Sri Aurobindo and The Veda (Auroville) - Session 2

We are in the field of occult knowledge, the secret knowledge of the soul and its connection with the earth, its necessity of rebirth, a real concept of immortality and conditions of immortality. Much of the knowledge contained here is new knowledge, in the sense that in such a systematic form it has never been presented before in the history of thought.

There are many ideas which have been presented; there are many ideas that are inter-mixed with errors and exaggerations; and that is why on the problem of rebirth there has been a lot of confusion, not only here but all over the world.

Before we proceed further we should ask two or three questions very sharply so that what comes in the text becomes much more clear.

First question is who is reborn?

The second question is what is the necessity of rebirth?

The third is what is the process of rebirth?

The answer to the first question—who is reborn—is: there is a normal, common, popular notion that the man whom we saw dying is really reborn. This is a very common, normal idea. A man or woman who has died is reborn. And we begin to expect in the rebirth the same tendencies which that man or woman who had died possessed. If that man was heroic we expect that in the next rebirth the same heroic man will continue to be heroic. If that man was greedy then in the next birth the same personality will continue to be greedy. If that personality had certain attachments with X or Y or Z then we expect that in the next birth the same will continue. Such are vague, unclear, common notions. These notions are based on facts that we do not make distinctions. Between four elements which are in our personality there is the physical element, the physical body in which we are living; there is the vital element which consists of desires, impulses, attractions, repulsions, longings; there is a mental which consists of ideas, conceptions, dreams of various kinds, visions of various kinds and finally there is a soul in us. We do not even know the interconnection of all this.

As a result of this, our notion of the personality that dies and the personality that is born is also a very vague and very unclear notion. Surely the same physical body is not reborn. That body which is here is burnt and is turned to ashes or is buried and there it gets disintegrated. But besides this physical body, there is the internal body that does not get immediately disintegrated. This is called the subtle physical body. The word subtle physical is a larger term which includes subtle physical, vital and mental also. But in the subtle body there is a subtle physical body also. This subtle physical body survives for quite some time and if the vital and mental are not very much developed in us, if the soul in us is not very much developed in us, then there would be an immediate physical rebirth in another body. It would be almost a continuation of the kind of personality that there was before because nothing was developed. This answers to the common idea of the same personality being reborn. But this happens only in the case of very rudimentary human beings, very, very elementary, very barbaric human beings whose life is centered only on the physical and other parts of the being are not developed. Now, for those who have got vital being quite developed, the mind also to some extent developed, and the soul also slightly developed; in that case after the disintegration of the physical body, also the subtle physical, the vital continues for some time. It was developed already; it does not disappear. But on the physical earth, basically only physical beings can live, that is the specialty of this physical world.

If anyone wants to come on the earth and live on the earth, he has got to have a physical body. If he does not have a physical body then one cannot live long on the physical plane. So, there must be another plane where this vital being developed in this body, which has still not disintegrated, which is still continuing, passes through a certain plane and that must be a plane corresponding to its own nature. If it is a vital being it goes to the life plane, the vital plane, a vital world, a world which consists of vital beings. This is a part of the occult knowledge. That apart from the physical world there is a vital world.

This world alone, the physical world is not. This is ancient Vedic knowledge that there are many planes of existence. There is vital, mental plane and there are higher planes such as Satchitananda plane. In fact the Veda speaks of the seven planes of existence, the Sat plane, the Chit plane, the Ananda plane, the Truth plane, the Mind plane, the Life plane and the Physical plane. This is idea of the saptarashmi—seven rays. The Veda says all the seven are interconnected and interwoven. And wherever we look around the world all the seven are present, although all the seven may not be dominant, may not be manifest very clearly. So when the vital being leaves the body along with the soul and mind, it transmigrates to the life plane. This is the reason why Kathopanishad says, Yama tells Nachiketas, one who believes that this world alone is and there are no other worlds he can never be liberated because he is constantly attached to the physical world. So once you go to the life plane then you get a freer domain of expressing your vital being. This also is a very important idea.

