Sri Matriniketan Ashram
Devine ActionStudy of the Bhagavad Gita
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        "Our object, then, in studying the Gita will not be a scholastic or academical scrutiny of its thought, nor to place its philosophy in the history of metaphysical speculation, nor shall we deal with it in the manner of the analytical dialectician. We approach it for help and light and our aim must be to distinguish its essential and living message, that in it on which humanity has to seize for its perfection and its highest spiritual welfare.”

Sri Aurobindo

          “The language of the Gita, the structure of thought, the combination and balancing of ideas belong neither to the temper of a sectarian teacher nor to the spirit of a rigorous analytical dialectics cutting off one angle of the truth to exclude all the others; but rather there is a wide, undulating, encircling movement of ideas which is the manifestation of a vast synthetic mind and a rich synthetic experience. This is one of those great syntheses in which Indian spirituality has been as rich as in its creation of the more intensive, exclusive movements of knowledge and religious realisation that follow out with an absolute concentration one clue, one path to its extreme issues. It does not cleave asunder, but reconciles and unifies.”

Sri Aurobindo

       “Sri Aurobindo considers the message of the Gita to be the basis of the great spiritual movement which has led and will lead humanity more and more to its liberation, that is to say, to its escape from falsehood and ignorance, towards the truth”

The Mother

The Study of the Bhagavad Gita

          “But it seems to me that the Gita’s teaching is not so crude and simple, not so local and temporal and narrow as all that. It is large, free, subtle and profound; it is for all time and for all men, not for a particular age and country. Especially, it is always breaking free from external forms, details, dogmatic notions and going back to principles and the great facts of our nature and our being. It is a work of large philosophic truth and spiritual practicality, not of constrained religious and philosophical formulas and stereotyped dogmas.”
Sri Aurobindo
CWSA/19/Essays on the Gita-110

            The Gita gives this message that through destruction of all that are uncreative, unproductive, unrighteousness, stagnant, corrupt, evil, unjust, divisible and narrow, the existence moves ahead towards manifestation of new Consciousness and the Divine is a hierarchy of affirmative energies by whose activation mankind can move towards a superior existence and Divine life. In this occasion the Lord has manifested here as the Time, the Destroyer for creation, ceaseless action and preservation of His existence. The Spiritual significance of the book is immense as its Divine is both manifest, saguna and unmanifest, nirguna, and beyond both and thus leading the creation towards the complete Divine union.

            The Gita is a synthesis of six mutually antagonist schools of ancient teachings that of Mimamsa, Vedanta, Vaisesika, Nyaya, Sankhya and Yoga. Mimamsais specialised and narrow form of Yoga in which Vedic sacrifice offered with desire, ritualised work and knowledge of gods are accepted as means of salvation. It also accepts fruits of enjoyment and lordship in earth, heaven and the world in between them. In the Vedanta, the above approach is accepted as preliminary state of ignorance and they are in the end either transcended or renounced as obstacle to the seeker of liberation; the Vedic worship of gods are accepted by Vedantist as material and mental powers, who do not desire man to be free and oppose the principles of liberation; thus the Vedanta perceived Divine as Immutable Self, Paramatma, who has to be attained not by sacrificial work and adoration but by knowledge. Vaisesika, gives importance to the Vedantic liberation in addition to the exploration of nature of the nine eternal substances that of air, fire, water, earth, mind, ether, time, space and soul, of which the first five including mind are recognised as atomic. Nyaya, the Science of logic,is an extension of the Vaisesika, in which the multiple subtle worlds beyond the material world are identified, which are the source and creator of the material principles. Sankhya accepts Divine as inactive and immutable Purusha and makes an opposition between the static state of Purusha, akarta and the dynamic state of Prakriti, kartri, and hence Sankya liberation culminates with the cessation of all works. Yoga accepts the notion of the Divine as Ishwara, who is the Lord of Shakti and active Prakriti; hence its liberation is not the cessation of work and freedom of Soul is realised even though involved in all works. Thus liberation of Soul is compatible with world action and it is through desireless sacrificial action, the Kshara Purusha in the heart is united with Akshara Purusha above the head and it introduces the best standard for the whole of humanity of doing all works from a glad, unattached, free and liberated Soul state. The Vedanta and Sankhya give the message of absolute calm, seclusion and cessation of work as indispensable to attain Knowledge and state of Samadhi. They suffer the disadvantage that universalisation of their teachings of saintly inactivity will lead towards world dissolution and destructions, upahanyam.1 A physical abstention of work is identified as a dangerous proposition, ‘for it exerts a misleading influence on ordinary men.’4 The Gita does not synthsise the teaching of the Hatha and Raja Yoga like the synthetic teachings of the more powerful Tantra, but a passing reference is made about their concentration on physical, vital and mental perfection. Buddhism and Illusionist Mayavada are the later developments of Religious Schools in which the former rejected the World, the Self and the Divine as illusion and accepted a Divine discipline of action and devotion in the form of universal love and compassion and the latter developed intolerance towards action, accepted Divine as real by exclusion of the illusory world. The later school of Vaishnava Bhaktimovement is an exclusive absorption in some Divine Personality and Divine value of His manifestation to the exclusion of Divine Impersonality.

