The Successive Manifestation of the Soul-Power Focused on Will and Force

When the balance of the qualities shifts from sattwa, as in the manifestation of the power of the intelligence as the dominating characteristic in a human individual, to rajas, there arises the development of the man of power, will, forceful action, leadership and dominion. Since the powers are not exclusive, depending on the admixture of tamas and sattwa, we see various soul-types arise. This represents the second of the great forces of the divine in manifestation, and it is essential for the fullness and effectiveness of the divine intention in the universe.

Sri Aurobindo describes it thus: “…the turn of the nature may be to the predominance of the will-force and the capacities which make for strength, energy, courage, leadership, protection, rule, victory in every kind of battle, a creative and formative action, the will-power which lays its hold on the material of life and on the wills of other men and compels the environment into the shapes which the Shakti within us seeks to impose on life or acts powerfully according to the work to be done to maintain what is in being or to destroy it and make clear the paths of the world or to bring out into definite shape what is to be.”

While this power may have its positive and necessary formations, such as developing leaders, and those who are destined to begin some new project or phase and push it through to fruition against the resistance and opposition of the status quo, there are also possibilities for the ego, when it takes hold of this force, to pervert it to its own ends. This leads, as Sri Aurobindo notes, to: “…the man of mere brute force of will, the worshipper of power without any other ideal or higher purpose, the selfish, dominant personality, the aggressive violent rajasic man, the grandiose egoist, the Titan, Asura, Rakshasa.”

In its highest manifestations we see the soul of chivalry or nobility: “The high fearlessness which no danger or difficulty can daunt and which feels its power equal to meet and face and bear whatever assault of man or fortune or adverse gods, the dynamic audacity and daring which shrinks from no adventure or enterprise as beyond the powers of a human soul free from disabling weakness and fear, the love of honour which would scale the heights of the highest nobility of man and stoop to nothing little, base, vulgar or weak, but maintains untainted the ideal of high courage, chivalry, truth, straightforwardness, sacrifice of the lower to the higher self, helpfulness to men, unflinching resistance to injustice and oppression, self-control and mastery, noble leading, warriorhood and captainship of the journey and the battle, the high self-confidence of power, capacity, character and courage indispensable to the man of action…”

“To carry these things to their highest degree and give them a certain divine fullness, purity and grandeur is the perfection of those who have this Swabhava and follow this Dharma.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 15, Soul-Force and the Fourfold Personality, pp. 716-717