The Soul of Peace–The Soul of Love

There is a tendency in the sattwic, philosophic form of equality to become indifferent to the things of the world, which has fueled the tendency toward renunciation of active life as a solution to the spiritual search. One can achieve a status of profound peace. Sri Aurobindo describes the limitations of this direction: “It is an equality of philosophic indifference; it brings a high calm, but not the greater spiritual joy; it is an isolated freedom….in the end something after all aloof and ineffective.”

He points out that the spiritual equality of the Gita, while attaining a poise “seated above” the world of action, does not abandon that world. “…yet he does works always and is present everywhere supporting, helping, guiding the labour of creatures. This equality is founded upon oneness with all beings. It brings in what is wanting to the philosophic equality; for its soul is the soul of peace, but also it is the soul of love. It sees all beings without exception in the Divine, it is one self with the Self of all existences and therefore it is in supreme sympathy with all of them.”

In a somewhat similar vein, the Mahayana Buddhist tradition describes the Bodhisattva as a spiritual seeker who has renounced ultimate salvation through renunciation until every other living being has achieved the complete realisation. This unites the principles enunciated by the Gita through a profound sense of the Oneness of all existence, and a deep compassion and love.

Sri Aurobindo, continuing with the Gita’s statement on the subject: “Here there is no room, not merely for hatred or anger or uncharitableness, but for aloofness, disdain or any petty pride of superiority. A divine compassion for the ignorance of the struggling mind, a divine will to pour forth on it all liht and power and happiness there will be, indeed, for the apparent man; but for the divine Soul within him there will be more, there will be adoration and love.”

The divine teacher of the Gita reminds us “This is I.” “He who loves Me in all beings”. Sri Aurobindo asks: “…what greater word of power for the utmost intensities and profundities of divine and universal love, has been uttered by any philosophy or any religion?”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 20, Equality and Knowledge, pp. 198-199

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