Recap Chapter 6 – 10 & Chapter XXI Paragraph 1

Study Notes

                                                           Chapter 6 to 10 – Recap


  • The Universe is not an accident. There is meaning and purpose behind its existence as opposed to the materialist belief. Nor is it Maya as opposed to the Mayavadic belief. The world is real. There is secret intelligence behind the tremendous force that moves all actions in the world. It knows its origin, it knows its goal, it guides the process. The ascent to divine Life is the only business of man. Otherwise he is no better than a worm.
  • The universe and the individual are the two main appearances through which the Divine descends. By descent – the involution, the Divine conceals Itself behind the appearances. By ascent – evolution, or self-revelation, the Divine progressively reveals Itself. For each level of descent, there is a corresponding level of ascent in man.
  • Out of matter’s inconscient sleep consciousness emerges to Life. Mind emerges out of Life. Self-conscious individuality is formed. Universe gains leverage through him for its Supreme work. Mind takes up the work. Unable to complete it, hands it over to the Artist dwelling in Supermind. In Supermind both the individual and the universe become unified.
  • The universe and the individual are complementary to each other. Universe is the diffusion of Divine All in Space and Time. Individual is the concentration of Divine within Space and Time. In its infinite extension the Universe cannot realise the Divine. Therefore, it creates a self-conscious concentration of All in the individual through whom it can aspire to realise the Divine.
  • On the other hand, the universe forms the foundation and field for the individual to do the Divine work. As the Divine is concentrated in him, so he must impersonalise and universalise himself to manifest the Divine. Yet he must preserve his contact with the Transcendent to achieve his goal of Divine Life.
  • Man’s constant thirst for progress makes him stand apart from the animal below and the Gods above him. He is only capable of incarnating God. His body is of animal nature based on matter for its existence. Yet the soul takes birth only in his body. The Mind of Man is in search of a superior status by which he may transform his body, life and mind which forms the basis of Divine Life.
  • In the world around him, Man finds only the opposites of what he wants to affirm as God – death, limitation, error, inconscience, evil, pain, grief. Here also Man is driven to deny God. The dualities of life arise on account of wrong relations of Man with the Universe and the God. His false view of the Universe and the God leads to his false attitude towards them. He is out of harmony with the Universe and himself.
  • We are unable to experience Sachchidananda because the truth is falsified by some great fundamental error. We are possessed and compelled by Ignorance, Maya or Avidya. We look beyond ourselves and seek a solution to come out of our Ignorance. Instead to seek such a solution, we have to go deep below the surface of things. There is vast consciousness lying in our unfathomable depths of our being.


  • If all is Sachchidananda why there should be death, suffering, evil in this world? This is because of a distorting consciousness of man. There is fall in consciousness of man from total and unity to partial and division. His ego separates him from others.
  • The redemption comes by individual rising to Universal consciousness and physical transforming to spiritual consciousness. As a first step individual must harmonise with totality (cosmos). This is necessary to get rid of the wrong values assigned by our egoistic consciousness to the universe. These values (good & evil, pain & pleasure) though have practical utility, are not the ultimate and correct ones.
  • Our senses wrongly perceive that the sun revolves around earth. Similarly, we relate ourselves to God keeping our ego as centre. We judge the Divine as kind or cruel based on our ego. Truth is that the Divine is the centre of our existence.
  • The true goal lies in transformation and correction of all values of egoistic life instead of substituting it with false and arbitrary ideas (new philosophies, religions & revolutions). It can be done only by a reasoned and effective knowledge.
  • To achieve a divine life, ego must be cured of its defect, individual life should be in harmony with the collective life and also with the transcendent from which it came. It should open itself to a truth and law that are superior to the existing standards. Then death, ignorance, suffering, evil will become no more necessary.
  • Man conditioned by his past and present is unable to conceive a higher life than his present status. In his present evolutionary status, he is much like Ape which could never foresee the coming of man that too itself evolving into a Man.
  • But Man, by his capacity for imagination and intuition can conceive a higher life. He always aspires to achieve the absolutes of all that is good. Hence, he conceives of a God. But his reason puts away his aspirations as superstitions. Thus, he has no choice than to live with his limitations.
  • This difficulty is caused by error of the reason. Reason is too much influenced by what is apparent. It lacks courage to bring out what is deeper. If man can acquire the knowledge of the root causes for pain, sorrow and death, he can eliminate them.
  • Multiplicity of forms gives birth to individual egos. Ego deforms the play though temporarily. Ego excludes, limits itself to one form and field of action giving wrong values to movements of error, sorrow, pain, evil, death etc. The solution lies in participation of individual ego in totality of consciousness.
  • Ego is only an intermediary phenomenon of consciousness. Because, it is the Lord, Ishwara manifesting himself in the individual & universe. By transformation from egoistic division to harmony with the Universe, the individual becomes a centre of Divine consciousness. He embraces all other divine centres.
  • The result would be manifestation of the Divine Conscious Being in the totality of the physical nature. The egoistic intermediary allows the One to emerge as conscious Many from the subconscient mass. Limited ego is transformed to conscious centre of divine unity. There is an outflowing of the infinite and absolute Existence, Truth, Good and Delight of being on the Many in the world.


