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Sri Aurobindo has described for us how the One appears as Many. The Absolute becomes Conscious Being, and later differentiates itself into Brahman, Purushottama and Parameshwara, the creator of the world which includes that Self-Conscious Existence, but also embraces the world. The world is an extension of his force, the Mahashakti. Finally the One has become eight, the extension of Parameshwara’s power for creation. The nature of Sachchidananda is Supermind, its force for manifestation. At each level we have a being and a force. This eight has a nature or force for self-expression which we call Supermind. The four above become in the process of involution the four below—matter, life, mind and psychic.

Supermind envisions the universe and everything created in it as Real-Ideas. In the comprehending Supermind, the first thing it does is to split each of the eight aspects into three. Love becomes the lover, the beloved and the act of loving. Beauty becomes the seer of beauty, the object of beauty and the experience of beauty. All that manifests below is the further and further differentiation of the powers of the One, which are all there in infinite potential in the unmanifest. In the Supermind, through the Real-Idea, the Divine conceptualizes everything that it wants to create in the world. Whatever it creates as a Real-Idea is a truth or power of the Divine Being that has the full power to manifest itself. How does it possess that power? Because there is nothing to oppose it. There is nothing but Sachchidananda which is infinite.

 The entire manifestation is a manifestation of the infinite in terms of finite space and moments of time. To the observant eye, the infinite power concealed behind small finite appearances shines through. In Shakespeare’s Othello, the evil Iago plots the downfall of Othello, the general. At one point Desdemona, Othello’s wife, drops her handkerchief. Iago bends down and picks it up. At that moment you know Iago will use this handkerchief to do evil to them both by making Othello believe she has given it to a lover. A great literary critic once wrote that the sense of horror which another great writer might try to create by burning a whole village, Shakespeare creates in us by the drop of a single handkerchief. Thus, a small insignificant event can lead to great, and in this case, tragic consequences.

The same is true in a positive sense. When a writer communicates to us something of the sweetness of life, it is through small events that it comes out. Two utter strangers reach simultaneously for the last pair of gloves for sale on a department store counter. Each offers to withdraw in favor of the other. That insignificant interaction sows the seed of a romance that matures into love. The Divine is here not writing a tragedy, but a comedy in the highest sense, a story of unending fulfillment. We can have that wonder of the glory of the artist, of the Supramental creator at every moment, when we discover that the Divine in each small act is trying to reveal to us the wonder of life. He is trying to show us the Spirit in life which is just there behind the surface. He is trying to reveal and manifest the Infinite in the finite.

Sri Aurobindo is the first to ever explain how the Divine gives to its creation a sense of separate life and force, so that we can experience this great drama, this wonderful intensity of life. It does so by assuming three different poises of itself – God, soul and ego. As we discussed earlier, in the apprehending Supermind the Ishwara takes the perspective of each of the forms or ideas it has created and looks out at the world through that different perspective. The Divine takes the poise of the soul within each of these forms. It also takes the poise of the ego, of each of us living on the surface of the form, unconscious of our true inner and higher self. At the same time, the Divine lives above and beyond as the Creator. The Divine can simultaneously assume all three poises without at any time forgetting who he is. It is only the ego on the surface that forgets it is really Sat who is looking out. Sat allows itself as ego to become lost in the form.

Why does the Divine do this? If you were the conscious Infinite and one of us came and asked you why you are doing all this, you might reply, “Why shouldn’t I assume finite limited forms? I seek the infinite delight of self-experience and self-discovery. How else can I have the delight of experiencing myself as different things and events, unless I first am able to conceal parts of myself from myself and experience them as separate and different from each other and myself? You cannot clap with one hand. You cannot have a play with only one player. Romance requires a lover and a beloved. The charm of a sporting contest is to have someone to compete against to test your capacities. I seek infinite experience by forgetting who I am. Don’t you do the same thing when you reread your favorite novel or watch again your favorite movie? You put away your knowledge of the ending so you can enjoy the wonder and intensity all over again. I try to forget the whole that I am by putting forth parts of myself that are ignorant of their true nature. Why should I not have the joy of experiencing an infinite number of beings who are all myself? Why should I not experience the delight of progressively awakening to self-discovery in each of these beings?”

Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew begins with the tale of a drunkard lying unconscious on the forest path. He is a poor, almost homeless drunkard, who passed out on the road. A hunting party comes along led by a Lord, and they see this man lying unconscious on the road. The Lord asks who it is, and someone identifies him as one of the local drunks. The Lord says, “Let’s have some amusement. Take him home, bathe him, dress him up in my finest silk gown, put him in my bed, and when he wakes up, we will all surround him and tell him that he is the Lord of this realm, who has been in delirium for ten years, during which time he has imagined himself as a poor drunkard. We will all pretend to be so happy to see him revived from his delirium of ten years.” And so they did it. They all gather around the bed. And when the drunkard slowly wakes up in the Lord’s bed with a terrible headache, he is very frightened seeing all these people surrounding his bed. One of them says, “Your Majesty, we are so delighted to see you back.” One of the teenage boys has been dressed up as a woman and given a wig with long hair, and they tell the drunkard that this is his loving wife who has been waiting ten years for him to wake up. The drunkard says, “What are you talking about?” They tell him he has been dreaming for ten years, and after listening to them for about five minutes unbelievingly, he says, “Oh yes, now it’s coming back to me. Yes, well, what about my breakfast! What are you all doing here? You can go now! Bring my breakfast!” When I think of that story, it reminds me of us in reverse. We are all like Lords who wake up thinking that we are drunkards. We do not remember that we are really the Lord! We accept that we are poor separate individual egos as readily as the drunkard accepted that he was a Lord. But it is no more true for us than it was for him.

Consciousness and Force, though they remain one, differentiate themselves into two sides of the coin, one side which is awareness and the other side which is will for accomplishment. Then, in Overmind, there is a separation into Purusha and Prakriti, consciousness and force. Instead of looking out through one eye of the Purushottama, the being looks out from four different vantage points, the four Purushas behind the four parts of the being – the mental Purusha, vital Purusha, physical Purusha and psychic Purusha. The Prakriti becomes the force of the ego which takes a separate mental position and tries to continuously fortify itself. Prakriti also divides itself into three planes of lower existence, mind, life and physical. Finally we come to mind, which acts like a prism. The mind takes all the pieces of cake and divides them infinitely into atoms, so that this One Existence has become infinitely divided.

How to understand what life is? Suppose there is a village with only collective ownership, in a very prosperous area. For 300 years all the families have been collectively cultivating the land very happily. Then someone suggests dividing it up into plots of three acres for each family. All the families rush to claim their portion. They build fences around their lands, they start quarreling over which portion is theirs. They begin to defend their divided portion. Each family begins thinking that all the other families are out to cheat them. All the energy of the family which used to go to the whole village gets isolated. That is the infinite life force being divided by the ego and that same force being turned to defend the small, limited form which the ego has given us. What we feel is our life, is really a part of the infinite life force which we are claiming as our own. When we meet someone like Mother, we feel full of life, because more of that infinite life fills us up. We are identified with this very narrow plot of land which we call ourselves. We do not realize that there is only one Life. When the vital ego dissolves, we discover there is only one force of life, which never dies and is never born. We become one with that and we have that infinite Cosmic Force available to us for creation.

The characteristics of our divided existence are: we feel the sense of separation in our divided ego; we live on the surface, we are not aware of the Purushas behind; we live lost in the moment, ignorant of past and future; we are identified only with our finite circumstances; and we live in the mind that sees oneness as infinite division. As the result of the Involution, Sachchidananda has assumed the form of a mindless, lifeless universe. There the wonder begins.

Ego’s Double Prison

·        Cut off from the infinity of self within

·        Cut off from the infinity of the cosmos

The goal of this yoga is fulfillment in the body. The goal is to make the body conscious of Sachchidananda. All of the traditions have found that it is much easier to concentrate away from the body and contact the Spirit. The psychic is the secret of transformation. Sri Aurobindo calls the psychic, “the less negative door to the Divine.” What does he mean by “less negative”? In the traditional yogas, you try to go out of the manifestation to reach the unmanifest Divine, which he calls negative. It is not negative in the sense of bad, but it is contrary to the Divine’s ultimate goal. Or you realize the Manomaya Purusha which is behind and not connected with all of this. Compared to those two, the psychic, which is part of Nature, is less negative.

He says the Spirit is evolving on the surface of our personality, in the body. The ultimate realization and the right way for us to make the progress are to relate to the Divine from the physical consciousness, meaning to call Mother from the tether ends of our personality. When the goal is transformation, at some time or other, there may be a need for going inside, but ultimately we have to do what Mother was doing: identify with the body consciousness and release the aspiration of Sachchidananda in the cells of the body. She was ultimately making the body the field of Her yoga.

Psychic – less negative door

·        Nirvana leads to extinction in non-being

·        Manomaya purusha leads to moksha in Parabrahman

·        Psychic leads to Ishwara-Shakti in Supermind


book | by Dr. Radut