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Who is the Individual


May 3, 1999

Where do Thoughts Originate?

Individual:  To each person the individual is taken for granted. He is the individual. No question arises. It is an unconscious awareness. It is better to know how the individual has come into existence. In a monarchy, only one individual matters, that is the king. The rest are there to serve him. In a democracy the individual has the right. Theoretically he matters. Practically only those who have attained power, money or fame matters. Spiritually,

  • The Individual is the key, he is important to solve the riddle of the universe. (p. 40 Life Divine).
  • In a wider cosmic sense, the individual is a transitional entity. What matters is the collectivity.
  • The Transcendent evolves the individual through the universe, expresses itself through the individual and returns to Itself.

Spiritually as well as socially, from a theoretical point of view, the Individual matters not. The collectivity and only the collectivity matters. Let us see how the individual is created and exists.  

   The Superconscient is the result of the Transcendent. In its involution, the superconscient becomes the cosmos in the plane of Time and Space. Here the Transcendent One becomes the Many divine souls when the apprehending mind acts. The division is brought about by Mind. In its downward journey, only the planes of mind, life and matter are created. No individualisation takes place (?). Or no individualisation takes place fully yet. Perhaps the mental individual with a mental point of view is born. (p. 238, LD). Only when mind evolves out of life, the fully formed individual with a body emerges. We are that Individual, who has a separate body in a separative ego with an individual mind and life. This individual, HE says, the universe has created by concentration. As the universe cannot concentrate in that wide expanse, it has created points where it can reach the needed concentration. Thus the universe fulfils itself in the individual. After the concentration reaches the maximum, the individual is liberated from the encasing ego. One liberated individual gives birth to many other liberated individuals.

  • Hence, HE says, the Individual is the key.
  • The Eternal creates the individual by the process of individualisation so that the unitarian concentration of Satchidananda may be reproduced at one single point. Then the Individual realising he is the Eternal, goes back to his original eternity via universality.

So, the Individual is a transitional reality that helps the Eternal realise its aim of seeking a higher delight, higher than the static bliss of Satchidananda. He is really the Eternal in transition.


   All thoughts originate outside ourselves and enter us. If so, where do they originate? Thought is a form of mind even as speech is a form of sound. Forms are created when unshaped forces meet. Mind is one such force. Body and life are forces that are in the process of taking shape. Thoughts emerge out of body when the first movements of mind stir there. Thought is the form of mind emerging out of the body consciousness. He who first creates is the original thinker like Socrates. There are not more than a dozen or two dozen original thoughts in the world. They may be called Ideas. Each idea finding a million expressions becomes a million thoughts and travels in the subtle plane. Thirukural, an ancient Tamil classic, I once counted has only 13 such ideas. E.g. Forms are limited. When the Force exceeds the limit, the Form gives way. It is true whether it is a good force or a bad force.

   Being of the Becoming

Being is Purusha. Becoming is Nature. The Materialist recognises the Becoming and denies the Being. The sannyasi realising that Being is greater than the Becoming moves to it and abandons the Becoming. This is the history of spirituality so far.

   Sri Aurobindo has found that the Reality contains the Being and Becoming. He postulates an Omnipresent Reality, which means the Becoming too is made of it. Till the advent of Sri Aurobindo, the highest instrument man knows is mind. Its capacity is great, but partial. When it sees the Reality, it is able to see only one aspect of it. It sees either the becoming or the being. Mind is not constituted to see them both simultaneously.

   The Vedic and Vedantic rishis knew of Supermind as they had attained Satchidananda and Supermind is its nature. But they never acquired Supermind as a human faculty. A tahsildar knows the existence of a collector. He can go and meet the minister, sometimes even the Chief Minister. The existence of a Collector is known not only to a Tashildar but to the public as well. But neither the Tahsildar nor the public has the power to move the Collector. For that, one needs to become the Collector himself. In the days of the British all gazetted posts were for the white man. Gradually they have been given to the Indian. Sri Aurobindo's attaining to the Supermind was like the Indian becoming the Collector for the first time.

   This high philosophy can be made easy in daily life if we take for the purposes of argument that a Collector is an unfailing citizen while the ordinary citizen's success varies from 1 to 100% depending upon the station in life.

   To pursue the analogy further, before 1930 or 1940, no Indian could rise to the post of a Collector. [Sri Aurobindo fixed Nov. 1934 for the descent of Supermind. It did descend. Tamasic forces rose up and swallowed it then fully.] After the advent of Sri Aurobindo, any one who accepted Him drew on his Force and was capable of being an unfailing success in yoga. It naturally includes life. After Mother arrived, She made the same Force available not only for yoga for the Sadhaks, but for life for the devotees.

   In 1956 the Force descended on earth for one to draw from. Anyone who has the honesty and ability for any work will now be supported by the Force without his asking.  Devotees are in a position to go to the primal Force through Mother and Sri Aurobindo and therefore in a position not only to avoid failure, but to aim at the maximum success life can give. This can be expressed graphically by the four quadrants and the 1st Quadrant being sub-divided to any small fraction thereof.

   Being is Truth and Knowledge. Becoming is untruth and ignorance. Moving from the untruth of ignorant life to the Truth of liberation, the sannyasi never wants to return. He shuns life. Sri Aurobindo calls us to see that the Becoming is after all based on Being, life is based on truth as there is nothing in existence without a seed of truth. In fact, all becoming is Truth and Reality in a disguised form. Even there, the undisguised truth is still there as a seed. That seed is represented in life as values. Capacity is the value of substance. Honesty is the value of consciousness.

   Man moving from dishonesty and incapacity to honesty and capacity moves from Becoming to the Being of the Becoming.  It has no failures in life.

   To put it in the language of a devotee:  Be positive and capable, call Mother. Failure will be banished from your life. Anyone who banishes failure from life is one who rises higher than the Rishis of ancient times, if not in personal stature, but at least in the principle of spirituality he follows. Becoming is life, Being is spirituality of one man leading to religion of the many. Being of the Becoming is Sri Aurobindo's spirituality that can never become a religion.

story | by Dr. Radut