“The process of Yoga is a turning of the human soul from the egoistic state of consciousness absorbed in the outward appearances and attractions of things to a higher state in which the Transcendent and Universal can pour itself into the individual mould and transform it. The first determining element of the siddhi is, therefore, the intensity of the turning, the force which directs the soul inward. The power of aspiration of the heart, the force of the will, the concentration of the mind, the perseverance and determination of the applied energy are the measure of that intensity. The ideal sadhaka should be able to say in the Biblical phrase, “My zeal for the Lord has eaten me up.” It is this zeal for the Lord, — utsaha, the zeal of the whole nature for its divine results, vyakulata…” This is a great Sanskrit word. You should become restless. Without God you have no rest, no repose. That is the meaning of vyakulata. “…the heart's eagerness for the attainment of the Divine, — that devours the ego and breaks up the limitations of its petty and narrow mould for the full and wide reception of that which it seeks, that which, being universal, exceeds and, being transcendent, surpasses even the largest and highest individual self and nature.” This is the measure of utsaha: “My zeal for the Lord has eaten me up.” There is no rest for me until I meet the Divine. I will be consumed by fire. This is the utsaha, the aspiration. And Sri Aurobindo says: “One who wants God must want God and God only.” No other aim, no other lower thing. That is the sign that you are really a good pupil. The mark of a good pupil is one who wants the Divine and the Divine alone.
“But this is only one side of the force that works for perfection. The process of the integral Yoga has three stages, not indeed sharply distinguished or separate, but in a certain measure successive. There must be, first, the effort towards at least an initial and enabling self-transcendence and contact with the Divine; next, the reception of that which transcends, that with which we have gained communion, into ourselves for the transformation of our whole conscious being; last, the utilisation of our transformed humanity as a divine centre in the world.” Let us stop here and take stock of these three steps.
“There must be first the effort towards at least an initial and enabling self-transcendence and contact with the Divine…” You make such a tremendous effort you go out of yourself. When ego breaks down. Our limitations are transgressed. That which was unknown to us -- the Divine was a stranger to us as He is now to us -- with that Divine you make a contact. Here your effort has to be intense, it all depends on you, at least apparently because behind, the Divine’s hand is always present; He always inspires and helps you. But from your side you feel as if you have to make a tremendous effort to go beyond yourself. It is as if an effort to come out of yourself and have a contact with the Divine. “…next, the reception of that which transcends, that with which we have gained communion, into ourselves for the transformation of our whole conscious being…" First you make a contact and the moment you make a contact you will find a fountain of knowledge, joy, everything and that fountain will pour itself into you. This is the second step in which you allow the pouring of the Divine into you. Here reception is necessary. In the first there was a great effort to come out of yourself and now comes the stage where the Divine pours Himself into you and transforms you. “… last, the utilisation of our transformed humanity as a divine centre in the world.” You receive the fountain from the Divine then you become a channel of the Divine force. In the third stage you yourself become a Divine center so that you can pour the Divine knowledge, the Divine love into the others. So there are three stages: your ascent towards the Divine, the descent of the Divine in you and third is the flow of the light of the Divine through your channel, you yourself become a center of the Divine action.
“So long as the contact with the Divine is not in some considerable degree established, so long as there is not some measure of sustained identity, sayujya, the element of personal effort must normally predominate.” As long as the contact has not been established, as long as you have not become in some degree one with the Divine (sayuja means that you are united, you become one with the Divine). Until some kind of identity, in some degree you should be identified with the Divine, until this point is reached personal effort is preponderant. You cannot say: “Let the Divine do everything.” From your side you have to make a constant effort. There are some people who believe that the Divine is always present, which is a fact, the Divine is always active, this is a fact, and they conclude: therefore if Divine wants me to realise he will make me realise. This is the idle man’s dream. One who does not want to make an effort he only dreams and he will never realise himself because he does not know the process. In the process, even though the Divine is present, his hand is coming down, but from your side until your lift your hand you will not be uplifted. On your side you must lift your hand. Therefore those who preach that God will do everything in His own time are teaching only idleness. Yoga is exactly the opposite of idleness. Yoga is a process of vigilance. It is a constant effort in which you go on transcending yourself; you exceed yourself at every moment. You go upward and upward and upward from your side. There should be no limit. Wherever there is a corner where your effort has not yet reached you make an effort. Every corner of your being should be like a fire; the tongues of fire should spread out in all parts of your being. That is the effort. Then you will find the next step when the pouring will come from above and personal effort will diminish.