Paragraph 17 – 18 & Synopsis

Study Notes


     If it then be asked why the One Existence should take delight in such a movement, the answer lies in the fact that all possibilities are inherent in Its infinity and that the delight of existence —in its mutable becoming, not in its immutable being, —lies precisely in the variable realisation of its possibilities. And the possibility worked out here in the universe of which we are a part, begins from the concealment of Sachchidananda in that which seems to be its own opposite and its self-finding even amid the terms of that opposite.


     We have seen in the earlier paragraph that the delight of Infinite Existence emerges from subconscient to mind and life in the individual in triple vibration of pain, pleasure and indifference and then finally it emerges as Sachchidananda by universality.
     The question comes, why the One Existence (which is Infinite) should take delight in such a movement. The answer is, all possibilities are inborn in Its infinity. The delight of existence has two statuses: one is immutable (not bound to any change & movement) delight of being, the other is mutable (bound to change & movement), delight of becoming. Only in the mutable delight of becoming (that is in movement), the delight of existences is experienced in which all the possibilities of the Infinite are realised.
     The possibilities contained in the Infinite are realised here in the universe of which we are a part. How the possibilities are revealed? In this world, Sachchidananda is concealed behind what seem to be Its opposites – pain, evil, suffering etc. The possibility is revealed when Sachchidananda which is hidden, begins to discover itself amidst the terms of Its opposites.

Infinite being loses itself in the appearance of non-being and emerges in the appearance of a finite Soul; infinite consciousness loses itself in the appearance of a vast indeterminate inconscience and emerges in the appearance of a superficial limited consciousness; infinite self-sustaining Force loses itself in the appearance of a chaos of atoms and emerges in the appearance of the insecure balance of a world; infinite Delight loses itself in the appearance of an insensible Matter and emerges in the appearance of a discordant rhythm of varied pain, pleasure and neutral feeling, love, hatred and indifference; infinite unity loses itself in the appearance of a chaos of multiplicity and emerges in a discord of forces and beings which seek to recover unity by possessing, dissolving and devouring each other.


     How really the Infinite realises Its possibilities in the manifested universe? The Infinite while manifesting in the universe moves from the status of being to the status of becoming.
Infinity loses itself and appears to us Non-Being. Again, It emerges and appears as a finite soul. Infinite consciousness loses itself and appears to us as indeterminate (something that cannot be determined, vague) inconscience. Again, it emerges and appears as a consciousness which is superficial and limited.
     Infinite self-sustaining Force loses itself and appears to us as a chaos (confusion) of atoms. Again, it emerges and appears as the insecure balance of a world. Why insecure balance because, there are various forces acting in the universe; they are not in perfect balance which results in conflict of forces.
     Infinite Delight loses itself and appears to us as the insensible matter. Again, It emerges in the appearance of discordant rhythm of pain, pleasure and indifference, love, hatred and indifference in the individual.
     Infinite unity loses itself and appears to us as chaos of multiplicity. Again, It emerges in a discord of forces and beings. These forces and beings tend to recover unity by possessing, dissolving and devouring (consuming) each other.
     What Sri Aurobindo explains here is that, there is involution (going within) and evolution (emerging from) in each of the aspects of Infinite mentioned above. Infinite while manifesting in the world take up finite forms; It is concealed behind its opposites. Then the process of emergence (coming out) begins. In the process of emergence there is intermediary status of imperfection (which is the present state of the world). This imperfection disappears in final emergence of Sachchidananda.

In this creation the real Sachchidananda has to emerge. Man, the individual, has to become and to live as a universal being; his limited mental consciousness has to widen to the superconscient unity in which each embraces all; his narrow heart has to learn the infinite embrace and replace its lusts and discords by universal love and his restricted vital being to become equal to the whole shock of the universe upon it and capable of universal delight; his very physical being has to know itself as no separate entity but as one with and sustaining in itself the whole flow of the indivisible Force that is all things; his whole nature has to reproduce in the individual the unity, the harmony, the oneness-in-all of the supreme Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.


     How Sachchidananda can emerge amidst this imperfect world?
   – Man has to universalise himself from his individual status. His limited mental consciousness must widen itself to attain superconscient unity. His limited heart must embrace the infinite all. In his heart lusts and discords should be replaced by universal love.
   – The vital being of man is restricted now; it has its own likes and dislikes. It should be capable of facing the shocks of the universe with equality, without shrinking. It should be able to perceive universal delight in all external contacts.
   – His physical being should not consider itself as a separate entity. It must feel itself as one with the whole flow of the indivisible force that is in all things. Not only that, it must sustain this force within itself.
  – The whole nature of the individual must have a sense of unity, harmony and oneness with the Sachchidananda in all.


     Through all this play the secret reality is always one and the same delight of existence, —the same in the delight of the subconscious sleep before the emergence of the individual, in the delight of the struggle and all the varieties, vicissitudes, perversions, conversions, reversions of the effort to find itself amid the mazes of the half-conscious dream of which the individual is the centre, and in the delight of the eternal superconscient self-possession into which the individual must wake and there become one with the indivisible Sachchidananda. This is the play of the One, the Lord, the All as it reveals itself to our liberated and enlightened knowledge from the conceptive standpoint of this material universe.


