The Life Divine—Chapters 1-7 (New Delhi, at Shubhra Ketu Foundation) - Introductory Session: Why study The Life Divine? (23 May 2008)

By asking ourselves as to why we should study the Life Divine, what should we expect when we read the Life Divine and we said that The Life Divine is a philosophical treatise? So naturally there are three questions – what is the meaning of a philosophical treatise, why should we study philosophy and this question can be answered in a deeper context. What if we don’t study do we miss anything, in other words is it indispensable to study The Life Divine. Now we had answered these questions in a general way and it is in that context that we had proceded chapter after chapter. Maybe we have a little time now to pause back and ask ourselves, what we have discovered to be the nature of philosophy and why we regard this work as a philosophical treatise. We had also answered the question as to why philosophical treatise should be studied and whether it is indispensable. So let us revise our answers which we had given at the preliminary stages. We had said that philosophy is a quest and at the very beginning the question arises, what is a quest and why should there be a quest?

The answer to these questions is varied. What is a quest and why should there be a quest? The most normal and easiest and in a sense the ultimate answer is that quest results in possession of knowledge or at least a capacity by means of which we can deal with our life better. At a deeper level, still a further question is, is it not possible without a quest to have the capacity to deal with our life? Do we need to make a quest? It is argued sometimes that a human being is so equipped that with his internal resources without making a quest he can deal with life better and better and in this respect it is said that human being has two inherent capacities. One is instinct, it is something involved in the human being and if one guides oneself with instinct there is no need to make a quest, instinctively you come to know. Not only come to know but you instinctively do what is necessary. It’s an argument, I am not saying it’s a final answer but this is an argument.

The second is that there is in human beings and this is more especially true of human beings, because instinct is to be found even in the lower organisms. And you might say that these instincts are enough for the lower organisms to deal with their life in a certain sense, not entirely. Now in the human being there is not only inherently the instinct but there is something more that something more is what is called faith. There is in the human being inherently what can be defined as faith. There is sometimes a confusion between instinct and faith, you might say instinct also is an expression of faith and it may not be denied. And yet faith is more in the sense that faith is a more articulated consciousness of purposiveness. Instinct may be present and it may act and instinct always acts with purposiveness. But the individual or the organism, whatever it may be, may not be conscious. In a human being there is a larger base. So a self-conscious pressure of purposiveness is what may be called the true nature of faith. Human beings have this self-conscious sense of purposiveness. It is inherent. Now why is it called faith and not knowledge? We could have said that a human being has inherent knowledge of purposiveness. We cannot say that a conscious sense of purposiveness to be called knowledge should have in itself the element of certainty of the validity of whatever is stated to be inherently present in the human being. Now faith has certainty, faith has purposiveness but faith does not have the sense of validity, this question of validity is very important in order to make a distinction between faith and knowledge. Faith is also a kind of knowledge, like instinct is also a kind of knowledge. But self-conscious knowledge involves the element of certainty of validity. In other words the word knowledge has this important element in it, when a statement is made to be a statement of knowledge, it must be a statement of self-consciousness in which what is stated is known to be true, more importantly, the certainty of which is grounded on the criterion of validity.

Knowledge by identity, instinct also has knowledge by identity. Faith also has knowledge by identity. Intuition also has knowledge by identity and yet there is a difference in all the three states. In the instinct there is no self-consciousness, there is a drive which when analysed is found to be laden with knowledge. There is an action which is based upon this knowledge but the organism which is at work under instinct is not conscious that there is knowledge, self-consciousness is not present. In faith this sense of purposiveness is present. There is in the Bhagavad Gita a very important statement that is made that every human being has in him faith, shraddha, the word used is shraddha. It goes farther and says that every human being has an inherent shraddha which can be used as a definition of himself. It is that shraddha, ya tat shraddha sa eva sa, that which is his own faith is himself. There is in shraddha a certainty, it knows, but knowledge is not yet so self-conscious, there is a degree of self-consciousness but that degree is not enough to ensure that that can be regarded as valid. I may state this to be true but to say it is valid, something more is needed. Now when we speak of intuition, very often we actually speak of faith, a real intuition is one in which the statement which is made is not only known to be true but known to be truly true, validly true.

Question: So uncle, in other words we can say when we make a statement based on our intuition, if it is intellectually validated then it becomes complete.

Answer: So it is only faith. The real intuition is one in which what is known is known to be true and validly true. An intuition, normally we should not confuse this word because we use this word very loosely. Real intuition is one in which what is stated to be true, is not only known to be true but it is known to be validly true.

Now the question is what is validly true? All validity of knowledge depends upon testing. Whatever is stated has to be tested, after having been tested and after being tested, having passed the test then you say it is true. Now what is this process of testing? This has been one of the most important exercises in the history of human progress of knowledge. What is testing, how do you know that what you know is true, and it is by testing found to be true. So many processes have been devised for testing. What do we actually do in testing? If you analyse the whole process of testing, all kinds of processes of testing, in the kitchen how do you test what you have cooked is really cooked? There are many ways of testing, have you taken ten minutes of fire; it is one of the ways by which you test whether it is well-cooked or not. Even that is not enough, how much fire, what amount of fire, light fire, sometimes burning fire, burning fire does not heat up as much as light fire, different objects which are to be tested are cooked or not. Even taking one grain and testing with your fingers whether it is really soft etc. etc., all these are tests. What do you aim at actually, right from when you are cooking to any other proposition, how do we know that energy is equal to mass multiplied by the square of the speed of light. It’s also a piece of knowledge and we say it is scientific knowledge. What exactly is meant by having tested and the test having been proved to be true?

The capacity to assert without doubt that what is said to be true sis objectively true, this word objective is very important, is objectively true. It is really so. Not only that I sense it but I am sure it is there. Unless you have a test which gives you this kind of certainty, it is not knowledge, it is belief at the most or shraddha but not knowledge. Only that is knowledge in which the truth is known to be true, objectively to be true. Even when sometimes you say: I have a feeling, I am feeling very unpleasant, disagreeable, sometimes when you get up in the morning you feel you are not well. In instinct there is some kind of faith in you, you are not well. Even with regard to your feelings, are you really feeling, you are not well, or is it your.. sometimes people have the habit of telling people that I am not feeling well. There are children who do not want to go to school and they say: I am having a headache today, he may say he has a headache and nobody can find out. So you have a question mark whether it is true or not.

He says: I am having a headache, he may not, how do you test? Merely feeling you have a headache, you may not actually have a headache. Not only that you are not telling the truth but you may really feel that you have a headache but you may not have it, how do you know? Unless you are able to say that even what I subjectively feel, even that I subjectively feel has to be objectively true, then you can say it is true. What we call intuition that word should be reserved for that knowledge, where it is inherent, self-conscious and where what is felt to be true is also known to be objectively true.

