Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, The Triple Transformation

Track Running Human nature can be transformed

Human nature can be transformed

 According to this whole thing, human nature can be changed and totally changed. Even the unconscious can be totally illuminated, and this is the process.  The Veda itself is, as you might say, a gospel of transformation that says that the human being who is here in the field of mistruth and error, in the field of mortality, in the field of limitations can be completely rescued and he can be completely transformed.

 This chapter on Triple Transformation is actually a description of the great development by which this transformation can be effected. Sri Aurobindo speaks of total transformation consisting of three transformations; therefore the chapter is entitled Triple Transformation. The first transformation is called psychic transformation, and psychic is the name for Agni. The first transformation takes places by the recovery of Agni within us, the aspiration within us. Psychic transformation is not the transformation of the psychic. Psychic does not require a transformation; it is always pure in its nature. But our body, life and mind which are impure become transformed by the power of this psychic being. That is the psychic transformation. The first part of the chapter describes what is the psychic being, how the psychic being can be awakened, what is its relationship with body, life and mind and how the psychic being can be brought out from its cave behind the body, life and mind so that the body, life and mind can be transformed, and they can be psychicised. That is the first part.

The second part is that when the phychicised body, life and mind begin to operate, then various experiences take place which are easier for the psychic being because psychic being is very near to the divine, by its very nature. Because there is also a Vedic legend that Agni was originally with the Supreme, like all the Gods are with the Supreme originally and when the Supreme darkness was created, tatoratrijayata tatah samudro arnavaha, then these Gods were told to go down and bring light there. But the darkness was so dense that the Gods said that it is not in their capacity to go down and bring light there, so they went in search of something else which could do this task. Then in a legendary form it is given that in the waters of the Divine being they found Agni, therefore Agni is also called the child of waters. Agni was found and then the Gods went to Agni and asked it to kindly go down and deal with that darkness.

Question: Is there a contradiction in this Agni and Water?

There is. There, water is not water; it is symbolizing the energies of the Divine because waters are the symbol of energies. In these energies of the Divine this Agni was found as a special element, and this Agni was then planted into the darkness.  This Agni is very near to the Divine and therefore it is said in the Vedas that the Divine is the own home of Agni. So Agni was as it were, exiled and put down into the unconscious.  This Agni, when it came into the unconscious, it radiated so many sparks and each one of us is a spark of that Agni. What we call ourselves, myself, is nothing but basically that spark. So when you realise that spark you feel the real 'yourself’. Till that time you are in search of yourself but you do not know what you are, yourself. We think we are this body or this life or this mind but until we come to feel and experience that Agni, that spark in us, we do not have the satisfaction of having known ourselves. This is a basic point in our self knowledge. You are one of the sparks of that Agni which has gone down into darkness and you are also drawing out of the darkness, matter and life and mind and you have reached this particular point of your journey. If our body, life and mind become aware of that spark, then that spark can come forward much more easily and then by that light our body, life and mind can be illumined, our body, life and mind can be transformed by the light of Agni. That is the meaning of psychic transformation. When body, life and mind are really psychicised by the virtue of the power of Agni falling upon them like rains, so that they are completely drenched in the light of Agni, then we can say body, life and mind are now completely transformed.

Now, because Agni is very near to God originally therefore when you really experience Agni then the experience of God becomes very easy. So, immediately after this you begin to have numerous experiences of the self, of the Divine, of the Divine Mother, Divine Shakti. These experiences begin to multiply. As a result of this you are enabled to rise upwards. This upper movement is what is called specifically spiritual movement. Till then it was a psychic movement. Psychic movement is called the inward movement and the spiritual movement is called an upward movement. You move upwards where cosmic consciousness, consciousness of the infinity, consciousness of the transcendence, consciousness of the spaceless and timeless, these experiences begin to become common. And these experiences bring their own light, the light of Indra the light of Ila, the light of Saraswati, the light of Daksha, of Sarama, various kinds of lights. We develop new kinds of mentalities as a result of these influxes of lights. This is why Sri Aurobindo speaks of the development of Higher Mind, Illumined Mind, Intuitive Mind, Over Mind, until you come to Super Mind. So these are the levels of consciousness in which you rise and the descent of these lights and the transformation of body, life and mind in the light of these lights is the process of spiritual transformation, as distinguished from psychic transformation. And then when you can station yourselves forever in the supermind and when having stood there you bring light from supermind and transform overmind, and intuitive mind, and illumined mind, and higher mind, and mind, and life, and body, and subconscious and unconscious and when all that is completed, it is called the supramental transformation.

So that is the description given in this chapter of the three transformations. This was a very rapid description. The important point is that first it says that human nature can be transformed, that there is a process of this transformation, and that this process can be followed in a very flexible, not in a rigid manner, so that each individual becomes adapted to his own specific method of development, so that each individual has his own method. This yoga is not a yoga which is fixed for everybody. Its forms are infinite. For every individual it is a different process of yoga, appropriate to each individual. There are no general prescriptions for each individual. For each individual as he moves forward that path will be made out which is appropriate to him. As Swami Vivekananda said that a great condition comes when each individual has his own religion. What is true of religious consciousness is much more true of yogic consciousness. In the field of yoga which is much beyond religion every individual has such a plasticity of the process and methods that each individual has multifarious methods of arriving at the goal.

All right, so this is all that is given in this chapter.

I do not know if you have the time to read this chapter at home. Usually, I do not ask anybody to read at home, but if you can, does everyone have this chapter? No?

This is one of the most difficult chapters, but I think now with this background it will be easier to understand and next time therefore I will only read with you. I will not talk but I will only read with you this chapter, because there are many things which can be understood only by a long process of experience. Many things will be only words to us at present, but it is good to hear these words because by hearing we become familiar and then by calling, the things can open.

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