            These ancient and later Vedantic Teachings either lead to the impersonal form of Brahman, nirguna Brahman or to the personal form of Deity, saguna Brahman or to the liberation in actionless knowledge of deep Samadhi or to the liberation absorbed in highest Delight of Turiya. The Gita claims its teachings superior to all other forms of ancient Yoga by raising the Consciousness to a plane called all-inclusive Purushottama statewhere the limitation, rigidity and partial truth of all other exclusive Yogic paths are corrected, broadened and united, all the powers of Being are directed Godward, reconciled Divine Knowledge, Action and Ecstasy, and widened by complete self-absorption in the Eternal and perfect Divine union by identity.

            The Gita has attempted to preserve the balance of six ancient doctrines, maintains the essential foundation of original synthesis but the form, combinations and terminologies have changed and restated in the light of the developed new Spiritual experiences. Thus through firm subtlety and high courage it opens the gate of unexplored planes and powers of Nature and Soul in universalised Consciousness and knowledge of the Eternal from whom one comes and by whom he lives. It has the high role of liberating the existing humanity. In a Spiritualised World the sense-enjoyment is changed into Soul-enjoyment. This is extended in integral Yoga in transforming humanity, prakritijairmuktam,3 where Soul’s ecstatic oneness extended towards the race is complemented by Subliminal, Psychic, Spiritual and Supramental sense enjoyments leading the creation towards permanent descent and the full possession of Sachchidananda Consciousness.

            The objective of this study is to establish a link between the traditional Yoga of the Gita and Sri Aurobindo’s integral Yoga and a firm footing on the former is felt obligatory to begin the latter Yoga. Or a thorough knowledge on the Gita is indispensable for a Sadhaka of The Synthesis of Yoga.

            This receives further inspiration to establish similar link through knowledge on the more powerful and dynamic Tantra where apart from the relation between Soul, atma, and Divine, Paramatma, the true relation between Soul, Purusha, and Nature, Prakriti are worked out, which is felt indispensable for a Spiritually established Sadhaka of Savitri.

            The above study is the outcome of the ‘three responsibilities’5 bestowed on a Sadhaka of integral Yoga that firstly, he should trace a path of sadhana of his own5 which can be firmly established by restating5 the existing written truth or the best standard available to the race; secondly during the concentration, contemplation and meditation of these formative truths extending over decades, he receives new overhead knowledge or prayer from the heart in order to move the understanding towards integral Knowledge or move the emotion towards Divine Love. The enrichment of his writings, thought process and existing state of Consciousness is dependent on the quantum of Knowledge and Love descended from a higher plane in which less luminous are replaced with more luminous and illumined words and through this continuous and unending exercise a Sadhaka’s learning the lesson of the Infinite gets precedence over all other appetite and interest; lastly he has the genuine responsibility to pour what is the best, the completest and the profoundest in the form of Divine Love, Divine Wisdom and Divine Action on his surrounding world and humanity. He will go through many births of preparation or long formative period of Sadhana before becoming a Divine Centre of the world of receiving the Divine energies, transmitting them to the surrounding world and of fulfilling the deficiencies of men.

            The difference between ancient Shastras and the integral Shastra is that truth, vision and Spiritual experiences hinted in the former are vividly explained in the latter. The integral Yoga gives this message that the supreme mystery hinted in the Gita but never developed is its one of the principal motives to uncover which is the quest for double immortality and double perfection of Soul and Nature that will come in stages and as hinted by the Mother, which ‘will stretch over thousands of years..’2     



1: The Gita-3.24,
2: The Mother’s Agenda-4/101,
3: The Gita-18.40,
4: CWSA/19/Essays on the Gita-588,
5: CWSA/23/The Synthesis of Yoga-22, 56, 57.

1. Introduction
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2. The Message of the Gita
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3. The Questions raised by Arjuna, a seeker of Truth:
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4. The Gita’s injunction issued to developing Souls:
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5. The Gita’s injunction issued to the developed Souls:
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6. The Gita’s injunction issued to seekers of Karma Yoga:
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7. The Gita’s injunction issued to seekers of Jnana Yoga:
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8. The Gita’s injunction issued to seekers of Bhakti Yoga:
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9. Reconciliation of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yoga:
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10. The Gita’s Extension in integral Yoga:
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The Gita’s four exclusive Teachings

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The extensive development of the Gita’s highest hinted Truth in integral Yoga:

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13. Five All-inclusive Teachings of the integral Yoga
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14. the Hierarchies of Divine living
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15. The Perfection foreseen in the Gita and integral Yoga
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