Chapter V – Destiny of the Individual- Synopsis



  • An Omnipresent Reality is the truth of all life and existence. The Reality is One which is also the Many. It is behind all variations and oppositions we come across in the Universe. Brahman is the One besides whom there is nothing else existent.
  • The Reality which is the Unity behind all variations exceeds all definitions. It is beyond all our experience and conceptions.
  • The Reality presents itself to our thought and senses in many states, forms, activities in our existence in this world and it is in and through them we have to approach the Unknowable (the Divine).
  • Our Vedantic seers did not restrict the Divine with any particular state. Even after a convincing experience of Sachchidananda they could perceive an Asat, a state of Non-Being beyond. Buddhism concurred with the Vedantic view of Sat and Asat. Yet it was the Upanishads (Vedanta) which conceived the Reality beyond both Being and Non-Being.
  • The ancient sages had the humility to admit the limitations of our knowledge. It was the impatience of later philosophical schools with their vehement attraction to the Bliss and sharp intellect sought the One to deny the Many. The ancient wisdom perceived the Divine equally in all things not being overpowered by the seemingly oppositions.
  • The partial logic of the Adwaitin – One is the Reality and the Many are an illusion- has to be put aside. Living in Many if we pursue the One, the One will reveal Itself in Many.
  • In its powerful expansion of mind, we should guard ourselves against the excessive importance given to particular points of view taken by mind – either the world is an unreal dream or God is an illusion. Mind, either refuses to believe in anything not obtained through the senses or relying on supraphysical experiences it refuses to accept the reality of the sensory experiences. It is true that in our relative world nothing is valid until it is possessed by our physical consciousness. It is also equally true that form and matter can be valid only if they are shape and substance manifesting the spirit.
  • To enjoy self-manifestation Brahman has entered into forms of material substance. Life exists to discover Brahman. The role of man is to impart consciousness to the world to discover Brahman and to transform itself. Divine existence is his objective.
  • Brahman expresses itself in successive forms of consciousness that are coexistent. Life shall evolve from itself to new domains. However, while rising to the higher, lower is not to be rejected. Lower has to be included and transformed. Excluding the lower is against the integral nature of Brahman. However high we may climb we must not forget our base.
  • Individual regards himself separate from the Universe and the Transcendent. We give the name of God to the Transcendent who is considered extra-cosmic (out side the universe) not supra- cosmic (part of the universe yet exceeding it). Both the universe and individual are considered inferior to Transcendent. Individual and cosmos cease to exist after individual attains enlightenment. This is the exaggerated view of the ascetic.
  • Unity of Brahman is integral. Individual, universe and transcendent are equal. Preservation of individual activities is quite consistent with his attaining cosmic or transcendent consciousness. Transcendent embraces the universe and the universe include the individual. Individual is the centre of the whole universe.
  • On attaining the right consciousness the inview and the outview from the individual centre profoundly changes though nothing essential in the eternal relation is changed. The individual is necessary for the action of the Divine in the world. On attaining God realisation action in him does not stop. Continuation of the God-realised individual in the world is a necessary condition for the Divine play in the world. If his exit is the law, then the world will continue to suffer in darkness & death.
  • Salvation of individual soul from the illusory bondage is the ascetic philosophy. Neither the Divine not the world profits by such an escape. Only the individual soul benefits by escape into Peace and Bliss. Soul, bondage and the world are non-existent to the ascetic. Where is the question of escape when everything is an illusion? The whole thing is logically absurd. Atman is essentially free. There is none bound, none freed, none seeking to be free is the Vedantic truth.
  • The ascetic cannot explain this paradox. Individual, escaping from his ego for his own salvation is again a supreme act of egoism. He regards the bondage of his soul real and his own salvation important whereas he cares nothing for the others.
  • This paradox can be resolved only when we reconcile the opposition between the Self and the world. We must accept the Divine unity of the Manifested. The Divine is bound neither by its unity nor by its multiplicity. This is the simple mystery of the Divine we see all around us. The Divine enjoys absolute freedom. Its limitation is self-imposed. It uses ego as its temporary device to make the individual Brahman to go beyond himself to Universal and Transcendent consciousness.
  • The Supracosmic is absolutely free beyond Time and Space; beyond finite and infinite. In cosmos it limits itself in its self-formation, its Maya, in complimentary terms of unity and multiplicity. Unity in multiplicity is found in three conditions of subconscient, conscient and the superconscient. Subconscient unity is found at the level of matter. However, we are not aware of it. In the conscient ego becomes the surface point of unity but we are aware of the unity at surface level in outward forms. When the ego transcends itself to the superconscient, it becomes aware of cosmic unity. Going beyond, it merges with the Transcendent which is represented in the cosmos by its multiple oneness.
  • The liberation of the individual is the keynote action of the divine. Individual serves as a pivot and point of light. The liberated soul is in unity with both the Transcendent One(vertical) and the Cosmic Many(horizontal). Through the lateral unity with the Many the liberated divine soul reproduces itself in similar liberated souls. One soul’s liberation extends to many. There is an outburst of divine consciousness in other individual souls not only in this terrestrial domain but in other domains also. This is the Destiny of the Individual. Is there not a truth in the legend that Buddha’s soul refused to immerse in Nirvana till the last soul on earth is liberated?
  • Brahman is free within and yet expresses itself in outward forms. We being Brahman can attain to the highest and yet be active in the world. The harmony between inner liberation and the outward action is the condition of Divine Life. Inner liberty by exclusion of outer life is a path of negation; we reject what God has accepted. Also, absorption in the action and energy denying the Divine principle behind it, is an inferior negation. What God combines and synthesizes why should man divorce?
  • Living in multiplicity- Avidya which is a field of death and suffering we must find our way out of our egoistic existence. Through knowledge of oneness- Vidya, even while living in multiplicity- Avidya, we attain to immortality and supreme blessedness. Being Unborn we are liberated from the cycle of birth and death. By accepting birth freely – the Becoming, like the Divine, we bring immortal blessings of the Divine to our mortal life.