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Not an Intellectual Knowledge


At the end of the chapter 'Reality and Integral Knowledge', Sri Aurobindo makes this observation. In one sense it makes us feel it is not for us. What He says is fully true, but there are two things we need to consider seriously.

1. The Force of The Mother that envelops us.

2. His statement that the realisation of the pranamaya Purusha - the vital being - is perhaps our first realisation.

There are other ideas of His which need to be examined along with these.

  • Purna Yoga starts at the mind, not the body as in Tantra.
  • This yoga is completed at the level of the body - Mother called Her yoga, the yoga of the body.
  • He has called His magnum opus ‘The Life Divine', not Divine Mind or Divine Body or even Divine Spirit.

Purna yoga, to achieve the greatest result by the shortest route assumes man to be a soul in the mind and starts the yoga there, unlike Tantra which considers man a soul in the body and starts there, taking a longer route. Sri Aurobindo asks for the Aryan balance attained in the body with the external physical environment to be restored at the Supramental level, skipping the vital, mental and the range of spiritual mind levels. It is a great leap. He calls ego ‘reason.' He explains the coordinating intelligence of the mind as ego; that is, the ego, reason and intelligence are synonymous. At this moment, in every advanced field of study, if one searches for men who will adhere to reason unswervingly, how many would one come across? Whether there would be a hundred or ten or even one is a moot point. A reputed scientist declares that for any serious scientific idea to be accepted by the community, it has to come from an eminent scientist. Whatever this may be, it lends little scope to reason. In a world where reason does not yet rule in the most reasonable field, Sri Aurobindo announces the birth of the Supramental Being. If it proves anything, it speaks of the power of the Truth He has brought down. We find surrender difficult, since surrender is to achieve this transformation.

The first realisation is vital because man lives in the vital fully, and not in his mind. The vital is life. Mother's Force is most felt in the vital when She answers our prayers. What we cannot intellectually acquire, the Force reveals to us vitally, while She answers our prayers. It is true that when the yoga is realised, this knowledge too will be spiritually realised.

But we need not wait for that grand consummation. The knowledge He speaks of in this chapter is offered to us all the time as Force. Those who see the incidence of that Force or its impact can make a beginning there. Should one fully comprehend the ideas of this chapter, and wish to practise them, he can make a beginning there.

The idea - The Being of the Becoming, the psychic being, inheres this knowledge. 

The symptom we must look for - at this point, the finite life becomes infinite.

When one who understands this chapter practises those ideas in life, he will find his normal result expanding infinitely. What he needs and seeks will come to him in great abundance, which is a constant experience of the devotees. By learning the process of that happening, he learns this knowledge vitally. From there he can move to mental comprehension. What the partial intellect is incapable of acquiring, the vital can acquire in its fullness.

Steps in action:

  • Reading and assimilating the ideas of the chapter.
  • Choosing an action and doing it from the psychic centre. This means not thinking actively and acting in utter, great, inner calm.
  • Should the results overreach the target, know the inner conditions.
  • You will find them to be - unexpectant, calm, equal, silent.
  • You should establish these conditions in the mind and re-read the chapter.
  • You will see the intellectual obstacles moving and greater comprehension dawning as a beginning.
  • When the ego agrees to stand aside during the reading, the quality of comprehension will move from the intellectual to the integral.

story | by Dr. Radut