What does it mean to get a freer field to express the vital being? You notice that in this world of the physical, we are constantly hampered by physical disabilities. There are many things that we would like to do but either we are sick or we get fatigued very easily, or else there is a need for sleep. Very often when our vital being is very powerful we feel we should have 48 hours in a day to be able to do everything that we want to do. There are so many things to be done but it is the physical existence which hampers our full manifestation of all our vital activities. In the vital plane this disability would not be there, so that it may have a freer play of its energies. Very often many things that we cannot do here in the physical plane we are able to accomplish in the vital plane, this we are able to do by transmigrating into the life plane. And we reach a point where all that we wanted to do is, as it were, exhausted.

Once that is done then we are able to pass to the other plane and if our mind was developed to some extent then we go to the mental plane. There again, what we were not able to do mentally here, we are able to accomplish over there. And a point is reached where it is exhausted and then we are able to move to the plane of the pure soul being which is called the Psychic plane. It is the psychic being actually, which is the individual formation of the soul; which is immortal, it never disintegrates, it is the inextinguishable flame. So that which really survives the body after the death of the body, it is this psychic body or soul which remains integrated. The vital can become exhausted, the mental can become exhausted but the soul is never exhausted. It is actually you might say an entity of potentiality which remains disintegrated.

It is this soul personality which has a sojourn on the psychic plane. And according to the level of evolution that it has reached in the past births, and according to the potentiality it has got of manifestation in the future, it waits for the circumstances on the earth to arise appropriate to the need and then it takes a new body on the physical plane by descending into the physical plane. Very often when the soul is not very developed it does not make a conscious choice of the circumstances in which it is to be born. It happens almost like gravitation. But when the soul development has been sufficiently great, then it can decide exactly when it is to be born. It can even preside over the formation of the body, determine the formation of the body and take the birth according to its needs very consciously. In the case of very developed souls this is the normal condition. So it is actually the soul that takes birth.

One who is reborn is the soul that is reborn, and while taking rebirth it may have discarded the previous personalities altogether because they are no more necessary for future growth and future potentialities to develop. Or it may take help of whatever was formed and enter into the new body with all the formations of the past birth in whatever way they are modified, after going into those planes by going through necessary modifications with enriched material derived from the experiences of those planes. As a result of that we cannot expect that the soul that is now born will manifest the same tendencies which were present in the last incarnation. Napoleon of the last birth may be in this birth an ordinary soldier, no more the captain of the commander. Or he may be a businessman in the next birth or an ordinary navigator, depending upon what experiences he had already exhausted and what new potentialities he has to manifest. So it is idle to expect a new personality continuation in the same form or same rhythm as it was in the previous birth.

The common notion that the same personality who dies now is reborn is quite unscientific. It is only true of those very rudimentary personalities which have no capacity of transmigrating to higher planes and to exhaust themselves and to renew themselves, it is true only of those personalities. But for the others it is not so for most of the human beings it is not so. Otherwise there would be no evolution. If you are simply to be born again into a new body it would be senseless. Why would you have left the earlier body at all? We leave the earlier body because the circumstances in which we are living, the capacities which are there in the body have reached their point where they cannot have further development. We have reached a critical point where continuing in the same body has no further meaning in terms of evolution.

I would like to introduce one more complication in this simple description that I have given and that is the concept of individuality. Earlier we had said that the purpose of this game that we call the present world is to manifest the totality in the embodied individual; this is the general formula we had given. The true individual, we had said, is the jivatman and we had defined jivatman as the centration of the universal and transcendent Divine in a manifold movement of universe. This is the definition that we had given of the jivatman. The idea is that this centration should become embodied and in that embodied condition the transcendental and universal consciousness must fully manifest with specificity which that specific individual is designed to express. Until that happens in the embodied condition we are obliged to return to this physical world. This is the law of necessity.

Why is it that we are obliged to come back to this earth? Suppose after coming out of this body we go into the plane of life, plane of the mind and plane of the psychic, why do we not remain there all the time? Why are we obliged to come back? The necessity arises out of the fact that the purpose for which we have agreed to play this role, to reach a point in this embodied condition, the totality must manifest specific individually. And since this cannot happen in one birth or many births, it is imposed upon us that we have to come back again and again. Or you might say that we have taken a decision to do so along with God Himself. We want to participate in this game and so it is with the self choice that we come back again on earth so that that particular aim is fulfilled. So the important point is in the individuality. In the individuality, Totality must become manifest.

