Yogic Equality Does Not Imply Fatalistic Acceptance

Attaining the proper poise of equality is an essential step for the yogic practitioner. It is quite easy to fall into a fatalistic view that basically says “what happened was what had to happen”, without further consideration about the process through time and the direction, momentum and amplitude of the energy of change that is in place. Without appreciating these dynamic elements, the seeker may find himself overwhelmed by the present circumstances and, then, the equality becomes a form of tamasic depression or a giving up of the effort.

At any point in time, the seeker is confronted by physical pain and suffering, nervous or emotional disturbance, or mental pressure that represents the current phase of his relationship to the world within which he lives. It is essential to be able to deal with the present reality without breaking down, thus, the call for yogic equality. It is equally essential to recognise that the current situation is temporary, not permanent, and thereby to follow the aspiration to change, grow and develop, with patience and persistence.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “… it is necessary to keep equality under pain and suffering — and that means to endure firmly and calmly, not to be restless or troubled or depressed or despondent, to go on with a steady faith in the Divine Will. But equality does not include inert acceptance. If, for instance, there is temporary failure of some endeavour in the sadhana, one has to keep equality, not to be troubled or despondent, but one has not to accept the failure as an indication of the Divine Will and give up the endeavour. You ought rather to find out the reason and meaning of the failure and go forward in faith towards victory. So with illness — you have not to be troubled, shaken or restless, but you have not to accept illness as the Divine Will, but rather look upon it as an imperfection of the body to be got rid of as you try to get rid of vital imperfections or mental errors.”

Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, Living Within: The Yoga Approach to Psychological Health and Growth, General Methods and Principles, Equality, pp. 27-29


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