Scientific truth is a question of testing the truth by what are called methods of science. All questions are of testing, how do you test. Similarly, you can ask the question how is it philosophic truth or not, so there are philosophical tests. There are scientific tests, there are philosophical tests. There are, what you may call, moral tests, there are aesthetic tests. In fact all the tests are connected with the process of reasoning. All the tests are ultimately aimed at proving that what is stated to be knowledge is objectively true. So unless there is this objectivity, you cannot say it is self-conscious, self-possessed knowledge.

Your question was, how is it different from intuitive knowledge? In the intuitive knowledge there is no testing. All intellectual processes involve testing. Intuition is a power in which what is known is known to be true and objectively true, whatever is the test, because of the fact that the object is known to be object because the object itself is the subject, this is called knowledge by identity. What is the meaning of knowledge by identity – where the subject and object are so identical. This is a very important understanding, very often we say that this person has great intuitive power, what does it mean? More often than not it is instinctive; more often than not it is only faith and some kind of trickle, as you said, trickles of this knowledge by identity. But real knowledge by identity when we say Brahman is Sachchidananda; you make a statement, – Brahman is Sachchidananda. Rishi says: Sachchidananda, it is not as if he has a kind of his own imagination, his subject and object, whatever object, the highest, widest, is known to be widest; when Sri Aurobindo says his experience of the Brahman in Baroda – stupendous silence.

The mark of an object is the following: this table is an object. How do I know it is an object? Normally we have no question this is an object. I am here and this object is different from me. But how do I know this is an object, what is the test of it? If I walk in the darkness, if there is real object, I’ll be knocked into it. So an object is that which stands out against me into which I am knocked, which can’t be annihilated, it stands out. Stupendous silence is that in which you cannot annihilate at all even if you want to. When do I say I have a toothache? When I cannot eliminate at all, I try my best. It is objectively true, it’s there, I cannot throw it out. An object is an object when you are bound to knock into and you can’t eliminate it.

Now Sachchidananda when it is stated, when it is in experience it is stated, why is there a quarrel between empiricists and intuitionists? Empiricists maintain that what is true can only be validated through senses. First of all there is a sense perception that there is an object before me.Then there are tests again put and then there are all the tests are tested by sense experience. The tests are only to prove that from various angles of my sense perception I come to the same perception. This table exists objectively because you are seeing it from this point of view objectively, that is why it is said it is shareable, shareability arises from this fact that my sense experience may be illusory. I may be dreaming, but I ask you what do you see, do you see it, do you see it and all of us see it. This is our testing, supposing somebody says all of you are deluded, there is no such thing at all, it can be said also, that’s why sense experience does not give you that guarantee of truth. That is why philosophers like Hume led the whole conclusion to the extreme conclusion. He said there is no such statement which you can validly make. It is true he said that I am sitting in my room and I am not the room, it is certain, that room is different from me and my entire room exists. Then at a given hour I come out of my room, my room is on a hilltop, nobody else is seeing it, I go down, I also can’t see it any more. When I come back, I do see it again. But when I was not there how can you be sure that it continued to exist. It is quite possible that this perception whenever I reach the top I do perceive a room and as long as I am there I always see it. But when I am not there how do you know it exists? He says senses are inadequate to assert the truth or knowledge that is why, you can only say that probably it was existing, also he says there is no guarantee. Even probably, he says you cannot say, how do you say probably? It can also be said: whenever you come it is reconstructed every time. When you went out of the room, nobody was seeing it, who could prove it was there? It is quite possible that whenever you come to your hill, you happen to see a room. When you go out, it ceases to exist and when you come back again it comes into existence, it could be. That is why the more sophisticated scientists say, you have to test sense perception with some other props, is there causal relationship? If something suddenly comes into existence, we find that nothing comes into existence suddenly, so you must see causal connections. When you are in a train in a solitary place, the train is passing. Nobody in the train sees the wheels, do wheels exist?.... So you say if the wheels were not existing the train must be moving, we see the train is moving, so unless there are wheels it cannot be moving. I see moving, therefore wheels must be. But this argument is based upon causality. I believe that things in the world do not really happen, for anything to happen there must be a causal connection. Therefore Hume tried to show that causality is a prejudice. How do you know that causality really exists in the world? So he threw out the idea of causality also. There are no such things as causes at all. This is called utter scepticism. You can say nothing to be true and that is the end of all thinking, all process of knowledge.

Empirical knowledge is knowledge derived from senses. The word empirical comes from experience; knowledge derived from experience is called empirical knowledge. Science is a body of knowledge, empiricism is a method, you gain knowledge by experience, there is a method. Science is a body of knowledge where knowledge is collected by means of experience. All empirical knowledge is not necessarily empirical knowledge. Empirical method tested by various tests and you have come to the conclusion that it is valid knowledge and when that piece of knowledge is related to another item of knowledge and somehow put together, interconnected, then it becomes a body of knowledge. So also interconnection also has to be there to some extent that is why science is a systematic body of knowledge. so you cannot merely say that all scientific knowledge is empirical knowledge, or vice versa, there has to be further refinement. But it is true that physical sciences have so far claimed that all that knowledge is derived from sense experience. Therefore empiricism and scientific knowledge seem to have gone hand in hand. Although there are many people who have now analysed and asked themselves is it really true? Einstein is supposed to have said E= mc2, was not empirically found by him. He didn’t experience it, he said I had a flash, on the basis of it he ultimately made experiments then it was found, it was true. Therefore to say all scientific knowledge is only derived from sense experience is even that claim is now not sufficiently supported. Although they say that ultimately that flash to become a scientific knowledge had to be tested, ultimately found to be true in sense experience. Therefore empirically it is valid and therefore it is a scientific statement.