In every evolutionary process here, the constant pressure is to develop individuality capable of manifesting Totality. This is the central drive in our life whether we realise it or not. Whatever we are doing in our life sharpens our individuality to such an extent that the Totality can manifest specifically through our individuality. And all that we are doing on this earth is a kind of work of a goldsmith. Our soul is very much compared with a goldsmith’s. The jivatman when it is embodied, it is embodied by its delegate called the soul. It is the soul that is the goldsmith which goes on shaping individuality of the body, life and mind and of itself.

A most important activity that is going on in our life is the formation of individuality. This formation is basically the task of Agni, Fire. All formation, even in the physical world if you want to form or weld something without fire it is not possible. You cannot make a form stable without welding and without the fire element. Same thing is also true of the subtle planes. It is the fire element which welds, which gives formations and the soul is really the Agni element as we have seen earlier.

This individuality is to be distinguished from ego formation. Ego formation is also a kind of individuality and most of us mistake our ego formation as the real individuality. We must be very clear about this distinction. Ego formation is the formation of individuality up to a certain point of development. But when we examine the ego consciousness, we find that ego consciousness has no substance behind it. This requires a little further explanation as to what this means.

If you examine ego consciousness you’ll find there are three elements in it. There is the sense of ‘I’ness. Secondly, this ‘I’ness is concentrated upon a small, finite formation. And thirdly, it believes that it is independent of all the rest of the whole world. With regard to the three things, the ‘I’ness is a verifiable experience. We all feel ‘I’ness. You do not need to prove it. We also find that it is always centered on a small, finite formation. I am this much you are different from me, so I distinguish myself from all the rest so it is centered on a finite formation. Thirdly, it believes it is independent of all the rest, it believes it is but it is never so. There is nothing corresponding to this independence. The egoistic consciousness believes itself to be independent of all the rest but in the scheme of the world, when you examine objectively you find that it is never independent of all the rest. It is constantly dependent upon all the rest. It is, you might say, a puppet in the hands of the universal dancer. The whole universe is a dancing girl as it were and it is that which is dancing and the ego is simply a fingertip of the dancer. How can the fingertip be independent of the universal dancer? There is no substance in it. It is a false belief and there is nothing corresponding to the belief. That is why egoistic consciousness is unreal in itself as there is nothing corresponding to it. It is a sense but corresponding to the sense there is no reality. There is no real entity independent of all the rest. But because of this wrong belief there is a striving in it to maintain its independence. But wherever it feels its independence is attacked it creates a shield around itself and constantly struggles to keep itself in a make believe. In contrast to the ego consciousness, the soul consciousness is quite different. That is why we must make a distinction between ego and the soul. And the individuality that is to be developed and that is intended to be developed is not the egoistic individuality but the soul individuality. What is intended to be brought out is the soul's individuality.

What is the meaning of soul individuality? First of all, in regard to the composition of the soul itself, there is a speciality which must be understood. The composition of egoistic consciousness always consists of the physical, vital and mental energy. The consciousness upon which the ego concentrates and revolves around, that formation over which the ego sense is concentrated consists always of the physical, vital and mental energies. So there is a formation of physical, vital and mental energy over which a sense ‘I am’ is constantly vibrating. And this ‘I am’ is a sense also consisting of mental energy. So you might say mental energy vibrating over mental energy with a specific colour of it which says I am, I am, I am. This is constantly held by memory.

There is a close connection between egoistic consciousness and memory. It is memory which links my self experience of now with the self experience of the next moment and the self experience of the third moment and on that string of connections, my egoistic consciousness is formulated. And it is that which goes round and round over the formation of the physical, vital and mental energies. This is the composition of egoistic consciousness. You might see here that there is nothing corresponding to the ego sense. The ego sense considers itself independent from all the rest but there is nothing independent in this movement. That is why the Gita gives a very great analogy: supposing there is a big machine that is mounted in motion and you are on the tip of that machine, so all your movements are the result of the movement of that machine. You as a separate individual simply do not exist anywhere. It is only a sense and does not correspond to anything that is real. It is like a small girl believing that her doll is alive but there is nothing corresponding to that belief. Similarly, my ego sense believes that I am independent from the rest but there is nothing corresponding to it.

