Four Aspects of the Divine

The Gita systematically takes up four major aspects of the Divine in order to provide a framework for the understanding it wants to provide to Arjuna. Each of these four aspects is based in a spiritual experience, not a philosophical system. They describe the sense, as Sri Aurobindo sets it forth, that “the Godhead is all that is universe and all that is in the universe and all that is more than the universe.”

The first aspect that the Gita emphasizes is the “supracosmic existence” of the Divine. This takes precedence in order to ensure that the seeker does not get fixated solely on the manifestation and thereby lose the sense of transcendence that frees one from the bondage to the life in the world.

The second aspect is “…his universal existence in which all moves and acts. For that is the justification of the cosmic effort and that is the vast spiritual self-awareness in which the Godhead self-seen as the Time-Spirit does his universal works.”

The third aspect relates to “…the acceptance of the Godhead as the divine inhabitant in the human body. For he is the Immanent in all existences, and if the indwelling divinity is not recognized, not only will the divine meaning of individual existence be missed, the urge to our supreme spiritual possibilities deprived of its greatest force, but the relations of soul with soul in humanity will be left petty, limited and egoistic.”

The fourth aspect is “…the divine manifestation in all things in the universe and affirms the derivation of all that is from the nature, power and light of the one Godhead. For that seeing too is essential to the God-knowledge; on it is founded the integral turn of the whole being and the whole nature Godwards, the acceptance by man of the works of the divine Power in the world and the possibility of remoulding his mentality and will into the type of the God-action, transcendent in initiation, cosmic in motive, transmitted through the individual, the Jiva.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 5, The Divine Truth and Way, pp. 301-302

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