The Aim of Yoga is to Transcend Nature

Published: 26th December 2013 08:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th December 2013 08:11 AM   |  A+A-


In any case, whatever may be the choice for exceptional individuals, it is a general path of supreme attainment for humanity that we are seeking, - for I am not proposing to you in Yoga an individual path unconcerned with the rest of mankind, - and here there can be no doubt or hesitation. Neither the exaggerations of spirituality nor the exaggerations of materialism are our true path.

Every general movement of our humanity which seeks to deny Nature, however religious, lofty or austere, of whatever dazzling purity or ethereality, has been and will always be doomed to failure, sick disappointment, disillusionment or perversion, because it is in its nature for the mass of humanity a transient impulse of exaggeration, because it contradicts God’s condition for us who set Nature there as an indispensable term for His self-fulfilment in the universe and ourselves as the supreme instruments and helpers on this earth of that divine self-fulfilment. Every movement of humanity which bids us be satisfied with our ordinary Nature, dwell upon the earth, cease to aspire to the empyrean within us and choose rather to live like the animals looking to our mortal future before us and downwards at the earth we till, not upwards to God and our ungrasped perfection, has been and will always be doomed to weariness, petrifaction and cessation or to a quick and violent super naturalistic reaction, because this also is for the mass of men a transient impulse of exaggeration and because it contradicts God’s intention in us who has entered in and dwells secret in our Nature compelling us towards Him by an obscure, instinctive & overmastering attraction. Materialistic movements are more unnatural and abnormal than ascetic and negative religions and philosophies; for these lead us upward at least, though they go too furiously fast and far for our humanity, but the materialist under the pretence of bringing us back to Nature, takes us away from her entirely.

He forgets or does not see that Nature is only phenomenally Nature, but in reality she is God. The divine element in her is that which she most purely and really is; the rest is only term and condition, process and stage in her whole progressively developed revelation of the secret divinity. He forgets too that Nature is evolving not evolved and what we are now can never be the term of what we shall be hereafter. The supernatural must be by the very logic of things the end and goal of her movement.

Therefore, not to be ensnared, emmeshed and bound by Nature, and not, on the other hand, to be furious with her and destroy her, is the first thing we must learn if we are to be complete Yogins and proceed surely towards our divine perfection. All beings, even the sages, follow after their nature and what shall coercion and torture of it, avail them? Prakritim yanti bhutani, nigrahah kim karishyati? And it is all so useless! Do you feel yourself bound by her and pant for release? In her hand alone is the key which shall unlock your fetters. Does she stand between you and the Lord? She is Sita; pray to her, she will stand aside and show Him to you; but presume not to separate Sita and Rama, to cast her out into some distant Lanca under the guard of giant self-tortures so that you may have Rama to yourself in Ayodhya. Wrestle with Kali, if you will, she loves a good wrestler; but wrestle not with her unlovingly, or in mere disgust and hate; for her displeasure is terrible and though she loves the Asuras, she destroys them. Rather go through her and under her protection, go with a right understanding of her and with a true and unfaltering Will; she will lead you on with whatever circlings, yet surely and in the wisest way, to the All-Blissful Personality and the Ineffable Presence. Nature is the Power of God Himself, leading these multitudes of beings, through the night and the desert and the tracts of the foeman to their secret and promised heritage.

Supernature, then, is in every way our aim in Yoga; being still natural to the world, to transcend Nature internally so that both internally and externally we may possess and enjoy her as free and lord, swarat and samrat; being still the symbol in a world of symbol-beings, to reach through it to that which is symbolised, to realise the symbol; being still a figure of humanity, a man among men, a living body among living bodies, manus, mental beings housed in that living matter among other embodied mental beings; being and remaining in our outward parts all this that we are apparently, yet to exceed it and become in the body what we are really in the secret self, - God, spirit, supreme and infinite being, pure Bliss of divine joy, pure Force of divine action, pure Light of divine knowledge.

Our whole apparent life has only a symbolic value and is good and necessary as a becoming; but all becoming has being for its goal and fulfilment and God is the only being.

To become divine in the nature of the world and in the symbol of humanity is the perfection for which we were created.

Excerpt from the book Essays Divine and Human by Sri Aurobindo

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