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Sri Young

Sri Aurobindo

Note on surrender in Karma Yoga

The progressive surrender of our ignorant personal will and its merger into a greater divine or on the highest summits greatest supreme Will is the whole secret of Karma Yoga. To bring about the conditions in which alone this vast and happy identity becomes possible and to work out the lines we must follow to their end if we are to reach it, is all the deeper purpose of this discipline.

The first condition is the elimination of personal vital desire, for if desire intervenes, all harmony with the supreme Divine Will becomes impossible. Even if we receive it, we shall disfigure its working and distort its dynamic impulse. To give up all desire, all insistence upon fruit and reward and success must be renounced from our will and all vital attachment to the work itself excised from our nature; for attachment makes it our own and no longer the Godhead's.

The elimination of egoism is the second condition, not only of the rajasic and tamasic egoisms that twine around desire, but of the sattwic egoism that takes refuge in the idea of the I as the worker. The ordinary consciousness of man cannot accept this difficult renunciation or, if it accepts it, cannot achieve this tremendous change. The human mind is too ignorant, narrow and chained to its own limited movements, the human life-instincts too blind, selfish, obscure, shut up in their own earth-bound pursuits and satisfactions, the human body too clumsy and hampering a machine. There is here no freedom, no large and infinite room, no willing and happy plasticity for the greater play of the Divine in Nature. A certain half-seeing and imperfect subordination of the personal will to an ill-understood greater Will and Power, a stumbling and occasional intuition or at best a brilliant lightninglike intimation of its commands and impulsions, a confused, clouded and often grossly distorted execution of the little one seizes of a divine Mandate seems to be the uttermost that the human consciousness as it is at its best seems able to accomplish. Only by a growth into a greater superhuman and supramental consciousness whose very nature is to be attuned to the Divine can we achieve the true and supreme Karma Yoga.

This transformation is only possible after certain steps of a divine ascent have been mastered and to climb these steps is the object of the Yoga of Works as it is conceived by the Gita. The extirpation of desire, a wide and calm equality of the mind, the life soul and the spirit, annihilation of the ego, an inner quietude and expulsion or transcendence of ordinary Nature, the Nature of the three gunas and a total surrender to the Supreme are the successive steps of this preliminary change.

Only after all this has been done, can we live securely in an infinite consciousness not bound like our mental human nature. And only then can we receive the Light, know perfectly the will of the Supreme, attune all our movements to the rhythm of its Truth and execute perfectly from moment to moment its imperative commandments. Till then there is no firm achievement, but only an endeavour, seeking and aspiration, all the stress and struggle of a great and uncertain spiritual adventure. Only when these things are accomplished is there for the dynamic parts of our nature the beginning of a divine security in its acts and a transcendent peace.

(Circa 1927)

in "Essays Divine and Human",
SABCL, volume 17
CWSA - vol.10 - page 1300
published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry

diffusion by SABDA

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