The Complete Self-Giving of an Integral Approach to Bhakti Yoga

The fullness of devotion leads eventually to the consecration of all the being to the Divine. The thoughts must be turned in that direction; the Will in works must carry out all actions dedicated to and as a sacrifice to the Divine. For the Bhakta, this is a natural result of the expression of love for the Divine.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “It is a sacrifice of life and works to the Divine, but a sacrifice of love more than a turning of the will to the divine Will. The Bhakta offers up his life and all that he is and all that he has and all that he does to the Divine. This surrender may take the ascetic form, as when he leaves the ordinary life of men and devotes his days solely to prayer and praise and worship or to ecstatic meditation, gives up his personal possessions and becomes the monk or the mendicant whose one only possession is the Divine, gives up all actions in life except those only which help or belong to the communion with the Divine and communion with other devotees, or at most keeps the doing, from the secure fortress of the ascetic life, of those services to men which seem peculiarly the outflowing of the divine nature of love, compassion and good.”

For the seeker of the integral Yoga, this restricted focus of the life energy is not the final stage of the consecration. “But there is the wider self-consecration, proper to any integral Yoga, which, accepting the fullness of life and the world in its entirety as the play of the Divine, offers up the whole being into his possession; it is a holding of all one is and has as belonging to him only and not to ourselves and a doing of all works as an offering to him. By this comes the complete active consecration of both the inner and the outer life, the unmutilated self-giving.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Three: The Yoga of Divine Love, Chapter 4, The Way of Devotion, pp. 548-549


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