Sri Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture. (SAIIC) Shillong workshop, 26,Oct -7 Nov, 2006 - 18. Psychic Being

Question: Where is the psychic being located?

Not in our capacities or incapacities, we are all unequal, but in this much that each one of us has got a psychic being. Psychic being now is that being which is psychic entity, which has now become aware and gathered that much light as to have connection with the supreme light. That is the psychic being. Even that has to grow, but it can grow more and more if you come in touch with that light. Now, when you come into touch with that light, then you like an arc light, then you put it on every problem that you have in your body, life and mind circumstances, how to deal with them? You put that light on it, and if you can put more and more light on it, the body, life and mind, and our circumstances will be designed by that light, that is our architectural work.

Therefore, each one has this one work, first work is that look at your own body, life and mind, everyone, look at the circumstances which your body, life and mind have created for you. So be aware of your outer world. That is why in the Gita it is said Ksetra, Kstrajna. there is a one full chapter, the13th chapter of the Gita is called Kshetra Kshetrajna Vibhaga Yoga. The knowledge of the ksetra, and kshetrajna is the psychic being and ksetra is the circumstances of the body and of all your life.

Now, a good human being is one who is aware by that light. Normally, we are aware only by our mental light. By our mind, we try to understand what we are, to the extent of what we can know and the world, that is not utilising our true human life, we are utilising only part of our knowledge, but when we come to that; that is why Mother says that whenever you have problem, go inward, seek for this light, even that is not easy. But of course, at one time, Mother says it is only a short road to go to psychic being, but that is from her point of view. One day she said: the psychic being it's a very short road, you just turn and you get the psychic being. But one day Sri Aurobindo also said that, but psychic being is not skin deep. There are miles, there are miles and miles to go, quite a long journey.

But anyway, the whole point of human life is to discover that light, and one thing is certain; unless you discover that light, and unless you utilise that light to make an architecture of your body, life and mind, your work is not over. You may take one birth, two births, hundred births, whatever births, the sooner you do, the better it is because you are crossing the lines powerfully. And today evolution has reached that point where this knowledge can be given to all people. There was a time when this knowledge was given only to a few, because they could have not understood, or, if understood they would have misused it. That is why in India, this knowledge was called a secret knowledge, but now Mother has declared that this knowledge now can be generalised.

In fact, Sri Aurobindo written a beautiful sentence, ‘generalization of yoga in humanity is a definite purpose of nature today’. So that is why we can speak of it more clearly, because also today, the knowledge about psychic entity is much more clearly known to us than ever before. That is because Sri Aurobindo and the Mother worked on for those six years to get that knowledge. That is why we now can say that knowledge is available to humanity in its perfection. Therefore, now we can give to humanity without difficulties, otherwise the journey is very perilous, and many people have been completely mistaken in their movements. But now today, if you know this knowledge and if you can give it rightly, even that has to be given rightly, not in a very propagandist manner, because this is not a matter of propaganda, it's not to convert people that now you turn to this. This cannot be turned as Mother said, Sri Aurobindo’s teaching can never be turned into a religion, can never be because it is a living process. A doctor's profession can't become a religion. You have got to do something; you have to convert the sick man into a healthy man. It’s not a matter of religion that you do every day this thing and you are all right. You have to be healthy, truly healthy, so religion is out of the question. You cannot make this doctrine a kind of a religion. It’s not a matter of belief. You’ve got to turn, you've got to take hold of the psychic light and then turn that light on the instruments of the body, life and mind and see how they can be shaped according to the divine light. So you bring divine light through the psychic consciousness, turn it on your circumstances and mould them and prepare them to make a temple that you have to create.

This is that ‘To know oneself and to control oneself’ means that if you want to do this, this cannot be done by remaining what you are at present. What you are at present is a bundle of instincts, a bundle of appetites, lusts, small desires of various kinds, attractions, repulsions, long longings. Some people have longings for somebody for years and years, longings of all kinds, feelings, sensations, emotions, all kinds of visions, all kinds of planning, all kinds of perceptions, insights, various kinds of wills—I want to do that, I want to do that—, hundreds and millions of thoughts crowding in your mind, this is what we are.

Now if psychic light is to hold up on it, the first task is to organise all this in such a manner, it becomes absolutely organised, like a tuned instrument of violin. The strings are absolutely straight so that the moment you put your hand on it, it gives you the needed sound. Now, how can you do this without control? But control does not mean that you suppress it, because normal methods are suppression, without suppressing how to control, this is the art of yoga. So ‘To know oneself and to control oneself’, if you do this, this is the first principle of education.

When Sri Aurobindo speaks of integral education, this is the first basis, foundation. If you give to the children gradually, by that experience, if you can put them on this road, Sri Aurobindo says: you don't need to educate, you just need to put children on the road. If you put them on the road, then they will walk on by themselves. Actually, if you read only this much, now nobody needs to be told anything more than this. Once you know this, reveal to him that there is in him this light, and if you turn it, your human life can be shaped properly. This is the only thing to be inculcated in the child. The rest everybody will do on his own.