Now at present our entire history of mankind has reached a point where scientific knowledge is considered to be the knowledge. Instinctive knowledge is not called knowledge. Knowledge derived from faith is not considered to be knowledge, intuition is not supposed to be knowledge. Only that knowledge that passes what are called scientific tests and what are scientific tests? Scientific tests are ultimately reducible to the affirmation of objectivity by a number of individuals, so that it is not one individual’s claim I have seen or it should be such a knowledge which can be shared, shared with others but which can be shared. This is the mark, the testing, this is called scientific knowledge. At one time it was said that scientific knowledge is scientific if it is inductively established, the test is induction. Now what is induction, that was a very important criterion of testing, what is induction? When an object is perceived and that perception is compared with another perception, another object and that with another object, merely perceiving an object, merely perceiving an object as it is not enough, you see another example of the same kind, then you see another kind then you should be able to see in it some pattern and when you see in them some kind of connection which is not only a pattern of some kind, but a specific kind of pattern, namely the pattern of cause and effect, it’s a very specific kind of a pattern. When you can see a pattern in many instances and you see the pattern of causality then you make a statement on the basis of the few observations that we have made now, it can be said that in all the cases it will be true. I have only perceived a few instances but scientific knowledge goes farther and says not only true of what you have seen but if you can establish this pattern and if you can establish this causal connection then you can say that in all the cases of this kind it is true. So induction is supposed to be a process of observation of a few, observation of pattern, what is called uniformity of some kind and this uniformity further defined in terms of causal uniformity then you can come to a conclusion, this is after testing in this way, you come to a conclusion that in all cases it is so. Now there is a leap from a few, so it is called an inductive leap.

Now this inductive leap is very important for science because science does not claim that the knowledge it possesses is based upon observing the whole world, each and everything in the world. Science only says that whatever we have is the scientific knowledge to be claimed to be true and objectively to be true is because we have seen a few examples, in those few examples we have seen this pattern and we have established the pattern to be connected by causal connections therefore we conclude definitively it is true for all. Therefore you will see in science there are propositions which are connected with the statement all. In all the cases if an object is thrown from above, it will move downward in all the cases. Actually you can only see one apple falling from the tree to the ground but you make an inductive leap, in all the cases it will be so, and then whenever you do it, it happens. Even then you can’t say I have seen all, in any case you can’t say in future also it will happen and yet you say in all cases it is so; so scientific knowledge has got this character that it claims to be true of all similar case, if it is shown that those cases are governed by the law of uniformity of nature and law of causation. So testing of scientific knowledge requires this kind of process.23.13it’s called inductive process.

Now in the time of Renaissance, in the fifteen century when the Renaissance started, 1492 is supposed to be the date line when the new age of reason started. You may say that it’s an arbitrary date but if you want to be more definite Columbus discovered America in 1492 and in that year many things happened. So in a rough manner you can say that 1492 is the date line from where onwards you can say the Renaissance started and all that we call modern is the period of renaissance. We are all living in the period of renaissance. So modernity and the renaissance period are supposed to be coincidental periods. Now what happened in the period of renaissance was a breakthrough against a claim that knowledge, the true knowledge, the most important knowledge is what is given in the Bible. This was the one important trend which covered a long period in the history of Europe and that knowledge is what they called revealed knowledge. It is objectively valid because it is revealed. It is revealed by God himself, one who knows everything, omniscient God revealed to an individual, who was an instrument or vehicle of giving that revelation. So Bible consists of those statements which were given through that special vehicle, that special instrument through which revelations have been made, according to which man on the earth is because there was man created by God in an act of creation and within seven days the creation was accomplished and he had said it is good, that the creation is good that is the fundamental proposition of revelation – the world is good. Man was living a life of what we call a life of Paradise and there were two Adam and Eve. And there was a tree of life, and there was a fruit on that tree and the serpent came and told Eve, the woman, who was created by God from the rib of man and Eve was told by the serpent: this fruit is to be eaten, if you eat, you will get knowledge. This is the tree of life, in which there is a fruit which if you take you will have knowledge. Eve was tempted and she went to Adam and said let us both eat. They both ate and when God came to know, he had declared it was prohibited and yet they took it.

So they were banished on what is called the earth today and man and woman were on the earth as a curse. We are all here because we all committed sin, so we are born in sin. We are all the progeny of mankind as a result of that development. This is the condition of man, he lives in sin and he lives in this misery, where it is. Therefore out of great kindness of God; God sent his son on the earth, he participated, he came on the earth, came miraculously and there was immaculate birth and he revealed to mankind that this is the condition, he told human beings that you are all living in sin but there is a way of redemption, you can be all redeemed and this redemption can be obtained if you admit consciously that you live in sin, and you ask for forgiveness and if you ask for forgiveness and he declared: I am the Son of God, who is one with God and I am the gate. If you come to me and ask for forgiveness, I will forgive and then you will be entitled to return to God. Very briefly these are the statements which you find which cannot be questioned. This is the knowledge; knowledge is that which is known to be true, validly true, why validly true, because it has been revealed in a special manner.

Question: uncle when you call it objective, scientific knowledge means experimentation, verification. I don’t doubt Jesus but one person had a revelation, how can you call it revelation because he alone saw? It is the same for Mohammad also. But I don’t understand when they call it objective.

Answer: Objective in the sense they call it because of these revelations, these revelations are objectively true, the only point is they are not scientific. Scientific proof is that they are tested, the word testing is important. Knowledge when it is tested by certain methods then we call scientific, there can be philosophic tests also.

And it was foreshadowed by prophets, who were also very similar but ultimately he himself came so that no doubt remained about what he said and it is now given to mankind and now this is message for man.4.46 man lives on the earth for what? To confess and to repent and to ask for forgiveness and God is so gracious, if you really ask for forgiveness, it will really be given. Ask and you will be given. Now these are the statements which were believed during the long period which is called by many people the dark period, dark ages. These dark ages are supposed to have come to an end when these revelations were questioned and these questions came from two sources, – from philosophy and from science. In the beginning no distinction was made between philosophy and science, so they say they are philosophical doubts. Even Newton’s book was on natural philosophy, what we call science today was natural philosophy. So you might say that a new method of knowledge came to be established. It took time for history to develop what are called scientific methods; it took time to develop it. Men like Bacon and so on developed the Theory of Induction and they said knowledge is knowledge only when this testing takes place.

Now you must know that at that time these two propositions were very important. Or a scientific knowledge to be scientific knowledge found to be tested and true there must be a pattern, why because it was believed that the universe has a pattern then only there is scientific knowledge. Scientific knowledge is knowledge about all, unless there is some pattern, uniformity, scientific knowledge is not possible. And secondly there is in the world a causal connection. On the basis of these two propositions which were called assumptions and therefore you could have certainty of knowledge. Gravitation is a certainty of knowledge. In every case, past, present and future, a fruit falling from a tree must fall on the ground. It will also happen after five thousand years, this is what science can tell you. This climate of science continued right up to the time of Hume, eighteenth century. That is from the fifteenth century to the eighteenth century, three hundred years this scientific knowledge was raised to that height that nothing to be believed, and no statement known to be knowledge unless it is scientifically proved. When Hume came, he said: how are you sure that there is a law of causation in the world? It must be established on the basis of what you see scientifically; you apply your own implications, your own principles. How can you say that the sun will rise tomorrow, have you seen tomorrow? How can anybody say the sun will rise tomorrow? It is not a part of your experience, without experience how can you say it, then you say there is a pattern that always happens, it has happened till now, therefore tomorrow also it will happen. You say: how can you be sure? Then they say scientists have found out that the earth is rotating therefore tomorrow there is bound to be the rise of the sun, so there is a causal connection, so they say: how do you know what is causality? In sense experience you don’t see any causation at all; you see only one thing happening after another. How can you say there is a necessity that the effect must come out of the cause, it may not, so far it has happened. How can you say it will always happen? And there is no answer to this question.

