Paragraph 12 – 13

Study Notes


     On the other hand, the unitarian consciousness or indivisible Unity cannot be that impossible entity, a thing without contents out of which all contents have issued and into which they disappear and become annihilated. It must be an original self- concentration in which all is contained but in another manner than in this temporal and spatial manifestation. That which has thus concentrated itself, is the utterly ineffable and inconceivable Existence which the Nihilist images to his mind as the negative Void of all that we know and are but the Transcendentalist with equal reason may image to his mind as the positive but indistinguishable Reality of all that we know and are.


     Here Sri Aurobindo talks about the consciousness of Oneness. It an indivisible unity. It is not an emptiness or Zero (as Buddhists say) from which all forms appear and into which finally they disappear. It must be an original self-concentration in which everything is contained. But it is contained in another way than what is observed in this manifested world of Time and Space.
     What is thus concentrated is an ineffable (cannot be defined in words) and inconceivable (cannot be understood by mind) Existence. This the Nihilist (Buddhist) imagines in his mind as a negative Void (emptiness) of all that we are and all that we know. This the Transcendentalist (Mayavadin) may image to his mind as a positive indistinguishable Reality of all that we are and all that we know. It means that is the only Reality as compared to what we are and what we know which are unreal.

“In the beginning,” says the Vedanta, “was the one Existence without a second,” but before and after the beginning, now, for ever and beyond Time is that which we cannot describe even as the One, even when we say that nothing but That is. What we can be aware of is, first, its original self-concentration which we endeavour to realise as the indivisible One; secondly, the diffusion and apparent disintegration of all that was concentrated in its unity which is the Mind’s conception of the universe; and thirdly, its firm self-extension in the Truth-consciousness which contains and upholds the diffusion and prevents it from being a real disintegration, maintains unity in utmost diversity and stability in utmost mutability, insists on harmony in the appearance of an all-pervading strife and collision, keeps eternal cosmos where Mind would arrive only at a chaos eternally attempting to form itself. This is the Supermind, the Truth-consciousness, the Real-Idea which knows itself and all that it becomes.


     Here Sri Aurobindo describes how the One became the Many, the manifested universe and how the oneness is sustained in the Many by the Truth-Consciousness in all.
     Firstly, the Vedanta says there was the one Existence without a second. From this Vedantic statement we become aware of its original self-concentration which is the indivisible One. Secondly, there was diffusion – what is concentrated as One Existence becoming the Many, there is breaking up of all that is concentrated as One. Many is the Mind’s conception of the universe. Thirdly the One Existence extends itself in Truth-Consciousness.
     It is the Truth-Consciousness which maintains the Oneness even in the Many. It prevents the real break-up into different parts. It maintains unity in diversity. It upkeeps stability in mutability (change). It maintains harmony in the apparent struggle and collision of various forces. It keeps the cosmos in its eternal existence where mind can only create disorder.
     This is the Supermind, the Truth-Consciousness, the Real Idea. It knows itself and all that It becomes.


     Supermind is the vast self-extension of the Brahman that contains and develops. By the Idea it develops the triune principle of existence, consciousness and bliss out of their indivisible unity. It differentiates them, but it does not divide. It establishes a Trinity, not arriving like the Mind from the three to the One, but manifesting the three out of the One—for it manifests and develops— and yet maintaining them in the unity—for it knows and contains.


     Supermind is the intermediary between the Sat-chit-ananda and the manifested world. It is the self-extension of the Brahman. Supermind contains everything and from which it develops.
     We have seen that Sat-chit-ananda is a three-in-one (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss) consciousness which is of indivisible unity. Supermind differentiates them but it does not divide. Here differentiation means highlighting each aspect without excluding the other aspect. Division means highlighting one aspect by excluding the other.
     Supermind develops, expands and extends Sachchidananda with a three-in-one reality. Supermind brings out, unzips the potential from each of the Sat, Chit and Ananda which is condensed and expands into the vastness. It manifests the Many, it does not really divide. Take the example of the sea and the waves. The waves seem to be separate but continue to be the sea.
     For example, if we cut an apple and if we do not remove the cut portions, we can see the different portions as well as the whole apple. This is differentiation. If we remove the portions separately it becomes division.
     Supermind manifests and develops – it manifests the three aspects of Sat-chit-ananda out of the indivisible One. While manifesting, it maintains the underlying unity.

By the differentiation it is able to bring forward one or other of them as the effective Deity which contains the others involved or explicit in itself and this process it makes the foundation of all other differentiations. And it acts by the same operation on all the principles and possibilities which it evolves out of this all-constituent trinity.


     Each potential becomes the deity containing all the others, the Vedic gods of the Overmind. By differentiation it brings out one or other Divine aspect of Sat-chit-ananda, which also contains the other Divine aspects. The other aspects may be involved (hidden within) or explicit (manifests outwardly). This process is the basis of all differentiations of Sachchidananda from which all principles and possibilities evolve. To put it briefly, Supermind, when It differentiates Sat-chit-ananda (making One into Many), It includes all in each. Thereby it maintains the Oneness. Nothing in excluded.

It possesses the power of development, of evolution, of making explicit, and that power carries with it the other power of involution, of envelopment, of making implicit. In a sense, the whole of creation may be said to be a movement between two involutions, Spirit in which all is involved and out of which all evolves downward to the other pole of Matter, Matter in which also all is involved and out of which all evolves upward to the other pole of Spirit.


     In its action Supermind possesses two powers. One is the power of development, of evolution, of making explicit (making known outside). The other is power of involution (going within), enveloping all, making things implicit (meaning, something found within, not known outside).
     The whole of creation is a movement between two involutions. One involution is the Spirit in which all is involved. From Spirit all evolves downwards to the other end of Matter. The other is the Matter in which also all is involved. From Matter all evolve into the other end Spirit.
     The original involution is followed by a devolution; the second involution is followed by an evolution. And the agent in between is the Supermind.