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It is here that the vital difference between the Ultimate and yogic paths becomes apparent. Ramana Maharshi took the stand which nearly all yogis take: that is, we need have nothing to do with the affairs of the world which we have renounced. Let us sit quietly and enjoy our inner peace. But on the ultimate path the goal is quite different. We begin after having passed through yoga, and having found peace. Then we seek truth. The latter when found reveals that the Overself is present in all men--nay, all creatures--as their ultimate being. We not only know this but FEEL it. So we cannot remain indifferent to the lives of others. Therefore--and now is revealed a great secret--when we attain liberation from the endless-turning wheel of reincarnation, we voluntarily return again and again to earth solely to help others, mitigate suffering, and reduce ignorance. So long as one creature lives in ignorance and pain, so long a true adept MUST return to earth. But this applies only to the adepts in WISDOM. The adept in yoga does not want to return to earth again, does not feel for others, and is happy in enjoying his exalted peace. He is quite entitled to this because he has worked for it. But he has not attained Truth, which is a higher stage. There is a tremendous difference in the goal we seek. The yogi's aim is a sublime selfishness; the true adept's is a burning desire to serve humanity. The successful yogi dwells in great peace and that suffices for him. Nevertheless yoga is an essential stage through which all must pass, for mind must be controlled, sharpened, and purified and peace must be attained before he is fit to undertake the great inquiry into what is Truth.

-- Notebooks Category 20: What Is Philosophy? > Chapter 4: Its Realization Beyond Ecstasy > # 129

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