My self is that which supports all beings and constitutes their existence. . .. I am the self which abides within all beings.
This manifold universe comes forth from the Being of the Supreme. This Being is not only the cause and origin of all in this creation but also their continuing supporter. It is this Self that supports all existences. It is this Self again that forms the spiritual substance of all and that is not all. He is the Self that is present in each (Indweller) and governs from this central station the whole evolutionary movement of each. In other words, everything has come into being from the Divine Source, is constituted essentially by the Divine Spirit, is upheld by the Divine Self, and ruled and guided by the Self as its inner monitor. Nothing can exist without the presence and the support of the Divine.
The material existence is only a formulation of the Spirit in a special status, even as the vital and the mental are self-formations of the same Spirit in different statuses. All is the Divine Self in extension. All is constituted by the Self. But the Self is not constituted by the All. The Self is much more; it transcends what is manifests and holds in its being.
Three powers of Light uphold three luminous worlds divine.
Three are the poises taken by Sat-chit-ananda, the blissful unitive Consciousness in its status of the Supermind where the concentration of the Being prepares to diffuse itself in manifestation.
The first movement is of extending itself. From a concentrated unity it moves into a self-extension, an equal pervasion, all-comprehending, all-possessing. Throughout all it is one; many are not yet, individualities are not yet.
In the second movement, the Consciousness assumes a double status. It lets its formative movement spring into individual forms in which it stations itself as their Self, supporting each individual movement, maintaining each in its distinction from other movements. Yet, all the while it stands behind the distributive movement, supporting it with its massive Unity. The Conscious-Self of all is fully aware of its oneness even in the many forms. The soul-essence is the same all through, the soul-forms vary. Thus both Unity and multiplicity coexist, the essential truth of Oneness being still paramount.
In the third movement, the individuation of the many goes further. Each goes on its career, as it were, but awareness of Unity is still present in the background though not in the frontal consciousness. It is the play of relations that takes a premier place, though the underlying unity is not forgotten; in fact it always accompanies the movement but not dominantly.
These are the three realms in the world of Mahas, the world of Light, the supramental. Each of the three is supported by a special Radiance of the Supermind. These three form the passage of the One into the Many. It is a graded movement, not sudden. First, the One in its vast self-extension; the second, the One and the Many, with the dominance of the One; the third, the One and the Many, with increasing stress on the Many. In all the three, the Unity is always present, though with varying stresses.
(Source: Shri M.P.Pandit – Legends in The Life Divine, p.47-49, Dipti Publications, Puducherry)
BEFORE we pass to this easier understanding of the world we inhabit from the standpoint of an apprehending Truth consciousness which sees things as would an individual soul freed from the limitations of mentality and admitted to participate in the action of the Divine Supermind, we must pause and resume briefly what we have realised or can yet realise of the consciousness of the Lord, the Ishwara as He develops the world by His Maya out of the original concentrated unity of His being.
Sri Aurobindo had concluded the earlier chapter with his statement that the Truth-consciousness, in the status of multiplicity, has arrived at a position which prepares our mentality; through this apprehending Truth-consciousness which is near to our mentality, we can study the origin of this world of ignorance starting with our mind.
Why Sri Aurobindo says it is easier to understand the world of ours from the stand-point of an apprehending Truth-consciousness? Because it sees things as our individual soul liberated from the limitations of our mind would see. The soul, thus liberated, is admitted to participate in the action of the Divine Supermind.
We have seen that the original state of Sachchidananda is concentrated unity. The world is created out of this original unity into a status of multiplicity by Divine Maya. The world is the manifestation of the consciousness of the Lord, the Ishwara. Before, we try to understand this world through the apprehending Truth-consciousness, we must take a look and review what we have realised or can yet realise of this Divine Consciousness.
