Action Based On the Spontaneous Output Of a Free God-Held Energy

The Divine standpoint incorporates both the uninvolved, silent Self, aloof from the world, as well as the apparently mechanical and unconscious action that we see as the functioning of Nature. Nature only appears to be a machinery when we are fixed in the human mental standpoint of fragmentation and isolation, and treat the world as “other” than us. The Gita tells us that there is a Divine Will that acts through the modality of Nature, and when we shift to the Divine standpoint, we too experience and participate in the force of that Will. Sri Aurobindo explains:

“But you cannot feel or know that Will while you are shut up in your narrow cell of personality, blinded and chained to your viewpoint of the ego and its desires. For you can wholly respond to it only when you are impersonalised by knowledge and widened to see all things in the self and in God and the self and God in all things. All becomes here by the power of the Spirit; all do their works by the immanence of God in things and his presence in the heart of every creature. The Creator of the worlds is not limited by his creations; the Lord of works is not bound by his works; the divine Will is not attached to its labour and the results of its labour: for it is omnipotent, all-possessing and all-blissful.”

We can become confused by the idea of the Lord being greater than the creation by taking that understanding to the extreme that God is other than and separate from the Creation. We can become confused by the idea that God is “not this, not that” by denying the immanence of God in all things. We are trapped by the limitations of the language and the linear mode of thought to which we are attached. The language is intended to describe the limitless nature of God, while at the same time ensuring that we recognise God everywhere and in all things.

This then changes the nature of the work or action that we undertake. When we once understand that the world is the expression of the divine Will, and that we too (with the Divine Presence seated in our heart) can identify with that Will, then our action is no longer small, narrow, desire-based and limited; rather, it can take on the nature of the Divine Action: “And you too must do works in him after the way and in the steps of the divine nature untouched by limitation, attachment or bondage. Act for the best good of all, act for the maintenance of the march of the world, for the support or the leading of its peoples. The action asked of you is the action of the liberated Yogin; it is the spontaneous output of a free God-held energy, it is an equal-minded movement, it is a selfless and desireless labour.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 24, The Message of the Gita, pp. 566-567