The Gita’s Solution–The Secret of Action

In this final chapter of the Essays on the Gita, Sri Aurobindo provides us a systematic summary and recap of the primary concepts presented in the Bhagavad Gita.

The fundamental point from which the Gita starts is to emphasize that our normal human standpoint does not fully comprehend the significance or meaning of life, and thus, our interpretation about what needs to be done, and why, is necessarily incomplete and inaccurate.

Sri Aurobindo takes up the basic points: “Existence is not merely a machinery of Nature, a wheel of law in which the soul is entangled for a moment or for ages; it is a constant manifestation of the Spirit. Life is not for the sake of life alone, but for God, and the living soul of man is an eternal portion of the Godhead.”

With this understanding, our action in the world can no longer be seen as solely a satisfaction of desires or material gratifications of a separate individual fragmented and separated from the rest of creation. The individual has a true role, not in opposition to the rest of existence, but as a nexus and part of that larger creation. The individual finds his true fulfilment when he takes on the divine standpoint and recognizes that the “self” is not this ego-personality with which we normal tend to identify ourselves. “Action is for self-finding, for self-fulfilment, for self-realisation and not only for its own external and apparent fruits of the moment or the future.”

While we evolve through a series of steps of increasing self-awareness and a widening of our standpoint, accompanying a successive abandonment of material and vital aims and goals in favor of a recognition of our position in the wider Divine manifestation, eventually we find our ultimate fulfilment through leaving behind all the human-developed customs, traditions, rules, laws, dharmas and social contracts to embrace our divine existence fully, completely and without reservation.

“It is only by discovering your true self and living according to its true truth, its real reality that the problem can be finally solved, the difficulty and struggle overpassed and your doings perfected in the security of the discovered self and spirit turn into a divinely authentic action. Know then your self; know your true self to be God and one with the self of all others; know your soul to be a portion of God. Live in what you know; live in the self, live in your supreme spiritual nature, be united with God and Godlike.”

Doing so, action takes on the form of total offering of all one is and does to the Supreme, transcendent, universal and individual at once. Then the Supreme takes up and performs the action through the nexus of the individual form.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 24, The Message of the Gita, pp. 553-554

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