The problem raised by the Gita and the solution it gives demand this
character of the vision of the World-Spirit.
It is the problem of a great struggle, ruin and massacre which has been
brought about by the all-guiding Will and in which the eternal Avatar
himself has descended as the charioteer of the protagonist in the battle.
The seer of the vision is himself the protagonist, the representative
of the battling soul of man who has to strike down tyrant and oppressive
powers that stand in the path of his evolution and to establish and
enjoy the kingdom of a higher right and nobler law of being. Perplexed
by the terrible aspect of the catastrophe in which kindred smite at
kindred, whole nations are to perish and society itself seems doomed
to sink down in a pit of confusion and anarchy, he has shrunk back,
refused the task of destiny and demanded of his divine Friend and Guide
why he is appointed to so dreadful a work.
He has been shown then how individually to rise above the apparent character
of whatever work he may do, to see that Nature the executive force is
the doer of the work, his natural being the instrument, God the master
of Nature and of works to whom he must offer them without desire or
egoistic choice as a sacrifice.
He has been shown too that the Divine who is above all these things
and untouched by them, yet manifests himself in man and Nature and their
action and that all is a movement in the cycles of this divine manifestation.
But now when he is put face to face with the embodiment of this truth,
he sees in it magnified by the image of the divine greatness this aspect
of terror and destruction and is appalled and can hardly bear it. For
why should it be thus that the All-spirit manifests himself in Nature?
What is the significance of this creating and devouring flame that is
mortal existence, this world-wide struggle, these constant disastrous
revolutions, this labour and anguish and travail and perishing of creatures?
He puts the ancient question and breathes the eternal prayer, "Declare
to me who art thou that comest to us in this form of fierceness. I would
know who art thou who wast from the beginning, for I know not the will
of thy workings. Turn thy heart to grace."
Destruction, replies the Godhead, is the will of my workings with which
I stand here on this field of Kurukshetra, the field of the working
out of the Dharma, the field of human action, a world-wide destruction
which has come in the process of the Time-Spirit.
I have a foreseeing purpose which fulfils itself infallibly and no participation
or abstention of any human being can prevent, alter or modify it; all
is done by me already in my eternal eye of will before it can at all
be done by man upon earth.
I as Time have to destroy the old structures and to build up a new,
mighty and splendid kingdom. Thou as a human instrument of the divine
Power and Wisdom hast in this struggle which thou canst not prevent
to battle for the right and slay and conquer its opponents.
Thou too, the human soul in Nature, hast to enjoy in Nature the fruit
given by me, the empire of right and justice. Let this be sufficient
for thee, - to be one with God in thy soul, to receive his command,
to do his will, to see calmly a supreme purpose fulfilled in the world.
I am Time the waster of the peoples arisen and increased whose will
in my workings is here to destroy the nations. Even without thee all
these warriors shall be not, who are ranked in the opposing armies.
Therefore arise, get thee glory, conquer thy enemies and enjoy an opulent
By me and none other already even are they slain, do thou become the
occasion only, O Savyasachin.
In SABCL, volume 13 "Essays
on The Gita"
Second series - Chapter 10: "The Vision
of the World-Spirit (1) Time the Destroyer"
published by Sri
Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry
diffusion by SABDA