Man-robot relationship is virtually a mirror image of Nature-man kinship. A robot is programmed by man to undertake certain specific chores just as a man is equipped with a congenital agenda to undertake certain functions. This agenda, the Karma of the scriptures, makes appropriate adjustment to suit the situations and circumstances at birth, but is infallible.
A man thinks that he thinks. Actually he does not. Thoughts are planted in his mind by Nature with three forces as its instruments known as Sattvas, Rajas, and Tamas, respectively meaning illumination, action and inertia. These three forces (Gunas) are always present in Nature. By an inter-play among themselves, they combine in varying proportions, decisively influencing the man's ego and thereby his thought and action. Man's mind gropes for a line of thought on this or that matter, and grabs the one closest to his attitudinal nature, never really thinking it out for himself.
Swami Vivekananda who espoused and popularized the Vedanta and Yoga in the USA and Europe in the1890s once put it succinctly when he remarked, “Every thought is extracted out of you.” Sri Aurobindo mentioned (The Synthesis of Yoga), “All conduct and action are part of the movement of a Power, a force infinite and divine in its origin---(leading towards)--- the fulfillment of the divine intention in the world and of the larger universal Self of which each being is a portion – a portion that has come down with it from the Transcendence.”
The mixing of proportions of Gunas is responsible for the result of an action – good, bad or ugly – depending on the preponderance of one or the other Gunas. There is nothing in the world which is not a combination of all three Gunas, their superior or interior manifestation depending on their proportions. The preponderance of any of the sattvic, rajasic, or tamasic Guna will make any work either illumined, or egoistically acted, or afflicted by inertia.
|Sri Aurobindo |
We feel responsible for our own thought and action, and we want others to accept the responsibility for theirs, because of our attaching undue importance to the illusion of our names and forms, triggered by our ego and desire. Remove the names and forms, get rid of ego and desire, what is left? It is variously called the Soul/the Self/ the Spirit. And that makes all of us in this world mates, soul-mates.
There is still a persisting problem. Why am I held accountable for the very thoughts and actions that were imposed on me by a Primal Force which is seemingly beyond my grasp? That is the point that the Vedanta philosophy deals explicitly in its depth and totality. A seeker is required to undertake the most perilous journey ever – search out the Purusha or the Soul in his/her heart through meditation and yoga.
The Vedanta also adds that 'just thought and right action' is possible to perceive and execute once the Soul takes over the administration of the being from a level of higher consciousness. The puny 'egoistic I' gets the beating it deserves and consents to follow the soul in its evolutionary process. After all it's not the evolution of Tapas Mukherjee as a name assigned to the form of a human body, but that of the Soul that embodies it.
Action-less Purusha is the cognitive principle and Prakriti or Nature, revered as the universal Mother Shakti, his dynamic aspect. These two aspects together emerge through evolution as the ultimate One reality, Brahman, the Trinity that is Sachchidananda – the Absolute Knowledge, the Absolute Existence, and the Absolute Bliss. And the seeker realizes the ultimate Vedantic truth – 'He am I.'
BY TAPAS MUKHERJEE