  • By remaining within our physical mind controlled by five senses we cannot know anything beyond this material world, least of all divine life. Pure reason on the other hand asserts its pure action, though accepting our sensible experiences but not being limited by them. It brings us knowledge about meta-physical truths like Sachchidananda, divine life.
  • We have a sense mind whose action can be mixed or dependent and pure or sovereign. When it seeks to become aware of the external world as object its action is mixed. When it seeks to become aware of itself as subject its action pure. In the former it gets indirect knowledge through senses. In the latter it gets direct knowledge by identity.
  • Extension of psychological experience is necessary when dealing with truths that are beyond the perception of our senses but can be grasped by our reason. We have the means to verify the truths attainable by reason by our experience. By the knowledge of our Self we can attain the knowledge of the Universal Self and the Brahman. Vedantic knowledge is based on this possibility.
  • Intuitional knowledge is the common link between the subconscient and superconscient. It is concealed in the former and manifested in latter. By the process of knowledge through identity, reason converts itself into the form of self-luminous identity. Our mind fulfils itself in the Supermind.
  • Going beyond our sense mind and going within, keeping our inner-door slightly open we can catch the glimpse of Divine Reality. Making this as a starting point, with steadfastness in our faith we can go beyond our normal field of consciousness to the field of intuition.
  • Intuition is superior to reason. It pushes man to formulate more positive ideas about God, Immortality etc. Three great declarations of Upanishads (I am He, Thou are That, All this is the Brahman) were based on the intuitional knowledge of self-opening.
  • Intuition works behind the veil. Reason is more organised in our surface being. Intuition which was the basis for the Vedantic knowledge had to give place to Reason. This process though appears to be a descent is actually a circle of progress. In this process the scope of lower faculty is enlarged. During Upanishadic period disputes in spiritual matters were settled by sharing of intuitional knowledge and not by logical reasoning.


