Achieving Oneness With the Impersonal Brahman

Freeing oneself from the bondage of the ego-personality and attachment to the forms and forces of the outer manifestation allows the individual to experience and live in the impersonal, silent consciousness of the eternal Brahman. This status represents an enormous advance from the normal human consciousness, and has been described as an “awakening” or as moving “from the darkness to the light”. The ancient seers looked upon this state as one that was opposite to the normal human consciousness, such that what was considered true in the one status is considered an illusion when seen from the other.

The Gita makes it clear that one must be freed of the limitations of the human ego-personality and attachment to the dualities and the Gunas of Nature as a first step toward achieving the spiritual integration that is its ultimate goal. Spiritual seekers who have renounced the life of the world, whether they be sannyasis, yogins, anchorites or monks, from whichever tradition they follow, have made it their focus to achieve this other status at all costs.

Sri Aurobindo describes the result of such a change of standpoint: “He is merged in the vast and free impersonality of the pure spirit; he becomes the Brahman; he knows himself as one with the one self in all things. He is no longer aware of ego, no longer troubled by the dualities, no longer feels anguish of grief or disturbance of joy, is no longer shaken by desire, is no longer troubled by sin or limited by virtue. Or if the shadows of these things remain, he sees and knows them only as Nature working in her own qualities and does not feel them to be the truth of himself in which he lives. Nature alone acts and works out her mechanical figures: but the pure spirit is silent, inactive and free. Calm, untouched by her workings, it regards them with a perfect equality and knows itself to be other than these things. This spiritual state brings with it a still peace and freedom but not the dynamic divinity, not the integral perfection; it is a great step, but it is not the integral God-knowledge and self-knowledge.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 24, The Message of the Gita, pg. 561