Equality and Mastery: Human and Divine

As long as we remain rooted in the human consciousness, the types of equality and mastery that we can achieve are limited and attained through effort and struggle. When we transition to the divine consciousness, the equality and mastery become free and essentially automatic without struggle. The difference in the standpoint creates a different dynamic of interaction with the world.

The Gita builds upon the basic concepts of equality leading to renunciation of the world that were prevalent at that time, and expands, transforms and empowers these concepts, as Sri Aurobindo describes: “The Gita accepts the endurance and fortitude of our struggle with the lower nature as a preliminary movement; but if a certain mastery comes by our individual strength, the freedom of mastery only comes by our union with God, by a merging or dwelling of the personality in the one divine Person and the loss of the personal will in the divine Will. There is a divine Master of Nature and her works, above her though inhabiting her, who is our highest being and our universal self; to be one with him is to make ourselves divine. By union with God we enter into a supreme freedom and a supreme mastery.”

As opposed to the human struggle to gain self-mastery, “His mastery over things is because he has become one soul with all things.”

“Whatever he does and however he lives, the free soul lives in the Divine….”

The struggle is necessary to some degree so long as we are enmeshed in the actions of the gunas, the play of the dualities and the energetic characteristics of mind, life and body. As we achieve results, however, and begin to approach a new standpoint of vision and action, the effort can give way to a natural taking up of the divine consciousness as the basis for seeing and acting, and just as we move from a child’s way of seeing and acting as we grow into the maturity of adulthood, a similar transformation takes place at the next stage. The caterpillar consciousness comes to an end to yield the awareness of the butterfly.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 20, Equality and Knowledge, pp. 197-198