The Essence of Spiritual Liberation

As we live our normal lives, we unconsciously act and react as if we are at the center of the universe, and all issues are resolved within the context of our own personal feelings, ideas or desires. This represents a confused state of awareness which leaves us responding in a constant state of bewilderment. The antidote for this bewilderment is to achieve the state of consciousness that corresponds with the knowledge of the Eternal. From this position we see things as they really are, we relate and respond to them in a universal sense and we begin to work, not for the fulfillment of our individual desires, but for the benefit of all creation as conscious participants in the larger aims and movements of that creation.

Sri Aurobindo sets forth the Gita’s position as set forth in three verses: ” ‘Whosoever knows Me’, says the Godhead, ‘as the unborn who is without origin, might lord of the worlds and peoples, lives unbewildered among mortals and is delivered from all sin and evil. Whosoever knows in its right principles this My pervading lordship and this My Yoga (the divine Yoga…by which the Transcendent is one with all existences even while more than them all and dwells in them and contains them as becomings of his own Nature), unites himself to Me by an untrembling Yoga….The wise hold Me for the birth of each and all, hold each and all as developing from Me its action and movement, and so holding they love and adore Me…and I give them the Yoga of the understanding by which they come to Me and I destroy for them the darkness which is born of the ignorance.’ ”

The result is “Assigning to everything its supernal and real and not any longer only its present and apparent value, he finds the hidden links and connections; he consciously directs all life and acts to their high and true object and governs them by the light and power which comes to him from the Godhead within him. Thus he escapes from the wrong cognition, the wrong mental and volitional reaction, the wrong sensational reception and impulse which here originate sin and error and suffering…. For living thus in the transcendent and universal he sees his own and every other individuality in their greater values and is released from the falsehood and ignorance of his separative and egoistic will and knowledge. That is always the essence of the spiritual liberation.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 7, The Supreme Word of the Gita, pp. 336-338