The Secret of the Action of the Liberated Man

As long as we act from the standpoint of the egoistic human being, referring all action to our own separate will, and suffering the consequences, for good or ill, as the result of our acts, we have not achieved the liberation the Gita speaks about. Treating all action as a sacrifice to the Lord of creation is only the first step. The next step is to eliminate the egoistic central focus and to truly take on the action purely as the instrumental nexus of the Divine Will, thereby doing “the work to be done” in a way that is disinterested in the personal gain or loss.

Sri Aurobindo explains: “The free perfect working comes first by referring and finally surrendering altogether the action and its origination to the divine Master of our existence…”

“The action is chosen and shaped according to the nature, but entirely by the divine Will in the nature, and it is therefore free and perfect within, whatever its outward appearance; it comes stamped with the inward spiritual seal of the Infinite as the thing to be done, the movement and the step of the movement decreed in the ways of the omniscient Master of action, kartavyam karma. The soul of the liberated man is free in its impersonality, even while he contributes to the action as its means and its occasion his instrumental personal self-creation and the special will and power in his nature. That will and power is now not separately, egoistically his own, but a force of the suprapersonal Divine who acts in this becoming of his own self, this one of his myriad personalities by means of the characteristic form of the natural being, the Swabhava. This is the high secret and mystery, uttamam rahasyam, of the action of the liberated man. It is the result of a growing of the human soul into a divine Light and of the union of its nature with a highest universal nature.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 16, The Fullness of Spiritual Action, pp. 443-444