We have started with the assertion of all existence as one Being whose essential nature is Consciousness, one Consciousness whose active nature is Force or Will; and this Being is Delight, this Consciousness is Delight, this Force or Will is Delight. Eternal and inalienable Bliss of Existence, Bliss of Consciousness, Bliss of Force or Will whether concentrated in itself and at rest or active and creative, this is God and this is ourselves in our essential, our non-phenomenal being. Concentrated in itself, it possesses or rather is the essential, eternal, inalienable Bliss; active and creative, it possesses or rather becomes the delight of the play of existence, the play of consciousness, the play of force and will.
We have seen in chapter XI (Delight of Existence: The Problem) that the Vedantins consider Brahman not merely as a bare existence but as a conscious existence. But its consciousness is not a crude force or power. The very nature of its existence is bliss; the very nature of its consciousness-force is bliss. This bliss is eternal and inseparable from Existence, Consciousness and Force. The conscious Being may be at rest, concentrated in itself. Or It may be active and creative. The Bliss is our essential being, our non-phenomenal being.
Concentrated in itself it possesses or rather it is, the essential, eternal and inalienable Bliss. While being active and creative it possesses or rather it becomes the delight of the play of Existence, Consciousness and Force.
That play is the universe and that delight is the sole cause, motive and object of cosmic existence. The Divine Consciousness possesses that play and delight eternally and inalienably; our essential being, our real self which is concealed from us by the false self or mental ego, also enjoys that play and delight eternally and inalienably and cannot indeed do otherwise since it is one in being with the Divine Consciousness. If we aspire therefore to a divine life, we cannot attain to it by any other way than by unveiling this veiled self in us, by mounting from our present status in the false self or mental ego to a higher status in the true self, the Atman, by entering into that unity with the Divine Consciousness which something superconscient in us always enjoys, —otherwise we could not exist, —but which our conscious mentality has forfeited.
The Divine play is the universe. Delight (Ananda) is the sole cause of cosmic existence. The Divine Consciousness possess that play and delight eternally and inseparably.
We live in our surface being, our false self. Our false self is ruled by our mental ego. Our real self, our essential being is concealed from us by our false self. This real self also enjoys the Divine play and delight eternally and inseparably. Our essential being cannot be other than delight. Because it is one being with the Divine Consciousness. Whatever the appearances, our outer experience, our essential being always enjoys this Delight of Existence.
We cannot attain to Divine Life by any other way than by uncovering this real self within us. We must climb from our present status in the mental ego to a higher status in the true self, the Atman. We must enter into the unity with the Divine Consciousness. The superconscient in us always enjoys this unity with the Divine Consciousness. Otherwise, we could not exist.
But our false self, our conscious mentality has lost this unity with the Divine Consciousness. The soul is shrouded by the ignorance of ego. Because of this the delight cannot be felt outwardly.
But when we thus assert this unity of Sachchidananda on the one hand and this divided mentality on the other, we posit two opposite entities one of which must be false if the other is to be held as true, one of which must be abolished if the other is to be enjoyed. Yet it is in the mind and its form of life and body that we exist on earth and, if we must abolish the consciousness of mind, life and body in order to reach the one Existence, Consciousness and Bliss, then a divine life here is impossible. We must abandon cosmic existence utterly as an illusion in order to enjoy or re-become the Transcendent. From this solution there is no escape unless there be an intermediate link between the two which can explain them to each other and establish between them such a relation as will make it possible for us to realise the one Existence, Consciousness, Delight in the mould of the mind, life and body.
We have seen that Sachchidananda is unity – the consciousness of Oneness. We live in our mentality which is divided. Because division is the characteristic of mind. When we face these two opposites, we come to the conclusion that one of which must be false; or one of which must be abolished if the other is to be enjoyed.
But we live in our body, mind and life. If we have to abolish our body, mind and life in order to attain Sachchidananda, then divine life in this world is not possible. The only way is to abandon our worldly existence to enjoy the Transcendent Sachchidananda.
We cannot avoid this world rejecting solution unless we find an intermediary link between these two opposites. This link will relate them to each other. Such a relation would realise the Existence, Consciousness and Delight in the mould of our mind, life and body.