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Self Existent (Brahman Purusha Ishwara)


Maya, Prakriti,  Lila

Book II, Chapter II

  • There is no contradiction between the Forms we see everywhere and the Formless Infinite.

- As the Oneness includes the Many ones, as the moveless is the basis of movement, as sound is one status of Silence, Form is one expression of the Formless.

- The pot is one form the clay takes. They are one is essence. They are not opposites. Clay is one form of earth or mud which is one extension of Matter. Matter, again, is one appearance of the Spirit. Spirit is the experience of Sat which is a manifestation of the Absolute, Brahman.

- Thought understands by difference. The chair is made of the same wood by which the table is made, but it is different to the thought in our mind which can see the difference. Those who are incapable of thought cannot know one from the other. That which can see the difference between the two objects is thought.

- To go from thought to the Absolute one should overcome the difference and see the unity. Thus Thought can reach the Absolute. From the pot to clay to earth to Matter to Spirit to Sat and finally to the Absolute is the path along which thought takes one to the Absolute. From Form to Formlessness is one such. The same path can also be traced by the faculties as understanding - Silence - light - intuition of things outside - intuition inside - Consciousness - Existence - Absolute.

- The buyer and the seller are two different forms of the Formless Absolute that can be seen as the unformed mass of humanity.

- We can thus trace the buyer and seller to the abstract Absolute.

Buyer and Seller

Two commercial persons in the market

Two citizens of the society

Two minds

Two souls

One Spirit



- The buyer and seller can have opposite motives.

- Two commercial individuals are interested in the welfare of the market and therefore their motives are united.

- Two citizens join to wish for the welfare of the society.

- Two minds can oppose and grow or come together by understanding and grow united.

- Two souls enjoy the play of exchange and there is no opposition between them.

- In Spirit they join.

- The buyer taking the view of the seller and the seller taking the view of the buyer will launch one on this path. As it is, we as sellers can take the view of the buyer to entertain him by a mechanical product giving up the profit motive. Then he will move from his limited budget to his best ability. Motive matters.

  • The Infinite and the finite is not a juxtaposition or a mental inclusion of two opposites, but a natural inevitable relation as Light and Fire with the sums.

- In an empty space we construct a house and in the four rooms we find air fills the rooms. The air in that space is divided by the walls to create four rooms. The house or the walls have not created fresh air or added anything to the air. The air that was there before is still there. Only that walls have risen to give us the appearance of division. The forms change, the content remains the same.

- On earth several people start cultivating and demarcate the land and give survey numbers and claim ownership. The land is not divided, the ownership is divided. Nothing changes really. Creation of forms out of force is creation. The real becoming the phenomenal is creation.

- Speech is one form of sound. Sound is one form of movement. Movement is one form of existence. Existence is one form of non-existence or one form of manifestation of the unmanifest.

- To go from the phenomenon of forms to force and from force to consciousness takes one ultimately to the Absolute.

- Let the salesman make one move from sales to work and he will endlessly multiply his capacities. Before him there are endless moves that can expand him to Infinity or infinite dimensions of his sales rendering it in terms of work.

Double consciousness in Man

  • Man who is vertical in his perception is horizontal near the equator and upside-down in the South Pole.
  • The accurate predictions of astrology are based on geocentric principles.
  • The eye can show that an unbroken rod appears as broken when under water. So, the mind that can have two or more consciousnesses and can act on one of them.
  • It is true that we are One. It is true that we are The Many. It is also true that we are the One that is The Many.
  • It is true we are the Infinite in the finite, Formless in the Form, the divided in the Identical, the sound in Silence, the mutable in the Immutable, and so on.
  • The embodied being has the option to centre itself from the one or the other or to centre itself in the One and act in the Many. It is integral yoga.
  • When centering oneself in the mind, man sees the Self or Purusha or Ishwara. Moving from the mind and centering in the Supermind, he sees the Brahman as a whole whose aspects are the Self, Purusha or Ishwara. Man has the option to be either here or there. Being in the Supermind, it includes the mind.
  • His yoga,

- gives man the capacity of this double consciousness.

- enables him to move from the mind to the Supermind.

- leads him to discover the supramental centre in the mind.

- is to move from the part to the whole.

- makes one see the whole instead of the part.

- is to move the plane of Time to a depth in it where the Time-eternity meets the Timeless-eternity.

- is to detach oneself from the plane of Force that is life to a depth in life itself where the Force and consciousness unite in the universal plane.