Scientists today maintain that these two questions are valid questions and therefore now they have changed the characteristic statement about what is science. Even today it is maintained that scientific knowledge is certainly inductive. It is certainly something based upon observations of particulars and you arrive at universal conclusions. But you should always make qualifications that this knowledge which is concerning universal should not be claimed to be universal. It should be claimed to be universal as far as one can make it. How do you know that it will always happen? As far as we know it is universal, it is likely that in the future it will continue, so it is said that scientific knowledge is never certain. This argument was there that scientific knowledge is certain, certainty idea has gone, it is highly probable. There are degrees of probability of knowledge and if whatever criterion you apply, there are new criterions, which are being stated. Karl Popper who is one of the latest philosophers, who gave a great deal of thought on philosophy of science, Dr Chattopadhayaya ji was a direct student of Karl Popper. So you can see how near we are to Karl Popper who gave the latest formulation of scientific knowledge. So he said that whenever you make a statement of science, you should not claim that it is definite, even if you are very, very definite, you should say – definite as far as one can see. As long as a contradictory statement is not possible to make, it is true. Not only that but you should always be in search of a test which he calls, ‘Test of Falsifiability’. All the tests are normally for finding out the truth, that they are true in all the cases. Now you must find a case in which it could be falsified. So try to make experiments to find out whether the statement which is made can be falsified. Even then if you don’t succeed then you say it is very, very true; very, very probably true but who says tomorrow a falsifiable statement will not be possible. So that is why the present knowledge of science is marked by a high level of scepticism, almost like that of Hume but modified to some extent that you cannot say that this room will disappear as soon as all of us have left the room. It is very likely that it is continuing because more often than not you are always coming back and seeing it and the probability has been very, very high even if you try to falsify, it’s not possible. Therefore you can state that this is true so far. So you are not so sceptical as Hume as Hume was but you can state knowledge is possible to this extent that whatever is known to be true is known to be true today. It is quite possible that tomorrow it may not be regarded as true knowledge; you have made some new discoveries and however there are tests to prove the degrees of probability. When no falsifiability test has been made you can say it is probable, when falsifiability tests have been made and they have proved to be unsuccessful then you say probability has increased. So there can be high degrees of certainty. But to say it is absolutely certain there is no such thing at all.

You take examples, for example if I say all crows are black, try to find one example when a crow is white, you try, you go round the whole world you try first falsify it, you have not so far falsified it therefore it seems to be universally true.

So scientifically speaking today many scientists, I don’t say all the scientists because philosophies today which are now described are not subscribed to everybody. There are scientists who still believe in the Law of Causality and they say it is universally applicable, that the Law of Causality is true. So they do say that if you establish causal connection it is necessarily true. But a large number of scientists today have come to the conclusion that you have no ground. In other words they have said that induction itself has to be established empirically. In other words the Law of Uniformity of Nature and the Law of Causation have to be established empirically. At one time it was felt that one day we shall be able to prove it empirically. Bertrand Russell, another philosopher of science, maintained that without induction scientific knowledge is not possible, you have got to make a leap. Scientific knowledge is scientific when you can make statements about individuals leading to a universal conclusion. So without some kind of universality there is no scientific knowledge. And he said this leap from particular to universal is based upon Law of Uniformity of Nature and Law of Causation but these two are not empirically as yet established. But he said one day empirically we will be able to establish, that was his hope. But now that hope is given up by most of the scientists that empirically you will not be able to establish the Law of Causality or the Law of Uniformity of Nature. So the conclusion is that knowledge as defined as true to be based upon testing is true only within certain limited qualifications. There is no such thing as knowledge, nothing can be known, basically scepticism is the ruling atmosphere, nothing can be known except so far what is known and not contradicted, we can say, yes, it is workable.

Deductive sciences are those in which you arrive at general propositions and you deduce from there, mathematics for example is called a deductive science, you deduct from it. Of course in science also you go on inducting, deducting but basically the inductive process is the fundamental process of science.

Now I had to deal with these problems because we want to understand why we have to study Life Divine and what is the knowledge it contains and what kind of knowledge it contains and therefore the value of that knowledge because we say a quest is always to increase our capacity. Are we capable of dealing with the world, this is our basic need, every human being on the earth whether we can deal with the world better and with some kind of possibility of achieving it. I mean all human beings are like that. Now some people might say even with this motive that you can increase your capacity and deal with the world better, you can arrive at fulfilment all that is a kind of instinct or faith at the most, it is not knowledge. Why should we be guided by instinct or faith? Therefore according to them if you are having a quest it is only because it happens. Quest happens, if you don’t ask the question why quest, we are so constituted that we are constantly looking, to say that I am looking, enquiring because I want to increase capacity, don’t say that. I am only an insect crawling on the earth, happening to make observations, there is no purpose in it, I go on crawling on this earth. So this one attitude, this is also an attitude, admit it, it’s a kind of a possibility. The only problem with it is that people don’t feel satisfied. There is something in man; there is instinct in man and more than instinct there is faith in man. All quests can be ultimately reduced to a fundamental quest which is based upon faith. Faith does not claim to be knowledge but it claims: I know, and as a result of which I cannot resist pushing myself to prove that I know, to apply it and to say it is realised.

