Chapter 11 to 13 – Recap
Chapter XI – DELIGHT OF EXISTENCE: THE PROBLEM
- Brahman which is perfect, absolute and infinite, desiring nothing throws out a force to create the world of forms in Itself for only one reason. That is for delight, Ananda. The very nature of existence and consciousness of Brahman is bliss. Our original being is the absolute which is nothing but self-delight. The self-delight of Brahman creates innumerable forms and universes through the Force which is nothing but Sat-chit-ananda. Everything in the universe is borne from delight and exists by that.
- Emotional and sensational consciousness of pain and the problem of evil seem to contradict this truth. World appears rather a world of suffering than a world of delight of existence. Yet it is an exaggeration. Whether it is active or passive, on the surface or underlying, pleasure of existence is the normal state of nature. Pain is a contrary occurrence; its lesser sum affects us intensely. Normal satisfaction of existence is mainly responsible for the presence of overpowering instinct of self-preservation in the universe. We do not account for it.
- Yet, the very presence of pain creates the whole problem. How can God create a world in which he causes suffering on His own creatures? How can he approve pain and permit evil? This difficulty arises because we assume the existence of a personal God outside this cosmos. Sachchidananda of Vedanta says there is no duality. All that is, is Brahman. There is no division between the cosmos and the God.
- Then, how can Sachchidananda allow something which is not bliss into Itself? How can evil and suffering exist in Sachchidananda? The ideas of good and love come from the dualistic and divisive state of our mind. Sachchidananda belongs to the status of Oneness. How can we apply the law of duality to the status of Oneness?
- The conception of good and evil we apply to ourselves and then we extend it to the whole community we belong and make it into a general approval of what is good and general disapproval of what is bad. Ethics represent a stage in evolution. As all things below man are infra-ethical, so all things above him are supra-ethical – the stage man will eventually arrive which has no need of ethics. We cannot apply this ethical stand point to the total solution of the problem of the universe. It is only an element in the solution.
- The real solution to the problem can be found only when we find what is common to all the three layers of the world – infra-ethical, ethical and supra-ethical. The satisfaction of delight of existence is common to all three layers of the world. As consciousness evolves from lower into higher life forms, pain and suffering are felt which contradict the fundamental delight of being. This alone is the root problem for all pain and suffering.
- It is the infinite Bliss of Sachchidananda which forms the background of its finite expressions of pleasure, pain and the neutral state of indifference. Delight of being in manifestation seeks to realise itself as delight of becoming. In Its becoming it takes different forms of movement. Once we become aware of this self-delight then we shall not seek external objects to make us happy.
- Human being is still an egoistic mental person. The delight of existence is neutral and half-concealed in him in his subconscious parts. That which is hidden at the roots of the pain and pleasure is the sap of delight. When the divine conscious force, working secretly in us, consumes our desires like the Vedic fire, the sap of delight which is at the root will emerge in new forms.
Chapter XII – Delight of Existence: The Solution
- 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 the contacts of the universe.
- 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. The freedom of our inner mental being invoked during hypnosis 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. When Mind becomes free, unegoistic, strikes harmony with all other beings and with universal forces, the necessity of suffering diminishes. No contact from outside can be harmful. We must impose the sense of detachment on our nervous being. Only then it will be possible for us to sense the true delight, the Rasa of existence in all its variations.
- Suffering occurs when the conscious force in us fails to receive the external contacts equally because of our self-limiting ego. We must first have titiksa- it means our ability to face, endure and achieve victory over all shocks of life to achieve equality, founded on Sachchidananda consciousness. This is the first and direct and natural result of the soul’s self-discipline.
- In the process of emergence of Sachchidananda there is intermediary status of imperfection in terms of finite soul, limited consciousness, insecure balance of world, discordant rhythm of pain & pleasure and discord of forces and beings which disappears in final emergence of Sachchidananda.
- How Sachchidananda can emerge amidst this imperfect world?
– Man has to universalise himself and widen his limited mental consciousness to attain superconscient unity.
– The vital being of man should be capable of facing the shocks of the universe without shrinking and with equal delight.
– His physical being must feel itself as one with the whole flow of the indivisible force that is in all things.
– The whole nature of the individual must have a sense of unity, harmony and oneness with the Sachchidananda in all.
Chapter XIII – The Divine Maya
- The power of the conscious being in us makes us act and all creation is nothing but self-manifestation of Sachchidananda. In reality, the force that makes an Individual to create, the individualised consciousness that uses him, the material he uses and the form that he creates are nothing but Sachchidananda only. Therefore, whatever comes into the world seeks to achieve the goal of completeness of Sat-chit-ananda.
- The triple movement of involution into Matter, emergence of Life and Mind, final release into infinite is what the Vedanta conveys to us as the ancient and eternal truth. The Modern theory of evolution 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 Vedantic Truth.
- We do not know the process by which the Sachchidananda has become this world. It is the intermediary Supermind which enables Sachchidananda to manifest in the lower triple worlds of matter, life and mind by a Conscious process involved in it, by a Conscious Law guiding its process.
- Infinite consciousness, in its infinite action can only produce infinite results. While creating 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 the Divine Maya.
- Vedic seers meant by the word Maya, the power of the Infinite consciousness to include, to contain in itself and to measure out to form. This form with Name and Shape is a delimitation (limiting the limitless) of the vast illimitable Truth of infinite existence. By Maya the static essential being becomes ordered truth of active being.