  • The indefinable Absolute is One without a second. The One is also the Many. The One is equally present as a whole in Many. The One, the Brahman is pure existence.
  • Before Nature all are equal, samam brahma. The intensity and force of movement is the same behind the formation and upholding of innumerable suns in the Universe and the organisation of life of an ant-hill. It is illusion of quantity to think one as great and the other as small.
  • Looking at the force of quality, ant is greater than the solar system and man is greater than all inanimate Nature. This is an illusion of quality. Brahman dwells equally behind all existences irrespective of quantity and quality.
  •  Brahman is in all – not as a part of itself but as a whole. The whole of Brahman is equally present in ant- hill and in the solar system. The quality and quantity differ but the self is equal.
  • Both pure reason and Vedanta are of the view that we are subordinate and an aspect of this infinite movement. And the movement in turn is subordinate and an aspect of something other than itself – a great timeless Stability, sthanu. It does not act but contains all action in itself. It is not energy but pure existence.
  • We arrange our perception of phenomenon under two categories of our consciousness, Time and Space. When we look at Existence, in itself, Time and Space disappear. Extension in space and elongation of duration seem to be psychological. These symbols convey an eternity- the same all-containing ever-new moment; convey an infinity – the same all-containing, all-pervading point without magnitude.
  • There is energy in action and energy in abstaining from action. We have only two alternatives; either an indefinable pure existence or an indefinable energy in action. If latter is only true then movement alone remains that creates the energy without any stable base or cause – like a suspended stair case in air. This is not possible.
  • Pure Existence is Indefinable, Infinite, Timeless and Spaceless. It is an Absolute. It is formless, without quantity, quality. It exceeds all of these. All movements belong to the field of relative and contained in the Absolute.
  • Our actual seeing in our existence does not agree with the above concept of pure reason. What we see only are movement in Space – objective, movement in Time – subjective. Extension of space and duration of time are real. We live in a movement of continuous progress. Our present contains gains of the past; successions of future begin from the present. Continuity creates movement of consciousness.
  • By a supreme experience & intuition we can go behind the surface and find that there is something stable and eternal within us not involved in the change. This stability within us is pure existence. Pure existence and world existence are two fundamental realities. Neither of them can be denied.
  • Stability and movement are psychological representations of the Absolute, as are oneness and multitude. The Absolute is beyond them. It takes Its balanced posture in the one and stable and whirls round Itself infinitely – like the numberless of bodies of Shiva dancing in endless movement while His white existence anchored in stability.


  • It is the Force and movement of energy which has assumed various forms. Matter is the most recognisable form by our material brain. The elementary and the most subtle state of material Force is the ether (akasa). It successively modifies itself and forms air (vayu), light, the fire (agni), water (apas,jala) and earth (prithvi). These modifications are temporary phenomena. The pure energy which appears to the senses non-existent, intangible, is the only permanent cosmic reality. It is Conscious Force.
  • Yet we must certainly admit Nature as Force and it is the energy which causes the movement and the forms. Modern Science comes to the same conclusion that the matter is formed by the meeting of forces. Philosophy and Science finally come to an agreement.
  • Our ancient rishis acknowledged Shiva and Kali, Brahman and Shakti are one. Force is an integral part of the Self-Existent. The action of Force is not absent when it is at rest. This concept appeals quite well to rational mind as well, as evidenced by atomic activity in inert matter. The Force has alternative potentiality of rest and movement. Rest is the self-concentration in Force, movement is self-diffusion.
  • We mean by the term Consciousness our obvious mental waking consciousness. This means only human beings can possess Consciousness in the entire order of material universe, that too not always. This idea is vulgar and shallow and has no place in philosophical thinking.
  • Materialism view consciousness only as a material phenomenon associated with our physical organs. This is an orthodox view and can no longer hold good. The capacity of our total consciousness far exceeds our organs, the senses, the nerves, the brain.
  • Humans have vital consciousness acting without involvement of mind. In animals it is very prominent. It is observed in plant movements seeking water and sun light, response to external stimuli. The consciousness does not stop with the plants but extends below to matter. The first stuff of consciousness is found in matter as evidenced by Science.
  • There is a conscious force of being existing in all forms. Here the word consciousness indicates self-aware force of existence. The mentality comes in the middle. Consciousness sinks into vital and material movements below the level of mind in the subconscient. Above mind it rises into supramental- the superconscient. Yet consciousness is the same organising itself differently at the mental, sub-conscious and superconscious levels.
  • Conscious Force is nothing but Chit Shakti that created the worlds. Science says Mind is the force of Matter. Vedanta says Mind and Matter are different grades of the same energy. We find unity between the material science and the Vedantic thought.
  • The conscious Force has intelligence behind its operations; it acts with purpose and self-knowledge. We observe in animals and insects operations of Force more intelligent, more purposeful, more aware of its intention than the highest individual mentality. The same supreme intelligence is hidden behind the operations of inanimate Nature also. There is a set purpose in Nature which drives all such actions.
  • The scientific mind considers matter the only reality. Yet we cannot deny the fact that the human consciousness, intelligence and mastery had emerged out of an unintelligent and blindly operating unconsciousness. Man’s consciousness is nothing but a form of Nature’s consciousness. Human consciousness evolves from below and emerges into superior forms beyond mind.

