The Yoga of Devotion Seeks a Divine Fulfillment Through Personal Relations with the Divine

The Yoga of devotion takes up the basic nature of the human being and both acknowledges and accepts the idea that the part of our being that is capable of emotion, relationship, love and devotion actually has its rationale and basis and that we can approach the Divine from this inherent aspect of our nature.

The path of devotion does not accept the finality or sole existence of the Impersonal Divine without a personal aspect. Sri Aurobindo explains: “We can obey it as a Law, lift our souls to it in aspiration towards its tranquil being, grow into it by shedding from us our emotional nature; the human being in us is not satisfied, but is quieted, balanced, stilled.”

This highlights the essential difference in approach between the Yoga of knowledge and the Yoga of devotion: “But the Yoga of devotion, agreeing in this with Religion, insists on a closer and warmer worship than this impersonal aspiration. It aims at a divine fulfilment of the humanity in us as well as of the impersonal part of our being; it aims at a divine satisfaction of the emotional being of man. It demands of the Supreme acceptance of our love and a response in kind; as we delight in Him and seek Him, so it believes that He too delights in us and seeks us.”

In response to the idea that it is irrational to assume that the Divine either can or does take notice in the human individual, the Yoga of devotion holds that it is this Divine notice that creates the possibility for the human turning towards the Divine in the first place: “…for if the supreme and universal Being did not take any delight in us, it is not easy to see how we could have come into being or could remain in being, and if He does not at all draw us towards him,–a divine seeking of us,–there would seem to be no reason in Nature why we should turn from the round of our normal existence to seek Him.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Three: The Yoga of Divine Love, Chapter 2, The Motives of Devotion, pp. 532-533

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