The Gita’s Message To the Mind Seeking Vital and Physical Fulfillment

The Gita recognises that there are differing drives that lead individuals to follow one or another of the available paths of fulfillment open to them in the world. The Gita then provides for each of these a line of understanding to help uplift and refine the efforts of those individuals, and prepare them thereby for the next stage in their evolution.

The first of these drives is obviously the fulfillment of the life of desire of the vital and physical being. Sri Aurobindo expresses the Gita’s response to those who follow this path exclusively or primarily: “The Gita’s message to the mind that follows after the vital and material life is that all life is indeed a manifestation of the universal Power in the individual, a derivation from the Self, a ray from the Divine, but actually it figures the Self and the Divine veiled in a disguising Maya, and to pursue the lower life for its own sake is to persist in a stumbling path and to enthrone our nature’s obscure ignorance and not at all to find the true truth and complete law of existence. A gospel of the will to live, the will to power, of the satisfaction of desire, of the glorification of mere force and strength, of the worship of the ego and its vehement acquisitive self-will and tireless self-regarding intellect is the gospel of the Asura and it can lead only to some gigantic ruin and perdition. The vital and material man must accept for his government a religious and social and ideal Dharma by which, while satisfying desire and interest under right restrictions, he can train and subdue his lower personality and scrupulously attune it to a higher law both of the personal and the communal life.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 23, The Core of the Gita’s Meaning, pp. 549-550