All Are Equal Before God

Human beings are constantly making distinctions based on external factors, and then treating each other variably due to those distinctions. The oppression of various classes of people, whether they are due to being women or children, or due to differences of education or career, skin color, sexual preference, religion, “breeding”, or success in either terms of holding or exercising power or wealth, are the norm throughout the world in one way or the other. These distinctions define a person’s role in society and clearly help define a life that is either easier or more difficult for most people.

When we move into the realm, however, of spiritual evolution and development of our inner life, none of these distinctions actually matter. The rich person, or the powerful person is not granted the privileges of union with the Divine on the basis of those riches or that power. There are of course those who believe that their wealth or power gives them an advantage somehow in spiritual matters, but in fact, many find that it is a clear disadvantage! Jesus even pointedly stated that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven!

Sri Aurobindo expands upon this theme, taking up a thread presented in the Gita: “…our mundane distinctions disappear in the mansion of the All-lover. There the virtuous man is not preferred, nor the sinner shut out from the Presence; together by this road the Brahmin pure of life and exact in observance of the law and the outcaste born from a womb of sin and sorrow and rejected of men can travel and find an equal and open access to the supreme liberation and the highest dwelling in the Eternal. Man and woman find their equal right before God; for the divine Spirit is no respecter of persons or of social distinctions and restrictions: all can go straight to him without intermediary or shackling condition.”

He concludes: “In the spiritual life all the external distinctions of which men make so much because they appeal with an oppressive force to the outward mind, cease before the equality of the divine Light and the wide omnipotence of an impartial Power.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 6, Works, Devotion and Knowledge, pp. 319-321