The formation and purpose of the nation unit- Sri Aurobindo

The nation-unit is not formed and

does not exist merely for the sake of existing; its purpose is to

provide a larger mould of human aggregation in which the race,

and not only classes and individuals, may move towards its full

human development. So long as the labour of formation continues,

this larger development may be held back and authority and

order be accepted as the first consideration, but not when the

aggregate is sure of its existence and feels the need of an inner

expansion. Then the old bonds have to be burst; the means of

formation have to be discarded as obstacles to growth. Liberty

then becomes the watchword of the race. The ecclesiastical order

which suppressed liberty of thought and new ethical and social

development, has to be dispossessed of its despotic authority, so

that man may be mentally and spiritually free. The monopolies

and privileges of the king and aristocracy have to be destroyed,

so that all may take their share of the national power, prosperity

and activity. Finally, bourgeois capitalism has to be induced

or forced to consent to an economic order in which suffering,

poverty and exploitation shall be eliminated and the wealth of

the community be more equally shared by all who help to create

  1. In all directions, men have to come into their own, realise the

dignity and freedom of the manhood within them and give play

to their utmost capacity.

For liberty is insufficient, justice also is necessary and becomes

a pressing demand; the cry for equality arises. Certainly,

absolute equality is non-existent in this world; but the word was

aimed against the unjust and unnecessary inequalities of the old

social order. Under a just social order, there must be an equal

opportunity, an equal training for all to develop their faculties

and to use them, and, so far as may be, an equal share in the

advantages of the aggregate life as the right of all who contribute

to the existence, vigour and development of that life by the use

of their capacities. As we have noted, this need might have taken

the form of an ideal of free cooperation guided and helped by a

wise and liberal central authority expressing the common will,

but it has actually reverted to the old notion of an absolute

and efficient State—no longer monarchical, ecclesiastical, aristocratic

but secular, democratic and socialistic—with liberty

sacrificed to the need of equality and aggregate efficiency. The

psychological causes of this reversion we shall not now consider.

Perhaps liberty and equality, liberty and authority, liberty and

organised efficiency can never be quite satisfactorily reconciled

so long as man individual and aggregate lives by egoism, so long

as he cannot undergo a great spiritual and psychological change

and rise beyond mere communal association to that third ideal

which some vague inner sense made the revolutionary thinkers

of France add to their watchwords of liberty and equality,—the

greatest of all the three, though till now only an empty word on

man’s lips, the ideal of fraternity or, less sentimentally and more

truly expressed, an inner oneness. That no mechanism social,

political, religious has ever created or can create; it must take

birth in the soul and rise from hidden and divine depths within.



The Formation of the Nation-Unit P 383


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