The Three Objects of the Gita’s Teaching

Sri Aurobindo identifies three distinct goals of the divine Teacher in his relationship with his human disciple. The first object is to use the opportunity of the breakdown of all the standards and values that the disciple has heretofore relied upon to reorient him toward a higher way of life based on the integration of a new viewpoint and consciousness. The second object is to meet the concerns expressed by the disciple to have a new standard by which to guide his actions. The third object is to integrate these two in such a way that it rebuilds the psychological framework of the disciple so that he is ready, willing and able to carry out his destined actions.

The first object will “…lift him up out of this lower life into a higher consciousness, out of ignorant attachment to action into that which transcends, yet originates and orders action, out of ego into Self, out of life in mind, vitality and body into that higher nature beyond mind which is the status of the Divine.”

The second object will give him “…a new Law of life and action high above the insufficient rule of the ordinary human existence with its endless conflicts and oppositions, perplexities and illusory certainties, a higher Law by which the soul shall be free from the bondage of works and yet powerful to act and conquer in the vast liberty of its divine being.”

The third is required because “…the action must be performed, the world must fulfil its cycles and the soul of the human being must not turn back in ignorance from the work it is here to do.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 3, The Human Disciple, pg. 25,