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Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12 - Track 503

Intellectuality although that existed at a certain stage in the history of the world, none of these histories of intellectuality can be compared with the growth and development of intellectuality of our times. You might say that the intellectual growth of the modern time is unparalleled in the history of the world. This is the specialty of the times in which you are living, during the last five hundred years not only have there been great intellectual giants but the number of such intellectual giants. If in previous times there were ten giants, today there are thousands giants as compared to those times, this is the kind of extent. This is one point that I wanted to explain as to why we need to go into this kind of intellectual battle or intellectuality because we are living in a world, which is highly intellectual and whether you like it or not at a certain stage of your development you will face intellectual questions.

If not for your own self but for your children, the children of today are sent to the schools where the atmosphere is that of intellectual questioning and they come up with questions in their minds. Today our difficulty is that most of the teachers and parents are unable to explain to children that kind of profundity of intellectuality, which is now available in their books. Even teachers are not able to explain the kind of contents, which are now given in the books and this is only the beginning.

Take for example, recently we were reading eleven volumes of ‘History of Civilization’, by Will Durant. One man writing eleven volumes on the history of civilization of the whole world, what kind of intellectuality he must have reached to be able to grasp the history of not only one country but of all the countries of the world and expressing that history in such vibrant intellectual expressions. He and his wife are the two authors of these eleven great volumes. Even to see these eleven volumes is an intellectual feast. If this material goes down in the history books of our children, you can imagine what kind of revolution will take place in the minds of our children. When we read all this material and much more material is pouring in. The research activity which is going on in our country, in our world, is so great that every three years, the knowledge is doubling. So it is unparallel in the history of the world – the mass of intellectual thinking and the extent of it.

Question: Will it like we are all in the field of realization, she feels that directly ….will all this intellectuality help in the direct experience of the Lord, or can the direct experience be reached even without all this intellectuality?

Answer: It can be and that is why we have to understand as teachers, as mothers, as guides, how to give a convincing answer to this question. It can be, but we should be quite sure that this is a part; there is another way of doing it because the children are in the intellectual atmosphere. How are we to convince the children that this is not the road, or this road is only one of the possible roads and that too not a sufficient road. It is a dispensable road and  is it yet indispensable that is also a question. Although it can be done can you dispense with it altogether these are the very important questions and unless you pass through this you won’t have the experience of this field.

At least you should have the minimum and what we are doing is only just the minimum. You might say the bare minimum in fact our advantage is that Sri Aurobindo has given the quintessence of the highest intellectual thought. If you crystallize and further crystallize, complete distillation and the distilled thoughts, the seven pages which are there in this chapter, The Pure Existent, you might say is the distillation of thousands and thousands of pages that could be written on this subject. So that is why it is at once very difficult, extremely difficult and yet we have the advantage that if you study these seven pages and understand these seven pages, although I am quite sure that we get tired even to read one page of these seven pages. It is quite true but if you can do it, it will be like at one stroke like as if there was a spring and just you sit on the spring and you have mounted to the top of the Everest, − how great is the effect and the result. This is one great boon, you might say of this. 

To return to the question that you raised, missing our main concern is the Pure Existent, which we speak of in terms of God and you might say that our basic concern is to reach the Lord, and is this the method, is it necessary to read all this? The answer is that there are many other methods but if you believe that those methods are quite easy, let us have no illusions about it. Besides it is not that this particular method that we are following is going to give you that experience either. Even the method that we are following is a part of a method which is much larger than what is given over here but that is only one method. There is method of Jnana Yoga of which this is the part. In Jnana Yoga the important point is to have intellectual conviction of what is the truth and what is not true, intellectual conviction of what is real and what is unreal and to have a clear distinction between the real and the unreal. In Jnana Yoga, once you are convinced, this is the first step. First of all you have to be convinced that is intellectually convinced as to what is real and what is unreal. After you get convinced it is easier to concentrate upon the real and this concentration on the real is again a very difficult task in every circumstance of life, in every movement of life, you concentrate and if you are not intellectually convinced then it becomes even more difficult.