He discovered that Mind was the Brahman.
(Taittiriya Upanishad, 3.4)
MIND AND BRAHMAN
When Bhrigu, son of Varuna, approached his father in order to know the Eternal, the Brahman, he was asked to concentrate his consciousness and find out that from which all things are born, by which all are sustained, and into which they all pass in their ending. He discovered that annam, Matter, is Brahman. Asked to concentrate further, he found out that prana, Life, is Brahman. Urged to probe still more, he discovered that manas, Mind, is Brahman. It is through the mind that all comes into the realm of experience, in the mind that all are held in contact, into the layers of the mind that they recede at the termination of their encounter. The mind is a special formulation of Consciousness which is divine. It is a deviation of the Divine Mind which is a special action of the Truth-Consciousness. In its apprehending movement in which the Consciousness regards its own working as a possessor and witness.
The mind is a special action of the manifesting Consciousness in finitising the infinite. At the back of the operations there is always the supporting poise of the Supermind. In the context of spiritual evolution of Consciousness, the mind is not to be cancelled or destroyed but to be elevated into its own higher term. It is a channel between living matter and the higher verities of the spirit. It reflects the higher knowledge in the lower nature according to the purity of its functioning. In a sense the mind is nearer Brahman in the gradation of manifestation than matter or the life principle. Mind is no product of maya, but a subordinate working of the Truth-Mind.
Indivisible, but as if divided in beings.
Brahman, the Reality is One. It has no parts. It is always whole, impartible. But it is not bound to its state of oneness. It emanates many out of its infinitude of being, but on that account it suffers no diminution. It remains what is has always been. “Take out the Full from the Full, and the Full remains, says the Scripture. The many that issue from the One are not so many parts detached from That. Each of the many is the One wholly. Any number of the many do not detract from the Unity of the One. The several formations of Brahman that constitute the universe are not so many divided portions of the sole Reality. It is only in appearance that the forms are divided from each other and the indivisible Brahman looks as if segmented. In truth the diversity is constituted by the One in its various deployments. The closest analogy is Ether which cannot be divided and yet constitutes the substance of the multiplicity of forms.
The One is the All and each of the All. Each is not only in the One, but is the One. The One is ever entire.
(Source: Legends in The Life Divine, Shri M.P.Pandit, p. 18, Dipti Publications, Sri Aurobindo Ashram)
THE CONCEPTION which we have so far been striving to form is that of the essence only of the supramental life which the divine soul possesses securely in the being of Sachchidananda, but which the human soul has to manifest in this body of Sachchidananda formed here into the mould of a mental and physical living. But so far as we have been able yet to envisage this supramental existence, it does not seem to have any connection or correspondence with life as we know it, life active between the two terms of our normal existence, the two firmaments of mind and body.
We have seen in the previous chapter the nature of the Divine Soul. We have seen the essence of the supramental life in which the divine soul is securely placed in the being of Sachchidananda.
The human soul in its ascent towards divine soul has to manifest the supramental life in this body of Sachchidananda. It has to be formed here into the mould of a mental and physical living.
But so far, what we have conceived of as supramental life has no connection with our life as we know it. Our life is active between two terms, the two realms of our normal existence i.e. our mind and body.
It seems rather to be a state of being, a state of consciousness, a state of active relation and mutual enjoyment such as disembodied souls might possess and experience in a world without physical forms, a world in which differentiation of souls had been accomplished but not differentiation of bodies, a world of active and joyous infinities, not of form-imprisoned spirits. Therefore it might reasonably be doubted whether such a divine living would be possible with this limitation of bodily form and this limitation of form-imprisoned mind and form-trammelled force which is what we now know as existence.
Whatever we have learnt so far regarding the supramental life seems to be a state of consciousness. We perceive it to be state of active relation and mutual enjoyment possessed by the souls without body. We perceive them to be experienced in a world without physical forms. It is a world where differentiation of souls had been achieved but not differentiation of bodies. It is world of active and joyous infinities. There the spirit is not imprisoned in forms.
