Spiritual Equality

Sri Aurobindo makes it clear that even the sattwic form of equality is not the same as spiritual equality, as per the teaching of the Gita. Sattwic equality is still involved in the play of the gunas and thus, subject to being overthrown by any number of forces. It is an intellectual or mental control being exercised, and while this can be of enormous aid in the process of growth into the spiritual consciousness, in the end, it is uncertain, unstable and insufficient to provide the firm spiritual footing that the Gita has as its goal.

” ‘Even the mind of the wise man who labours for perfection is carried away by the vehement insistence of the senses.’ Perfect security can only be had by resorting to something higher than the sattwic quality, something higher than the discerning mind, to the Self,–not the philosopher’s intelligent self, but the divine sage’s spiritual self which is beyond the three Gunas.”

The characteristics of spiritual equality are founded in the sense of Oneness of the divine consciousness: “He has realised his unity with all and his equality is therefore full of sympathy and oneness. He sees all as himself and is not intent on his lonely salvation; he even takes upon himself the burden of their happiness and sorrow by which he is not himself affected or subjected. The perfect sage, the Gita more than once repeats, is ever engaged with a large equality in doing good to all creatures and makes that his occupation and delight…The perfect Yogin is no solitary musing on the Self in his ivory tower of spiritual isolation, but…a many-sided universal worker for the good of the world, for God in the world. For he is a bhakta, a lover and devotee of the Divine, as well as a sage and a Yogin, a lower who loves God wherever he finds Him and who finds Him everywhere; and what he loves, he does not disdain to serve, nor does action carry him away from the bliss of union, since all his acts proceed from the One in him and to the One in all they are directed. The equality of the Gita is a large synthetic equality in which all is lifted up into the integrality of the divine being and the divine nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 19, Equality, pp. 189-190

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