The word faith really speaking is to be defined in terms of knowledge but that kind of knowledge. Faith is perception of a truth which is not yet tested but regarding which I have untested certainty and I am driven to prove it and to realise it. This is the real meaning of faith. When Shri Krishna says: shraddha is the very man. If you want to define man, what is man? Man is not merely instinctive, that is the important point. Man is basically as Sri Aurobindo says: man is not a mere insect rolling on the earth and more than that in what it consists. Why Shri Krishna says: what is faith is man himself, he defines man in terms of faith. Faith is a kind of knowledge; it claims to be certain without testing. But it strives to prove it and realise it, not only prove but realise it that is the true definition of faith. It is different from the other meaning of faith which is very often said: faith is a belief which is supposed to be true and you act on it, or you don’t even need to act if it is true; don’t question it. This is how faith is very often defined and therefore it is said that there is a problem when you use the word ‘faith’, it is something opposed to knowledge. It is opposed to knowledge if by faith we mean a statement of a belief to be proved to be and it is not to be questioned. In the case of a real faith there is a statement which is held to be true, held to be certainly true with certainty but in regard to which there is a striving to test it, to prove it and to realise it. This faith is not opposed to testing, is not opposed to what we really call knowledge. Knowledge and faith can be contrasted with each other if only we believe in the statement which insists it to be true but there is no attempt to test it, to prove it and to realise it. It’s a belief. The very nature of faith is dynamic and that’s why when Sri Aurobindo says faith and knowledge need not collide. An article of faith should not be rejected simply because it is an article of faith. We should give great value to it. In fact Sri Aurobindo says that until you test and until you get knowledge; what is it that will guide your action? You can’t say, I will sit until I can test, so Sri Aurobindo says until you get it, it is good to take faith as a crutch. So faith is not opposed to scientific, philosophic ultimate knowledge.

Faith arrives at proving that so that, you can say that until it has established it, proved it, realised it. When faith is turned into knowledge and faith is turned into intuitive knowledge because according to this intuition is the highest knowledge. Because testing, science also now has come to the conclusion, you test in many ways your knowledge is so far only probable, highly probable. Therefore now if anything is claimed to be true, it can only be true if there is a capacity in man to arrive at the knowledge of the object as object without error, without any kind of error.

Now, many scientists, many philosophers question whether such a power exists at all. They may grant that human beings have instincts; they may grant they have got faith but to say intuition of this kind exists, they don’t accept, as Bertrand Russell said: it is true that many questions can be answered only if there are intuitions, but we refuse to believe that there can be any intuitions at all. Now this is one statement, how do you prove that there are intuitions? You have only to take examples that is to say; you take the scientific method of proving. What is scientific method of proving? You take examples, so far uncontradicted, such examples you take, even if you make an effort to prove to be false, you take such examples, then collect the data and then compare them, you still doubt them, that is what scientific method arrives at. Then after doubting you make a further inquiry, verify them, again doubt them repeat them and then you say they have been repeated and you go one farther step, they are repeatable.

That is why Veda is a body of scientific knowledge of this kind. It is not called scientific because it is not concerned with physical experiences. Because today science has defined itself that we are concerned only with those experiences which are physically verifiable. But a real critic will say: why do you want to do it, it is found so far you have done it, it is the only way. You apply your own argument against it. So far you have considered science to be that knowledge which is physically verifiable, but why should it be so? I am giving another method where many, many people have claimed that there is intuitive knowledge, they have seen the reality objectively, they have knocked into reality and given and said: we have found. Now there is such a vast body of knowledge available to mankind, which many scientists dismiss as claims without proof. This is why Sri Aurobindo says: these are the people who profess to inquire but refuse to inquire and we should not be guided by those who profess inquiry but refuse to inquire.8.25there is a body of knowledge available and the speciality of this body of knowledge is the following – there are clear statements of what is known, it’s very important. while making the statements they say basically these are only indications of the nature of the object of knowledge, indications, why because in themselves that knowledge, that object, if you really want to describe, humanity has not yet found a language to describe it. In the future we may find a language in which we can give indications more accurately.

Now, many people will say that a statement of this kind itself does not qualify itself to be a statement of knowledge. A statement that maintains which describes the object of knowledge but this only indicates the knowledge because in itself it is indescribable, such a claim we would not admit in our body of knowledge at all. The answer to this question is the following – that all scientists admit that there is something like red and if you are asked to describe or define red; please tell me how you will describe red? This is a very elementary thing, or any colour, or any sound, any taste, all basic things even in the physical world are of that kind. I can indicate by the word red but what it really is, is indescribable. Therefore if red can be a part of scientific knowledge why should my statement not be a part of scientific knowledge. It’s the first statement. Second is that this statement is repeatedly made by all those who make a claim that they have knocked against such a reality, by a number of people. Now in order to reduce brain washing of any kind of anybody, there can be, I can say the same thing as you are saying because you have brainwashed me. It’s quite possible. But if you come across such statements made in India, which had no connection with Maya civilisation and it is never known that Indian Rishi had spoken of it and he makes a statement, he knows that somebody had made a statement, in Ceylon somebody had made a statement, if the statements made by people who had no inter communications with each other, so you can say there is no brain washing at all, then the veracity of such statements gains in ground. Secondly, there are not only geographical distances but even temporal differences, in time something is forgotten. In the new age again the same thing is again repeated by those who have never heard of it earlier. It may be that the Rishis had done it, I myself never hear anything of the Vedas, Upanishads and suddenly I make a statement, saying I have seen. So again if distances of time and space are also established then your statement is likely to be more true. Not only that, you go farther that if these statements are made by those people, who can describe the methods by which they have arrived at these perceptions, which is also important; you can say these are the methods by which I have arrived at these experiences, if these methods are also verified, you also have followed the same method, I have also follower the same method, he has also followed the same method and he also has arrived at the same perception, same experience, then it gains further reliability. Then you can say now a novice is taken and you say now, if you follow these methods see whether by these methods you can arrive at the same thing which I have done and that also is proved to be true and there have been many instances of this kind, therefore this knowledge is further reliable. The same person is asked whether he has repeated the experience of the same, it’s not a once in a while sporadic experience. Many people have sporadic experiences but you cannot establish a science on it, there are repeated experiences.

Then you go farther. There are Rishis who have what you call abiding experiences. Experiences in which what is objectively known and seen is permanent, as permanent as I see the sky every day, permanently I see the sky all over. So similarly therefore if such a claim is made that there are Rishis who have experienced this abidingly and when you see abidingly, you see best, not only abidingly, this is a further proposition. Why best? Because even which is dim becomes more visible in the light of that I see more visible. What seems to be unconnected, I see more connected now. In a dark room I enter and I don’t know the design in which the chairs are put, I knock against this corner of the table and I say whenever I enter, I get knocked, repeated experience. Then I continuously stand there a day, two days, three days, constantly I have got it but gradually by staying there I begin to see that this table is so large, not only one corner which I was knocking at. Now that I see there are many chairs around and then I can see the connection between the chairs, there is a design in it, then I can explain also that if I go from one chair to the other in the middle I will find a gap. In darkness I was not able to see but now I have more light in it. I make a statement that I have seen that knowing which all can be known. It’s a further statement, it’s not merely knowledge of a reality that which is permanent but having known I know all and this is also repeated and then also I can deal with all perfectly well. I can even make a dancing hall here if I know what is all here; I can change the whole hall in a different manner. This kind of knowledge is the knowledge that has been gathered over thousands of years. As Mother said in the Agenda the Veda itself is a result of thousands of experiences, of years of experiences, it has got that authenticity. There are not only one or two people speaking here, even today we do not know the story because Mother said that she had gone back to verify thousands of years of experiences were gathered and Veda is the culmination of that. Not only that, afterwards that knowledge was lost then came another batch of Rishis and they verified by the same methods which were found to be in the Veda that is Vedanta. This is the authenticity of Vedantic experience. therefore the statement of their Vedantic knowledge is to be stated clearly somewhere.

