The Forms of Rajasic Equality

The Gita does not rest satisfied with a turn away from the world and its activities that results from a tamasic form of equality. The Gita goes further to recommend mastery rather than simple avoidance. Rajasic equality can arise from the first steps towards the soul’s conquest over desire in this world. Sri Aurobindo describes this possibility: “It is here that the possibility of a kind of rajasic equality comes in, which is at its lowest the strong nature’s pride in self-mastery, self-control, superiority to passion and weakness; but the Stoic ideal seizes upon this point of departure and makes it the key to an entire liberation of the soul from subjection to all weakness of its lower nature.”

“Instead of a struggle for scattered outward aims and transient successes, it proposes nothing less than the conquest of Nature and the world itself by a spiritual struggle and an inner victory.”

“The Stoic self-discipline…endures the shock of things painful and pleasurable, the causes of the physical and mental affections of the nature, and breaks their effects to pieces; it is complete when the soul can bear all touches without being pained or attracted, excited or troubled. It seeks to make man the conqueror and king of his nature.”

The discipline required to achieve this state of equality is considerable, and it remains insufficient without the acquisition of true knowledge based on the Oneness of the spiritual consciousness. Nevertheless, it is an important opening for the effort to move beyond the control of the three gunas and the play of desire and the dance of the dualities.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 19, Equality, pp. 185-186