The Divine Truth Behind the Quality of Rajas

Having recognized the Gita’s intent to move our action from the bondage of the three Gunas of Nature to a free divine working superior to and independent of the Gunas, Sri Aurobindo now takes up the question of the origination of the Gunas and the power that has put them into action and which will replace them when their working is superseded. He begins with the principle of motion, kinesis, embodied in the lower nature in Rajas.

If in fact, the truth of the lower nature is the entire truth, then we are bound by the working of the Gunas and there is no chance of any other kind of action. The solution of abandonment in favor of a pure, quiet, and focused spiritual awareness internally would then be the only realistic option for the spiritual seeker. The Gita says otherwise. The Gita contemplates the ability of the seeker, having unified the consciousness in the Divine Consciousness, to exceed and overcome the limitations of the lower Nature and act from the pure power and will of the highest divine consciousness. The Gita then describes the higher Nature which takes on the pure motive Will of the Divine and which is the foundation and essential basis of what we experience as the Gunas in the lower Nature.

Each of the Gunas then has its true source and form in a power of the higher Nature. Rajas has the aspect of struggle, suffering, pain and the clash of division. Sri Aurobindo describes the origin and source: “It is a will of the spirit in movement, it is a large divine will in action which is not touched by these things; it is a power of the free and infinite conscious Godhead which has no desire because it exercises universal possession and a spontaneous Ananda of its movement.”

“The soul that lives in God acts by this spiritual Will and not by the normal will of the unliberated mind: its kinesis takes place by this spiritual force and not by the rajasic mode of Nature, precisely because it no longer lives in the lower movement to which that deformation belongs, but has got back in the divine nature to the pure and perfect sense of the kinesis.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 17, Deva and Asura, pp. 449-450