God’s Play and Rules of the Game (HH 166 )

A Talk by Alok Pandey from the “Tuesday Talks” series (AUDIO)


This world is a play staged by Nature for the joy of Her Lord, the Divine. There are several levels of play and as with all plays there are rules of the game set by Nature herself to make the play interesting and exciting. When we do not know the rules, we suffer needlessly. Therefore the Divine Himself comes down again and again and reveals to us the rules of the game. Yet He allows us perfect freedom to play the game as we chose to. We share something about this play from the luminous words of Sri Aurobindo on this day which also marks the Republic day of India.

Words of Sri Aurobindo

…. God’s play is curious. In his creation it is the conflict of good and evil that brings about progress and yet it is the evil that often helps the good, it is the evil that produces the good which God desires. This supreme evil, this creation of hatred had also a good result, it is this that in the Indian Nature, overwhelmed by ‘tamas’, a fierce force of ‘rajas’ arose capable of awakening the rajasic power. But that is no reason for us to praise the evil or the evil doer. One who does evil through rajasic egoism, although his action may help to bring out the good result decreed by God can in no way escape from the bondage that his responsibility and its consequences involve. They are mistaken who spread national hatred. The result obtained by spreading disinterested spiritual discipline is ten times greater than that obtained by the spread of hatred, for there one has not to suffer from unrighteousness and the consequences of unrighteousness; instead righteousness increases and unmixed virtue finds play. We shall not write of national hatred and malice (spite) and we shall ask others also not to do such undesirable things. If there is a conflict of interests between nations and if that becomes an inevitable circumstance of the present situation then we have the right legally and morally to promote the interests of our own nation at the cost of the interest of the other. When there is oppression and injustice we have the legal and moral right to protest firmly against it and to do away with it through the pressure of our national force and through all just means and just remedies. If any man, whether he is a government official or a countryman of ours, says or does a thing that is wrong or unjust or harmful, we have the right to protest and counter it by means of sarcasm and satire, never of course going against the gentleman’s code of behaviour. But we have no right to cherish or create hatred or spite against any nation or individual. If such a lapse has happened in the past it is a past thing; in the future such a lapse should not happen. This is our advice to all, particularly to all newspapers and youthful workers for the cause of nationalism.

The aryan knowledge, the aryan education, the Aryan ideal is quite different from the knowledge, education, ideal of the materialistic, vitalistic Occident given to physical enjoyment. According to the Europeans, where there is no interest or search for happiness, there can be no work to be done. Without hatred, there can be neither conflict nor fighting. Either you have to work with a desire, or you have to sit down and become a desireless ascetic. Such is their notion. It is through the struggle for existence that the world has been built up, and is achieving progress, this is the keynote of their science. Since the days when the Aryans moved from the arctic land towards the south and conquered the land of the five rivers, they have had this eternal wisdom — winning thereby the eternal status in the world — that the whole universe is a world of delight and it is for the manifestation of love and truth and power that the omnipresent Divine has been playing the game by manifesting himself again in all that stands or moves, in man and animal, in the worm and the insect, in the saint and the sinner, in friend and foe, in God and the Titan. It is for the sake of the play that there is happiness, for the sake of the play there is pain, for the sake of the play there is sin, for the sake of the play there is virtue, for the sake of the play there is friendship, for the sake of the play there is enmity, for the sake of the play there is godhood, for the sake of the play there is titanhood. Friend and foe are equally partners in the game, they divide themselves in the two sides and create opposite sides. The aryan protects the friendly, smites the unfriendly, but he has no attachment. He sees the Divine everywhere, in all beings, in all things, in all works and in all results. He has an equal disposition towards good and evil, friend and foe, pleasure and pain, virtue and vice, success and failure. This does not mean that all consequences are equally the wanted object, that all men his friends, all happenings agreeable to him, all works worth-doing, all results desirable. Until you are perfect in yoga, the dualities do not disappear, that status is attainable only by a few. But the aryan education is for all aryans. The aryan seeks to secure his objective but once secured he is not carried away in the flush of victory. And he is not afraid of hurting. The aim of his endeavour is to help the friendly and to quell the unfriendly. He does not hate his enemy, he is not unjustly partial to the friendly, for the sake of duty he can slay his own people, and save the opponent’s life, giving up his own. Happiness is desirable to him, unhappiness is undesirable, but in his happiness he does not lose balance, and in his unhappiness his patience and gladness remain unshaken. He abandons sin and gathers virtue but never takes pride in his virtuous acts and when fallen in sin he does not weep like a weak child but comes out of the maya, wipes out the mud from the body, makes it clean and pure and starts again his endeavour for self development. To fulfil his task, the Aryan makes a tremendous effort; thousand defeats do not stop him, it is against the Divine law to grieve, to be dejected or petulant in case of failure. Of course when one is established in yoga and keeping himself above the gunas, one is capable of doing work, then for him all dualities have ended and whatever work the Divine Mother gives him he does it without question, whatever result She gives, he enjoys it with pleasure and whomsoever She chooses as belonging to his side, he takes him for doing the Mother’s work and whomsoever She points out as the opposition he quells him or slays him as commanded by Her. Such is the Aryan training, there is no place in it for hatred and spite. The Divine is everywhere, whom to hate? whom to despise? If we were to do the political movement in the way of the Occident then of course hatred and spite would be inevitable, and in the occidental view it is not a thing to blame, for there is conflict of interest and when one side rises, the other must be repressed. But we are rising not for the rising of the Aryan race alone, it is the rising of the aryan character, aryan education, aryan law of life. In the early stage of the movement the influence of occidental politics was very great; even then in that early stage we realised this truth and the second stage, imbued with the spirit of the Divine Law, was prepared by the adoration of the Mother, by love for the Mother, by an intense feeling of aryan dignity. Politics is a part of the divine law but it has to be carried out through the aryan attitude, through means approved by the aryan law. We tell young men, our hope of the future: if you have hatred in your heart root it out without delay. A force full of turbulent violence (rajas) can for a time be easily awakened through the intense excitement of hatred but it soon breaks down and turns to weakness. Those who have taken the resolution of freeing the country, those who have consecrated their life, go among them and spread the bond of strong fraternity, stern effort, iron-firmness and a flame fire-like energy. In that strength we shall secure an unshakable force and victory for ever.

VIII. 10. National Resurgence, 246 Bengali Writings

* * *

Print Friendly, PDF & Email