The Equality of Self-Surrender

One very common form of equality takes the form of resignation to the will of God. This is particularly the case in certain religious traditions that have focused on achieving such resignation by “bearing the cross” that God gives them to bear.

The Gita recognizes and acknowledges the value of this form of the practice of equality; at the same time, it provides a new “active” form that expands upon the more passive formulation usually seen. Sri Aurobindo explains: “It is not merely a passive submission, but an active self-giving; not only a seeing and an accepting of the divine Will in all things, but a giving up of one’s own will to be the instrument of the Master of works, and this not with the lesser idea of being a servant of God, but eventually at least, of such a complete renunciation both of the consciousness and the works to him that our being becomes one with his being and the impersonalised nature only an instrument and nothing else. All result good or bad, pleasing or unpleasing, fortunate or unfortunate, is accepted as belonging to the Master of our actions, so that finally not only are grief and suffering borne, but they are banished: a perfect equality of the emotional mind is established.”

Sri Krishna asks Arjuna to do the work to be done, knowing that it had already been determined and set forth by the Master, and therefore, Arjuna would only be the instrumental not the actual cause of what had to occur on the battlefield.

“This attitude must lead finally to an absolute union of the personal with the Divine Will and, with the growth of knowledge, bring about a faultless response of the instrument to the divine Power and Knowledge. A perfect, an absolute equality of self-surrender, the mentality a passive channel of the divine Light and Power, the active being a mightily effective instrument for its work in the world, will be the poise of this supreme union of the Transcendent, the universal and the individual.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, First Series, Chapter 20, Equality and Knowledge, pp. 199-200