As opposed to this formation the soul does not get composed of the physical, vital and mental energies. This is the first distinction. It is different from physical, vital and mental energies. If you use the Sanskrit word for physical, vital and mental energies it is Prakriti, because that is what ultimately Prakriti means. It means energy of movement and energy as manifested today is the energy of physical, mental, and vital, threefold energy " the physical in which tamas is predominant, vital in which rajas is predominant and mental in which sattva is predominant, it is called Trigunatmak Prakriti.

The first distinction of the soul is that it is not composed of this threefold energy. Secondly, the soul here is a delegate of the jivatman. Being a delegate of the jivatman, it has the qualities of the jivatman. If it does not consist of physical, vital and mental energies what is it composed of? Being the delegate of the jivatman, it has the composition of the jivatman.

The composition of jivatman is a centration, a specificity of the Supreme Lord Himself. Mamaeva amsha—is the description given in the Gita. The jivatman is Mamaeva amsha. It is my portion, my centration, not part because the Lord cannot be divisible. This jivatman is the madhvadaha of the Kathopanishad, the eater of honey. This jivatman is the centration of the Supreme Lord Himself which vibrates with, which is composed of, the energies of Satchitananda Himself. Its vibrations, its energies are energies of Satchitananda, which are all manifesting through Truth. So you might say Truth Energy. It is composed of not physical, vital and mental energies, but Truth Energies. Truth Energy consists of Satchitananda. It is itself the centration of Satchitananda. This soul is a delegate of this jivatman so it has all the elements of the jivatman. This is the composition.

In other words this is a composition of the Supreme Lord and Para Prakriti as per the Gita. Ego is the formation of Prakriti. It is also called Apara Prakriti, lower Prakriti distinguished from Para Prakriti. The composition of the ego is that of Apara Prakriti. Composition of the soul which is the delegate of the jivatman is that of Para Prakriti which is Truth Energy and which is centration of the Divine Himself, it is energy and centration. This centration is specific, sustained by the Divine permanently, eternally.

This specificity is distinguishable from all other specificities, my soul, your soul, her soul; each one is distinguished from the other. Each one is a centration of the Divine. For each one is distinct from the other. In that distinctness each one is independent of the other. But it is entirely inseparable from the Supreme Lord because it is a centration of the Lord. In other words, each soul or each jivatman knows itself to be independent of all the rest only in regard to its distinctness from the others. But not in the sense that it is independent as separate from all the others; distinct from others yes, but not separate from all the others. This is a subtle distinction which is to be made. Being inseparable from the Supreme Lord it knows it is entirely dependent upon the Supreme Lord and it does not fall into the mistake of thinking that it is independent of all the rest. Therefore the individuality consists of its distinctness from the others, inseparability from the Supreme and from the Para Prakriti and that it is eternal and inextinguishable because the Supreme is inextinguishable. Its formation of body, life and mind are constantly mutable, therefore they are extinguishable but the soul which is a delegate of the jivatman and the jivatman being the eternal centration of the Divine, is inextinguishable. Therefore, while the ego and egoistic formation is mutable and extinguishable, the soul is inextinguishable. Jivatman himself with all his consciousness, if it descends completely into the human body as it is with all its fullness of knowledge, then the kind of play that is to be played cannot be played because it will all the time be conscious and the gradual evolution which is to take place will not take place.

Therefore jivatman itself does not enter into the human body and is therefore called ‘ajanma’, he is unborn. What is born is its delegate, the soul. He puts forward his Agni, a spark from itself and it is the spark which has all the potentiality of all that is in the jivatman; its specific work, the entirety of Divinity, is entirely present in the delegate, the soul. But it does not force itself and impose itself upon the various formations of body, life and mind. This you might say is the law of the game. Jivatman is in Truth Consciousness and its real station is in Para Prakriti. So if you enter into Para Prakriti you find your true self there. But even at lower planes you can experience it. When you rise above your consciousness you do experience it also. But its fullness, the Divine soul in its fullness is only on the Truth plane and Supramental. Transcendental is the Lord Himself of which jivatman is the individual centration. And there are many centrations, each distinct from the others and they are all eternal centrations. But they are not independent, not separate but distinct. Therefore, the soul does not have abhiman which the ego has got. The distinctness does not amount to separation so far as soul consciousness is concerned.

