Equality of Soul

It is easy for us to confuse desirelessness with lack of motivation; and similarly it is easy to mix up the psychological state of equality with an attitude of indifference. The status envisioned by the Gita is a positive status, not the negative status that the mind creates due to its “black or white” thinking methodology.

Sri Aurobindo describes the state of “equality of soul” which he declares to be the 4th sign of the divine worker: “He has, says the Gita, passed beyond the dualities;….. We have seen that he regards with equal eyes, without any disturbance of feeling, failure and success, victory and defeat; but not only these, all dualities are in him surpassed and reconciled. The outward distinctions by which men determine their psychological attitude towards the happenings of the world, have for him only a subordinate and instrumental meaning. He does not ignore them, but he is above them. Good happening and evil happening, so all-important to the human soul subject to desire, are to the desireless divine soul equally welcome since by their mingled strand are worked out the developing forms of the eternal good.”

While the divine worker may adopt a dharma and code of action for purposes of the work to be done, he is not bound by that code, but is “beyond good and evil”. This does not mean, as some suppose, that the liberated soul is therefore given a license to act without any regard for anyone or anything else; rather, it means that the strictures of human rules of the mind do not limit the action, which flows from a purity and wideness of consciousness that neither seeks gain nor avoids loss if that is what is required by the divine action.

We come here to one of the major issues confronting Arjuna, the protagonist of the enormous struggle taking place in his time, when he worries about conflicting standards that cannot be reconciled by any human mental guidelines.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 18, The Divine Worker, pp. 172-173