The Highest Perfection of Faith in the Ishwara as the Universal Existent

The divine Shakti is the instrumental force cast forth into the universe to carry out the divine will of the Ishwara, the universal Lord and Existent. When the seeker begins the process of Yoga, he begins from the human standpoint of a separated individual, treating the world as if it is other, separate and distinct from his own existence, and setting up a form of opposition or conflict to survive and thrive against these “others”. The sadhana, as it progresses, begins to bring forward the knowledge of the active nature of the divine Shakti which in fact is the actor in the universe. The ultimate sense comes when the seeker shifts to the divine standpoint and can see with the eyes of the Ishwara that all is His Will, His action, His knowledge and His result.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “And behind her is the Ishwara and faith in him is the most central thing in the sraddha of the integral Yoga. This faith we must have and develop to perfection that all things are the workings under the universal conditions of a supreme self-knowledge and wisdom, that nothing done in us or around us is in vain or without its appointed place and just significance, that all things are possible when the Ishwara as our supreme Self and Spirit takes up the action and that all that has been done before and all that he will do hereafter was and will be part of his infallible and foreseeing guidance and intended towards the fruition of our Yoga and our perfection and our life work.”

As long as the ego remains active, such a faith remains obviously imperfect. As the practice of the Yoga continues, however, and the conscious awareness begins its shift toward the universal divine standpoint, it becomes patent and obvious that the Divine orders all the manifestation of the universe. “Then we shall see beyond the possibility of doubt that all happens within the working of the one Will and that that will was also wisdom because it develops always the true workings in life of the self and nature. The highest state of the assent, the sraddha of the being will be when we feel the presence of the Ishwara and feel all our existence and consciousness and thought and will and action in his hand and consent in all things and with every part of our self and nature to the direct and immanent and occupying will of the Spirit. And that highest perfection of the sraddha will also be the opportunity and perfect foundation of a divine strength; it will base, when complete, the development and manifestation and the works of the luminous supramental Shakti.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 18, Faith and Shakti, pg. 753