(Table of Contents)

Logical Outline of Sri Aurobindo's "Synthesis of Yoga"

by David Hutchinson (dbhutchinson@ucdavis.edu)

Part 3, Chapter 1, Love and the Triple Path

1.0 Will, love and knowledge the three divine powers in man.
1.1 Works (will) culminates in knowledge, and in love, by union.
1.2 Through knowledge we arrive at oneness with the divine; and love is the crown of that oneness, the delight of union.

2.0 Love is the crown of being; delight the nature of consciousness.
2.1 Love is the depth and fullness of the divine union; without it we may have silence and peace, but not the absolute depth.
2.2 Love brings knowledge; indeed, needs knowledge to avoid narrowness.
2.3 Love throws itself into works.

3.0 There must be no depreciation of any one of these three paths.
3.1 The limitations of any one path are in the practice, not the principle.
3.2 True love is not inferior and ignorant, but purifies and enlarges; love is an equal power to knowledge, though different.
3.3 Bhakti begins when inner adoration starts; this passes to divine love, then to union.

4.0 Mind finds the abstract and impersonal to be more true than the close and personal.
4.1 But to the spirit these are both aspects of a Reality.

5.0 Devotees see knowledge as dry and abstract.
5.1 But love is not complete without knowledge; the passion that says "I do not understand, I love" is love's first, not last expression.

6.0 As knowledge is the state of oneness and love its bliss, works are its living power.

Part 3, Chapter 2, The Motives of Devotion

1.0 Religion begins with a sense of a gulf between ourselves and a greater power; yoga abolishes that gulf through union.
1.1 That union can be arrived at through worship and devotion.

2.0 Bhakti begins as religious devotion, with mixed and egoistic motives.
2.1 The sense of a higher Power evokes strong feelings of fear and desire.
2.2 Which develops into a conception of God as a giver of boons and sufferings.

3.0 God is first seen as a being with impulses like ours.
3.1 Then as an enlarged form of human justice -- a king or judge.
3.2 And capable of anger and revenge, or amenable to supplication.
3.3 This confused and mixed conception constitutes 9/10 of popular religion.

4.0 Yet both religion and bhakti attibute a Personality to the Divine.
4.1 With which we can have human relations.
4.2 And the Divine responds to our feelings according to their nature.
4.3 This response is the crux of bhakti; without it the path of devotion is not possible.
4.4 The yoga of devotion aims at a divine fulfillment of our emotional being.

5.0 Prerequisites for a yoga of devotion.
5.1 The divine must be a conscious being who meets us in the cosmos, and is capable of personal relations with us and responds to our emotions in kind.
5.2 This does NOT mean that God has the same nature or qualities as we.
5.3 Yet the human consciousness must have originated in the Divine.
5.4 The Divine, being universal, answers to all our emotions and relations; "as men approach him, so he accepts them."
5.5 What each person sees of the divine is a partial truth, in terms of his own awareness.
5.6 So crude religions are both justified, and necessarily transient.

6.0 Religion becomes yoga when its object becomes union.
6.1 The motives of devotion then must fall away, for love is the one emotion that is self-existent; it needs no motive.

7.0 All other questions about bhakti are subsidiary.
7.1 Such as the form of the divine, or the exact nature of the relation.
7.3 All that concerns the bhakta is the purity of the devotion and the final arrival in union.

Part 3, Chapter 3, The Godward Emotions

1.0 The main principle of bhakti is for the devotee to reach an ecstatic joy of union through adopting a relation between man and the Divine Being.
1.1 Bhakti admits of many emotions in this relation, but not fear of the divine, which is "ethico-religious."
1.2 Fear arose from the perception of great and unknown powers in the world; it attributes human qualities (personal enmity, jealousy) to the gods.

2.0 One approaches bhakti more when the Divine is seen as the almighty Judge.
2.1 Yet this exaggerates the idea of sin, and so prolongs fear.
2.2 But the divine as source of law, and hence of our self, can emerge from this.
2.3 And the divine as the almighty spirit, which brings in the relation of father to child.

