(a project of Mirravision Trust, Financed by Auroshakti Foundation)

Chapter I
Chapter II - Part 1
Chapter II - Part 2
Chapter II - Part 3
Chapter II - Part 4
Chapter III - Part 1
Chapter III - Part 2
Chapter III - Part 3
Chapter III - Part 4
Chapter III - Part 5
Chapter III - Part 6
Chapter IV - Part 1
Chapter IV - Part 2
Chapter IV - Part 3
Chapter IV - Part 4
Chapter V-Part 1
Chapter V - Part 2
Chapter V - Part 3
Chapter V - Part 4
Chapter V - Part 5
Chapter VI - Part 1
Chapter VI - Part 2
Chapter VI - Part 3
Chapter VI - Part 4
Chapter VI - Part 5
Chapter VII - Part 1
Chapter VII - Part 2
Chapter VII - Part 3
Chapter VII - Part 4
Chapter VII - Part 5
Chapter VIII - Part 1
Chapter VIII - Part 2
Chapter VIII - Part 3
Chapter VIII - Part 4
Chapter IX - Part 1
Chapter IX - Part 2
Chapter X - Part 1
Chapter X - Part 2
Chapter X - Part 3
Chapter X - Part 4
Chapter X - Part 5
Chapter X - Part 6
Chapter XI - Part 1
Chapter XI - Part 2
Chapter XI - Part 3
Chapter XI - Part 4
Chapter XII - Part 1
Chapter XII - Part 2
Chapter XII - Part 3
Chapter XII - Part 4
Chapter XII - Part 5
Chapter XIII - Part 1
Chapter XIII - Part 2
Chapter XIV - Part 1
Chapter XIV - Part 2
Chapter XIV - Part 3
Chapter XIV - Part 4
Chapter XIV - Part 5
Chapter XV - Part 1
Chapter XV - Part 2
Chapter XV - Part 3
Chapter XV - Part 4
Chapter XV - Part 5
Chapter XV - Part 6
Chapter XV - Part 7
Chapter XV - Part 8
Chapter XV - Part 9
Chapter XVI - Part 1
Chapter XVI - Part 2
Chapter XVI - Part 3
Chapter XVI - Part 4
Chapter XVI - Part 5
Chapter XVI - Part 6
Chapter XVI - Part 7
Chapter XVI - Part 8
Chapter XVI - Part 9
Chapter XVI - Part 10
Chapter XVI - Part 11
Chapter XVI - Part 12
Chapter XVI - Part 13
Chapter XVII - Part 1
Chapter XVII - Part 2
Chapter XVII - Part 3
Chapter XVII - Part 4
Chapter XVIII - Part 1
Chapter XVIII - Part 2
Chapter XVIII - Part 3
Chapter XVIII - Part 4
Chapter XVIII - Part 5
Chapter XVIII - Part 6
Chapter XVIII - Part 7
Chapter XVIII - Part 8
Chapter XVIII - Part 9
Chapter XVIII - Part 10
Chapter XIX - Part 1
Chapter XIX - Part 2
Chapter XIX - Part 3
Chapter XIX - Part 4
Chapter XIX - Part 5
Chapter XIX - Part 6
Chapter XIX - Part 7
Chapter XX - Part 1
Chapter XX - Part 2
Chapter XX - Part 3
Chapter XX - Part 4
Chapter XX - Part 4
Chapter XXI - Part 1
Chapter XXI - Part 2
Chapter XXI - Part 3
Chapter XXI - Part 4
Chapter XXII - Part 1
Chapter XXII - Part 2
Chapter XXII - Part 3
Chapter XXII - Part 4
Chapter XXII - Part 5
Chapter XXII - Part 6
Chapter XXIII Part 1
Chapter XXIII Part 2
Chapter XXIII Part 3
Chapter XXIII Part 4
Chapter XXIII Part 5
Chapter XXIII Part 6
Chapter XXIII Part 7
Chapter XXIV Part 1
Chapter XXIV Part 2
Chapter XXIV Part 3
Chapter XXIV Part 4
Chapter XXIV Part 5
Chapter XXV Part 1
Chapter XXV Part 2
Chapter XXV Part 3
Chapter XXVI Part 1
Chapter XXVI Part 2
Chapter XXVI Part 3
Chapter XXVII Part 1
Chapter XXVII Part 2
Chapter XXVII Part 3
Chapter XXVIII Part 1
Chapter XXVIII Part 2
Chapter XXVIII Part 3
Chapter XXVIII Part 4
Chapter XXVIII Part 5
Chapter XXVIII Part 6
Chapter XXVIII Part 7
Chapter XXVIII Part 8
Book II, Chapter 1, Part I
Book II, Chapter 1, Part II
Book II, Chapter 1, Part III
Book II, Chapter 1, Part IV
Book II, Chapter 1, Part V
Book II, Chapter 2, Part I
Book II, Chapter 2, Part II
Book II, Chapter 2, Part III
Book II, Chapter 2, Part IV
Book II, Chapter 2, Part V
Book II, Chapter 2, Part VI
Book II, Chapter 2, Part VII
Book II, Chapter 2, Part VIII
Book II, Chapter 3, Part I
Book II, Chapter 3, Part II
Book II, Chapter 3, Part III
Book II, Chapter 3, Part IV
Book II, Chapter 3, Part V
Book II, Chapter 4, Part I
Book II, Chapter 4, Part II
Book II, Chapter 4, Part III
Book II, Chapter 5, Part I
Book II, Chapter 5, Part II
Book II, Chapter 5, Part III
Book II, Chapter 6, Part I
Book II, Chapter 6, Part II
Book II, Chapter 6, Part III
Book II, Chapter 7, Part I
Book II, Chapter 7, Part II
Book II, Chapter 8, Part I
Book II, Chapter 8, Part II
Book II, Chapter 9, Part I

A Psychological Approach to Sri Aurobindo's

The Life Divine

Chapter XXII Part 1

The Problem of Life

Anirvan, the bohemian Baul who translated the Life Divine once commented about the human being: 'The utmost that can be predicted about you is that you are a force and an idea’. In saying so, he has beautifully portrayed that every formation is actually an amalgam of consciousness and force.

