Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, The Triple Transformation

Track Running Gita’s method of Bhakti and Karma

Gita’s method of Bhakti and Karma

The fourth method is the method of bhakti in which it is said that you have entered into this as a sport. You as a soul, child of God, have entered into this mess as you may enter into a game, but while playing the game you forgot that you are playing the game. The game is so interesting that after having entered into the game you forget that it is a game. It is like an actor who starts playing a drama. When he enters the stage he remembers that he is himself and that he is only acting, but while acting he comes to a point of identification to such an extent that he forgets for some time that he is really acting, he becomes the role he is playing directly himself. So similarly what has happened to us is that while entering we knew that it was a sport, but having entered we forgot that it is a sport and we are taking everything so seriously now. So we are now taught that you just understand that this is only a game which is being played for the sake of the Divine's sport, it is a larger game. Your game is a small game which is a part of a larger game because the Supreme Reality is always in a state of play. There is a perennial rasa lila going on, Sri Krishna is present everywhere, Lord is present everywhere and each one is a gopi in this world and that experience is a constant experience of play, that is the real play. All that you are playing here is only by mistake; you are taking it too seriously. Even here you must realise that what you are doing is nothing but that play. For this, what is most important is smarana. You remember, nama smarana, you remember God, by name. Then kirtana, bhajana and then prapatti, you offer yourself to God, sharanagati, completely submit yourself to God. And when that will reach a climax you will be lifted out of this. Then you will no longer be so serious about this game and you will really realise that you are playing with the Supreme: that is moksha.

The other method is the method of karma. I spoke of dharma which is also a kind of karma but Karma Yoga has a larger field. In the marga of dharma you are told that there are certain things which are prescribed in the Veda or in Smritis which you have to follow out. In Karma Yoga in the beginning you may be told the same thing but a greater freedom is given in which you are told to do any action. First of all you are told to distinguish between action and the result. Having made a distinction, you free yourself from the desire to enjoy the fruits of action. Then a point will come when you will say to yourself that even the action that I am doing has its thread elsewhere, so you begin to search for the original thread of your action. The fruit is the future thread of your action and that you have to cut first and then you can go backward and find out the original thread from where your present action is proceeding. Then you will find that that thread covers the whole universe. The whole cosmos is at the back of the thread of your action. This is the stupendous realisation that even the little action that you are doing is actually part and parcel of the action of a stupendous machine of the whole universe and you find yourself mounted on a wheel which is mounted on a bigger wheel. So imagine your condition! You feel that you are doing action, but "you" means what? It is a speck of dust which is doing action as a result of mounting on a wheel which itself is mounted on another wheel, so your perception that "you are doing" will go away. The first perception that "you are the doer of action" will begin to disappear, then you will find that Prakriti is the doer of all actions. And when you go behind it still further, you find that behind Prakriti there is the stupendous Purushottama, a huge reality who is the real originator of action, the Supreme Lord Himself and then you realise that even this universe is not at the back of your action.

Then a more intricate search starts: for the relationship of that Purushottama, of the Supreme reality with the universe, and a search for the relationship of that Supreme with yourself. Then you realise that you are only a portion, a centration of the Supreme. This is actually described in detail in the Bhagavad Gita, which says that you are simply a portion, a direct portion from the Supreme. He is everywhere. Each one of us is a centration of the Supreme Lord. Therefore if you want to know the Supreme's will anywhere anytime, you can directly connect yourself with Him and you will find out.  The answer of the Gita is that if you want to be free from this mess in which you are, then a lot of training is to be given to your mind to perceive the difference between action and the results, to find out that the actions are actually results of the whole stupendous Prakriti. Then you discover that you and this universe are both products of the Supreme and that you have a special facility of going to the Supreme because you are a centration of the Supreme yourself and then you will be able to discover the Divine's will at all times. Knowing and manifesting the Divine's will in every action will lead you to a condition where you will be all the time free, mukta, even while you are acting. You will not have to go out of the universe. That is why one of you was saying that the Bhagavad Gita says that we should be in the world and active and the answer is that even while you are in the world, and doing all actions in the world, you can be mukta. It is not obligatory upon you to leave the world but you will have the special capacity of being able to manifest the Divine's will, of knowing the Divine's will, of making your instrument capable of manifesting the divine will. That is also a state of moksha.

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