Addressing Trouble and Difficulties in the Establishment of Complete Active Equality

The process of a complete self-surrender to the Divine, and the consequent establishment of a complete active equality, is necessarily long and complicated, given the complex nature of the human life, dealing with the limitations of body, vital life energy and mental constitution. Since the process begins with the intelligent will attempting to gain control over the responses and reactions to the stimuli of the outer world, while addressing the formations of the ego-personality and the continual play of the Gunas to creating a shifting and ever-changing landscape of action-reaction, there are clearly limitations to how effectively this can be implemented. This brings about periods of difficulty and disturbance along the way. The rise of Rajas brings about an uprush of desire and violent efforts to succeed, the rise of Tamas brings periods of obscurity and obstinacy and dullness. Sattwa brings with it periods of fixed and limited accomodations and even a form of sattwic pride that narrows the range of the action and prevents the more complete integration of the spiritual will of the Divine. By focusing on an active rather than a passive equality, the problems cannot be solved through a form of inaction or avoidance; rather they must be faced directly in the world and in the flow of energies and actions that provoke the habitual responses.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “The persistence of trouble, ashanti, the length of time taken for this purification and perfection, itself must not be allowed to become a reason for discouragement and impatience. It comes because there is still something in the nature which responds to it, and the recurrence of trouble serves to bring out the presence of the defect, put the Sadhaka upon his guard and bring about a more enlightened and consistent action of the will to get rid of it. When the trouble is too strong to be kept out, it must be allowed to pass and its return discouraged by a greater vigilance and insistence of the spiritualised Buddhi. Thus persisting. it will be found that these things lose their force more and more, become more and more external and brief in their recurrence, until finally calm becomes the law of the being. This rule persists so long as the mental Buddhi is the chief instrument; but when the supramental light takes possession of mind and heart, then there can be no trouble, grief or disturbance; for that brings with it a spiritual nature of illumined strength in which these things can have no place. There the only vibrations and emotions are those which belong to the anandamaya nature of divine unity.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 13, The Action of Equality, pp. 695-696