The Path of Love Supplies the Most Comprehensive Motive of Yoga

When we view the three main streams of yogic practice, knowledge, works and love, we find that each one has its own unique focus or motivation. Sri Aurobindo briefly describes the three: “By knowledge we seek unity with the Divine in his conscious being; by works we seek also unity with the Dviine in his conscious being, not statically, but dynamically, through conscious union with the divine Will; but by love we seek unity with him in all the delight of his being. For that reason the way of love, however narrow it may seem in some of its first movements, is in the end more imperatively all-embracing than any other motive of Yoga.”

Sri Aurobindo goes on to explain that the way of knowledge may tend to focus itself away from life and manifestation as it seeks after the Impersonal and Absolute. While it may recognize the universality of the divine manifestation, yet this is only one branch of the practice of the yoga of knowledge. We see frequently a division between a “higher knowledge” and a “lower knowledge” with emphasis placed on the impersonal side rather than the aspect of the manifested world and our individual potential role in it.

Similarly, while the way of works apparently embraces the manifestation and the role of the individual, it may tend to do so in a passive manner as an impersonal actor with the end seen as the union, once again, with the Impersonal aspect of the Divine.

“It is only when delight intervenes that the motive of integral union becomes quite imperative.”

The delight of the Divine encompasses relation with the entire manifested creation, participates in the universal creation and embraces all the individual aspects that make up that creation, understanding through a deep sense of Oneness and participation that the Divine is both the Impersonal, beyond all these creations, names and forms, and always free and above, and the Personal, entering into, interacting and constituting the entire universal manifestation through a deep sense of delight in the play and the action of the Divine Creation.

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Three: The Yoga of Divine Love, Chapter 6, The Delight of the Divine, pp. 563-564