Archive for July 2014
Sri Aurobindo summarizes the essence of the Gita’s teaching regarding spiritual action, by identifying 3 propositions that underlie this teaching: “First, all action must be determined from within because each man has in him something his own, some characteristic principle and inborn power of his nature.” This is what is meant by the term Swabhava, and it signifies that the individual must act from that inner truth of his own being, not because of some external compulsion or habit imposed on him by the social or economic order.
“Next, there are broadly four types of nature each with its characteristic function and ideal rule of work and character and the type indicates the man’s proper field and should trace for him his just circle of function in his outer social existence.” This concept is the inner essence of what became the outer caste system. The caste system turned what was…
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Had the intention of the Gita been to justify and support the caste system in its socio-economic form, we would have seen it in the way the Gita describes the natural work of each of the four orders; however, we see just the opposite, as the Gita focuses on the internal status more than the external function.
Sri Aurobindo describes this as he itemizes the true role and action of the Brahmin: “Calm, self-control, askesis, purity, long-suffering, candour, knowledge, acceptance and practice of spiritual truth would not ordinarily be described as a man’s function, work or life occupation. Yet this is precisely what the Gita means and says,–that these things, their development, their expression in conduct, their power to cast into form the law of the sattwic nature are the real work of the Brahmin….” The actual outer form that this action takes may find its easiest manifestation in roles…
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