The Heart Can Be Wiser Than the Mind

Oftentimes practitioners of the Yoga of knowledge will dismiss the value of the practices undertaken by devotees because they are based on an inherent “duality”, a separation between the devotee and the object of devotion. The Yoga of Knowledge recognizes the inherent Oneness of all existence, and thus, this duality is considered to be “lesser wisdom”.

Sri Aurobindo observes in this regard, however, that the way of devotion has a progressive development: “But worship is only the first step on the path of devotion. Where external worship changes into the inner adoration, real Bhakti begins; that deepens into the intensity of divine love; that love leads to the joy of closeness in our relations with the Divine; the joy of closeness passes into the bliss of union. Love too as well as knowledge brings us to a highest oneness and it gives to that oneness its greatest possible depth and intensity. It is true that love returns gladly upon a difference in oneness, by which the oneness itself becomes richer and sweeter. But here we may say that the heart is wiser than the thought, at least than that thought which fixes upon opposite ideas of the Divine and concentrates on one to the exclusion of the other which seems its contrary; but is really its complement and a means of its greatest fulfilment. This is the weakness of the mind that it limits itself by its thoughts, its positive and negative ideas, the aspects of the Divine Reality that it sees, and tends too much to pit one against the other.”

The ultimate forms of knowledge recognize that the Impersonal and the Personal are both aspects of the same “omnipresent Reality”, and that “One without a second” is complemented by “All this is the Brahman.” The heart of devotion achieves this realization through a relationship with the Personal aspect of the Divine, and the recognition that the entire creation is a manifestation of the Divine, thus making the apparent differences and separations a mechanism for the play of the Divine Ananda.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Three: The Yoga of Divine Love, Chapter 1, Love and the Triple Path, pp. 524-525