3.0 Fear can only remain as a motive in the ethical life, not the truly spiritual.
3.1 The imporant element for ethics in yoga is the quality of the soul that does the act, not the act itself.
3.2 Purity, sattva are the true goals of ethics in yoga; this is done by realising God as higher Self, Will or Master.

4.0 Love and service are the key to the relation of servant to the divine master, not fear.
4.1 And this is related to seeing the divine as the giver of wants and needs.

5.0 Prayer is a part of this relation.
5.1 Prayer is a form of the human will, aspiration and faith.
5.2 Its power is to put these into touch with the divine Will as a conscious Being.
5.3 Prayer, even if deluded, prepares the soul.
5.4 The conscious interchange with the divine that takes place through prayer brings spiritual growth.

6.0 One can approach the divine looking for many objects.
6.1 The Gita speaks of those looking for help, for knowledge, or for release of suffering.
6.1 These bring the relation of fatherhood, friend, and mother.
6.2 But the highest is that of Lover and Beloved, which springs from the nature of Love itself.

7.0 The true bhakti is the desire for union; the one thing asked for is love.
7.1 Love is a seeking for mutual possession; and here that becomes absolute, in oneness.
7.2 The turning of human emotion godward finds it full meaning here, in the ananda of its origin.

Part 3, Chapter 4, The Way of Devotion

1.0 Bhakti has no set method.
1.1 Yet resolves itself into four general movements: straining of emotion towards God, the pain of love, the delight of love, the Divine lover.

2.0 The first form of devotion is adoration, which takes the external form of ceremonial worship.
2.1 But when adoration becomes inner worship, yoga begins.
2.2 Adoration brings consecration, which brings katharsis.

3.0 Consecration takes in the essential elements of karma and jnana yoga.
3.1 By turning the action and the thought to the Divine.
3.2 Thought may use image or mantra, and may pass through stages.
3.3 But the one essential is the intense devotion of the thought.
3.4 This is an ecstatic contemplation, not the still contemplation of the yoga of knowledge.

4.0 A more intimate yoga may consist from the first in the power of love in the soul.
4.1 This has all the moods of love.
4.2 Its intensity and ecstasy are far beyond human love.
4.3 The bhakta yearns for a Being, not an abstraction; and finds fulfillment in intensity.
4.4 The world itself is experienced as a Lila of the Divine delight.

  Part , Chapter 5, The Divine Personality

1.0 The trend of modern and ancient thought has been to belittle personality at the expense of the impersonal and abstract.
1.1 But an integral devotion is only possible if there is a real Beloved for the Lover.

2.0 Personal and impersonal are really aspects of the intellectual mind.
2.1 The intellect needs to recognize the intution of the heart and life as well as its own.
2.2 Pure intellect travels away from life, toward abstractions.
2.3 Buddhist philosophy takes this to its ultimate, an infinite void or inexpressible.

3.0 The heart and life respond not to abstractions, but to a living being.
3.1 When they turn to the highest, they arrive at a Being, of Consciousness and Bliss.
3.2 The severest intellectual philosophy admits the Saguna, but only as a step to the Nirguna.

4.0 The intuition of the whole being must be followed to reconcile the Personal and Impersonal.
4.1 By rising into the realm of the Truth.
4.2 This perceives that "the whole of our being aims at the one reality."
4.3 Both views are true; the integral seeker must understand that "he can reach one and the same Reality on both lines."

5.0 Our first view of the Divine Personality is as a spirit with fixed qualities, "an enlarged edition of our human character."
5.1 Or pantheism, closer to the truth, conceives of the existence of many divine personalities.
5.2 A total spiritual experience shows us that within is "an infinite being with the potentiality of all qualities, of infinite quality, anantaguna."
5.3 And even though this seems to disappear in pure existence, that very meeting is one aspect of ourselves, as is the meeting with the conscious Person in the universe.

6.0 This dichotomy of experience occurs on the cosmic plane as well.
6.1 God can be approached as Truth, Justice, Love, Power, etc.
6.2 "None of these are all the Divinity"
6.3 "He is each separately and all together."

