Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, The Triple Transformation

Track Running Essential and Triple Immortality

Essential and Triple Immortality.

If you remember we have been discussing for a long time, right from the time that we started the isha upanishad, the question as to what is the purpose of life and we have said, "the manifestation in the embodied individual of the totality of divinity", that is how we have defined the goal. The manifestation of the totality of divinity in the embodied individuality, and we have said that since this task cannot be accomplished in one single life, there is a need of succession of birth and therefore rebirth becomes a necessary instrument. And when we came to the discussion of rebirth we emphasised the role that karma plays in the process of rebirth.

And then we came to the concept of immortality and spoke of essential immortality and triple immortality which is a part of manifestation. With regard to essential immortality we said the realisation of the self which is transcendental and universal, which by its very nature is self existent, imperishable and therefore immortal, the realisation of that is what we define as essential immortality. When we realise it, then you might say the primary goal of our birth, rebirth is achieved. The primary goal is not the entire goal. The second is the manifestation of that self in the embodied individual. That is the second aspect of our endeavour. And then we have spoken of the awareness of that which moves from birth to birth as a permanent entity. And then we spoke of the soul or psychic entity as a permanent element in us which is inextinguishable, which is the permanent within ourselves, which moves from birth to birth. That is also immortal but immortal in the sense that it survives after every movement, even survives after the death of the body, gathers the experience and is the leader of our movement of evolution.

And then there is a triple immortality. Immortality of the mind, life and body so that these three instruments which are constantly mutable, constantly changing, attain individuality and the individual formation of each becomes inextinguishable.  Although there is mutability, the individual formation remains immutable like a river which is constantly moving but its course always remains identifiable as distinguishable from all other rivers. Similarly the mind is constantly mobile but attains an individuality and always remains within the confines of the individuality, without the need of dissolving itself, that is immortality of the mind, similarly immortality of the life and immortality of the body.

This goal of realisation of the essential immortality, realisation of the psychic immortality and the realisation of the mental, vital and physical immortality is achieved by a threefold process. And that process Sri Aurobindo describes in this chapter, the chapter called "The Triple Transformation", a threefold process. If the goal were only to realise the essential immortality then you might say that that goal has been achieved already by a number of people in the world already. The paths have been worked out, methods have been worked out, realisations have been achieved by a number of people, who have realised essential immortality. Even psychic immortality is recognised and realised by many people. But the triple immortality and particularly and finally the physical immortality, has not yet been realised on the earth. Or at least, even if it is realised it is not sufficiently known. There are some verses in the Veda which give indication as if the Vedic Rishis had reached the point of even physical immortality. But still it is an aim which has not been established, the path is not clearly laid down, methods have not been fully worked out and that is the task which has to be still done, and that task involves triple transformation.

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