The Eternal Soul Of Man Acts To Carry Out the Eternal Will In Manifestation

Sri Aurobindo clarifies the balanced view that neither overstates nor understates the importance and role of man in the universal manifestation: “Man is a conscious soul of the Eternal, one with the Infinite in his inmost being, and the spirit within him is master of his acts and his fate.”

When we consider the question of Fate or Karma or any other idea that implies some externally determined result that is either pre-destined or at least guided to a specific result and conclusion, we should consider it from this standpoint. We are not separated from the Eternal and Infinite. We are not therefore simply victims of fate or controlled by Karma.

Sri Aurobindo in fact redefines the concept of fate: “For fate is fatum, the form of act and creation declared beforehand by a Will within him and the universe as the thing to be done, to be achieved, to be worked out and made the self-expression of his spiritual being. Fate is adrsta, the unseen thing which the Spirit holds hidden in the plan of its vision, the consequence concealed from the travailing mind absorbed in the work of the moment by the curtained nearnesses or the far invisible reaches of Time. Fate is niyati, the thing willed and executed by Nature, who is power of the Spirit, according to a fixed law of it self-governed workings.”

This obviously changes our view of our role in the universe: “But since this Eternal and Infinite, our greater Self, is also the universal being, man in the universe is inseparably one with all the rest of existence, not a soul working out its isolated spiritual destiny and nature while all other beings are nothing but his environment and means or obstacles,–that they are indeed, but they are much more to him,–which is the impression cast on the mind by the thought or the religions that emphasise too much his centre of individuality or his aim of personal salvation. He is not indeed solely a portion of the universe. He is an eternal soul which, though limited for certain temporal purposes in its outward consciousness, has to learn to enlarge itself out of those limits, to find and make effective its unity with the eternal Spirit who informs and transcends the universe.”

Sri Aurobindo,Rebirth and Karma, Section I, Chapter 10, Karma, Will and Consequence, pg. 88,

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