The Divine Status of Equality

Human beings generally extrapolate from their human reactions to infer that God reacts the same ways. The ancient Greek Gods experienced, in the minds of the Greeks who described them, anger, jealousy, lust and petty spite. Human lives and civilizations were subjected to either benefits or penalties based on the reaction of the various Gods. Odysseus was subjected to 10 years of wandering and suffering due to the wrath of Juno, but was aided by the support of Athena who worked to eventually save him from Juno’s spite. Jehovah of the Old Testament of the Bible similarly had his likes and dislikes and was prone to anger and dishing out retribution for perceived slights. These represent human reactions and motivations superimposed on the divinities created in man’s image!

For the transformation sought in the integral Yoga, however, Sri Aurobindo asks us to look at the Divine from the Divine’s own standpoint and recognize that rather than making God in man’s image, we need to re-create man in God’s image. The characteristics of the Divine can be seen in an unbiased view of the world and through direct experience when the seeker is able to quiet the human reactions of liking and disliking, attraction and repulsion and the mental judgments that go along with these vital reactions, such as good and evil, positive and negative. “The Divine is equal to all, an impartial sustainer of his universe, who views all with equal eyes, assents to the law of developing being which he has brought out of the depths of his existence, tolerates what has to be tolerated, depresses what has to be depressed, raises what has to be raised, creates, sustains and destroys with a perfect and equal understanding of all causes and results and working out of the spiritual and pragmatic meaning of all phenomena. God does not create in obedience to any troubled passion of desire or maintain and preserve through an attachment of partial preference or destroy in a fury of wrath, disgust or aversion. The Divine deals with great and small, just and unjust, ignorant and wise as the Self of all who, deeply intimate and one with the being, leads all according to their nature and need with a perfect understanding, power and justness of proportion. But through it all he moves thrings according to his large aim in the cycles and draws the soul upward in the evolution through its apparent progress and retrogression towards the higher and ever higher development which is the sense of the cosmic urge. The self-perfecting individual who seeks to be one in will with the Divine and make his nature an instrument of the divine purpose, must enlarge himself out of the egoistic and partial views and motives of the human ignorance and mould himself into an image of this supreme equality.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 11, The Perfection of Equality, pp. 672-673