The flame of divine aspiration

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted, (Matthew 5.4).

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled, (Matthew 5.6).

Probably the most important quality that a yogi needs is aspiration. The aspiration is the internal flame, the constant craving for The Divine Being, for what is highest. It is the voice of our own soul searching its manifestation in the form. Sri Aurobindo has spoken about it a lot in his writings, emphasizing its basic role in the yogi’s spiritual development.

Aspiration is the engine that drives us through our practice and our development towards the Divinity. Aspiration comes sometimes through a negative experience, or through a loss, when we understand that the temporal world is a very limited place to be looking for our happiness in, and then we start searching for a more elevated truth. Sometimes it is born spontaneously, like divine grace, or like the expression of our own soul, trying to make way through our mundane experience.

Be what may, Jesus calls blissful anyone who feels this thirst for the Divine; a thirst that, sooner or later, will take them to the Kingdom of God.

No yogic technique can substitute aspiration; without it we will not get very far in our journey. Rather, our own aspiration will attract, sooner or later, the techniques, the resources and the masters that we need for our advancement:

And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well, (Luke 12.29-31).

The flame of aspiration, located in our heart, can be fed the same as the Sadhus, the ascetics from India, constantly feed a ceremonial fire. We feed our inner fire every day with the devotion Yoga, searching for the divine company, for those lectures, persons or saints that keep the divine fire alive. In India they have always highly valued the importance of the Satsang, the inspiring company of those persons devoted to their spiritual growth. It is said that an instant in the company of such persons is enough to change a person’s life.

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?,” (Luke 24.32).

One can always enjoy such company, even if it is just by reading inspiring books. Each student knows what inspires him best, is free to choose the fuel that burns better in his own fire.

The fire of divine aspiration, the same as the Kingdom of Heaven, is born from a tiny spark but, properly fed, it will grow until turning into a radiant flame that, like the burning bramble that Moses found, will consume and refresh the devout in its divine fire. The yogi gives to this fire his ties and inferior traits, and finally ends up giving all his live and his personality to this aspiration for the Divine:

Constantly yearning to melt in the Interior Spirit and a firm determination in the Knowledge of the Truth that makes us free: truly, this is the true Knowledge that takes us to the Spiritual Wisdom. Everything that opposes this is ignorance, (Bhagavad Gita XIII.11).

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it, (Matthew 16.25).

Those who give me the reins of their lives, worshipping me constantly with their love, having an unmovable Faith in Me, I consider them my best devotees, (Bhagavad Gita XII.2).

Really, this fire of aspiration is our own internal Divinity looking inside us for a complete manifestation:

I am the holy words, the holy nourishment, the holy fire, and I am also the offering that burns the fire in the holocaust, (Bhagavad Gita IX.16).

That is why we say that, in reality, we seek the seeker inside us. This is a paradox that gets resolved when the devotee offers to the Divinity the fire of his own aspiration, of his yearning overflowed with the Divine, and the Divinity mutates it into pure joy. A joy that consumes and renews the devotee, who finds the Beloved, this way, inside him.