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Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, The Triple Transformation - Track 204

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, p.p.889–90

Having said this, I will now refer to the first paragraph of this chapter which you have with you (p, 889):

"If it is the sole intention of Nature in the evolution of the spiritual man to awaken him to the supreme Reality and release him from herself, or from the Ignorance in which she as the Power of the Eternal has masked herself, by a departure into a higher status of being elsewhere, if this step in the evolution is a close and an exit, then in the essence her work has been already accomplished and there is nothing more to be done. The ways have been built, the capacity to follow them has been developed, the goal or last height of the creation is manifest; all that is left is for each soul to reach individually the right stage and turn of its development, enter into the spiritual ways and pass by its own chosen path out of this inferior existence. But we have supposed that there is a farther intention, – not only a revelation of the Spirit, but a radical and integral transformation of Nature. There is a will in her to effectuate a true manifestation of the embodied life of the Spirit, to complete what she has begun by a passage from the Ignorance to the Knowledge, to throw off her mask and to reveal herself as the luminous Consciousness–Force carrying in her the eternal Existence and its universal Delight of being. It then becomes obvious that there is something not yet accomplished, there becomes clear to view the much that has still to be done, bhuri aspashta kartvam; there is a height still to be reached, a wideness still to be covered by the eye of vision, the wing of the will, the self–affirmation of the Spirit in the material universe. What the evolutionary Power has done is to make a few individuals aware of their souls, conscious of their selves, aware of the eternal being that they are, to put them into communion with the Divinity or the Reality which is concealed" ...

(Page 890)

..."by her appearances: a certain change of nature prepares, accompanies or follows upon this illumination, but it is not the complete and radical change which establishes a secure and settled new principle, a new creation, a permanent new order of being in the field of terrestrial Nature. The spiritual man has evolved, but not the supramental being who shall thenceforward be the leader of that Nature".

This confusion arises because there are two traditions which are intermixed; very often the words used are the same but what is being said is quite different. There is one tradition which began with the Veda, which is present in some of the Upanishads and which is present in the Gita. There is another tradition which is also present in the Veda, Upanishads and the Gita in the sense that it is acknowledged but which was not very much preferred. But that which was greatly preferred among some people and many people in the tradition of the Veda, Upanishads and the Gita too followed that tradition. That other goal, but which in due course became much more prominent in our history of India and this was taken up very largely by Buddhism and Jainism and this was again taken up later on by the Hindu tradition. And at that time, much of the original tradition of the Veda, Upanishads and the Gita, stood neglected, ignored, or not fully understood. And therefore, over the last 2000 years this tradition of the understanding of mukti as understood in Buddhism, Jainism and also in the Hindu tradition – later Hindu tradition – became very similar and it came to be realised that actually, whatever differences there may be among all these principles of thought, the ultimate goal is moksha which everybody accepted.

This later tradition speaks of moksha in terms of what can be described as salokya–mukti and sayujya–mukti – these are the two words that mukti considers. Salokya–mukti is a state of liberation that one attains by realising oneness with the Supreme. One lives in the same consciousness as the Supreme. Sayujya–mukti is a state in which one realises one's dependence upon the Supreme, one's union with the Supreme but not identity with the Supreme. In sayujya you have a kind of relationship with the Supreme. These two words describe whatever differences there are in the later Hindu tradition, of varieties of concepts of mukti.

Two traditions have become very powerful in the later Hinduism, the tradition of jnanayoga and the tradition of bhaktiyoga.

The tradition of jnanayoga aimed at salokya–mukti: one becomes one with the Supreme. Statements like: tat tvarn asi, Thou art That, aham brahmasmi, I am brahman are the statements which are relevant to this kind of realisation. The bhaktiyoga actually claimed that complete identity with the Supreme is impossible, is in fact a wrong notion. The individual is an eternal child of the Divine, he can become a bhakta of the Divine but he cannot become one with Him. So the realisation of the individual as an eternal child of the Divine is sayujya–mukti, you become liberated. When an individual realises that he is a child of God and remains in this condition for ever, he becomes liberated.