You move forward, then you come down where you were earlier, again you move forward, again you come down to where you were earlier; this kind of ascent–descent is a normal part of our ascent vertically.
But when we speak of descent of the Divine, it is to bring down on the earth that which is valid of the highest. The higher comes down, and then lifts up all that is below. There is in this world a movement of ascent, and then, there is a response from the Divine. But when this critical point is reached in the full movement of ascent, then the descent of the Divine takes a special form. It is as if there is a real invasion of the Divine with a tremendous pull, so that all the obstacles then can be broken. In other words, there is a role of the Divine on this earth’s evolution.
According to the Gita’s view, God is not merely a supervisor of the world. There are many views of God. According to one view, God is only a supervisor, God is only a judge: you do actions and God comes and judges whether you are right or wrong, then He gives you rewards and punishments: this is also one view of God.
According to Gita, God is not a judge, He is not a supervisor; or even if He is a judge or a supervisor He is not only merely that: God is a labourer, along with all His creatures, because these creatures also are not different from Him. All the creatures are labouring their different manifestations of God Himself. Therefore, God Himself is a labourer along with all the labourers. In this movement of labour, He has one very special function: that when this labour comes to a critical point, and the task that has to be performed cannot be done, then he specially comes down, and shows how the labour can be done; and in spite of being human, how you can still cross the borders of Humanity. Because basically we are all divine; if there is a limitation it is only a temporary limitation; and by our limitations we are not able to break, although we are divine we are not able to break the limitations.
Therefore, the Divine descends and breaks the limitations, and shows how we can all move forward. He does not come on the earth to show that, “Look I am Divine!” That is not His purpose. He wants to show how you all can become divine, so that mad–bhāvam āgatāḥ: you come to My nature, you become My natured: this is the real purpose. It is not merely to show that, “What you cannot do, I can do, and now I have done; you move forward”. It is not merely that. “You are Me, I am you, but you are ignorant, you are not to put forward that labour, I now show you that in spite of being what you are, I take your form, I assume your form, accept all the limitations that you have, and tell you that just as in Me there is divinity, so is divinity in you, and I break the ground, and show you that, ‘ look you also can do and you can move forward’, and you become My natured.”
This is the real purpose of Dharma; this is the real meaning of Dharma: Dharma is the law of ascent. As I told you Dharma also means: ‘Eternal Law’. Dharma also means the law of ascent. Dharma is, spiritually speaking, a law by which we establish our relationship with everybody in the world. Law is the law of development, law of upward movement, law of relationships: there are three meanings of the word “Dharma”. You establish the right relationship with everybody. At present we do not know ‘relationships’.
There is a beautiful sentence of Tagore where He says: “The whole life is relationship: there is nothing but relationship in the world.” There is a novelist who has written a novel and there is one forward line, which says only one word: “There are connections”. The whole world is nothing but connections. And all problems of human life arise because we do not know how to connect, how to relate, how to relate harmoniously.
As Sri Aurobindo says, “All problems are essentially problems of harmony.” We do not know how to harmonise. And Dharma is nothing but a principle of harmonious relationship; Dharma is that by which relations are built in such a way that even when there is a progressive development, the relationships remain, they do not break, they are not broken. They can be reformulated; they can be enriched; they can be greater.
It is in this deeper sense of Dharma that Sri Krishna says: “dharma–saṁsthāpanārthāya”, it is not merely to set right some wrong which is done by Duryodhana against Yudhishthira. That also is included, but there is a deeper malaise, a deeper malady, that the whole world at that time is sinking: sinking because an ascent has to be done, and this power of ascent is not coming forth. And if that does not come forth the whole world will sink. Therefore, the Avatar comes, and establishes a Dharma. And that is why also, whenever an Avatar comes, He gives a Dharma, which is not the final Dharma: it is an ascending Dharma. That is why each Avatar gives a new Dharma, not necessarily contrary of the previous one, but certainly something that gives you a new path, a kind of a new orientation.
The Dharma given by Sri Rama is called “a Dharma of limitations”: if you want to remain limited to humanity only, to human consciousness, and reach the highest of human consciousness; and the highest of human consciousness is Sattwa. If you want to develop highest Sattwa, this, Sri Rama has established. When humanity had the difficulty of crossing from Rajas to Sattwa, and established the Sattwa consciousness, (not that Sattwa consciousness was not there at all) many great men had come before, many Rishis had been there, but what is called “Establishment of Sattwa”: there is a difference between ‘Ascending Sattwa’, and ‘Establishment of Sattwa’. Many might have ascended to Sattwa, but they could not sustain the Sattwa: there is a downward movement. You reach the higher point, and then you come down. A point is reached in evolution when you have got to establish it so that afterwards, it becomes so easy that human beings even after reaching Sattwa does not need to come down.