Part 3, Chapter 6, The Delight of the Divine

1.0 What we see of the divine and fix our effort on, that we can grow into and become.
1.1 The aim of this integral yoga "is union with the being, consciousness and delight of the Divine through every part of our human nature".
1.2 We aspire to meet him in all the ways of his being, impersonal and personal, through both unity and the play of love.

2.0 Knowledge seeks unity with conscious being; works with divine Will; love with delight.
2.1 Love is in the end the most imperative and all-embracing of the motives.
2.2 This delight is in the Divine for his own sake, self-existent.
2.3 Because he is our self and being.
2.4 It experiences his oneness and completeness everywhere, without distinctions.

3.0 When devotion is active, it converts knowledge and works to its own law.
3.1 The delight of manifold knowledge and the delight of manifold works.
3.2 All nature and life become a meeting with God.

4.0 Beauty is the special power of love.
4.1 The sign of mutual possession is when the sadhak "has the vision of the All-Beautiful everywhere and can feel at all times the bliss of his embrace."

Part 3, Chapter 7, The Ananda Brahman

1.0 The way of devotion is a seeking after the divine through love and delight.
1.1 "That which we thus grow aware of is the Ananda Brahman, the bliss existence."

2.0 This transcendent bliss "broods immanent and secret in the whole universe."
2.1 And in our hearts.
2.2 We reflect it according to what is strongest in our nature, as a universal Beauty, a Presence, the spirit of love.

3.0 Ordinarily the mind reflects this bliss only partially or infrequently.
3.1 And dependent on image or symbol.
3.2 But we must purify our experience, intensify and concentrate it.
3.3 Until the Ananda Brahman makes "all existence its outpouring."

4.0 Brahman reveals himself within, above, about.
4.1 Within, in the lotus of the heart or the lotus above the head.
4.2 When the heart opens, we feel a divine love, joy, and peace "which irradiates the whole being."
4.3 "When the other upper lotus opens, the whole mind ecomes full of a divine light, joy and power"
4.4 With both of these there are still alterations until the experience becomes natural.

5.0 The divine about us reveals as a universal Presence, peace, delight.
5.1 Behind the veil of forms.
5.2 Above, as a great infinite of Ananda.

6.0 When we "possess firmly" these three aspects, "then all the worlds become the body of this self." [the Ananda Brahman]

Part 3, Chapter 8, The Mystery of Love

1.0 Spiritual consciousness admits both of the adoration of the Other and unity in the fusion of ecstasy.
1.2 Personality may disappear in unity, but is latent in the Oneness.

2.0 Bhakti ordinarily begins from adoration of the Divine Personality, not the impersonal.
2.1 The integral devotion adores the Godhead in which "all things are the face of God": transcendent, universal, individual.
2.2 But in the beginning, the Divine meets the seeker "as an absolute of the things he can understand and to which his will and heart can respond."
2.3 This is the ishta-devata, "the name and form elected by our nature."

3.0 "The way of the Integral Yoga of Bhakti will be to universalise this conception of the deity."
3.1 Through constant thinking and seeing him everywhere: manana and darsana.
3.2 We must look on all things and see the divine.
3.3 A constant inner communion must become permanent.
3.4 Finally all our thoughts, actions, etc. change into a divine form.
3.5 Then there is no division between our lives and the Divine.

4.0 All relations become "intensely and blissfully personal."
4.1 The divine goes from teacher to master.
4.2 The highest stage of surrender is to become a living instrument.

5.0 There is possible a many-sided relation, with contradictions and changes.
5.1 He may pursue us in the guise of enemy and the relation may be one of struggle.
5.2 But "the essential relation will be that of love": passionate, complete.

6.0 For love, "complete union is Mukti"
6.1 The different kinds are not successive or exclusive.
6.2 They include union, presence, reflection: sayujya, salokya, sadrsya.
6.3 "Love and Ananda are the last word of being, the secret of secrets"