CHENNAI: The first secret of yoga is to get deep into the mind and the spirit, behind the surface emotional movements to the soul - behind the life to the universal force that builds these outward shapes and movements, behind matter to the eternal existence that puts on the robe of the body.
The second secret of yoga is to open these discovered powers to their own supreme truth above matter, above life, above mind. This truth, the secret in the superconscient, has four gradations or movements of its power, infinite supermind or gnosis, infinite bliss, ananda, infinite consciousness and power, chit-tapas, infinite being-sat-chid-ananda.
The third secret of yoga is, once arisen beyond mind, to bring down the power.
The progressive surrender of our ignorant personal ego and the surrendered ego finally merging into the divine is, in actuality the whole secret of karma yoga. To bring about the conditions in which this vast and happy identity alone becomes possible and to work it out on the lines, we must have the will to continue moving ahead till the end, and if we are to reach it, we wil be able to comprehend the deeper purpose of this discipline. The first conditions is the elimination of personal vital desire, for if desire intervenes, all harmony with the supreme divine will becomes impossible. Even if we receive it, we shall disfigure its working and distort its dynamic impulse.
To give up wordly desires , to renounce oneself from all vital attachments and to work towards getting rid of the rajasic and tamasic egoisms that twine around desire, and also to be consciously aware of the sathwic egoism that takes refuge in the idea of the I as the worker, is of extreme importance. The ordinary consciousness of man cannot accept this difficult renunciation or, if one accepts it, one cannot achieve this tremendous change.
The human mind is too ignorant, narrow and chained to its own limited movements, the human life-instincts too blind, selfish, obscure, shut up in their own earth-bound pursuits and satisfactions, the human body is too clumsy, it’s a hampering machine.
There is no freedom here, no large room, no willing happy plasticity for the greater play of the divine in nature. A certain half-seeing and imperfect subordination of the personal will to an ill-understood greater will and power, a stumbling and occasional intuition or at best a brilliant lightning-like intimation of its commands and impulsions, a confused, clouded and often grossly distorted execution of the little one seizes of a divine mandate seems to be the uttermost that the human consciousness as it is at its best seems able to accomplish.
Only through growing into a greater superhuman and supramental consciousness, whose very nature is to be attuned to the divine can we achieve the true and supreme karma yoga.
This transformation is only possible after certain steps of a divine ascent have been mastered and to climb these steps is the object of the yoga of works as it is conceived by the Gita. The extirpation of desire, a wide and calm equality of the mind, the life soul and the spirit, annihilation of the ego, and inner quietude and expulsion or transcendence of ordinary nature, the nature of the three gunas and a total surrender to the supreme are the successive steps of this preliminary change. Only after all this has been done, can we live securely in an infinite consciousness not bound by our mental human nature. And only then can we receive the light, know perfectly the will of the supreme, attune all our movements to the rhythm of the truth and execute perfectly from moment to moment to moment its imperative commandments. Till then there is no firm achievement, but only an endeavour, seeking and aspiration, all the stress and struggle of a great and uncertain spiritual adventure.
Only when these things are accomplished, there dawns the beginning of a divine security which is reflected in one’s acts, radiating a transcendent peace.
— Excerpt from the book Essays Divine and Human by Sri Aurobindo