Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12

Track Running Track 1

You know we are about to start a new series. We began with a very important series, ‘The Triple Transformation’ and we are half way in that series. We finished two chapters in that series, the third chapter you are reading yourself and the fourth chapter we shall do a little later when you have finished the third chapter. In the meantime it was suggested that we can have another plunge into ‘The Life Divine’ from another side.

The Life Divine’, is like a huge palace in which there are so many halls, rooms,  balconies, towers, corridors and sub–corridors of various kinds and if you start somewhere you can go on, and on, and on and see the whole palace by entering into any part of the palace. All of them are interconnected but you can also enter from one side, go upto certain point and again come out and go into another corridor and enter another big hall, so this is another kind of a gallery through which we are entering into a huge hall with a tremendous dome. This consists of chapter number nine, ten, eleven, twelve and before we launch upon this big voyage into these four chapters let me explain the background of these four chapters.

The Life Divine as a whole is regarded as a greatest philosophical book of our times. When you call it a philosophical book, we must understand why it is called philosophical book. It is not a book of yoga such as The Synthesis of Yoga. It is not a book of poetry like ‘Savitri’. It is not a scientific book such as we find a book on chemistry, physics or biology. It is not a book of mathematics. So we must know what exactly is the meaning of Philosophy and having known that meaning we can apply it to this book and say this is a philosophical book.

What is philosophy? You might say that philosophy is an intellectual pursuit. Philosophy is basically an intellectual pursuit, but so is science, so is mathematics, but while science, mathematics are also intellectual, philosophy is intellectual in a very specific manner. Its mode of intellectuality is somewhat different from the mode of intellectuality that we find in science or mathematics. All sciences ask one basic question – what is the nature of the object that is before us? And very often in answering this question two more questions are raised. Why is an object what it is? And how has an object become what it is? So what is the nature of the object?  How has that object come about? And why has it come about? These three questions are raised by every science.

Secondly every science normally limits itself to one kind of objects. Physics for example concentrates only upon all objects which are material in character. Biology is a science; it concentrates upon all life organisms. Psychology is a science; it concentrates upon only on those objects which are mental in character. The study of material objects and nature of matter is the study of physics. Study of life forms, organisms is the subject matter of biology. The study of mind is the subject matter of psychology and all these sciences asks distinct questions. Physics ask the question what is the nature of matter?  Why is the nature of matter, what it is and how has matter come into being. These three questions are asked by physics, similarly biology asks these questions: what are life organisms? How is life different from matter? How is life different from mind?  How has life come into existence? And why has it come into existence? Similarly psychology asks the same questions in regard to the mind.

A question may be asked can there be a science which does not limit itself only to one kind of object? Can there be science which deals with three questions at the same time; what is matter? What is life? What is mind? Is there a science which asks the question why is there matter, life and mind at all? A science, which asks the question that how is it that matter, life and mind have come to be, what they are? There is nothing impossible in having such a science. There can be such a science.

Until now, in the history of thought such a science has not yet come into existence. But it is not an intellectual science, for example, there is what you call Yoga, which is also a science and which raises a question which is comprehensive, − what is matter, what is life, what is mind? How are they related to each other, why are they what they are, how are they what they are? Not only that they ask the question about everything that is in existence, not only matter, life and mind. It also raises a question as to what else is there apart from matter, life and mind. But this science which has developed right from the time of the Veda to the present day is not intellectual in character. As far as the intellectual history of the world is concerned, scientists so far have limited themselves, each one of them, only to one category of existence. It does not mean that in the future there cannot be a full science covering all the data of existence. There can be such a science in the future. But there is one difficulty in conceiving such a science. If the method is to be intellectual then intellect should be capable of knowing all the facts of the universe at one stroke as it were, in one vision. If intellect is capable of arriving at the knowledge of all the data of the universe then such a science becomes possible. But so far it has been found that intellect is not capable of arriving at that vast vision. Intellect is by nature piecemeal, it takes one subject into hand, deals with it properly, then it takes up another subject, deals with it properly and can take up a third subject and take it up properly but when it tries to correlate all the three, intellect finds it very difficult. Certain data which are necessary for taking complete view of things, those data escape the grasp of the intellect or it is found that those data require a long time to be collected so that we can have total vision of ourselves. In the future there could be one day, when all the data of the universe could be assembled together and we could have one intellectual science of all the domains of existence, such can be a future programme but so far such a thing has not happened.

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