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Life Divine Chapters 1-7 SKF - Track 102

Now this is all that is contained in The Life Divine. It’s a statement of all the physical and psychological facts, not in all their processes because that is not the fundamental purpose of philosophy but in all their essential significance, in the light of anything that may be an ultimate. Whenever we start any study our aim is to arrive at knowledge. We want to know. If at the reading of The Life Divine, if I don’t attain any knowledge at all then there is no profit out of it. The Life Divine is a supreme book of knowledge presented in intellectual terms, in philosophical terms, in which from the point of view of totality, we shall intellectually be convinced of what is most significant. To begin with today if anybody says what is most significant, we may not be able to answer this question just now, but if you read this Life Divine, then intellect should be convinced this is the highest significant thing, the most significant thing of which there is no intellectual doubt possible; this is the promise of The Life Divine. The reason why I refer to The Life Divine and why it should be presented to the whole world, it is because mankind today is extremely confused. It has come to a stage of development where it has got to find an answer to this question – what is most significant, without any doubt whatsoever. This is the real search of the contemporary humanity and this is the question which is answered here in this book and that is why it is so important to turn to it.

There are two very important words used in the Bhagvad Gita – gyanena sahvigyanena sah, Sri Krishna tells Arjuna, I will give you the answer to your question in the light of knowledge, and in the light of all knowledge; totality. Now, why was Sri Krishna obliged to go to the totality of everything in order to answer a question of Arjuna on the battlefield? Because the question that he had raised was of such a nature that that was inevitable, Sri Krishna could not have answered the question in a few minutes time, it was such a question in which everything had to be told in all totality. Arjuna’s question is symbolic of mankind today. What was true of Arjuna at that time is true today of a large humanity, we all have become Arjunas today, we all are facing the question on a large scale today, that is why the significance of the Gita even today.

As Sri Aurobindo has said the colloquy between Arjuna and Sri Krishna on the battlefield is that which will guide the humanity in the future – that is the significance of that teaching. But even while commenting on the Gita Sri Aurobindo says: it is not an exposition of a solution that we are in search of. It gives the fundamental path, it gives the key but not the lock in which it can apply; that lock is now present. What was not present at that time is now present that lock. The key that has been given is so important there that key has to be applied thoroughly, fully that is the time today in which we, are and the importance of all this is that this is not optional to mankind. If it was optional, I would say you may read The Life Divine, you may not read The Life Divine, but to all young people at least I would say you must read The Life Divine, it is inevitable, it is something in which you are bound to be knocked, if you are really in search, if you really want to confront the modern time in its totality, and you are obliged to, whether you like it or not. Today you cannot escape globality, you are in a global world, you can’t say this is my country’s problem, this is that country’s problem – all problems are your problems. Humanity’s problems are your problems and we are confronted with these problems and we dont even know what are the essential problems, what is that essential problem which if you can just knock it rightly; all the doors will be opened. This is the question that is why The Life Divine is so important. And this is so important because the one instrument which humanity today on a global scale possesses is intellectuality. This is a most important fact of modern life.

There was a time when physical strength was regarded as the most important element to fight the battles. Today’s mankind does not require that physical strength, that combativeness by which you will decide the fight: it’s not decisive force of today. Mankind today has reached the stage, where whether you like it or not, intellectuality is indispensible. It is true na tarkaen labhayah that reality is not available merely by thinking – it is true. But even that conclusion you have to reach by intellectuality and that is the significance of intellectual stage to which we have reached today. We have reached a stage where intellectual development is inevitable.

We often ask this question today – does God exist? And the rational man of today asks, I want to know it rationally. Can you intellectually show me, prove to me that God exists, intellectually? Is there any intellectual demonstration that God exists. Is there any intellectual demonstration that life as it is now finds its true significance, intellectually to be known, is there a point by which intellectually I know, what is the significance of life philosophically can I know it, from all points of view? This is because in the life today as you go around there are multiple voices and all have come to be known, as you travel into the world today, what is the significance of life, what am I to do in life, what is the best use of my life, utmost that I can do, utmost I can achieve, highest fulfilment? These questions have got to be answered intellectually, in the light of all physical and psychological facts from the point of view of the totality of all the facts, in search of significance, in search of essential significance, in search of ultimate significance. Is there a book in which this question is answered? This is The Life Divine. What is it that at the highest level, human endeavour, human life, can strive and hope to achieve and can be achieved and can be realised and can be fulfilled.

Fortunately, such a book has been written in our own times and therefore, I advise all young people to read this book. It is a most difficult book. And I would say that if you want to have the complete fulfilment of your life, develop the capacity to read this book. If you do not have the capacity now to read this book, kindly cultivate the capacity to read this book; do not complain it is so difficult, because life is even more difficult, compared to what you have to do in life, this book is not so difficult. This is the manual of life and life is even more difficult. The Synthesis of Yoga which is the other book of Sri Aurobindo is more difficult than this and that also I will come to you next time; saying having read this now, now you read The Synthesis of Yoga, because that is the second step. Having known what is the significance of life, having known what is the endeavour to be conducted by you, what is the process by which you can arrive at it? It is a scientific book not a philosophical book, scientific book, what is the process by which, you can do it. Even that Sri Aurobindo has discovered and found out and put before us, even this great work has been accomplished by Sri Aurobindo. So I would say first read this book, then next program is The Synthesis of Yoga and then while reading The Synthesis of Yoga, along with it I will tell you read The Human Cycle, The Ideal of Human Unity, and the last work of Sri Aurobindo is The Supramental Manifestation on the Earth, it’s a very short book about sixty pages. You read that one then you are ready for the modern times. This is the preparation if you do; you are ready for the modern times. This is where we are then our journey starts, you might say, really doing, doing starts. Fortunately, once we do this the next process is very quick, these all may be small processes, short processes, but then there is aeroplanic flight, you can fly with aeroplanic speed, even that aeroplanic speed Sri Aurobindo is prepared for already. He has prepared the airplanes, so that we can travel in them very fast. And the preparation of that airplane was done, is also described that is thirteen volumes of the Mothers Agenda is a preparation of that airplane and if you can mount on it then there is a tremendous speed by which you can travel and you can be sure that thereafter every moment of your life is significantly conducted. So this is as a kind of a background as to why we should study The Life Divine, what is the main thrust of The Life Divine. What knowledge do we expect to gain by the study of this great work?

What is the best way of learning this book? How shall we study this work? Sri Aurobindo has made our task, quite easy. Sri Aurobindo has written his book, most magnificently. First of all this book is to be read throughout the life, so in a sense you might say, you have all the time. The whole life is around us, and whenever you need to read, you can read, wherever you like you can open it, wherever you will open, it will be found to be significant. Even systematically if you want to read, even that is also very, very well done, all the steps are systematically organised. If you have very short time to read, even that facility is also available in the book. If you have no time at all and you are about to do something and you want to read, I would simply say read the first paragraph, everything is said, everything is there. It is such a great work that everything is said in the very first paragraph. And everything is said philosophically, intellectually. All the physical facts, psychological facts all are seen totally in their essential significance and the answer is given. If you read the very first chapter, if you have got more time read the first chapter, it is also enough. If a little more time, I would say read the first four chapters. If you have little more time, read the first seven chapters. If you have still more time, read the next three chapters, four chapters. And then of course you will find that you have all the time because once you have entered into this field, you will find it is lifelong companion, you cannot leave it. I began when I was 18 years old, today I am 76, but it has been my lifelong companion, it was a blessed day when I happened to read this book and therefore throughout my life I have told all young people, please read this book. This is extremely important for you, for everyone.