Now, in the background of our present existence, we may doubt whether divine life would be possible with our limitation of bodily forms, form imprisoned mind and form restricted force.
In fact, we have striven to arrive at some conception of that supreme infinite being, conscious-force and self-delight of which our world is a creation and our mentality a perverse figure; we have tried to give ourselves an idea of what this divine Maya may be, this Truth-consciousness, this Real-Idea by which the conscious force of the transcendent and universal Existence conceives, forms and governs the universe, the order, the cosmos of its manifested delight of being. But we have not studied the connections of these four great and divine terms with the three others with which our human experience is alone familiar,—mind, life and body. We have not scrutinised this other and apparently undivine Maya which is the root of all our striving and suffering or seen how precisely it develops out of the divine reality or the divine Maya.
We took some effort to understand the supreme infinite being, conscious-force and self-delight (Sat-chit-ananda). Our world is a creation of Sachchidananda and our mind is its perverse figure. We also tried to understand what this divine Maya, this Truth-consciousness, this Real-Idea is. We know that by divine Maya the conscious force of the transcendent and the universal Existence conceives forms and governs the universe.
But we have not studied the connections of these four divine terms – Existence, Consciousness-Force, Bliss and the divine Maya- the Truth-consciousness with our body, mind and life. We have not studied this apparently undivine Maya (the world of our body, mind and life) which is the root of our struggle and suffering; we have not seen precisely how it develops out of the divine Maya.
And till we have done this, till we have woven the missing cords of connection, our world is still unexplained to us and the doubt of a possible unification between that higher existence and this lower life has still a basis. We know that our world has come forth from Sachchidananda and subsists in His being; we conceive that He dwells in it as the Enjoyer and Knower, Lord and Self; we have seen that our dual terms of sensation, mind, force, being can only be representations of His delight, His conscious force, His divine existence. But it would seem that they are actually so much the opposite of what He really and supernally is that we cannot while dwelling in the cause of these opposites, cannot while contained in the lower triple term of existence attain to the divine living.
Till we tie the missing knots of connection between our body, mind and life – the lower, with the Sachchidananda and the divine Maya – the higher, the world will remain unexplained to us. The doubt regarding their unification will always have a basis.
We know that the world is the manifestation of Sachchidananda and is supported in His being. He dwells in it as the Enjoyer and Knower, Lord. In our dual status what we experience as sensation, mind, force, being are only the representations of His delight, His conscious force, His divine existence.
But what we experience here seem actually the opposites of what He really is in his superior status. We find ourselves so much in contrast to the Divine qualities that it seems, we cannot attain to the Divine Life while living in our body, mind and life.
We must either exalt this lower being into that higher status or exchange body for that pure existence, life for that pure condition of conscious-force, sensation and mentality for that pure delight and knowledge which live in the truth of the spiritual reality. And must not this mean that we abandon all earthly or limited mental existence for something which is its opposite,—either for some pure state of the Spirit or else for some world of the Truth of things, if such exists, or other worlds, if such exist, of divine Bliss, divine Energy, divine Being? In that case the perfection of humanity is elsewhere than in humanity itself; the summit of its earthly evolution can only be a fine apex of dissolving mentality whence it takes the great leap either into formless being or into worlds beyond the reach of embodied Mind.
What are the options available to us? We must either raise our lower being to a higher status. Or we must exchange our body for that pure existence, life for the pure condition of conscious force, sensation and mentality for the pure delight and knowledge. In other words we must exchange our dualistic lower nature to the higher nature which lives in the truth of spiritual reality.
What does it really mean? It means we must abandon our earthly, limited mental existence in favour of something which is its opposite. It may be either some pure state of the Spirit or else some world of the Truth of things if it really exists. Or some other worlds of divine Bliss, divine Energy, divine Being if they really exist at all.
If that is the case, it gives the impression that the perfection of humanity exists elsewhere than in the humanity itself. The summit of the earthly evolution can only lead to dissolving mentality; the mind either takes a great leap into formless being or into worlds beyond the reach of bodily mind.