So you might say first of all The Life Divine is a statement of the Vedanta which says that ultimate reality has been seen, that this reality is Sachchidananda, it is further known, it is Sachchidananda and that in the light of this all experiences of the world can be explained – yasmin vigyate sarvam vigyate bhavati, that which is that when known everything becomes known. What is that knowledge? It is that statement which Sri Aurobindo makes in this Life Divine. There is a very important statement in chapter number VII, fifth paragraph from bottom. This is one of the most important statements in the Life Divine.

The ancient Vedanta (Sri Aurobindo distinguishes between ancient Vedanta and later Vedanta. Later Vedanta is the Vedanta of the Brahmasutra, Badrayana and the developments of Brahmasutra through Shankara, Ramanuja and others. So Sri Aurobindo does not refer to that later Vedanta. So he says :) The ancient Vedanta presents us with such a solution (the whole world design, solution everything, all that you want to know, the riddle of the world and) The ancient Vedanta presents us with such a solution in the conception and experience (in the conception means therefore it is conceived) of Brahman as the one universal and essential fact (which cannot be, which you knock into whether you like it or not, it’s a fact) of Brahman as the one universal and essential fact (every word is important) and of the nature of Brahman as Sachchidananda. (this is the nature, when you taste it , it is Sachchidananda. Ananda, you can eat it as it were and you feel ananda in it, such is the nature of it.) Now it is in this view that the whole world can be experienced. What is all the world, in the next paragraph Sri Aurobindo describes the whole world and explains it in one word, it’s a marvellous statement.

In this view the essence of all life is the movement of a universal and immortal existence,(that is Sat, all life, what is this life, all you want to know ) all life is the movement of a universal and immortal existence, the essence of all sensation and emotion(this is another aspect of our experience) the essence of all sensation and emotion is the play of a universal and self-existent delight in being,( what is the third element of the experience of the world ) the essence of all thought and perception is the radiation of a universal and all-pervading truth, the essence of all activity is the progression of a universal and self-effecting good.

In terms of Sachchidananda all that we can call in the world is nothing but all life, all sensation, all emotion, all thought, all perception and all activity? There is nothing in the whole world except this all our experience. You might say the whole of The Life Divine is these two paragraphs, you might say. All the problems of existence have been stated here, all that is here, life is described here, sensations are described, experiences are described, all thoughts are described, all activities are described, this is all, the totality and all that is shown to be nothing but expression of Sachchidananda, which is seen, experienced, verified undeniably again and again, you can walk into Sachchidananda all the time. Based on this knowledge, this is the knowledge which is presented in The Life Divine. And further in the light of this solution is given. All that is still found to be yet enigmatic, where you find a riddle, what is still not realised and you do not know how to realise it that solution is also given, so you might say the whole of The Life Divine, this is the importance of the study of The Life Divine, if you want to see the totality of all this to be experienced, to be seen and you want to see the totality of the fundamental problems of which you are bound to try to find solution, without which you cannot remain, this is expounded in this great work The Life Divine. But there is a further point in it, it is stated in terms of philosophy, it’s a philosophical work, so now we come to that question—Why? Why has Sri Aurobindo stated this knowledge in terms of philosophy?

It’s good you have got time otherwise such things cannot be explained unless you have got such leisure and time to talk about. Philosophy should be done leisurely, when there is no pressure of time, there is no bell ringing. Why is this knowledge expounded philosophically? What is philosophy? Why has Sri Aurobindo not described it scientifically? Why has he not described it poetically? Why has he not expounded it in the language of the Upanishads? He could have written another Upanishad in the same style as the ancients did. The answer is that Sri Aurobindo has also expounded this scientifically in the book called Synthesis of Yoga, it’s a scientific statement, it gives methods, develops the methods, describes all the experiences at different stages, how they are verified, what happens when you verify. A complete statement is available in The Synthesis of Yoga. Even poetically he has explained the whole thing in Savitri, it’s another method of exposition. In the Upanishadic method also he has written thoughts, aphorisms and so on, that also is available. A future musician may put Life Divine into music perhaps. Mother wanted thousand players in an orchestra at one place and expounding a huge piece of music, cosmic music as it were and if you read The Life Divine, you actually feel an experience. If you really put your musical ears to the whole book, you find a huge orchestra. As I had said earlier, you read the very first chapter; it’s like a cosmic sound in which all that is to be said is said, one cosmic sound. First chapter is one cosmic sound, everything is contained in it out of which all kinds of tunes can be traced and can be developed. The first four chapters may be regarded as the principle notes of this music and these three chapters may be regarded as the accompaniments of these notes. And these seven chapters if you put them together it is a one cosmic sound manifested primarily in seven sounds as it were of which the first three are the principle sounds and the other three as accompanying sounds. So if some musician were to compose a cosmic musical piece then these seven chapters could be summarised in that one first movement and these last three chapters on which we have now concentrated for the last three or four sessions are extremely important without which the first starting point is not complete. But this is a musical presentation you might say. But why has Sri Aurobindo chosen the philosophical method of exposition of this truth? Sri Aurobindo says philosophy is not indispensable in man’s quest. Therefore Life Divine is not written as something indispensable for everyone. So this is the first thing to be answered. Life Divine is not written as something indispensable, The Synthesis of Yoga is, it’s an indispensable statement because it is scientific knowledge and if you really want to attain the highest Synthesis of Yoga is indispensable. Even that Sri Aurobindo says is not absolutely indispensable in that very book he says that this Shastra of Synthesis of Yoga is actually in the heart of every man and if one cultivates his inmost heart all the time he does not need to read Synthesis of Yoga, provided that condition is fulfilled. The real Shastra of Yoga Sri Aurobindo says is the eternal Veda which is in the heart of every thinking and living being. And it is in that way that yogic knowledge in that mode of knowledge can be attained by subjective development of oneself coming to that point where the objective knowledge is seen to be objective where subject and object become identical. And that no book can give you, even when you read Synthesis of Yoga, it may be regarded as very important, almost indispensable, but not entirely indispensable. So you might even say that even if these books don’t exist, this knowledge will be cultivated, people will come, they will proceed but storage of knowledge whether you like it or not is in the human progression helpful. If you don’t store that knowledge something else will be stored so better to store something that is worthy of store. It is from that point of view that as Sri Aurobindo said for that sake, he has written all this, so that it may be of some help and that too he has written differently because different individuals and different approaches, – there can be scientific approach, there can be philosophical approach, poetical approach and he has expounded all that, is made available. Now philosophical approach, although not indispensable, if you really want knowledge and nothing else but in a sense philosophical knowledge is indispensable because of the fact that for a large number of human beings the direct method of knowledge of yoga is almost impossible, for a large number of people. And therefore whenever you want to communicate to larger humanity philosophical approach is of capital importance, not only of importance but of capital importance. See there is a chapter in The Life Divine, called The Evolution of the Spiritual Man, chapter number XXIV in Volume II, where Sri Aurobindo speaks of this is in my book, page 780.There Sri Aurobindo speaks of why philosophical at all, why philosophical approach? I’ll read it to you.

