The Integral Delight in the Integral Yoga

When we reflect on the concept or experience of delight, it is usually associated with a specific set of circumstances or conditions. We delight in physical things and the experience of them. We delight in various vital and emotional relationships. We delight in mental results and we delight in psychic, spiritual and transcendent experiences. In each case, the delight is caused by and related to a specific causative thing or event.

Sri Aurobindo observes that there is a delight of existence that transcends and incorporates, while exceeding, all of these specific forms of delight. “A perfect and complete delight in the Divine, perfect because pure and self-existent, complete because all-embracing as well as all-absorbing, is the meaning of the way of Bhakti for the seeker of the integral Yoga.”

He explains this in greater detail: “This delight which is so entirely imperative, is the delight in the Divine for his own sake and for nothing else, for no cause or gain whatever beyond itself. It does not seek God for anything that he can give us or for any particular quality in him, but simply and purely because he is our self and our whole being and our all. It embraces the delight of transcendence, not for the sake of transcendence, but because he is the transcendent; the delight of the universal, not for the sake of universality, but because he is the universal; the delight of the individual not for the sake of individual satisfaction, but because he is the individual.”

“The integral delight embraces him not only within our own individual being, but equally in all men and in all beings. And because in him we are one with all, it seeks him not only for ourselves, but for all our fellows.”

The delight of individual salvation, the delight of oneness with the Transcendent, the delight of any power, experience or acquisition in the material world is too partial and limited to satisfy the demand of the integral Yoga. The delight should be unconditional and unconditioned, experienced in all ways and aspects and parts of our being, and spread throughout all creation.

The Taittiriya Upanishad reveals the essence of this delight: “The Bliss of the Eternal from which words turn back without attaining and mind also returneth baffled, who knoweth the Bliss of the Eternal? He feareth not for aught in this world or elsewhere. Verily to him cometh not remorse and her torment saying, ‘Why have i left undone the good and why have I done that which was evil?’ For he who knoweth the Eternal, knoweth these that they are alike, and delivereth from them his Spirit; yea, he knoweth both evil and good for what they are and delivereth his Spirit, who knoweth the Eternal.” (Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Taittiriya Upanishad, Brahmanandavalli Ch. 9, pg. 274)

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Three: The Yoga of Divine Love, Chapter 6, The Delight of the Divine, pp. 564-565


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