Equality of Soul Towards All

Sri Aurobindo provides the basis for the requirement of equality of soul: “And since all things are the one Self in its manifestation, we shall have equality of soul towards the ugly and the beautiful, the maimed and the perfect, the noble and the vulgar, the pleasant and the unpleasant, the good and the evil.”

The human standpoint, based on the mental predilection for division, separation and fragmentation, tends to emphasize the differences rather than the commonality of all things. Thus we divide humanity into ever-increasing fragmented groups, distinguishing people by their size or shape, skin color, economic status, religious persuasion, country of origin, etc. Once we have divided humanity we then proceed to use these distinctions to create disharmony, separation and difference, forgetting about the common basis and common environment that we all share, and which represents a far greater core of Oneness than of difference!

The process of the Yoga requires us to abandon this flawed human standpoint and to recognise and adopt the divine standpoint, which starts from the basis of Oneness and then finds the ultimate reason for the differences we can see in the needs of the divine manifestation and evolutionary process: “For we shall know that all things express or disguise, develop or distort, as best they can or with whatever defect they must, under the circumstances intended for them, in the way possible to the immediate status or function or evolution of their nature, some truth or fact, some energy or potential of the Divine necessary by its presence in the progressive manifestation both to the whole of the present sum of things and for the perfection of the ultimate result. That truth is what we must seek and discvoer behind the transitory expression; undeterred by appearances, by the deficiencies or the disfigurements of the expression, we can then worship the Divine for ever unsullied, pure, beautiful and perfect behind his masks.”

Sri Aurobindo reminds us that this does not mean that we have to ultimately accept the deformations or weaknesses we observe as permanent. “All indeed has to be changed, not ugliness accepted but divine beauty, not imperfection taken as our resting-place but perfection striven after, the supreme good made the universal aim and not evil. But what we do has to be done with a spiritual understanding and knowledge, and it is a divine good, beauty, perfection, pleasure that has to be followed after, not the human standards of these things.”

The basis of this understanding in its completeness and purity is equality of soul to all. “If we have not equality, it is a sign that we are still pursued by the Ignorance, we shall truly understand nothing and it is more than likely that we shall destroy the old imperfection only to create another: for we are substituting the appreciations of our human mind and desire-soul for the divine values.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part One: The Yoga of Divine Works, Chapter 9, Equality and Annihilation of Ego, pp.211-212

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