Perfecting the Human Instruments as the Second Element in the Development of Spiritual Self-Perfection

The perfection sought in the integral Yoga is not just one of merging into the silent awareness of the Brahman, but also a dynamic perfection of action in the world. In order for this to be accomplished, the human instruments of action need to be raised up to their highest levels and made complete and willing servitors of the divine force in manifestation. This means that all the parts of the being need to be acted upon, honed, improved and then put at the service of the Divine. The human effort can provide a start, but eventually, the Divine Shakti has to directly take control for the ultimate levels of perfection of action to occur.

Sri Aurobindo discusses what needs to be done: “For practical purposes we may take the understanding, the heart, the Prana and the body as the four members of our nature which have thus to be prepared, and we have to find the constituent terms of their perfection. Also there is the dynamical force in us (virya) of the temperament, character and soul nature, svabhava, which makes the power of our members effective in action and gives them their type and direction; this has to be freed from its limitations, enlarged, rounded so that the whole manhood in us may become the basis of a divine manhood, when the Purusha, the real Man in us, the divine Soul, shall act fully in this human instrument and shine fully through this human vessel.”

“To divinise the perfected nature we have to call in the divine Power or Shakti to replace our limited human energy so that this may be shaped into the image of and filled with the force of a greater infinite energy, daivi prakrti, bhagavati sakti. This perfection will grow in the measure in which we can surrender ourselves, first, to the guidance and then to the direct action of that Power and of the Master of our being and our works to whom it belongs, and for this purpose faith is the essential, faith is the great motor-power of our being in our aspirations to perfection,–here, a faith in God and the Shakti which shall begin in the heart and understanding, but shall take possession of all our nature, all its consciousness, all its dynamic motive-force. These four things are the essentials of this second element of perfection, the full powers of the members of the instrumental nature, the perfected dynamis of the soul nature, the assumption of them into the action of the divine Power, and a perfect faith in all our members to call and support that assumption, sakti, virya, daivi prakrti, sraddha.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 10, The Elements of Perfection, pg. 666