     We have seen in the previous paragraph that the Infinite seeks to realise all its possibilities in the universe. The process begins with the self-concealment of Sachchidananda in its opposites in the manifested world and ends with its self-finding among the opposites. This self-loss and the self-finding are the play of the infinite.
     Through all this play, the secret reality is always one and the same delight of existence. It is the same in the sub-conscient sleep in matter before the emergence of the individual.
     In the self-finding of Sachchidananda in its opposites, there is a struggle and effort to overcome various counter-acting forces. This struggle happens amidst the complicated pathways of half-conscious dream of which the individual is the centre. It is the same delight found in this struggle also. This stage refers to the life and mind where consciousness is still evolving, not yet reached the Oneness of Sachchidananda.
     It is same delight in the Superconscient into which man must eventually awake and possess in himself. Here the individual becomes one with Sachchidananda consciousness.
     In other words, it is the same delight of existence that exists in sub-conscient, conscient and super-conscient levels.
     This play of the One, the All is revealed to our liberated and enlightened knowledge from the standpoint of this material universe.
     In brief the only way we can experience, hold and manifest this delight is to live within ourselves, not to react from our surface self; to break the barrier of our individual ego and unite ourselves with the universal being. The more we break ourselves from the narrow grip of our ego the more we can share the universal Delight of being. This is the solution to the problem raised in the previous chapter.


All our surface sensations are a positive, negative or neutral play of the underlying delight of existence like waves and foamings of infinite deep ocean. The true solution to the problem of pain and evil lies in this conception of delight of existence. The essential nature the self-conscious being behind the finite forms is an infinite, inseparable delight of being.

The soul freeing itself from the inconscience of Matter, discovers the Conscious-Force and the delight hidden in non-sensation of Matter. It is within all forms, all experiences whether pleasant, painful or neutral. It creates the dominating to will to exist in all forms.

Sat-chit-Ananda are the three aspects of essential Being. In reality It is one but are separable in appearance in our divided consciousness. The divergent views of the old philosophies are based on this divided view.

When we view everything in the world exist only in relation to Brahman, (Sat or Pure Existence) we see the world as Maya. If it is viewed only in relation to consciousness and its force (chit-shakti aspect) then we will regard it only as a movement of Force. If the world is conceived to be the expression of self-delight (Ananda) of eternally existent being then it becomes the Divine Lila.

These are the three generalisations of the world of existence in its relation to the Divine which is eternal and stable and is the immutable Sachchidananda. They are expressed in three conceptions of Maya, Prakriti and Lila. Though they appear to be mutually contradictory they are in reality perfectly consistent with and complementary to each other.

There is one indivisible Conscious Being behind all our experiences imparting its delight. The Conscious Being (Sat-Chit) and Its delight (Ananda) are inseparable. The Conscious Being in its movement creates variations of pleasure, pain and neutral indifference in our sensational existence.

Our real self is the Conscious Being of Delight (Sat-chit-ananda). Our mental being on the surface is its representation which is subjected to pain, pleasure and indifference. They are the imperfect and the superficial responses of our divided, egoistic, waking consciousness to multiple contacts of the universe. Going beyond our ego if we feel the oneness with all, our reactions will become a perfect and harmonious note of the musical symphony.

Deep within us, there is much vaster, profounder, truer psychic being which takes delight impartially in all experiences. It secretly supports us in our hardships and sufferings in life. We can awaken to this presence only if we learn to live within. We can remain unaffected and stand back in our entire consciousness from the pain and pleasure of our body, life and mind.

Our superficial responses are result of our imperfect evolution. They have no absoluteness. Our nature has formed certain habits by which we respond to a particular contact with pleasure, to some other with pain and to some other without any reaction. It is quite within our capacity to return with delight to all our contacts. This is the greater victory for us over our own selves.

Our nervous being, a slave of habit, has a sense of fixedness in its reactions-reacts to success with pleasure and to defeat with pain. Whereas, our mental being is free and flexible. It can choose its response to its contacts unlike the nervous being.

It is more difficult to disengage our mind when it comes to pain of our physical body. Because, here, our nerves and body are directly involved. Here also we see that the body is capable of bearing extreme pain in extraordinary situations like war. During normal times only our nervous being reminds body to react to pain.

In hypnosis the hypnotiser suspends the waking consciousness which is the slave of nervous habits and appeals to the subliminal mental being in the depths. This freedom of our inner mental being can be acquired normally, gradually with true possession by one’s own will.

Pain of mind and body is a device of Nature, to serve a temporary purpose to sage guard the individual, from the shock of multitudinous world forces. Pain is the nervous and physical recoil from a harmful contact – Upanishad calls it jugupsa. There is necessity of pain as long as Mind is bound in the life and body.