is the trinity of our powers, the union of all three in God to which we arrive when we start from works as our way of access and our line of contact.”
From whichever aspect one begins, eventually the three draw together in the integral fulfilment.
Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Three: The Yoga of Divine Love, Chapter 1, Love and the Triple Path, pp. 521-522