Triveni Journal

1927 | 11,233,916 words

Triveni is a journal dedicated to ancient Indian culture, history, philosophy, art, spirituality, music and all sorts of literature. Triveni was founded at Madras in 1927 and since that time various authors have donated their creativity in the form of articles, covering many aspects of public life....

Sri Aurobindo's Message of Synthesis



Sri Aurobindo’s writings are voluminous and they cover an immense variety of subjects ranging from the most ordinary to the most serious and sublime things of human life. Hardly any aspect of life is left out of his vast and extensive field of research and finding. But the central theme and core of all his teaching is spiritual and it is a spiritual and supramental solution that he always advocates as the only conclusion of his most intimate study of all human problems. For the Spirit underlies everything; it is at the base of life, its apex, centre as well as circumference. There is no escape from its all-pervasive presence if we are to look life straight in the face and not evade its hurdles and difficulties by a mere superficial tinkering on the surface or a withdrawal from its activities. Everything of this world is to be covered with the Lord, says the Upanishad, and renunciation is recommended as the best means of enjoyment of all its riches and pleasures. If peace and happiness be the goal of human life along with knowledge and power, then we must find the Spirit first and foremost for the Spirit is everything, it comprises everything true, good and beautiful.

There is no joy in passing, finite and limited things. Therefore, we must seek that which is unlimited, eternal and infinite. As the world is constituted today, no perfection is to be found anywhere other than in the Spirit because it is the only perfect power and principle of our being. But at the same time, these limited worldly things and actions are not to be despised or discarded because they too are a play, a manifestation of the Spirit. All can change, says Sri Aurobindo, if the God-touch is there. If once mankind consents to be spiritualised, all human problems will be automatically solved because in the Spirit which is nothing but Love, Knowledge, Power, Beauty and Bliss, there is no problem. Where can there be room for strife, discord, sorrow and suffering where there is nothing but One? But this One need not be one white monotony of colourless purity of existence. It can and does deploy itself in an infinite multiplicity. The Spirit is one but its manifestations are many. But these manifestations are at present only a travesty of the truth of the Spirit because of a heavy pall of ignorance that covers our limited mental intelligence. Once this mist of the ignorance is dispelled by the light of the sun of knowledge (Supermind), we know the world as it truly is–a creation of the Spirit by the Spirit in itself for the manifold enjoyment of its own diversity. This is the core of Sri Aurobindo’s teaching – that the true truth of existence is to be found only in the Spirit, Soul, the Divine Reality or whatever one chooses to call it and once That is discovered, everything will automatically find its right place in the creation. The creator, created and the creation are one in essence. For the purpose of the play (Lila), it is diverse in manifestation. This is the central truth and it has a value as much for today as for tomorrow and the future for he deals with eternal verities which are not subject to fluctuations caused by time, space and causation.

Matter and Spirit have throughout the ages been the subject matter of divergence of philosophy both Eastern and Western and their effect upon the thought and life of the people has either been acceptance of Matter as the basic reality of existence or its denial and the affirmation of the Spirit on the other hand, as the sole truth of life. The antinomy between Spirit and Matter was never entirely resolved though some efforts might have been made now and then to arrive at a compromise between the two. Sri Aurobindo has come to give us a complete synthesis between the two by his own highest and deepest experience in the realms of both. “The affirmation of a divine life upon earth and an immortal sense in mortal existence can have no base unless we recognise not only eternal Spirit as the inhabitant of this bodily mansion, the wearer of this mutable robe, but accept Matter of which it is made, as a fit and noble material out of which He weaves constantly His garbs, builds recurrently the unending series of His mansions.”

But even if we accept the truth both of Matter and Spirit, their difference in practical life is such, Matter seems to be so much a negation of Spirit, that it is difficult to believe that it also is Brahman (Spirit) unless we recognise a series of ascending terms of consciousness linking the one to the other such as life, mind, supermind and the grades that link mind to supermind; then only the identification and identity between the two become complete and we can, according to Sri Aurobindo, envisage a divine life upon the earth with Matter as the pedestal and Spirit as the summit of that life.

Spirit is the soul and reality of what we call Matter and Matter is the body and form of the Spirit. There is thus no antinomy between the two. They are one differing only in manifestation. Matter is Spirit involved and Spirit is Matter evolved out of its own involution –a play of hide and leek leading to self-discovery. It is the constant urge of the hidden Spirit to emerge out of its involution that has created the successive steps in the ascension of consciousness into life, mind, higher mind, illumined mind, intuition, overmind–and supermind as the last term of its self-expression. In divine life, this supermind has to be reached through a complete annulment of the separative and limited ego-consciousness and its powers brought down to mind, life and body to create a divine life in Matter through a total and radical transformation of their nature and substance.

In Yoga also which is the practical side of his philosophy, the triple path of Karma, Jnana and Bhakti (Works, Knowledge and Devotion) has to be fused and unified from their exclusiveness into one in the final union with the Supreme. Knowledge culminates in devotion and the two are fused into one by work for the Divine. Synthesis both in philosophy and Yoga of all the apparent strifes and discords is the message of Sri Aurobindo. We have to work it out in our lives both individual and collective to arrive at divine unity, peace, bliss and harmony. And this union can come only by an integral self-giving and surrender of all the parts of our being to the Divine.

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