The Characteristics of a Rajasic Equality

While Sri Krishna acknowledges the opportunity to achieve spiritual realisation starting from a tamasic form of equality, he recognises that he is speaking with Arjuna, a warrior and leader, who has a natural rajasic temperament. His brief fall into tamas and his recoil from the work assigned to him as a result, is countered firmly by the divine teacher. He wants to direct Arjuna to a path that embraces and overcomes the oppositions and difficulties of life rather than gives in and renounces the life action.

The Gita therefore expounds the characteristics of what may be called rajasic equality. Sri Aurobindo describes them: “All desires have to enter into the soul, as waters into the sea, and yet it has to remain immovable, filled but not disturbed: so in the end all desires can be abandoned. To be freed from wrath and passion and fear and attraction is repeatedly stressed as a necessary condition of the liberated status, and for this we must learn to bear their shocks, which cannot be done without exposing ourselves to their causes. ‘He who can bear here in the body the velocity of wrath and desire, is the Yogin, the happy man.’…the will and power to endure, is the means.”

“The equal-souled has to bear suffering and not hate, to receive pleasure and not rejoice. Even the physical affections are to be mastered by endurance and this too is part of the Stoic discipline. Age, death, suffering, pain are not fled from, but accepted and vanquished by a high indifference. Not to flee appalled from Nature in her lower masks, but to meet and conquer her is the true instinct of the strong nature…., the leonine soul among men. Thus compelled, she throws aside her mask and reveals to him his true nature as the free soul, not her subject but her king and lord, svarat, samrat.

The goal here, as with the tamasic equality, is to bring to bear the higher knowledge and thereby to achieve a true spiritual standpoint that can concurrently live in the divine truth, while carrying out the work to be done in the world without the taint of desire, attachment, or any need for rejection of the world.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 19, Equality, pp. 186-187