Transcending the Limits of the Egoistic Consciousness Through the Divine Sacrifice

The principle of Oneness and interchange, the law of sacrifice, is something that occurs unconsciously and automatically for all creatures in the world. The development of self-aware beings provides the opportunity for this principle to become a fully conscious reality. In the first case, the limitations of the ego-sense and the fragmented individuality means that there can be considerable suffering and resistance, while in the truer, deeper sense, the sacrifice done with devotion and understanding can become a source of an ineffable joy in the being. This turns the human sacrifice into the divine sacrifice.

Sri Aurobindo explains: “Only when the heart, the will and the mind of knowledge associate themselves with the law and gladly follow it, can there come the deep joy and the happy fruitfulness of divine sacrifice. The mind’s knowledge of the law and the heart’s gladness in it culminate in the perception that it is to our own Self and Spirit and the one-Self and Spirit of all that we give.”

There is here a transitional phase as the being grows in its awareness and wideness. Every step beyond the limited ego toward a larger principle is a step along this path. “And this is true even when our self-offering is still to our fellow-creatures or to lesser Powers and Principles and not yet to the Supreme.”

“All true love and all sacrifice are in their essence Nature’s contradiction of the primary egoism and its separative error; it is her attempt to turn from a necessary first fragmentation towards a recovered oneness. All unity between creatures is in its essence a self-finding, a fusion with that from which we have separated and a discovery of one’s self in others.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 4, The Sacrifice, The Triune Path and the Lord of the Sacrifice, pg. 99