Moving From Ego-Centred Action to Divine-Centred Action

It is a great first step to achieve equality regarding the results of one’s efforts, the fruits of action. The Gita makes it clear, however, that for its goal of a transition from the human to the divine standpoint in the consciousness, this is not the complete solution. The second step is to recognise that in fact, the nexus of the ego-personality is not the true actor; rather, it is Nature acting under the impulsion of the divine Spirit through each individual form, including through the ego-personality that each person possesses.

Sri Aurobindo describes this crucial second step: “Cease to regard your works as your own; as you have abandoned the fruits of your work, so you must surrender the work also to the Lord of action and sacrifice. Recognise that your nature determines your action; your nature rules the immediate motion of your Swabhava and decides the expressive turn and development of your spirit in the paths of the executive force of Prakriti.”

“Make of all you do from the greatest and most unusual effort to the smallest daily act, make of each act of your min, each act of your heart, each act of your body, of every inner and outer turn, of every thought and will and feeling, of every step and pause and movement a sacrifice to the Master of all sacrifice and Tapasya.”

As we systematically shift our awareness in this direction, we find that we can act more freely, without trying to claim that the action is our own, or that we initiated it, or are, in the end, responsible for it and its results. This shift brings about both the new awareness and a deep sense of peace and contentment as we carry out the greater Will of the divine intention.

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part II, Chapter 24, The Message of the Gita, pp. 567-568

2 thoughts on “Moving From Ego-Centred Action to Divine-Centred Action

  1. There’s no awareness when one is locked in the movement of the Nature; it is there when there’s gap between the two successive movements. Longer the duration of the gap, more is the awareness. And, this gap can’t be stretched by the act of the will, because the will is inseparable from its movement. When the movement begins, the awareness is lost. When the movement ends, awareness is. So, there’s no choice to be aware, and consequently to sacrifice in full awareness. No sacrifice means no karma yoga. No yoga means no deliverance from the knot of the self-forgetfulness. No deliverance means no continuity of awareness.

    I don’t understand this karma yoga.

    • trying to grapple with the mind about states of consciousness that are other than the mental consciousness is usually not fruitful. the Gita proposes that by following out the steps, the transition takes place. then the state of awareness is self-evident regardless of the mind’s limited ability to grapple with it ahead of time.

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