Essays on the Gita -Aurobindo 260

Essays on the Gita -Sri Aurobindo
Second Series : Chapter 1
The Two Natures

“I am” says the Divine “the essential light, strength, desire, power, intelligence, but these derivations from them I am not in my essence, nor am I in them, yet are they all of them from me and they are all in my being.” It is then upon the basis of these statements that we have to view the transition of things from the higher to the lower and again from the lower back to the higher nature.

The first statement offers no difficulty. The strong man in spite of the divine nature of the principle of strength in him falls into subjection to desire and to attachment, stumbles into sin, struggles towards virtue. But that is because he descends in all his derivative action into the grasp of the three gunas and does not govern that action from above, from his essential divine nature. The divine nature of his strength is not affected by these derivations, it remains the same in its essence in spite of every obscuration and every lapse. The Divine is there in that nature and supports him by its strength through the confusions of his lower existence till he is able to recover the light, illumine wholly his life with the true sun of his being and govern his will and its acts by the pure power of the divine will in his higher nature. But how can the Divine be desire, ka ̄ma? for this desire, this ka ̄ma has been declared to be our one great enemy who has to be slain. But that desire was the desire of the lower nature of the gunas which has its native point of origin in the rajasic being, rajogun. a-samudbhavah. ; for this is what we usually mean when we speak of desire. This other, the spiritual, is a will not contrary to the dharma.

Is it meant that the spiritual ka ̄ ma is a virtuous desire, ethical in its nature, a sattwic desire, — for virtue is always sattwic in its origin and motive force? But then there would be here an obvious contradiction, — since in the very next line all sattwic affections are declared to be not the Divine, but only lower derivations. Undoubtedly sin has to be abandoned if one is to get anywhere near the Godhead; but so too has virtue to be overpassed if we are to enter into the Divine Being. The sattwic nature has to be attained, but it has then to be exceeded. Ethical action is only a means of purification by which we can rise towards the divine nature, but that nature itself is lifted beyond the dualities, — and indeed there could otherwise be no pure divine presence or divine strength in the strong man who is subjected to the rajasic passions.


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