The Essential Human Standpoint

The next issue which Sri Aurobindo takes up is the standpoint of the individual human being when confronted with the reality of the world. There are those who treat the world as some kind of mechanism, inexplicable as to how it arises or exists, but essentially non-aware. There are others who treat it as some kind of illusion created by a non-involved transcendent consciousness, which is experienced, and which is to be escaped from. There is an entire continuum of views that thereby find ways to avoid the direct confrontation of man with the reality of the world around him.

Sri Aurobindo describes the viewpoint taken up by the Gita: “The divine charioteer of Kurukshetra reveals himself on one side as the Lord of all the worlds and the friend and omniscient Guide of all creatures, on the other as Time the Destroyer “arisen for the destruction of these peoples.” The Gita….affirms this also as God; it does not attempt to evade the enigma of the world by escaping from it through a side-door.”

“…if we accept at all, as the Gita accepts, the existence of God, that is to say, of the omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, yet always transcendent Being who manifests the world and Himself in the world, who is not the slave but the lord of His creative Consciousness, Nature or Froce (Maya, Prakriti or Shakti), who is not baffled or thwarted in His world-conception or design by His creatures, man or devil, who does not need to justify Himself by shifting the responsibility for any part of His creation or manifestation on that which is created or manifested, then the human being has to start from a great, a difficult act of faith.”

This puts us in the position of seeing both the conflict, suffering and death on one side, and yet recognizing “…the omnipresent Deity in it all and conscious that of this enigma there must be a solution and beyond this Ignorance in which he dwells a Knowledge that reconciles, he has to take this stand upon this faith, “Though Thou slay me, yet will I trust in Thee.” ”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 6, Man and the Battle of Life, pp. 43-44,