Faith, Karma and Self-Creation

The faith which an individual experiences inwardly, which guides him to forsake both the impulsion of desire and the established framework of the social order within which he lives, is an expression of the “will to become” and is a creative force that helps humanity go beyond its existing framework and limitations.

This inner faith is an expression of the evolutionary potential that takes us beyond the working of mechanical law and instinct, as well as the limited framework created by the developed mental capacity. As with everything else, it takes on the hue of the Gunas and depending on whether it is tamasic, rajasic or sattwic, there will be a different end result.

Sri Aurobindo explores this question as defined by the Gita: “…this Purusha, this soul in man, is, as it were, made of sraddha, a faith, a will to be, a belief in itself and existence, and whatever is that will, faith or constituting belief in him, he is that and that is he….”

The concept of karma is that one’s current actions create circumstances in one’s future, just as past actions have created circumstances in one’s present. The role of the inner faith of the soul appears to be the motive force that, when put into action, focuses and impels the karmic force. “He is what he is today by some past will of his nature sustained and continued by a present will to know, to believe and to be in his intelligence and vital force, and whatever new turn is taken by this will and faith active in his very substance, that he will tend to become in the future. We create our own truth of existence in our own action of mind and life, which is another way of saying that we create our own selves, are our own makers.”

Sri Aurobindo is quick to point out that this only takes up one aspect of existence and is thus, not a complete statement. Nevertheless, this represents a powerful concept worthy of consideration and deep reflection.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 18, The Gunas, Faith and Works, pp. 465-466

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