In the egoistic consciousness I am not only distinct from all the others but independent from others at least that is and that is what creates abhiman. Therefore it is called the false notion of the self because there is nothing corresponding to it. When we speak of individuality we speak of the soul individuality which is distinct from the other soul, distinctness but which is inseparable from the Divine. It is the one that is many you might say and whenever you go into the transcendental you see ekatvam pashyata sarvatra, you see oneness everywhere. And at that level you can also see that distinctness which is here which you call your distinctness and the distinctness in her I experience as my own distinctness. It is not as if someone were to have two distinctnesses because it is the Supreme Lord’s own distinctness. The Supreme Lord is only one. So I have no illusion of being so distinct from the other that I am completely different from the other and completely indifferent to the other. This is the experience we are entitled to get in our Truth.

When we have in the image of Raasleela of Sri Krishna where each Gopi is distinct from the other and each Gopi is having an experience of the Supreme Lord exclusively but also she sees that the same Lord with every Gopi and even herself is only one of the distinctive manifestations and all the others are equal manifestations of the same Lord. It is this consciousness of individuality that is to be manifested while embodied. Before we got embodied at the Supreme level we already had this consciousness and it is always present. The individuality is to be manifested while embodied. It is never abolished. Even today if you happen to go into a state of consciousness by whatever means you will see yourself in that Raasleela as a partner of that Supreme Divine. The jivatman is ever free but in this play of the body, life and mind movement, it sends its delegate the soul, a spark because of the specific purpose, to have the same experience in the embodied form. Therefore in the embodied form it has to happen gradually. And the connecting link is the soul, the Agni, the spark. It is the Agni, as it were, the real individual. It has no egoistic consciousness. It has the consciousness of being distinct from the others but not that it is separate from others. It is also aware that it is constituted of Para Prakriti. It has the direct Truth consciousness. It has potentiality of the whole of the centration of the Divine. It knows its mission as to why it is here in the embodied form. But our body, life, mind and ego are not aware of the soul. The soul is aware of them. But our body, life, mind and egoistic formation are so absorbed in themselves that they have no time even to look behind. And this ego makes us believe that we are we and because of the jumping movement of egoistic consciousness all the time goes on revolving round and round like a monkey all the time, jumping about it prevents us from entering into the Truth Consciousness.

There is a screen created by virtue of this exclusive concentration of consciousness on the egoistic formation. Keeps us absorbed in our activities of body, life and mind, of our limited formations and making us believe that we are this and nothing else and it is our business to protect ourselves as against others. So it protects itself from the whole universe, protects itself against the soul which is behind it. It is a double wall it has created. We do not know the world either because ego does not open itself to the whole universe. It does not open itself to the soul consciousness which is behind. So when we, we are a swirling movement of egoistic consciousness around a formation which is constantly fluctuating believing we are independent but which we are never. It is in this falsity that we continually go on living all the time.

The soul knows and is aware of this whole business. And if it wills it can immediately invade the whole thing and break the egoism altogether. But it does not because the purpose is to create an embodied condition. Because if it breaks prematurely, the embodiment might itself break, the formation itself may break and therefore it does not invade.

That is the law imposed upon the soul that it will not invade directly. The soul therefore lives like an exiled king. The kingdom is the kingdom of body, life and mind of which soul is the real king but ego has usurped the kingdom of the soul and rules as if he is the king. And the soul, knowing all this remains behind like an exiled king. And according to the law imposed upon it " that consent must come from below, from body, life and mind and aspiration must rise from here, then in answer to that the soul can invade. That is why the need for aspiration from below. The greater the aspiration here, the greater will be the soul coming to the front. The screen will be thinned. In some moments of great aspiration, the screen may suddenly snap and we may come directly into contact with the soul, even our ego can experience the soul, our mind can also experience and the soul itself may manifest for some time. But if the outer being is thick, the snapping is only for a momentary time and again it may close and this happens to us when we are transported into an experience where everything becomes alive, everything appears so intimate, all sense of separation disappears. A tremendous perception of the Divine appears before us. But after some time it again disappears. But this memory is very important, through the memory we can again go back to it.

