Essays on the Gita -Aurobindo 169

Essays on the Gita -Sri Aurobindo
First Series : Chapter 18
The Divine Worker

To Attain to the divine birth, — a divinising new birth of the soul into a higher consciousness, — and to do divine works both as a means towards that before it is attained and as an expression of it after it is attained, is then all the Karmayoga of the Gita. The Gita does not try to define works by any outward signs through which it can be recognisable to an external gaze, measurable by the criticism of the world; it deliberately renounces even the ordinary ethical distinctions by which men seek to guide themselves in the light of the human reason. The signs by which it distinguishes divine works are all profoundly intimate and subjective; the stamp by which they are known is invisible, spiritual, supra-ethical.

They are recognisable only by the light of the soul from which they come. For, it says, “what is action and what is in- action, as to this even the sages are perplexed and deluded,” because, judging by practical, social, ethical, intellectual stan- dards, they discriminate by accidentals and do not go to the root of the matter; “I will declare to thee that action by the knowledge of which thou shalt be released from all ills. One has to under- stand about action as well as to understand about wrong action and about inaction one has to understand; thick and tangled is the way of works.” Action in the world is like a deep forest, gahana, through which man goes stumbling as best he can, by the light of the ideas of his time, the standards of his personality, his environment, or rather of many times, many personalities, layers of thought and ethics from many social stages all inextricably confused together, temporal and conventional amidst all their claim to absoluteness and immutable truth, empirical and irrational in spite of their aping of right reason. And finally the sage seeking in the midst of it all a highest foundation of fixed law and an original truth finds himself obliged to raise the last supreme question, whether all action and life itself are not a delusion and a snare and whether cessation from action, a karma, is not the last resort of the tired and disillusioned human soul. But, says Krishna, in this matter even the sages are perplexed and deluded. For by action, by works, not by inaction comes the knowledge and the release.


References and Context

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Essays on the Gita -Aurobindo
Serial No Chapter Name Page No
First Series
1. Our Demand and Need from the Gita 1
2. The Divine Teacher 9
3. The Human Disciple 17
4. The Core of the Teaching 26
5. Kurukshetra 37
6. Man and the Battle of Life 44
7. The Creed of the Aryan Fighter 56
8. Sankhya and Yoga 67
9. Sankhya, Yoga and Vedanta 80-81
10. The Yoga of the Intelligent Will 92
11. Works and Sacrifice 102
12. The Significance of Sacrifice 110
13. The Lord of the Sacrifice 119
14. The Principle of Divine Works 128
15. The Possibility and Purpose of Avatarhood 139
16. The Process of Avatarhood 151
17. The Divine Birth and Divine Works 161
18. The Divine Worker 169
19. Equality 180
20. Equality and Knowledge 192
21. The Determinism of Nature 203
22. Beyond the Modes of Nature 215
23. Nirvana and Works in the World 225
24. The Gist of the Karmayoga 238
Second Series
1. The Two Natures 250
2. The Synthesis of Devotion and Knowledge Gita 262
3. The Supreme Divine 271
4. The Secret of Secrets 282
5. The Divine Truth and Way 291
6. Works, Devotion and Knowledge 301
7. The Supreme Word of the Gita 314
8. God in Power of Becoming 330
9. The Theory of the Vibhuti 340
10. The Vision of the World-Spirit Time the Destroyer 350
11. The Vision of the World-Spirit The Double Aspect 360
12. The Way and the Bhakta 367
13. The Field and its Knower 377
14. Above the Gunas 388
15. The Three Purushas 402
16. The Fullness of Spiritual Action 416
17. Deva and Asura 429
18. The Gunas, Faith and Works 442
19. The Gunas, Mind and Works 458
20. Swabhava and Swadharma 471
21. Towards the Supreme Secret 490
22. The Supreme Secret 503
23. The Core of the Gita’s Meaning 525
24. The Message of the Gita 534