The Integral Yoga is a matter of all or nothing. Not that the Guru rejects partial offerings: whatever movement is towards the Divine is welcome and can be made the starting-point for a larger gesture. The Grace answers to even the smallest sincere gift. But its call is towards more and more, a new starting-point each moment. And if to this insatiable call a deaf ear is turned, then in terms of the Integral Yoga it is as if nothing was done.

The call is insatiable not only because the Grace wants the whole human to be surrendered to the Divine but also because it wants the whole Divine to be lavished on the human. Surely, since the very nature of Grace is to exceed mere tally and equation, its self-lavishing is always greater than the aspirant’s self-surrender. Yet the aspirant cannot receive and retain it unless he holds up to it a being that increasingly widens and deepens and grows a less and less partial offering. In the integral offering that has to be made in the Integral Yoga, one understands fairly well the need of entire detachment from the non-divine and of absolute love for the Supreme and of perfect service to the Master.
What is not often understood is the way of action in the midst of the world where the Supreme’s manifestation has to take place, the way of dealing with the humans amongst whom the Divine has put us. There are two extremes into which we are likely to fall. One is the position that the mere presence of goodness is spiritual. No doubt, every movement that loosens one’s self-centeredness is a help to spirituality. But it is not till the ego which is one’s common centre is replaced by the true soul and the universal Self that spirituality is established. Otherwise all that happens is a subtilisation of the ego, a diffusion of it in place of a concentration- a state in which it is at times more difficult to detect and therefore more difficult to outgrow, more liable to induce a self-haloing complacency and prevent the release into true Light. A constant remembrance of the Divine, a direct life-offering to the Supreme, a conscious motive and elan beyond mere goodness, an unremitting cry to the Master Light to manifest its own will in all human relations: this is spirituality in action.

The other extreme cares little for how we act among men. We feel that our capacity of sweetness is to be exercised only with the Guru and that it does not matter how we behave with others. We tell ourselves: “The incarnate Divine is our concern: nobody else is of any importance and what helps us in Yoga is simply the way we love and serve the Master. It is of no moment whether we are just and generous and calm and helpful to others.” Here a great truth is shaded off into a great falsehood. Even apart from the fact that the Divine who is incarnate is also hidden in all beings and requires from the secret station there a fineness and largeness of attitude and action, we have here an oblivion of two ingredients of the Integral Yoga.

First, this is a Yoga of manifestation no less than realisation. Not only is the Supreme to be centrally reached: the Supreme is also to be radiated to the farthest peripheries of the world. The innermost soul has to look forth and touch the outermost: all crudity of attitude, all meanness of action in our dealings with earth’s creatures would cut across the ultimate aim of this Yoga. Secondly, it is a delusion that one can divide oneself into parts and be always fine and wide with the Guru without practising fineness and wideness twenty-four hours of the day. Of course, the Divine is our concern, but can we ever hope to love and serve the Divine wholly if in some part of our being, in some field of our activity we tolerate the crude and the mean? As long as the soul remains somehow in force during the hours in the sanctuary we may be able to exclude the unregenerate movements from our relations with the Master. But it is not only the soul that has to be offered: the soul must lead the rest of the being to the sanctuary. And when the rest is touched by the Divine and called upon to co-operate, then if it has not trained itself to be fine and large outside the sanctuary it will tend to be resentful, angry, jealous, self-seeking with the Divine as it has been with the human. The soul’s sweetness and light may fail to curb and concert it if that sweetness and that light have not been accustomed to do so everywhere and at all times. Resentment, anger, jealousy, self- seeking on any occasion can be a secret seed of the same ego-expression against the Supreme. In the Integral Yoga, with its stroke on each part for response to the Supreme, the total self-offering is not possible unless one takes to heart Sri Aurobindo’s command: “Always behave as if the Mother was looking at you; because she is, indeed, always present.”
Amal Kiran