What the soul does is to the extent to which the body, life and mind aspire for the rule of the soul; it puts forward its energy, soul energy. Putting forth the soul energy creates a formation of the soul. This formation is called the psychic being as distinct from the psychic entity which is the soul. Psychic being has individuality, it’s a formation, it is a packet of soul energy; something of Para Prakriti as distinguished from tamas, rajas and sattva begins to enter into the tamas, rajas and sattva movement. It is an infiltration, invasion of the soul on the body, life and mind.

In the beginning this formation is very small. Therefore the Kathopanishad calls it angushtamatram, not bigger than the thumb because the soul formation in the beginning is a small formation depending upon the aspiration of the body, life and mind. This individuality of the psychic being if it grows more and more then even the mind, life and body also get affected and their formations become more and more in the image of that individuality. Instead of the egoistic individuality they have a stamp of the psychic individuality. But this is a very long process and in one lifetime it is ordinarily not possible to complete the whole cycle in which the psychic being can fully develop its individuality and can stamp itself on body, life and mind so that the body, life and mind become psychicised, so to say.

To remove the ego individuality and to develop the soul individuality, and to manifest the totality of the Divine in body, life and mind is the real purpose of our being here on earth and until that is done we are obliged to come back again and again, birth after birth. In this process, an important stage is reached when we begin to become aware of the immortality of the soul. Our outer being, body, life and mind and ego which are ignorant of the soul when they begin to become aware of the presence of the soul and the immortality of the inextinguishable soul. It realizes that the soul is immortal. Now this awareness is a very important stage of development. Normally, we are all the time in a sense of insecurity; our whole life is full of anxiety and fear because we feel fear of disintegration. Nothing in the world is as dangerous to us as a threat of our personal disintegration. This is the main anxiety of every human being and what every human being is doing is to build up its formation. And he is constantly building up for fear of disintegration; even when you form the body, how much the mother has to take care of the child to see that the body formation and a good, sound formation and is very worried about any process by which sickness may come, dislocation of the body may come disintegration of the body may come about. And our constant fear is to make the body as capable of integration as possible, similarly, of our mind formation, our life formation. Attempt is to make our body, life, and mind as much integrated as possible. And that is because our mission here is to create here a constant mutation of individualized divinity. This is the mission.

Therefore constancy is all the time attempted by us even in the field of change. Therefore in this changing movement to create constancy and individualized constancy, something which is true of our jivatamans that is our constant effort. And even though we may not be aware of it, all our anxieties ultimately are reduced to this. We are constantly trying to see that we may succeed in this task, even unknowingly. We are constantly trying to obey God’s command that we have to create here in this body a constantly mutable individualized divine. But not knowing the secret of it, the way to achieve it we are constantly struggling ignorantly and constantly being disintegrated and even when death takes place we are reborn again so again the task continues. So death is not real disintegration. It is a passage by way of which another integration takes place on a bigger scale than the soul intends.

The real message that we get out of this whole description is that the immortality of the soul is first to be realized by body, life and mind. You do not have to make the soul immortal; the soul is by its nature immortal; you only have to realize immortality. Secondly, you have to realize the immortality of the Divine consciousness of Satchitananda of which the soul is here the representative. So the awareness of Satchitananda, the awareness of the soul is the real realization of immortality which you do not have to create; they are immortals. What is to be created here is the image of immortality. In this mutation of the world to create formations of body, life and mind and formation of the soul entity of the psychic being more and more individualized, more and more expressive of the Divine that is to be built here. There are two tasks. One is realization of what there is already and the second is the task of fabrication. We are first to discover the immortality of the soul, of jivatman, of Satchitananda. That is not to be fabricated as it already exists. On the other hand to shape our body, life and mind into the image of the soul so that they are also psychicised, individualized, not egoistically individualized but psychically individualized and in that process the fullest form of the psychic being itself. This is to be fabricated. And the two processes are interconnected.