                                                                       Chapter XXI
                                                                 The Ascent of Life


     WE HAVE seen that as the divided mortal Mind, parent of limitation and ignorance and the dualities, is only a dark figure of the supermind, of the self-luminous divine Consciousness in its first dealings with the apparent negation of itself from which our cosmos commences, so also Life as it emerges in our material universe, an energy of the dividing Mind subconscious, submerged, imprisoned in Matter, Life as the parent of death, hunger and incapacity, is only a dark figure of the divine superconscient Force whose highest terms are immortality, satisfied delight and omnipotence.


     We have seen in the previous chapter that our divided human Mind is the parent of ignorance and dualities (good and evil, pleasure and pain etc). The separation of Mind from the supermind is the reason for its ignorance and darkness.
     The divine Consciousness (Oneness of Sachchidananda) has to deal with the apparent negation (opposites) of itself from which our cosmos begins. This negation begins with the Mind (because the division starts with the Mind) as its first distortion. So also, Life emerges in our material universe as energy of the dividing Mind. It is subconscious, submerged and imprisoned in Matter. Life is the parent of death, hunger and incapacity. It is only a dark figure of the divine superconscient Force whose highest terms are immortality (as opposed to death), satisfied delight (as opposed to desire) and omnipotence (as opposed to incapacity).

This relation fixes the nature of that great cosmic processus of which we are a part; it determines the first, the middle and the ultimate terms of our evolution. The first terms of Life are division, a force-driven subconscient will, apparent not as will but as dumb urge of physical energy, and the impotence of an inert subjection to the mechanical forces that govern the interchange between the form and its environment. This inconscience and this blind but potent action of Energy are the type of the material universe as the physical scientist sees it and this his view of things extends and turns into the whole of basic existence; it is the consciousness of Matter and the accomplished type of material living.


     This relation between the Life and the Consciousness- Force determines the first, second and third stages of our evolution. The first terms of our Life are division. There is subconscient will which is driven by a force. Apparently this will is seen by us as dumb urge of physical energy. Here the form is helplessly subjected to the mechanical forces that govern the interchange between the form and its environment. The consciousness is dominated by force at the level of matter. Purusha is asleep and Prakriti is active. These are the first characteristics of Life in Matter.
     The physical scientist sees only this blind but powerful action of Energy as the material universe. His view of things is based this observation. He extends this view and turns into whole of basic existence. For him Life is all about consciousness of Matter and the resultant material living. Science says life and mind are chemical reactions of matter.

But there comes a new equipoise, there intervenes a new set of terms which increase in proportion as Life delivers itself out of this form and begins to evolve towards conscious Mind; for the middle terms of Life are death and mutual devouring, hunger and conscious desire, the sense of a limited room and capacity and the struggle to increase, to expand, to conquer and to possess. These three terms are the basis of that status of evolution which the Darwinian theory first made plain to human knowledge.


     With the emergence of Life from Matter and the emergence of conscious Mind from Life, a new set of balance of forces is introduced in the realm of Matter. Till Life becomes one with its source – the Conscious-Force, death and mutual devouring, conscious desire, incapacity and struggle to increase, conquer and possess would be the intermediate phenomena. Death, desire and incapacity form the basis of the status of evolution of Life which the Darwinian theory was trying to communicate to human knowledge.