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On Darshan days, we receive that power unconsciously. Through the knowledge in The Life Divine, we can receive the power consciously. There are thousands of key thoughts in The Life Divine that can elevate our lives. Encyclopedia Britannica may be considered by many the greatest compendium of human knowledge, summarizing in 30 volumes the cumulative knowledge of humanity from the beginning of recorded history. The Life Divine in 1070 pages contains infinitely more, at least in essence, than can be found in the Britannica. If you take any of the ideas in the book and apply that knowledge, its power has the capacity to multiply results many times. It contains everything we need to go further in any field and takes us to the next frontier in any area of life in which we want to apply it.

This is a book many people think is for philosophers or yogis, but every one of us has the capacity to understand everything in the book if we relate to it from the center of our own lives. We all raise families, educate our children, get jobs, and carry out so many tasks. These are all acts of creation. A young man grows up with the aspiration to become an entrepreneur, an engineer, a physician or inventor and realizes that by his actions. A poor teacher has a life-long dream to build a house of his own and returns from his deathbed to achieve it. An American youth seeking emotional fulfillment is drawn to India where he finds it. An Indian youth seeking higher prosperity finds it in Silicon Valley, California. If you relate to the book from that point of view, as creators of your own lives, you will see that everything in the book is understandable. Understanding issues from the centers of action.

The book consists of 56 chapters. In each chapter, typically the first paragraph summarizes the entire chapter. That is the way he writes. In most cases, the last sentence of each paragraph summarizes the entire paragraph. Once he has written and fully explained something in a chapter, he will refer to that entire thought as one or two sentences in later chapters. He is able to abridge whole chapters into one or two sentences as a key idea later on. Each chapter is so rich that you can take any single one and read it as a book on its own out of context. Each of the parts of this book is a whole in itself. While the truths He expresses are Spiritual, He has addressed them to our intellect.

When reading The Life Divine, wherever you look or dwell there opens up an infinite ocean. Anyone who wants to master this book can become a multiple genius. Drawing on the knowledge that is there in this book, we can see beyond what professionals see in their own field, for their field. For anyone who wants to go to the top of their field, in multiple fields, this book will give the power. The leaders in each field know where they have not been able to go. A perceptive devotee excels the professional in his own field. This is so because the devotee sees from many more dimensions than the professional, who sees only from his professional perspective.

This book is also full of humor. It may be understated, but it is humorous nonetheless. One of the points in The Life Divine that I enjoyed the most is where he refers to scientists as magicians. The scientist uses his formulas to explain the universe in the same way the magician chants his mantras to get results. Science tells us what things are, but it does not really tell us why things are the way they are. We have a simple magical formula that is called H2O. The formula explains what water is, but why do you get water from a combination of two invisible gases? When you mix one invisible gas with another invisible gas, you get something you can drink and which freezes at zero degrees centigrade. Science does not tell us why. Science does not tell us why a tree comes from a seed. Every cell divides and the tree grows by a cell dividing into two and then those two cells dividing again, etc. Since we have been brought up in a scientific culture, we accept these formulas and think they are self-evident and self-explanatory. But we really do not know why they are the way they are. Leading thinkers in science will even tell you they do not know why these things happen. So, science is like the cosmic magician’s formula.

And what about us, as devotees? We get into trouble and we call Mother. The problem is solved and we magically get a result. Do we really understand how it happens? When we call Mother and we do not get the result, do we understand why it does not happen? That is the knowledge given in this book. The knowledge He is offering is what we can understand with our minds in our own lives. He wants us to understand from our own experience that all in the book is true. Understanding comes when we are able to take every word of the book as literally true.

It was at one time considered that French would become the universal language of the world. In the late 1890’s Sri Aurobindo began writing in English and today English has become the universal language. And it becomes more so every day. English has acquired the character of His personality, which is universal. Everything They took up and touched has that power of spreading. The language He uses in The Life Divine carries the stamp of his personality. He has actually grown the language to express his thoughts. For example, He uses the word ‘silence’, which according to the dictionary means absence of noise. But He uses it in the sense of absence of thought and absence of action. He not only does it with English words, but with Sanskrit as well. He uses the Sanskrit word samadhi, which usually means withdrawing from the physical world and going towards nirvikalpa samadhi, but by samadhi he means a waking samadhi, an experience we have with our eyes open. It is a new conception. To Him new means wider. His wideness is wholeness. Words in His handling have grown in the conceptual dimension.

The book also contains many new and original phrases. One of my favorites is “all-inclusive concentration.” What do we mean by concentration? Instead of having a scattered field of attention, we narrow the field down to focus on one thing. But He talks about having an ‘all-inclusive’ concentration that does not exclude anything, because that is the character of the Divine consciousness. The book includes other original phrases such as ‘memory of the future’, ‘invasion of the Infinite’, and ‘logic of the Infinite’. He says the Infinite follows logic, but not our ordinary human logic. What we call rationality, He describes as ‘ego’. When we think we are being most rational, we are being highly subjective and self-centered. What we call rationality is to look at everything from the limitations of the human ego.

He writes in the book about the Vedas, Vedanta, Upanishads and the Bhagava Gita. He has tremendous respect for the tradition. He also has tremendous respect for the scientists and the atheists. All are seeking after knowledge. The only place where He differs from others is at the point where those who seek through their own path say their path is the only truth, when they think that they have discovered the whole truth. He appreciates even the atheist, for He sees God expressing a healthy skepticism through the atheist that is necessary for the emergence of still greater truth. When man grows fond of superstition, God assumes the role of the atheist. He tries to give us a glimpse of how we can understand without imposing limitations.

Nuclear energy was discovered more than 50 years ago. Humanity has come to realize during this period that this power is totally unusable for the destructive purposes it was originally intended. But it is still a great power that can be used positively. Mother’s power is far greater than the nuclear power, but it only lends itself to be used for positive purposes. We are here to invoke that power and learn how we can apply it. However, there are some essential conditions we need to fulfill in order to accomplish: mental clarity, humility (Mother’s force will not act through vital arrogance or a sense of self-importance), hard work (it will certainly not act through physical laziness), honesty and self-giving are essential.

Sri Aurobindo wants to give us the knowledge that faith is a great power, but we need not accept anything on faith. Without faith, knowledge has no power. He says faith is the knowledge of the soul. The soul knows. But just because the soul knows does not mean that the mind knows. You may know things will work out alright, but you may not know how. If you know how they will work out and you have faith that they will work out, then you possess both the essential requirements. 

book | by Dr. Radut