Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12 - Track 8

Now is the question of the substance of the argument. This substance is a very vast subject and while it will take us three, four sessions of this kind, I will just mention only two small things, just to sum up the substance of the argument. Sri Aurobindo says in the eighth chapter, not in the ninth chapter because ninth chapter is a sequel to eighth chapter. In the eighth chapter Sri Aurobindo has mentioned two things, we see always with two eyes, the eye of the idea and the eye of the fact. It is only when what is seen with the eye of the idea is corroborated by the eye of the fact that there is a full satisfaction in our sight. Somebody tells you that Bombay is full of skyscrapers, it’s an idea. It is only when you go to Bombay and see with your eyes as a matter of fact that you are convinced. The full conviction comes. Taking a clue from this Sri Aurobindo says that God is an idea. However that idea may be presented to you may seem very great, wonderful, perfect, you will never be satisfied unless you can say, or unless you can see with our own eyes − God.

First of all, Sri Aurobindo says that God means such and such idea. In other words, Sri Aurobindo in these four chapters describes the idea of God and then he says that this idea of God can also be seen to be experiential Reality. A reality which you can experience, you can see God, corresponding to the idea that is presented so that you have full satisfaction. Secondly, Sri Aurobindo says in the eighth chapter that this idea, this God when experienced, is experienced as Sachchidananda that which exists, that which is conscious and that which is full of delight. He says such was the experience of the Vedic and the Upanishadic Rishis, it was seen by them as such.

What is the meaning of existence, what is the meaning of consciousness, what is the meaning of delight and how this concept which is derived by the experience of Sachchidananda can explain the universe that if God is such and such, world must be such and such. If world is such and such, God must be such and such. This is the substance of the argument of these four chapters. In other words, the entire Life Divine has one message namely that human life can become divine life. The human life can be lived in God and the human life which we see today full of troubles can be transformed and can become divine.

What does it mean? First of all there is a need to say, what is divine and what is human? What is life and what is divine? There is a need to give a total picture of human life and a total picture of divine.

Normally the divine is not a data of our ordinary experience. In our ordinary experience we only see matter, life and mind, therefore the divine is a matter to be inferred, to be imagined, but to be imagined by the process which we have described earlier. Can we show intellectually that God exists? In fact this is one of the most important questions, which is being asked by all human beings who have passed through an intellectual process. At one time or the other, human beings do ask this question: ‘can it be true that God exists? Can you intellectually prove that God exists? And if you can prove that God exists, how can you explain this miserable world. If God really exists, can the world be like what it is; can you derive this world from God? If God is Sachchidananda and the world is full of misery and death, how can you derive this from there?  Either the world exists, but God does not exist or if God exists then world does not exist but the world exists therefore, God must not be existing. If God does not exist then the divine life is an impossibility. But if the whole argument of the book is that divine life is not only a possibility but inevitability, then it is necessary to show to the reader that God is not a contradiction of the world and the world is not a contradiction of God and there are some missing points because of which this contradictions appears to be so.

What are those missing points? How these missing points come about? And what is the nature of God because even about God there are many concepts. So, Sri Aurobindo says that if you define God properly, both from point of view of the idea and from the point of the fact. Whatever concept of God you derive must be idealistically perfect, sound, clear, without confusion and it must correspond to the fact of experience of God. So let us first of all paint the picture of God then let us draw the picture of the world accurately without exaggeration and then try to see how the two stand together in relationship. If you can then show that the present world as it is can be derived from God and because the present world is, what it is and because God is what God is, therefore this world can be transformed into divine life, divine world. If this can be shown very neatly and clearly then only our case is established. This fundamental work is the task of these four chapters. This is the substance of these four chapters. Does God exist? Can He be proved both from the point of view of the idea and from the point of view of the fact. What is the correct concept of God from both these points of view? What is the accurate picture of the world and can this world be derived from God and from that derivation can we further derive that this world can be transformed into divine life. This is the basic argument of these four chapters. Next time we shall take up these arguments and the substance of these arguments.