Sri Aurobindo's - 'The Life Divine' - The Human Aspiration - Chapter I

Track Running The Human Aspiration - Track 602

Question: Could you explain what means by "the seal of her completest sanction"?

Seal means an authority, something certified. Completest sanction means that this opposition has come about by the sanction of Nature. There is a method in Nature, Nature has deliberated produced opposition, with her own sanction. That is to say Nature is not blind, it seems to be blind, but Nature is very intelligent. If you examine the movement of Nature you find that this opposition is created by Nature deliberately.

Yesterday we were discussing a political question of India with a few friends and the question was raised: at present in India there is a discussion on autonomy of states, there is a big controversy in the country on the issue of autonomy of states. A resolution has been passed by the assembly in Jammu Kashmir demanding autonomy of the state. Nature has allowed this you might say because the resolution has been passed, so Nature has allowed it, but if you take a deliberate view you will ask the question what is the meaning of this? Why has Nature allowed this resolution to be passed? We can say that if you examine why Nature has deliberately raised this question, we may conclude that it is so people become aware of a larger issue and try to arrive to a new Constitution of India. Nature wants a new Constitution of India. In order to create that condition this resolution has come up. Therefore everybody is now alert and thinking about it. Whatever Nature does you should always try to hear the message. That is ultimately what Sri Aurobindo wants to say: a deliberate view of things means you try to see what is the message? Whatever happens there is in it a message, it does not means that that message is necessarily what he says, there is an inner message of everything.

In fact one of the important things in Sri Aurobindo's yoga is to enable us to constantly try to understand the meaning of events. I am now sitting before you there is a meaning: why am I sitting before you? There is a meaning in it. The extent to which I understand it I will be able to move forward and be benefited by everything that is happening. So every event has a meaning and we have to understand the inner rhythm of its movement and try to find out what it means. Sri Aurobindo says if you examine this you will find that this opposition has behind it a profound method of Nature and there is in it a sanction of Nature.

Now, what is that sanction of Nature? What is the method of Nature? That Sri Aurobindo explains in the third paragraph. The whole third paragraph is an elucidation of the last two lines of the second paragraph. It is a continuation of that elucidation. So now let us revise all that we have said so far.

There are two arguments in the first paragraph. Both are philosophical arguments, but I have given specific names to these arguments. What are these two arguments? Logical or epistemological and historical arguments. The second paragraph consists of two arguments, Dialectical and quintessential philosophical argument which is the search for meaning.

You know this equipment gives you a great command over the realm of philosophy. To know there are different kinds of arguments is a great step. There are logical arguments, historical arguments, dialectical arguments, quintessential philosophical arguments, there are some more also to which we will come later on. This itself is a very good step with which you can move towards a command of philosophy. When you want to write a philosophical essay considering what you have before you, what you want to say, you will know how to frame the argument, which way you will expound your argument. This is a very good model; Sri Aurobindo has given.

Let me present a deeper question. You will find in this exposition: argument, but argument is always to prove something. When you argue, you want to prove something, and this is called the basic proposition. In any philosophical writing you must say what you want to propose first of all. Philosophy is not only a statement of arguments. Philosophy is basically a statement of a proposition which has to be proved, either true or false, either probable or necessary. So apart from argument there must be a proposition. In any philosophical writing there must be a proposition.

The first paragraph gives you the basic proposition. What does it propose? What does Sri Aurobindo want to prove by arguments? I have already answered this question earlier but we can once again enter into it so that your mind becomes firm on this. If philosophy is a search for meaning, Sri Aurobindo makes a statement regarding meaning; he makes a proposition regarding meaning. In the first paragraph he says that human beings are in search of the meaning. When Sri Aurobindo says that there is a preoccupation of human thought, right from the beginning, this preoccupation is a search for meaning. If anybody asks the question: What is the proposition that Sri Aurobindo wants to propose? What is our answer? Sri Aurobindo says that right from the beginning humankind is in search of a meaning and it manifests itself in four things: "It manifests itself in the divination of Godhead...", secondly: Truth, thirdly: Immortality, fourth: Bliss. This is the proposal that Sri Aurobindo has made. Sri Aurobindo says that mankind has been searching for a meaning and that is the very title of the chapter. The title of the chapter is "The Human Aspiration". Human aspiration means mankind's search for meaning. I am aspiring for something; I am aspiring to find the meaning and that meaning manifest itself in the divination of Godhead, in the search after the Truth, search after Immortality, search after Bliss.

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