In the Veda, when you read the Veda, you find a clear admission in what is called the Aghamarṣaṇa Mantra. I have spoken of it earlier but it needs repetition. Aghamarṣaṇa Mantra says:
ṛtaṁ ca satyaṁ cābhīddhāttapaso ’dhyajāyata |
tato rātryajāyata tataḥ samudro araṇavaḥ ||1|| (X, 190)
(tataḥ-rātri-ajāyata tataḥ samudraḥ araṇavaḥ)
It gives you a description that first there is Tapas: Tapas is the force of the Light of the Divine. So, let us say, there is first the one Light, the supreme Light emanating from the supreme Being. Now, from that Light it says that the first thing that came out was ṛtam-ca-satyam, ‘the Truth and the Right came out’ and there is no surprise in it because from the supreme Light, only Truth can come out, the supreme Light can only give the Right. So there is no mystery, no question about it. But then it says very clearly, tato rātryajāyata, from there… rātri in the Veda is the symbol for ignorance; tataḥ-rātri-ajāyata, ‘From there Ignorance arose’; tataḥ samudro araṇavaḥ, ‘from there arose the ocean of complete Darkness’: Inconscience. Now, this is a very great clue given in the Rig-Veda, in the 10th Mandala, the last chapter of the Rig-Veda. So, it says that Tapas which is the force of the Light of the Supreme, in its tasks of creativity first gives rise to ṛtaṁ ca satyaṁ, the Truth and the Right. What is ṛtam and satyam is further described in the Veda, we shall come to it later on. But this is the first step of Tapas movement.
After that, the next step is the rise of rātri. Now, that is a mystery: how from the Truth and the Right, how can rātriarise? But it says that it is out of this that rātrihas come out. Reality is only one, there are not two realities it is not as if somebody else put rātri. So, the Rig-Veda is perfectly clear, the Reality is one: ekaṁ sad viprā bahudhā vadanti,(R.V. I, 164, 46) that is the great sentence of the Rig-Veda, Reality is one. That Reality which is one, which is luminous, which has a force, which is called Tapas, out of that Tapas’s action, the first thing that comes out is ṛtaṁ ca satyaṁ.Then out of this comes out ‘Ignorance’. And then comes out the complete ‘Darkness’. It goes further, but for our purpose this is most important statement that the Rig-Veda recognises that Ignorance has not come out from somewhere else, it has come out from ṛtaṁ ca satyaṁ.But how and why it should come about? That question is not answered in that particular Mantra. So, even there I could not find the answer to my question.
How from ṛtaṁ ca satyaṁ, from there how can ignorance come out? And then Ignorance is the parent of error, the parent of falsehood, exactly the opposite of the Truth and the Right. How can this happen? And then comes out complete darkness, samudro aranavaḥ: that is the symbol of complete Darkness. In the Rig-Veda samudra is used for 3 oceans: the ocean of ‘Darkness’, the ocean of ‘human consciousness’, and the ocean of the ‘supreme Light’. There are three oceans according to the Veda. So, out of the Ignorance, tato rātryajāyata tataḥ samudro aranavaḥ, ‘…Then came out a complete Darkness’. Now, this is what you find in the Rig-Veda.
So, when I could not find the answer to this question, at that time I did not know Sri Aurobindo at all. I was only reading all this, trying my best to find out where to find the answer to this question, and I came to the conclusion that nobody had answered this question. It is then that ‘The Life Divine’ happened to come to my hands, and when I read this book, then I came to a real explanation and understanding to this question.
So now let me come rapidly to the answer to this question. What is the explanation of this? Now, to understand the question and the answer we must go back to the Rig-Veda. The Rig-Veda speaks of Tapas from which arises the Truth and the Right. Now, this is a very important clue: the Reality according to the Veda is not merely immobile; if it was only immobile then Tapas which is the force of the Light creating something would not arise. Immobile cannot create anything. So, the first thing to be noted is that according to the Vedic knowledge, the Reality is not merely immobile: it has also mobility.