An intellectual approach to the highest knowledge..

Vedanta is the highest knowledge

An intellectual approach to the highest knowledge, the mind’s possession of it, is an indispensable aid to this movement of Nature in the human being. Ordinarily, on our surface, man’s chief instrument of thought and action is the reason, the observing, understanding and arranging intellect. In any total advance or evolution of the spirit, not only the intuition, insight, inner sense, the heart’s devotion, a deep and direct life-experience of the things of the spirit have to be developed, but the intellect also must be enlightened and satisfied; our thinking and reflecting mind must be helped to understand, to form a reasoned and systematised idea of the goal, the method, the principles of this highest development and activity of our nature and the truth of all that lies behind it. Spiritual realisation and experience, an intuitive and direct knowledge, a growth of inner consciousness, a growth of the soul and of an intimate soul perception, soul vision and a soul sense, are indeed the proper means of this evolution: but the support of the reflective and critical reason is also of great importance; if many can dispense with it, because they have a vivid and direct contact with inner realities and are satisfied with experience and insight, yet in the whole movement it is indispensable. If the supreme truth is a spiritual Reality, then the intellect of man needs to know what is the nature of that original Truth and the principle of its relations to the rest of existence, to ourselves and the universe. The intellect is not capable by itself of bringing us into touch with the concrete spiritual reality, but it can help by a mental formulation of the truth of the Spirit which explains it to the mind and can be applied even in the more direct seeking: this help is of a capital importance.

Now he explains why it is indispensable:

Ordinarily, on our surface, man’s chief instrument of thought and action is the reason, the observing, understanding and arranging intellect. In any total advance or evolution of the spirit, not only the intuition, insight, inner sense, the heart’s devotion, a deep and direct life-experience of the things of the spirit have to be developed, but the intellect also must be enlightened and satisfied; our thinking and reflecting mind must be helped to understand, to form a reasoned and systematised idea of the goal, the method, the principles of this highest development and activity of our nature and the truth of all that lies behind it. Spiritual realisation and experience, an intuitive and direct knowledge, a growth of inner consciousness, a growth of the soul and of an intimate soul perception, soul vision and a soul sense, are indeed the proper means of this evolution: but the support of the reflective and critical reason is also of great importance; if many can dispense with it, because they have a vivid and direct contact with inner realities and are satisfied with experience and insight, yet in the whole movement it is indispensable. If the supreme truth is a spiritual Reality, then the intellect of man needs to know what is the nature of that original Truth and the principle of its relations to the rest of existence, to ourselves and the universe. The intellect is not capable by itself of bringing us into touch with the concrete spiritual reality, but it can help by a mental formulation of the truth of the Spirit which explains it to the mind and can be applied even in the more direct seeking: this help is of a capital importance.

It is because of this importance that The Life Divine is to be studied, both for ourselves and for others. In any case it is extremely important for those who want to communicate the highest knowledge to others. In the time of the Upanishads the knowledge was to be given to a select few, who are tested, for them Upanishads were enough, but this is not the aim. The aim here is to give to the whole of mankind. According to Sri Aurobindo today we have reached a stage where this knowledge has become indispensable, it is pressing upon mankind today. Even those who are sceptical of spirituality are obliged to tell mankind to give to your children spiritual education, obliged to say this because they find it is indispensable for the very survival of man. It’s so important.

Today we have reached a stage where the whole mankind has to be given spiritual education as a policy, why? This is a necessity of the present day. Now in that necessity, in that context of necessity this knowledge has to be expounded and this knowledge has got therefore to be intellectual, why? Because mankind, for the mankind in a large way is not capable of jumping straight into direct experience, the intellect has to be told because intellect normally seeks, it’s a seeking instrument. Intellect cannot stop seeking, it is the nature, intellect seeks always. It is very important, intellect has one very important force in it, there is as it were a faith in the intellect, because faith is something it doesn’t know but it has an impulsive force, it forces as it were, the intellect causes a faith. What is faith? That there is a truth that pre-exists, there is a truth. It may be argued truth does not exist at all but what is the truth itself but intellect cannot question. All intellect is nothing but elimination of error, arrival at truth. Why does it do it, because it has a faith that there is a pre-existent truth? Ultimately you might say I made all the effort and did not find the truth. But intellect, as intellect, as long as it remains intellect, it is as it were incurably present. Of course this faith is not so strong as in our sensation when we have pain. Why do we try to eliminate pain? Intellect also tries to eliminate errors all the time, why? Because it has a faith that there is truth. Now similarly pain also in sensation: why does a sensation always try to eliminate pain? Why, irresistibly? You can’t say you may do it, you may not do it. Pain is having such a tremendous pressure in it, it must seek Ananda. In sensation, ananda is as it were inlaid; in intellect truth is inlaid but not so powerfully because one can leisurely wait. It doesn’t have that much of force in it but ultimately whenever it tries what is the fundamental function of intellect? To examine. It is a beautiful sentence in chapter number 7:

Yet in the principle of reason itself there is the assertion of a Transcendence. For reason is in its whole aim and essence the pursuit of Knowledge, the pursuit, that is to say, of Truth by the elimination of error. Its view, its aim is not that of a passage from a greater to a lesser error, but it supposes a positive, pre-existent Truth towards which through the dualities of right knowledge and wrong knowledge we can progressively move. If our reason has not the same instinctive certitude with regard to the other aspirations of humanity, it is because it lacks the same essential illumination inherent in its own positive activity. We can just conceive of a positive or absolute realisation of happiness, because the heart to which that instinct for happiness belongs has its own form of certitude, is capable of faith, and because our minds can envisage the elimination of unsatisfied want which is the apparent cause of suffering. But how shall we conceive of the elimination of pain from nervous sensation or of death from the life of the body? Yet the rejection of pain is a sovereign instinct of the sensations, the rejection of death a dominant claim inherent in the essence of our vitality. But these things present themselves to our reason as instinctive aspirations, not as realisable potentialities.

