If there is one frequently recurring theme throughout human history with respect to our effort and its significance, it is that whatever we do on earth is a struggle, a form of suffering, a travail, and eventually we need to abandon this life and work to identify ourselves with the eternal and end the suffering. This theme we find in the illusionist philosophies of Mayavada, as well as in the Buddhist direction, and also in the Christian focus on other-worldly salvation or even the redemption and bliss found in the Muslim heaven. Whatever temporary role or significance our human life has is overshadowed by the eventual need to go beyond.
Sri Aurobindo, however, comes to a completely different conclusion. Since he recognizes the action of life as the expression of the unfolding of the creative energy and consciousness of the eternal Spirit, he does not find any need to deny a significance to the individual or the collective life, or to see it as an expression of the Spirit’s enjoyment of existence.
“The spirit we are is not only an eternal consciousness and eternal being; its characters are an eternal power of being and an eternal Ananda. Creation is not to the spirit a trouble and an anguish, but a delight expressed, even though in the entirety of its depths inexpressible, fathomless, endless, inexhaustible. It is only the limited action of mind in the ignorance straining after possession and discovery and unable to find the concealed power of the spirit that makes of the delight of action and creation a passion or suffering: for, limited in capacity and embarrassed by life and body, it has yet desires beyond its capacity, because it is the instrument of a growth and the seed of an illimitable self-expression and it has the pain of the growth and the pain of the insufficiency of its action and delight. But let this struggling self-creator and doer of works once grow into the consciousness and power of the secret infinite spirit within it and all this passion and suffering passes away into an immeasurable delight of liberated being and its liberated action.”