- is to move away from the surface of life where ego constricts the person through mind and time to become finite, to the depth where we reach the subliminal crossing the inner being to discover the psychic in its universal dimension.

- is to evolve in Spirit from the Becoming to its origin of Being without moving away from the Becoming.

- is to outgrow the ego on the surface to the Transcendental on the surface itself through the World-Purusha and retain there the individuality, universality and transcendentality.

- is to move away from the partial manifestation to the fullness of manifestation.

The above philosophical truths can be realised as life-truths in various ways at the higher end as the fulfillment of yoga or at the lower end as the unfailing success of life of abundant prosperity.

- Knowing an evil man to be full of evil, it is possible to move in us to a knowledge that that evil is potential good and in practice treat him like that, thus exercising the ability of double-consciousness.

- One characteristic of the Supermind is to know the problem from the other man's point of view. It can be practised so much till we arrive in our own minds at the centre where it touches the supramental origins when we really see problems with the other man's eyes.

- The supramental centre in the mind can be reached by several ways. Trying to reach there by all such ways, the mind that has no supramental centre now, can develop it. Taking the other man's point of view, shedding the fetters of the intellect, entering into intuition and the integral experience, seeing the Immutable beneath the mutable surface, knowing that the Form is one of the possibilities of the Formless, feeling the finite as the frontal appearance of the Infinite, seeing the Self or Purusha or Ishwara as one aspect of the Conscious-Being, hearing the sound as the call of Silence, trying to fix oneself in the moveless eternity of the simultaneity while functioning in Time, realising the manifestation we are, as the expression of the unmanifest, are the many expressions of that endeavour.

The Three Principles of Creation

  • Capacity to create anything, self-limitation and self-absorption are the three principles.
  • The description of these principles is followed by the argument that man sees opposition where there is none.
  • Mind that is finite sees the contradictions while the Infinite consciousness sees them as complementary. This is self evident. Without bringing in the play of these three principles, the argument can be understood and accepted.
  • But the explanations based on these principles go further and remove any possible doubt at the very roots.

- Young men take an employment to earn a living, but find the bossing of the superiors intolerable, want to quit and complain of gross injustice. Elders explain to them that a job is not merely a source of earning but an avenue of career which is there to give a capacity which they need to acquire and this requires submission to work. Submission to work in human terms is submission to the boss - Man is teased to shape.

- In pursuit of a happy life, man seeks matrimony which quickly and permanently relieves him of the little happiness he already had. It is vexing. Philosophy tells him that contradictions are complementaries and the happiness he looks for lies in the contradictions and would reveal itself when he discovers them to be complementaries. It takes him to the first principles and relieves his mind of the illusory complaint.

  • Instead of saying the Infinite consciousness can see both sides simultaneously, these three principles show how the two opposites are created. Self-absorption creates the Superconscient. As it is only a part, there is the rest of the being which organises itself into the Inconscient. Self-absorption creates a part. Self-limitation also does it. Creation of anything isolates it. Hence the differences. The opposition between the Superconscient and the Inconscient is there as the purpose of absorption is to create Ignorance out of knowledge. At no point does Sri Aurobindo make an arbitrary statement.

The One and the Many

  • The Many are of the One and are dependent on it. This dependence is concealed by the ego.

- The employee of a company may feel his individuality is separate from his company and may declare war against it much to his detriment.

- The newly married boy intensely feels his independence from the family and does not see his utter dependence on the family for hundreds of things.

- No member of the society can press his independence beyond a point without serious injury.

- In practice the salesman proclaims silently his independence of the company and the company from the market.

- Every leader who has risen high in the nation has identified himself not with himself but with his party or the nation. It is difficult for shops or salesmen to do so. The dynamics are simple.

  • The tradition has viewed the Purusha as different from Ishwara, Ishwara as different from Atma. There are clear spiritual realisations that manage to see Purusha as different from Prakriti. So the six terms of Brahman, Purusha, Ishwara, Maya, Prakriti and Lila are capable of being realised individually. This is the forte of the Mind.
  • From the Supermind or Infinite consciousness all are seen as One.
  • Pages 345 to 357 explains the theory behind their unity and separation - One, in terms of mind and Supermind, Two, the part and the whole and Three, in terms of the three principles of creation. It is explained by the human mind's capacity to have so many consciousnesses at the same time but acting on one of them.


