Equality of Soul Is a Recognition of the Divine Oneness

The normal circumstance of human life is based on the separation and division we experience in the mental consciousness. We classify and categorize everyone and everything around us, label them, and then act upon them with various forms of emotional and vital response. Love and hatred, like and dislike, attraction and repulsion. We act in a constant state of imbalance and we react based on these preferences. Sri Aurobindo points out that such reactions are both natural and necessary as we grow into consciousness of our individuality, and they shape the larger plan or effort of the Divine in the universal manifestation. At a certain stage, however, when the individual consciously takes up the practice of Yoga for the purpose of achieving Oneness with the Divine consciousness, these automatic distinctions and reactions must eventually be replaced in order for the yogic action to be perfected.

Sri Aurobindo explains: “For the worship of the Master of works demands a clear recognition and glad acknowledgement of him in ourselves, in all things and in all happenings. Equality is the sign of this adoration; it is the soul’s ground on which true sacrifice and worship can be done. The Lord is there equally in all beings, we have to make no essential distinctions between ourselves and others, the wise and the ignorant, friend and enemy, man and animal, the saint and the sinner. We must hate none, despise none, be repelled by none; for in all we have to see the One disguised or manifested at his pleasure. He is a little revealed in one or more revealed in another or concealed and wholly distorted in others according to his will and his knowledge of what is best for that which he intends to become in form in them and to do in works in their nature. All is our self, one self that has taken many shapes. Hatred and dislike and scorn and repulsion, clinging and attachment and preference are natural, necessary, inevitable at a certain stage: they attend upon or they help to make and maintain Nature’s choice in us. But to the Karmayogin they are a survival, a stumbling-block, a process of the Ignorance and, as he progresses, they fall away from his nature. The child-soul needs them for its growth; but they drop from an adult in the divine culture. In the God-nature to which we have to rise there can be an adamantine, even a destructive severity but not hatred, a divine irony but not scorn, a calm, clear-seeing and forceful rejection but not repulsion and dislike. Even what we have to destroy, we must not abhor or fail to recognise as a disguised and temporary movement of the Eternal.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 9, Equality and Annihilation of Ego, pg.211

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