- From the supreme being of Oneness, Sachchidananda emerges as the Many. Sachchidananda is in each; each is in Sachchidananda. There is play of existence with existence, consciousness with consciousness, force with force, delight with delight. We are unable to see this truth because we are limited by our mind’s incapacity and the illusion of lower Maya. First, we have to accept this lower Maya and then we have to overcome it. This lower Maya is God’s play with His opposites – division, darkness, desire, strife and suffering. In this process the mental Maya conceals the higher or Divine Maya.
- There is link in thought and in the Fact of the universe which connects the lower and the higher Maya. The illusionist philosophies fail to take note of this link. For the Mayavadins it is the mental Maya or an Overmind which created the world.
- There is Real-Idea behind the creation. This Real-Idea is the power of the Conscious Force (chit shakti) which is the expression of real being (Sat, Existence). Truth of conscious being supports the forms in the universe and It expresses Itself in these forms. The knowledge which corresponds to this Truth is seated as supramental Truth-consciousness. At all levels in the ascending scale of evolution from the subconscient matter to the superconscient it is the Real (Supermind) that is behind all existence.
- Mind cannot explain the existence in the universe. Mind is not a faculty of knowledge. Mind is a faculty for seeking knowledge. Therefore, Mind cannot be the power which created the universe. Mind can create all possibilities from the facts presented to it. Yet, mind cannot predict the certainty of occurrence of a future phenomenon unless it an extension of the repetition of the past events.
- The world represents a foreseen Truth (Truth Consciousness). It is obeying a predetermining will. It is the growing image of a divine creation. There is something behind which governs and controls the action of the Force that has created this world. It is Truth-Consciousness. The forms we see in this universe are gradual unfolding of Truth Consciousness. All motion in the universe is directed towards a divinely seen goal.
- Reason is only a representative or a shadow of a greater consciousness beyond itself – The Supramental Truth-Consciousness. When we still the activity of mind, go beyond our intellectual reasoning to deeper part of ourselves then, this other consciousness becomes really manifest to us.
The Ascent of Life
PARAGRAPH 1 (Contd…)
For the phenomenon of death involves in itself a struggle to survive, since death is only the negative term in which Life hides from itself and tempts its own positive being to seek for immortality. The phenomenon of hunger and desire involves a struggle towards a status of satisfaction and security, since desire is only the stimulus by which Life tempts its own positive being to rise out of the negation of unfulfilled hunger towards the full possession of the delight of existence. The phenomenon of limited capacity involves a struggle towards expansion, mastery and possession, the possession of the self and the conquest of the environment, since limitation and defect are only the negation by which Life tempts its own positive being to seek for the perfection of which it is eternally capable.
The phenomenon of death is the struggle to survive. Death is a negative term in which Life hides itself. Through death Life tempts its own positive being (desire to live) to seek immortality. Hunger and desire involve a struggle towards attaining satisfaction and security. Desire is the stimulus by which Life tempts its own positive being (desire to enjoy) to attain the delight of existence by full possession from the negative status of unfulfilled hunger.
Limited capacity involves a struggle towards expansion. It seeks to master and possess. There is struggle for the possession of the self and for the conquest of the environment. Limitation and defect are the negations by which Life tempts its own positive being to seek for the perfection of which it is eternally capable.
The struggle for life is not only a struggle to survive, it is also a struggle for possession and perfection, since only by taking hold of the environment whether more or less, whether by self-adaptation to it or by adapting it to oneself either by accepting and conciliating it or by conquering and changing it, can survival be secured, and equally is it true that only a greater and greater perfection can assure a continuous permanence, a lasting survival. It is this truth that Darwinism sought to express in the formula of the survival of the fittest.
The struggle for life is not merely a struggle to survive. It is a struggle for possession and perfection. The survival can be secured only by taking hold of the environment. This can be done by adapting oneself to it or by adapting the environment to oneself. We can accept and harmonise with our environment. Or we can conquer to change it. The greater is the perfection over our environment, more lasting will be our survival and permanence. This is the truth the Darwinian formula of survival of the fittest sought to express.
(Fair enough, the Darwinian formula does represent character of life but not always, not eternally, not at all stages. It is at the mid-stage that life is consumed by hunger to grow and to affirm itself. When it has to struggle and defeat others in order to assimilate them or prevent itself being assimilated by others this struggle for existence is characteristic, but that is only the middle term – Shri M.P.Pandit, Talks on The Life Divine, p. 134)
But as the scientific mind sought to extend to Life the mechanical principle proper to the existence and concealed mechanical consciousness in Matter, not seeing that a new principle has entered whose very reason of being is to subject to itself the mechanical, so the Darwinian formula was used to extend too largely the aggressive principle of Life, the vital selfishness of the individual, the instinct and process of self-preservation, self-assertion and aggressive living. For these two first states of Life contain in themselves the seeds of a new principle and another state which must increase in proportion as Mind evolves out of matter through the vital formula into its own law. And still more must all things change when as Life evolves upward towards Mind, so Mind evolves upward towards Supermind and Spirit.
The Darwin’s theory seeks to explain evolution in terms of mechanical principle proper to existence and the concealed mechanical consciousness in Matter. It fails to see that a new principle (Mind) has entered in the realm of Life.
The very reason of existence of Mind is to bring under its control the mechanical process of Life. Ignoring this principle of Mind the evolutionary theory concentrated only on aggressive principle of Life. The vital selfishness of the individual was stressed upon. The whole aim of individual living was thought to be self-preservation, self-assertion and aggressive living.
The first two states of Life (Life involved in Matter, Life evolved out of Matter) contain in themselves the seeds of a new principle, the Mind and another state, the Supermind. Supermind increases in proportion as Mind evolves out of Matter. The Mind evolves into its own law through the vital formula i.e., Life.
Therefore, all things must change when Life evolves upwards towards Mind and Mind evolves upwards towards Supermind and Spirit.