However in the manifold diversity of creation and in the great holarchy of evolution, consciousness and force, though intertwined and interspersed, are present in varying degrees of expression. The tragedy of human life is that the ‘force’ and the ‘idea’ are usually not integrated for a holistic vision and a perfected life.

The Evolutionary Perspective

In material life, consciousness is submerged and the force acts mechanically to hold the form in a whirling space and time. The electrons rotate in their fixed grooves of action while the cells in the body exert their ‘representative forms of force’ of which we are ordinarily unaware ‘for the consciousness itself disappears from view in the act and is lost in the form’ (The Life Divine, pg.222). Obviously, an illumined consciousness cannot directly emerge from ‘the obscuration of Matter’ (Ibid, pg 223).

Evolution therefore has to manifest a vibrant plane of vitality, ‘half-delivered from the original imprisonment’ in Matter (Ibid, pg.222). The vital plane is ‘half-delivered’ because though it is marked with power, craving, upheavals of passion and buoyancy of energy, it lacks visionary knowledge and is ‘at first not at all and then only imperfectly vibrant in light as knowledge of its own self-existence and its environment’ (Ibid, pg.223).

It was therefore inevitable for the mind-principle to manifest as ‘a progressive term in the great emergence’ (Ibid, pg.222). Initially, the mind has to act on the basis of its own instincts, drives, sensory data and ‘responsive perception’ processed by its own existing cognitive schemata. It then shifts to its imaginative and visionary mode to produce the ‘new idea’ by which ‘it tries to become fact of life, modifies the internal and attempts to modify conformably the external existence of the being’ (Ibid).

Yet, Sri Aurobindo explains, the mind, possessed of such sterling qualities, still falls short of the position where it can be ‘master of the act and form’ (Ibid). If the mind has great ideas, it is not necessary that they can be imbibed with the appropriate energy for execution. The mind was expected to harness the vital energy but may not be successful and an unbridled vital force can rebel against any restraining idea.

There is another great difficulty which Sri Aurobindo has stressed. The emergence of the mind in evolution has been an emergence of individual consciousness and thus the mind is compelled to be ‘aware therefore only of a fragmentary movement of its own total activities’ (Ibid). The human being aspires to outgrow the animal consciousness to grasp ‘more and more a flame of growing knowledge’ (Ibid, pg.223). But he is restricted because though he has an intuitive sense of the universal force and life to which he belongs, ‘he has not the knowledge of the universality or totality of his own being, unable to deal either with life in general or with his own life in a really effective and victorious movement of mastery’ (Ibid, pg.222).

Higher origin

The life which we see and experience is actually a projection of the Consciousness-Force or Chit-Shakti in the highest echelons of spiritual experience where Reality has been perceived as Sachchidananda:

Sat --Existence,

Chit (Sri Aurobindo qualified it as Chit-Shakti) – Consciousness-Force, and


These three terms are not additive but different poises of the same triune Reality.

In the manifestation, the unitary essence is lost and all components get segregated from each other. Thus, Sat, Chit and Ananda get separated while Consciousness and Force get delinked from each other. This was necessary for the multiplicity to appear. However in the process, life became cut off from the universality, the wholeness, the totality of Truth.

As the nature of reason is to analyze and divide, it would be impossible to link consciousness and force at the level of the ordinary functioning of the mind unless one ascends the evolutionary trajectory of consciousness to the Supreme Creative Consciousness –the Supramental Consciousness where they are perfectly reconciled.

If the human life is to be perfected where Knowledge and Will are concordant and synonymous, fulfilling each other in a synthetic poise, there is no other alternative but to progress in consciousness to that omega dimension. ‘Either man must fulfil himself by satisfying the Divine within him or he must produce out of himself a new and greater being who will be more capable of satisfying it. He must either himself become a divine humanity or give place to Superman’. (Ibid, pg.223)

In the Supermind consciousness, experiencing the triune Reality of Sachchidananda becomes an experiential actuality. Existence (Sat) manifests as Consciousness (Chit) and these two components become fulfilled in the Bliss or Delight of self-existence.

The Higher Reality of Sachchidananda can manifest in the lower earthly reality. The Supermind has the potentiality to manifest on earth. The human being has the potentiality to rise up to the Supermind. That is the divine possibility to have a perfect life in this earth so long battered by division and fragmentation and not in a far away heaven. ‘The potentiality thus contained in our human existence is Sachchidananda realizing Himself in a certain harmony and unification of the individual life and the universal so that mankind shall express in a common consciousness, common movement of power, common delight the transcendent Something which has cast itself into this form of things’. (Ibid, pg.224).

Date of Update: 13-Aug-18

- By Dr. Soumitra Basu


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