  • Maya is the supreme and universal consciousness and force of the Eternal and Infinite capable of putting forth many states of consciousness.

- Society puts out a variety of actions, organisations, movements, and so on, almost without limit.

- Market produces innumerable goods.

- Mind creates endless thoughts.

- The Press publishes millions of books.

- All these books come from millions of minds.

- All these minds come from millions of states of consciousness.

- All these are put forth by Maya, the universal consciousness.

  • Maya is at once individual, universal, and transcendental.

- Opinion is individual, local, national.

- Market is local, of the country, and global.

- Culture is of the village, nation, and humanity.

  • It is the supreme supracosmic Being that is aware of itself as All-Being, as the cosmic Self, as the individual being and consciousness of all existence. It is also the Consciousness-Force of cosmic Nature and the consciousness of all existences.

- This is the result of self-limitation.

- The Being can be being at these three levels as well as consciousness at all these three levels.

- A manufacturing company can have its central, provincial and local factories.

It can also have when it chooses, national, state and local distributors.

  • Self determination is followed by self limitation as well as cosmic limitation.

- The infinite consciousness must have no difficulty in seeing itself from the transcendent, universal and individual poises.

- We must know the relation between the constructed consciousness in ignorance and the infinite consciousness.

- We take a job and go to another town and live in a room. The employee in the office and the tenant in the room are constructions we have created and we need not forget that we have come from home here for a job in an office and rented a room. One can forget that also if he chooses.

  • When things go wrong we are simply baffled. Many times there are lucky happenings. We understand neither. In one we are elated and in the other we are depressed. Neither is knowledge.

- We often see that we do not understand but it never strikes us to ask the right question. To be able to ask such a question is awakening. Tradition was intrigued and baffled by the endless activities of the world. In utter frustration it called it the inexplicable Maya. This is because the right instrument, the Supermind, was not there. Sri Aurobindo who knew the answer through the Supermind gives it to us. Also, He gives us that faculty of understanding. It is up to us not to refuse it. He invites us to accept 1) the larger reason, 2) the infinite's logic or 3) that the Spirit in us is one with the Infinite. On the basis of the last, He offers an explanation that has remained inexplicable till now. Thus we get the clue for Maya.

- Tradition realised sarvam Brahman, All is Brahman, but had no way of extending that knowledge to explain Maya to themselves. This was so because the tool was not there. Sri Aurobindo gives us the tool and asks us to go back and see that the Spirit in us is Infinite - one expression of Sarvam Brahman. Then we see Maya as the power of Self. We see it first as Silence and then as the manifold activity. The difficulty is overcome. He leads us to see Purusha and Prakirti similarly as well as Ishwara and Lila.

- The age-old difficulty that these six powers are mutually exclusive, inimical is changed now as one in all and all in One.

- The man is a father, an employee, a member of the club, a friend, a relative, and an athlete. As long as he forgets that he is a man and gets lost in the club all the difficulties are there. The moment he awakens to the fact that he is a man, all the difficulties suddenly vanish. His world emerges from obscurity as One before him of which the club, the office, the playground, and so on are parts. In ten long pages between 345 and 357 He elaborates. The capacity to raise the right question dissolves all the artificial problems of the mind.

- In that light again He explains in the greatest possible detail that the Many are of the One and are fully dependent on the One. It is ego that conceals the dependence.

We know many occasions when the employee blinded by his selfishness jeopardises the position of the company, severs his relationship with the company little realising the fact that he is ruining himself. His ego blinds him. Man's ego veils his dependence on the One. This dependence has two facts, one, in being and the other in the becoming. He who surrenders the soul surrenders only partially as the nature is still in his own control. Surrender of the soul as well as nature is demanded. It should be surrendered to the Divine Mother in whom both are combined.

  •  Having thus completed the arguments He started with, He takes up manifestation and explains the same argument through Time.

- He said earlier that the Supermind takes the three poises of God, Jivatma, and Ego.

- Again now He spoke of the three poises of the Inconscient, individual consciousness and the original infinite consciousness.

- In Time He says the Spirit can assume three statuses - Being, Becoming, and Being of the Becoming.

- In terms of Time they are 1. Time, 2. Timelessness, 3. Simultaneous integrality.

- It is the same in all versions.

- In Time man is subjected to dualities.

- In the Timeless he gets away from the dualities.

- In the Simultaneous Integrality of Time and Timelessness, Man overcomes the duality to be in the ever-present marvel of creation.

story | by Dr. Radut