Just as there are those who seek fulfillment through physical and vital satisfactions, we also find individuals whose primary focus is on what we may call “mental” fulfillments of various sorts, whether purely intellectual, or ethical, aesthetic or social. These individuals base their life-direction on developing standards and rules of conduct in the various fields, or creating philosophical systems around which they organize their understanding of the world and their action in it. The Gita is very positive and sympathetic about this stage of human development, and recognizes that the adoption and following of various dharmas is essential as the human being grows beyond total enslavement to the drives of physical satisfaction and the fulfillment of desires; however, the Gita points out that this is not the final stage of human development.
Sri Aurobindo explains: “The soul of man has to go beyond to some more absolute Dharma of man’s spiritual and immortal nature. And this can only be done if we repress and get rid of the ignorant formulations of the lower mental elements and the falsehood of egoistic personality, impersonalise the action of the intelligence and will, live in the identity of the one self in all, break out of all ego-moulds into the impersonal spirit.”
The Gita reminds us that so long as we remain bound within the framework of nature, whether physical, vital or mental, we remain tied to the action of the three Gunas and the impulsion of the ego-personality. “…but the destiny of the soul is a divine perfection and liberation and that can only be based in the freedom of our highest self, can only be found by passing through its vast impersonality and universality beyond mind into the integral light of the immeasurable Godhead and supreme Infinite who is beyond all Dharmas.”
Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 23, The Core of the Gita’s Meaning, pg. 550