All Life Is Yoga: Introduction to “The Synthesis of Yoga‪”‬

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Publisher Description

“The Synthesis of Yoga” has five section: [1] Introduction – The Conditions of the Synthesis (46 pages); [2] The Yoga of Divine Works (232 pages); [3] The Yoga of Inte­gral Knowledge (256 pages); [4] The Yoga of Divine Love (62 pages) and [5] The Yoga of Self-Perfection (356 pages).

“The Synthesis of Yoga” first appeared in seventy-seven monthly installments in the philosophical review Arya, begin­ning with its first issue, August 1914, and continuing until its last, January 1921. It was left incomplete when the Arya ceased publication in January 1921. During 1932, and possibly some­what before and after, Sri Aurobindo undertook a full-scale revision of “The Synthesis of Yoga” with a view to publishing it as a book. At this time he revised all the chapters of “The Yoga of Divine Works”, and nine chapters of “The Yoga of Integral Knowledge”. During the 1940s, he revised the entire first part of “The Synthesis of Yoga” while preparing it for publication. But other parts of the book were never revised by him.

Sri Aurobindo’s note in the last issue of the 4th year of Arya gives some idea of his purpose in writing The Synthesis of Yoga and his overall plan for the work. We reproduce below an excerpt.

“Truth of philosophy is of a merely theoretical value unless it can be lived, and we have therefore tried in the “Synthesis of Yoga” to arrive at a synthetical view of the principles and methods of the various lines of spiritual self-discipline and the way in which they can lead to an integral divine life in the human existence. But this is an individual self-development, and therefore it was necessary to show too how our ideal can work out in the social life of mankind. In the “Psychology of Social Development” we have indicated how these truths affect the evolution of human society. In the “Ideal of Human Unity” we have taken the present trend of mankind towards a closer unification and tried to appreciate its tendencies and show what is wanting to them in order that real human unity may be achieved.” (Sri Aurobindo)

He wrote to a disciple in 1936:

“Each side of the Yoga was dealt with separately [in “The Syn­thesis of Yoga”] with all its possibilities, and an indication [was given] as to how they meet so that one starting from knowledge could realise Karma and Bhakti also and so with each path. It was intended when the [section on the yoga of Self-Perfection was finished, to suggest a way in which all could be combined, but this was never written.” (Sri Aurobindo)

In this book we publish a selection of passages from “The Synthesis of Yoga” – though not fully representative of the complete book, yet which would be helpful specially to the aspirants of Yoga.

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