This is the best definition that Sri Aurobindo gives of rationality.

For reason is in its whole aim and essence the pursuit of Knowledge, the pursuit, that is to say, of Truth by the elimination of error. Its view, its aim is not that of a passage from a greater to a lesser error, but it supposes a positive, pre-existent Truth towards which through the dualities of right knowledge and wrong knowledge we can progressively move. If our reason has not the same instinctive certitude with regard to the other aspirations of humanity, it is because it lacks the same essential illumination inherent in its own positive activity. We can just conceive of a positive or absolute realisation of happiness, because the heart to which that instinct for happiness belongs has its own form of certitude, is capable of faith, and because our minds can envisage the elimination of unsatisfied want which is the apparent cause of suffering. But how shall we conceive of the elimination of pain from nervous sensation or of death from the life of the body? Yet the rejection of pain is a sovereign instinct of the sensations, the rejection of death a dominant claim inherent in the essence of our vitality. But these things present themselves to our reason as instinctive aspirations, not as realisable potentialities.

Right, no. this is the fundamental reason why intellectually whether one likes it or not, one can postpone, as in case of pain you can’t postpone pain, I can wait here till tomorrow, that also we do sometimes saying I have pain but tolerable but a time comes when you say not a single second I want, I can bear it anymore, unbearable. Similarly in the intellect also day comes, there are human beings who feel such a tremendous necessity intellectually one must see what, and that again we will come back to that paragraph which we were reading. What is the need of that intellectual, if the supreme truth, I said truth is a search which is undeniable to the intellect then that search is the search of the supreme truth. All error is to be eliminated. If the supreme truth is a spiritual reality then the intellect of man needs to know what is the nature of that original truth? And so this is the fundamental thing in philosophy, what is the nature of that original truth, Original truth and the principle of its relation to the rest of existence to ourselves and the universe? If the supreme truth is a spiritual Reality, then the intellect of man needs to know what is the nature of that original Truth and (so it’s the fundamental thing in philosophy) what is the nature of that original Truth (original Truth and) the principle of its relations to the rest of existence, to ourselves and the universe.(it’s all philosophy, its province is only this much this is all that philosophy does). If the supreme truth is a spiritual Reality (it’s a question mark, doesn’t say it is) then the intellect of man needs to know what is the nature of that original Truth and what is the nature of that original Truth (original Truth and) the principle of its relations to the rest of existence, to ourselves and the universe. Basically all philosophical questions are this. When somebody says do philosophy, what does it mean? Except educational philosophy because she has to do educational philosophy, what is educational philosophy? Educational philosophy is to determine what is fundamentally the truth of education, what is it that we can call education as education as distinguished from what is not education that activity that we can properly call education, what is the meaning of it, why do we call it education? What is it that we call that activity, surely all activities are not educational activities. I am eating my food every day; it’s not an educational activity. What is that activity which is truly an educational activity and why do I call it educational and not all other activities educational? That distinctive feature, what are the elements of that activity and defining all the elements of that and how all the elements of that activity are interrelated, the principle of relations between them and its relation with all other fields, so that you have a distinguishing mark. So when similarly, political philosophy is political philosophy? It is a consideration of what is political activity, exact definition; it is not educational activity, which is not health activity, which is not social activity, which is not cultural activity 5.43which is not economic activity. What is it I call political activity, what is the essence of it, what is the distinguishing mark, why it should be that is also a further question, why political activity is to be what is it and what is the purpose of it, what are the connections of political activity among all the other activities of political activities? Distinguish between principle political activities, subordinate political activity, peripheral political activity and to relate them one with the other. So this is what has to be done. If you want to give to mankind the highest spiritual truth, it is of capital importance that it is given to mankind through philosophical statements. Even if you like to pooh-pooh it, or too mental it is still something indispensable. Even people who say we are not bothered about intellectuality, we can tell them: my dear friends it is at your peril, you may not be bothered about it but a time will come when you are obliged to do it. All human beings at one time or the other are required to approach it unless you are like Shri Ramkrishna where you can directly jump into direct experience. Quite possible, in this life he did not need it, so we can say there are people who can dispense with it. But this philosophical activity is very important, because human beings principally have one faculty, which they call intellect. It is a faculty of man. In that faculty there is this inherent urge, faith you might say, which wants to know pre-existent truth, find it out, determine it, put clearly in the intellectual term, that is to say in terms of words, what are intellectual terms? When you say intellectual terms, it means what? In words whatever truth is to be described is to be described in precise words. Such words which will convey to the intellectual person the information about what is that reality, if not the experience of it but information about it, which will incite into the individual some imagination of it. Incite into the individual some aspiration to experience it not only to have information but experience it. So describe it then to say how that Ultimate Truth, why it is ultimate? It is to be convinced, it is ultimate and there is nothing further than that, how do you arrive at that conclusion? It’s a part of philosophy that this is the highest and the ultimate and nothing more. And having done that is it capable of explaining all the rest of the world? If so, how does it explain all the rest? This activity is to be supplemented by a further problem that you still have a problem which you are facing, then can you find the solution of that problem in whatever is stated to be ultimately real and how you can find a solution to that problem? This is a necessity which human beings do feel at one time or the other, and when you want to do it for a larger mankind then this is indispensable, not only capital, in that context it is indispensable. Even for those who want to dispense with it, even they sometimes will require all this and there it is of capital importance. But when you want to convey to mankind in a large manner because most of the human beings are incapable of entering into it and yet it is important for them. So you have got to have philosophy and that is why, if our interest is only to do yoga we don’t need to read The Life Divine, even then to some extent, yes. But if you want to convey it, even for our own joy, if you want to express, even our own intellect also is to be satisfied, our own intellect is to be satisfied. Some people might say, I don’t bother about satisfying my intellect, it is all right, many people can dispense with it. They don’t want to labour, so much. But there are cases where intellect has to be completely satisfied. And only when it is satisfied they say then I will now do it. So for them it is indispensable. And that is why as I was saying in the beginning that I was in need of revising what we have done so far and now when you come next time, we shall proceed with the five chapters 6-7 in greater depth. Although I have taken a few paragraphs here and there but that is by way of introduction.


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