This is Sri Aurobindo’s study of the present state of mankind. We are all born in this age which is a critical moment of evolution, and therefore Sri Aurobindo said: We have to find a solution to that problem. That solution is not to be found in the Veda, is not to be found anywhere in the world. This is a very important point. In the whole history of the mankind, the solution to this problem is not given. So merely study of history is not enough, you should study history, you must know what has been done, you have to acquire that also, you cannot wish it away, all that has been done is not wrong, but we have to know what has been done very accurately, and now, what is new that has still to be done? And Sri Aurobindo is this New. That is why Mother said: “Sri Aurobindo does not belong to history.” To belong to history means? You take up a link of history and move forward that is to belong to history. But if you look at the entirety of humanity’s history and the next step is not to be found there and you take that new step: you go outside history, you don’t belong to history. This is what Sri Aurobindo did. Once I had written a syllabus in 1964–65 for students of the Ashram, The Spiritual history of India. That was the topic I had selected and I had prepared something right from the Veda to Sri Aurobindo, and I sent it to the Mother for her approval, and then the very first word that Mother said after reading the whole thing, it was a long text which Mother took trouble to read. After reading the whole thing she said: “No, this will not do.” That was her reply: “No, this will not do. You are trying to show that Sri Aurobindo belongs to history, that Sri Aurobindo is a culmination, this is not true, not at all true.” It was such an emphatic proposition that Mother made. I was torn apart when I read this answer of the Mother. But it was a new light in my consciousness, and therefore I am always eager to share this experience with everybody, particular children like you. I want to tell you this as to how I was torn apart by this statement of Mother: “No, this will not do. Not do at all.” She said, and then she said: “You should be square, absolutely clear. What Sri Aurobindo has proposed is new.” And then I began to make a search myself after receiving it, it is a long answer actually. If you read the Mother’s Agenda you will find the complete statement of this answer which Mother had given. You have the complete text. One day Deepti will read it out to you. It is a very powerful statement of the Mother. From that time onwards, as it were, you know, I have been studying Sri Aurobindo in a new light. I am trying to understand Sri Aurobindo in a new way. Then I understood Sri Aurobindo, or I may say that I have begun to understand Sri Aurobindo, why he spoke of the aim of life.
You know there is in The Life Divine a very big chapter called The Aim of Life. And he speaks of four theories of existence. What are the four theories of existence? The one theory, (I am giving some bombastic words, but they are necessary), the first aim of life is: supracosmic aim of life. It is a very big word, very heavy word; it is a supracosmic aim of life. The second is: supraterrestrial aim of life. The third is: terrestrial aim of life, and fourth is: integral aim of life. These are the four theories. Now again I will have to tell you at length if I have to explain what are these words: supracosmic, supraterrestrial, terrestrial and integral. At one time myself, Alain and Deepti and some others met together and we went on making a search in the history of mankind and we produced a small book, perhaps you might have seen it, called The Aim of Life. And that whole book is written only to explain these four terms: supracosmic, supraterrestrial, terrestrial and integral. The whole book — we have only given illustrations. What is supracosmic aim of life? What is supraterrestrial aim of life? What is terrestrial aim of life? And what is integral aim of life?
Supracosmic is to go beyond cosmos, very easy. Cosmos means the whole world. To go above the world, to leave the world completely, the capacity to leave the world is supracosmic. Where there is no world at all. What is world? World is a system of relationships. It is a very short definition of world. World is a system of relationships. So wherever there is a system of relationships, there is a world. You go beyond all systems of relationships, it is supracosmic. So there have been some people who have said: go beyond all systems of relationships and that is the aim of life, it is supracosmic. That is the teaching of the Buddha for example, the teaching of Shankaracharya.
Supraterrestrial, what is that? It doesn’t say go beyond all worlds. It says: this world in which you are living is not satisfactory. But there is another system of relationships which is above this world. So leave this world and go to that world that is called supraterrestrial. Terrestrial means this earthly existence in which we are living. So go above this world, physical world, and enter into another world, in which there is no earth principle, there is no physicality. There is according to them a supraterrestrial world and you can enter into it. That is another aim of life. So there are some people who have said, this world is of course useless, leave this world, it is a world of evil, of sufferings. But there is another world which is a paradise; everything is so beautiful, so musical, so blissful. This is the teaching of many religions. When you study religion you’ll find that every religion tells you that this world is to be thrown away, every religion. This is the mark of religion. You study all religions and you will find a common point: every religion says, this world is to be avoided, to be thrown out. Every religion promises that there is another world to which you can approach and in which you can live forever if you fulfill certain conditions. So every religion has given those conditions and tells its adherents to follow those conditions and promised that once you are out of this world you will enjoy the higher world. That is called supraterrestrial aim of life.
What is a terrestrial aim of life? Terrestrial aim is that this world, whatever its defects or deficiencies, this world alone exists; there is no such thing as going beyond the world. Who knows what is beyond the world, according to these people? This world we see, we know this world. We know this world is full of difficulties, and so what? We can improve it, we can make things better, we make a better life, more happy life. We shall make it; let us work. That is terrestrial aim of life.
Now integral aim of life is and Sri Aurobindo made a study of all the aims of life, thoroughly. He discovered that all the theories are right, and all theories are wrong. They are all right; are all wrong. They are all right in what they say, but they are all wrong in what they deny. In what they affirm they are right, in what they deny, they are wrong. This is the answer that Sri Aurobindo gives. So he says that that Supracosmic theory is right in saying that there is an existence which is not a system of relations, it is not an imagination; there is a reality which is not a system of relations and you can approach it, you can enter into it, they are right. But they are wrong in saying that this world is therefore to be rejected. They are denying this world. So Sri Aurobindo says: in that denial they are wrong. Supraterrestrial aim says there is a different system of world or relationships, much more happy, eternally beautiful, they are quite right, there is such a world. It is supraterrestrial, there is such a world [...] Cosmic and supraterrestrial. Then he comes to the Terrestrial aim which states that you can make this a better world. Even you can make a perfect world. Finally there is the Integral aim which combines all the theories. So Sri Aurobindo goes forward in terrestrial theory: Yes this earth is our field, you should not give up this world, you are not called upon to leave this world. This is a tremendous discovery, tremendous discovery. To say that this world is not to be rejected. But he came to this conclusion that you can make it perfect only if you open up to the supracosmic and supraterrestrial and bring the powers from all of them and then deal with this world in the right way. What is the right way of dealing with this world? It is also very difficult thing. In the history of the world there was nobody who has told you how to make the best development of this world, so that this world can be perfected. It is true; there have been many people who have said that this world must be perfected. You might say that in a short span of life to make this discovery is absolutely miraculous. Normally if this is allowed to be developed it may take millions of years. To find out this truth, which Sri Aurobindo has done, would normally take millions of years. And Sri Aurobindo did it with such a tremendous rapidity. And this is the knowledge that Sri Aurobindo has given in the great book The Life Divine. That’s why I told you that you must keep in your program one day to study The Life Divine, because you have to find out what is that new knowledge. And we are all students of that knowledge. To be master of that knowledge will take millions of years, perhaps. But we can start studying.