Essays on the Gita -Aurobindo 459

Essays on the Gita -Sri Aurobindo
Second Series : PART-2 : Chapter 19
The Gunas, Mind and Works

The liberating activity of the sattwic self-discipline must no doubt be pervaded by a spirit of renunciation, — that is an essential element: but what renunciation and in what manner of the spirit? Not the renunciation of work in the world, not any outward asceticism or any ostentation of a visible giving up of enjoyment, but a renunciation, a leaving, tya ̄ga, of vital desire and ego, a total laying aside, sannya sa, of the separate personal life of the desire soul and ego-governed mind and rajasic vital nature. That is the true condition for entering into the heights of Yoga whether through the impersonal self and Brahmic oneness or through universal Vasudeva or inwardly into the supreme Purushottama. More conventionally taken, Sannyasa in the standing terminology of the sages means the physical depositing or laying aside of desirable actions: Tyaga — this is the Gita’s distinction — is the name given by the wise to a mental and spiritual renunciation, an entire abandonment of all attached clinging to the fruit of our works, to the action itself or to its personal initiation or rajasic impulse. In that sense Tyaga, not Sannyasa, is the better way. It is not the desirable actions that must be laid aside, but the desire which gives them that character has to be put away from us.

The fruit of the action may come in the dispensation of the Master of works, but there is to be no egoistic demand for that as a reward and condition of doing works. Or the fruit may not at all come and still the work has to be performed as the thing to be done, kartavyam ̇ karma, the thing which the Master within demands of us. The success, the failure are in his hands and he will regulate them according to his omniscient will and inscrutable purpose. Action, all action has indeed to be given up in the end, not physically by abstention, by immobility, by inertia, but spiri- tually to the Master of our being by whose power alone can any action be accomplished. There has to be a renunciation of the false idea of ourselves as the doer; for in reality it is the universal Shakti that works through our personality and our ego. The spiritual transference of all our works to the Mas- ter and his Shakti is the real Sannyasa in the teaching of the Gita.

The question still arises, what works are to be done? Those even who stand for a final physical renunciation are not at one in this difficult matter. Some would have it that all works must be excised from our life, as if that were possible.


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