Now we have before us a good map of all that exists and where we are in this vast transcendental existence which really we are, which each of us is.
Our question was: where exactly is hell? That was our enquiry. In all this where is hell? Sri Aurobindo says that hell exists in the Life plane. Even what we call paradise is also on that plane. In many scriptures you have descriptions of heaven and hell. These are descriptions of normally what we find in the Life plane. In Savitri, Sri Aurobindo has described all these planes.
One day you will read Savitri and then you will see the whole structure of the poem. It is an epic in which the story is very simple. There is a kingdom of Madra of which there was a king called Aswapati. He was concerned with the highest welfare of the world. He was aware of the problems of the world, the maladies of the world, the difficulties of the world and he was in search of solution to these problems. Knowing at that time what yoga is –– today yoga is not so very well known and people have to make a very special study but in those time yogic knowledge was much more easily available. So knowing what is yoga he set upon the path of yoga.
In the beginning in the very first book of Savitri, Book I, Sri Aurobindo first of all describes the beginning of the world –– Book I is called The Book of Beginnings –– it is a rapid survey of the whole beginning of the world. It is very difficult to understand because the texture of this poem is very intricate. It is something only the transcendental Purushottama himself can describe and Sri Aurobindo standing on the Purushottama’s consciousness describes the beginning of the world. And then rapidly, Sri Aurobindo takes us up to the time when Savitri is born, gets married to Satyavan and he then describes Savitri’s condition because she knew that this is the day where her husband Satyavan has to die. All this Sri Aurobindo describes –– some of you are painters so you know how to make a sweep of colours –– like that Sri Aurobindo describes the day on which Satyavan has to die. Then Sri Aurobindo takes us backward; it is a flash–back: what is this issue, why has Satyavan to die? And what is the function, the role of Savitri? Who is Savitri? We are told that Savitri is the daughter of Aswapati. And now comes a biography of Aswapati like a flash–back. And he had come to a point where he says: “Now I should do yoga. So I can understand what are the problems and I can reach the point where I can resolve them.” Because as I told you last time that is a promise of yoga. By yogic powers, by the yogic knowledge we can gain the supreme knowledge of the Being of the Divine, we can gain the supreme knowledge of the Divine Will and the supreme Knowledge of the Divine Love. This is known actually in the yogic shastra. Knowing this he began to do the yoga. And the Canto 3 of the book is called The Yoga of the King: The Yoga of the Soul’s Release. How he becomes liberated in his soul and attains to secret knowledge and establishes himself in the greatness of his being. But then this is not enough. The entire Book II is called The Book of the Traveller of the Worlds –– of the worlds not world. Now Aswapati begins to scan the whole world, all these planes. If you read only the title of each chapter, of each canto, you will get the idea of all these planes. I will read to you only the title of each canto.
The Kingdom of Subtle Matter.
The Glory and the Fall of Life. This is the Life plane. But to this plane, which is a very large plane, Sri Aurobindo devotes several cantos because of the very huge thing to be described.
The Kingdoms of the Little Life.
The Godheads of the Little Life.
The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Greater Life.
The Descent into Night.
The World of Falsehood, The Mother of Evil and the Sons of Darkness. This is where hell is located.
Then comes The Paradise of the Life–Gods. In the same life plane there is also paradise.
The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Little Mind. Now you go above the Life plane and come into the Mind.
The Kingdoms and Godheads of the Greater Mind.
The Heavens of the Ideal. Now you go above the mind.
In the Self of Mind. The self of mind is the purusha. The manomaya purusha. The mental purusha.
The World Soul. The cosmic purusha.
The Kingdoms of the Greater Knowledge. You climb into higher mind, illumined mind, intuitive mind, overmind and supermind.
Then in the third book he moves forwards and sees the origin of the whole world, attains to the supramental and the transcendental consciousness. It begins with The Pursuit of the Unknowable. This transcendental is unknowable but this unknowable is approachable through Him who has a creative power of which this world is a result. He is the Supreme Purusha from whom originates all things. Originates through His own Power: that Power is called the Divine Mother. That Divine Mother is approached by Aswapati. Then there is The Adoration of the Divine Mother; The House and the Spirit of the New Creation; The Vision and the Boon. He approaches the Supreme Divine Mother and puts forwards all these problems and says the world is in a great difficulty ? as we can do now also. We can approach the Divine Mother in the same way and say there is a great difficulty in the world. He insists upon the Divine Mother: “Please do something.” Then the Divine Mother answers: “If such is your anxiety about the world I feel moved and therefore I give the boon to you. I shall be born as your daughter” ? that is the Divine Mother’s answer ? “And I shall take the mission of changing this world, of solving the problems of the world.”
And the rest of the whole poem is the birth of Savitri, her growth, achieving adulthood, her marriage, Satyavan’s death. That death is the crux of the problem of the world. There is a phenomenon of death and if you can touch that problem all other problems can be resolved.
So, subsequent books cover the knowledge with which she equips herself and utilizes it in conquering the death and thus Satyavan comes back from death. That is the key of the solution of problems. If you can touch death and conquer the death all the problems can be resolved.
One day you will read Savitri then you will understand and you will realise what knowledge is involved. When we read Sri Aurobindo we are not reading a scripture in which we have to believe. Sri Aurobindo is a book of knowledge he describes as we can describe this room. So, he has described all the planes of the world…