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Study Notes


     It is so that the ancient and eternal truth of Vedanta receives into itself and illumines, justifies and shows us all the meaning of the modern and phenomenal truth of evolution in the universe. And it is so only that this modern truth of evolution which is the old truth of the Universal developing itself successively in Time, seen opaquely through the study of Force and Matter, can find its own full sense and justification, —by illuminating itself with the Light of the ancient and eternal truth still preserved for us in the Vedantic Scriptures. To this mutual self-discovery and self-illumination by the fusion of the old Eastern and the new Western knowledge the thought of the world is already turning.


     This triple movement of involution, emergence and release into infinite is what the Vedanta conveys to us as the ancient and eternal truth. Viewed on the basis of this Vedantic truth, the modern theory of evolution stands justified and the knowledge of its process is brought to light. Modern truth of evolution concurs well with the old truth of the Universal developing itself in Time from matter into life and into thinking individual.
     The Modern theory of evolution is based on the study of Force and Matter. But it is limited by the material nature of the Force and Matter where the inherent truth hidden in them is not revealed outside. Yet, the truth of the modern theory of evolution can reveal its full sense and justification if seen in the light of the ancient and eternal Vedantic truth which is still preserved in our Scriptures.
     Sri Aurobindo says the self-discovery of truth and self-enlightenment of knowledge happens by fusion (combining) the knowledge of West and the ancient knowledge of the East. This is the direction towards which the world is already moving.


     Still, when we have found that all things are Sachchidananda, all has not yet been explained. We know the Reality of the universe, we do not yet know the process by which that Reality has turned itself into this phenomenon. We have the key of the riddle, we have still to find the lock in which it will turn. For this Existence, Conscious-Force, Delight does not work directly or with a sovereign irresponsibility like a magician building up worlds and universes by the mere fiat of its word. We perceive a process, we are aware of a Law.


     We know that this world is a phenomenal (manifested) world. We also know that the reality of the world is Sachchidananda. But we do not know the process by which the Sachchidananda has become this phenomenon.
     We know that all things are Sachchidananda but we have not explained how all things are Sachchidananda. Sri Aurobindo says it is like having a key without knowing to which lock we can apply. Here Sri Aurobindo means by term ‘lock’, the Supermind. It is the intermediary Supermind which enables Sachchidananda to manifest in the lower triple worlds of matter, life and mind.
     The Sat-chit-ananda does not work directly in the world. Nor is it a magician to build the world and the universe by its mere order without taking the responsibility for the created world. There is a Conscious process involved in it; there is a Conscious Law guiding its process.


     It is true that this Law when we analyse it, seems to resolve itself into an equilibrium of the play of forces and a determination of that play into fixed lines of working by the accident of development and the habit of past realised energy. But this apparent and secondary truth is final to us only so long as we conceive of Force solely. When we perceive that Force is a self-expression of Existence, we are bound to perceive also that this line which Force has taken, corresponds to some self-truth of that Existence which governs and determines its constant curve and destination.


     What is the Law of creation of the universe? There are various Forces at play in the universe. Yet, there is an equilibrium (balance) in the play of Forces in the Universe. This play of forces produces fixed lines of determinations(results). Take the example of chemical reaction producing water. The forces of hydrogen and oxygen are balanced to produce water.
     The results thus produced are by accident of the development and by the habit of past realised energy. It is the force that creates the final results of creation. The result, thus we see is secondary and apparent to us. The primary cause is hidden from us. This is the conclusion we finally come to, when we think that Force(chit-shakti) is solely responsible for creation.
     But we know that Force (chit-shakti) is the expression of Existence (Sat). Then, we are also bound to consider that the way the Force acts is decided by the truth inborn in the Existence. It is this self-truth of Existence (Sat) which determines how the Force should act and its final goal. For example, the mango seed which has the self-truth of mango tree in it, later develops into a mango tree.

And since consciousness is the nature of the original Existence and the essence of its Force, this truth must be a self-perception in Conscious-Being and this determination of the line taken by Force must result from a power of self-directive knowledge inherent in Consciousness which enables it to guide its own Force inevitably along the logical line of the original self-perception. It is then a self-determining power in universal consciousness, a capacity in self-awareness of infinite existence to perceive a certain Truth in itself and direct its force of creation along the line of that Truth, which has presided over the cosmic manifestation.


     The original nature of Existence(sat) is consciousness(chit). The essence of its Force is consciousness(chit-shakti). We have seen that it is the self-truth of Existence (Sat) which determines how the Force should act and its final goal. Sri Aurobindo says, this truth must be a self-perception (seeing its own self) in Conscious Being.
     We have seen that the way the Force acts is decided by the truth inborn in the Existence. The line of action of the Force (how the forces must act in the world) is decided
by the power of self-directive (guided by its own self) knowledge which is inherent in consciousness.
     This power is a self-determining power of universal consciousness. The infinite existence perceives a certain Truth in itself. It directs its force of creation along the line of that Truth. This Truth is the one which guides the cosmic manifestation.


     But why should we interpose any special power or faculty between the infinite Consciousness itself and the result of its workings? May not this Self-awareness of the Infinite range freely creating forms which afterwards remain in play so long as there is not the fiat that bids them cease, —even as the old Semitic Revelation tells us, “God said, Let there be Light, and there was Light”? But when we say, “God said, Let there be Light”, we assume the act of a power of consciousness which determines light out of everything else that is not light; and when we say “and there was Light” we presume a directing faculty, an active power corresponding to the original perceptive power, which brings out the phenomenon and, working out Light according to the line of the original perception, prevents it from being overpowered by all the infinite possibilities that are other than itself. Infinite consciousness in its infinite action can produce only infinite results; to settle upon a fixed Truth or order of truths and build a world in conformity with that which is fixed, demands a selective faculty of knowledge commissioned to shape finite appearance out of the infinite Reality.


     Bible says that God said, “Let there be light and there was Light”. So, God can create directly. Why does he need a process or an intermediary consciousness? Why not the Self-awareness of the infinite create forms directly and make such forms remain in play till they are called back from existence by the same power which has created them?
     When we say “Let there be light” there is a power of consciousness which has created light out of so many other things which are not light. Here, there is a power with a capacity to direct. It is the power of the conscious-existence which brings out an action. There are infinite possibilities in the universe. The power which brings out Light, prevents all the other possibilities and selects one possibility, i.e., Light.
     Infinite consciousness, in its infinite action can only produce infinite results. What happens in creation of finite forms in the world? The infinite chooses a fixed Truth and plans to build a world in conformity with that Truth. This requires a selective faculty of knowledge. This knowledge is put to use, to shape finite appearance out of infinite Reality. This knowledge is the Divine Maya.