The more you realize the immortality which is there already the more you are able to fabricate, immortalize the body, life and mind here and the more is the manifestation of the psychic personality. Therefore, the completion, the whole thing would be when in this very body, the same body can live on and on and on without any intervention of death that would be the ultimate victory of fabrication. So our body dies constantly, it is constantly being mutated. But what we call death one day not only the mutation takes place, our individuality itself is lost. The integration is lost. If you can maintain the same physical body, not the same physical body because the atoms are constantly changing but the same individual formation, same individuation, if you can have it all the time that will be the real victory over death. The death principle itself is removed.

When you take rebirth you carry with yourself your formations of life, body. You develop more and more, individualise yourself. Some of you exhaust, some new ones you bring. Certain things that are not developed you bring from there, from above by experiencing them and that gives a great help to your evolution here.

In fact that is the need of our sojourn in other parts. That is how when you come in a new form, you have new potentialities, new formations and even what you have developed you may not bring now but in the course of your life you can bring back supposing you have been a great queen in the past and have manifested a great power the personality remains, it is so individualized, it is not disintegrated, it does not die. In this birth you do not need it because you have to make another experience. But if at a certain time in life you need it, it can immediately come down and help you because it belongs to you in a certain sense and you have a right over it. That is how sometimes at certain moments of our experience you find that you are quite a different personality for that moment. Suddenly you can change.

Experience is not dependent upon the body. Only physical experience requires a physical body. But there are corresponding experiences even of the physical which you can experience without the body. You can see without the eyes even now when you dream without your eyes you are seeing so many things even now; your eyes are not necessary. Your physical does not need to move about; the physical body is lying on the bed and yet you are experiencing you are flying an aeroplane; you are meeting your friends and talking to them.

The body itself is not the only instrument of experience. The soul itself is an instrument of experience, is the real vehicle of experience. The body is only one of the vehicles of concretization of a certain kind of experience and in perfection even that is necessary. For mere enlargement it is not necessary. If you want to enlarge yourself you can come out of the body and enlarge yourself. It is only because embodied experiences are involved in the whole game therefore we are required to get back into the body and take a new birth in the body. Otherwise experiences are possible without the physical body which we already have in our lives today when we go into dream consciousness.

The Taittriya Upanishad speaks also of our superficial being. We are normally aware of our immediate field of activity and that too only a portion of that field. But behind this surface consciousness The meaning of a developed vital and developed mind is the following. All development means three things: widening, deepening, and heightening; when any capacity is widened, deepened and heightened it is called development. This is the normal definition of development. When you say you develop yourself it means whatever is your point now you deepen yourself, widen yourself, you heighten yourself. These three things together create your development.

Now vital is of desires; vital is a plane of growth, of attractions, longings, capacity to possess, capacity to influence, capacity to master, experience of conquest, capacity to enjoy. These are the vital capacities. The more you can do in these three forms, the more the vital you say, he is a more developed vital being. There are some human beings who are so developed that they have magical power. The individuals are automatically turned to him, they speak a word and it has an effect; you speak the same word and it has no effect. The reason is that this is a development, more vibrations, the energies are more concentrated. Most actors and actresses are more developed vital beings you might say, their sadhana is a development of the vital plane, vital being. They acquire, they enjoy, they possess and have great influence, they live in a world of desire, attraction, repulsion. They struggle also and there is a tremendous battle there and to survive is very difficult. There is a constant danger of disintegration. But it is there that the battle goes on. But not knowing the real meaning of integration they remain bound to that field.

If they know that there is a soul and by doing so the struggle would not be present and they would do better than what they are doing now. Because when the soul comes into the picture it facilitates all the development and it is the soul that has the real potentiality. So that is the whole field of education.

In fact if you know this, this is a secret knowledge and this is what Kathopanishad basically is about. And it is also the secret of the highest ideal even of what Sri Aurobindo spoke of the conquest of death, is actually stated here in this short exposition. This is the whole secret of our existence. And if this is known then all processes of life, all sciences of life become easy whether it is commerce, business management or education or any activity in life has its key basically in this knowledge. Whatever one is, or one wants to become, if this knowledge is available then it can be made very easy. This is a fundamental knowledge and the rest is procedural knowledge because the essence is grasped and everything else becomes easier.