Now according to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother it is seated in occult consciousness behind our hearts. Our physical heart is the seat of emotions. Every human being will testify that, when emotions vibrate, your heart vibrates much more powerfully than any other part of the body, whether it is shock, love, joy, sorrow whatever it is, your heart is greatly affected. It’s a seat of emotions, but deeper than those emotions, this is what Sri Aurobindo says it is not skin deep. It is long, long miles of travel. You go inward again and again, again and again. First you will come across inner physical, inner vital inner, inner mental then you will come into this psychic proper. So all this you have to cross, then you come to the psychic consciousness.

Now how quickly you can do? There are many ways of quickening that process but that we shall come to later on. Your question is only one: where is the seat? I am answering only that question just now. Our seat is in the heart that is beyond our physical heart, behind our physical heart. In the in Kathopanishad it is said hridayasya guhyam, angushtha matram. This is the expression in the Kathopanishad. That being, it doesn't use the word psychic being, but it is angustha matram, like a small thumb. You experience as a small thumb, not bigger than the thumb angustha matram and when you go deep as it were, something as it were like a bone, you feel as if there is a being there. This is your first experience of it, actually psychic being’s own size is much larger. But normally it is crowded by all kinds of forces. It is when you operate a heart you may only see one muscle, because everything else is full of blood. It’s a pool of blood in which you have to see the real part that you want to examine. So at the first sight, you may say ‒ it's only this much, but when you clean up, then you really see the size of it. That’s why Sri Aurobindo says it is called angustha matram because of that reason; that in the first experience you see it crowded by so many other things that only that much juts out as it were. So in the Kathopanishad, this is given already that knowledge but all this knowledge was so said that you cannot understand it. It was secret knowledge because it was deliberately written in such a language that only people who are very, very keen to know, they would go to the teacher and ask and explain, and then you have to do a lot of exercises and then you can find out that this angustha matram means this. Actually, if you read Kathopanishad, it is one of the most difficult Upanishads. So much is said the whole chapter of angustha matram.

Actually, the question of Nachiketa was very simple: I want to know what happens to man after he dies. That's all. Some people say that nothing remains of man and some people say that he remains, which of this is true? And then Yama says: I won't answer that question to you. You ask for anything else. You want seven generations of wealth, I’ll give you, you want this happiness, I’ll give you, I give that happiness, I’ll give you, but this knowledge I won't give you, why? Because even gods do not know, he said. Even gods are thirsting for this knowledge, how can I give you that knowledge? So he says I don't care for all these boons that you are giving me. I only want that knowledge. Then Yama becomes very pleased with him and says all right, since you are very insistent, I wish that every time I get a pupil like you because then I’ll be happy to explain and then he gives the knowledge.

But if you read the knowledge that he gives, you won't find what you are actually asking for. It is given there. You see there is one very important phrase in the Kathopanishad, ‒ etat vetat. This is the phrase, wherever he really answers the question he adds this word, etat vetat that is to say this is what you wanted to know etat vetat. So now, if you read the Kathopanishad I give you this secret, that etat vetat that wherever you see etat vetat it means that this is the answer to his question, but so many things are given, you won't know what is the answer to the question. Ultimately, only he announces, Nachiketas says: I have now known, and then the last word is that he became immortal and his life was fulfilled. That is all, but you don't know, what is the knowledge that he got, it's all given there, not that it is not given. It is only Sri Aurobindo who has explained the Upanishads so well that we now today know what is the exact meaning of these Upanishads, wonderful statements of true knowledge.

So now we come back to this. I have so far only described what is occultism and the beginning of spiritual knowledge. Psychic knowledge is a part of the spiritual knowledge, but in spirituality itself, we make a distinction between psychic spiritual knowledge and spiritual knowledge proper. Psychic knowledge is also spiritual knowledge because it is beyond body, life and mind, but even in the field of spirituality, psychic spiritual knowledge is one and spiritual knowledge proper is another. Now this distinction very clearly you'll find in Mother's book on psychic and spiritual education. There is a chapter Psychic and Spiritual Education.

Now, what is spiritual knowledge, what is spirituality? Spirituality is the knowledge of the origin of the psychic consciousness. The origin of psychic consciousness is fourfold. All that is said in etat vetat in the Kathopanishad, one is what you call Brahman, the second is what is called Ishwara, third is what is called Purushottma and with the Purushottama you come to know what is Aditi. This fourfold word ‒ knowledge of the Brahman, knowledge of Ishwara, knowledge of Purushottam and knowledge of Aditi; the knowledge of these four can be called spiritual knowledge, because psychic consciousness is connected with these four. It is also a part of this fivefold reality, but it is this psychic consciousness is a kingpin as it were. If you go to psychic being all these four unfolds by itself. That is why Mother says that the psychic path is the very largest path. If you go there, then you are bound to lead to integrality. That’s why Mothers insists upon psychic consciousness, although you can also go to Brahman directly without psychic consciousness. You can also know Ishwara directly. You can also know Aditi directly. You can also know Purushottama to some extent directly, but even then, your knowledge of all these four will be incomplete without the knowledge of the psychic consciousness. So if you want the integral knowledge, perfect knowledge, then you should have all the all the five elements, ‒ psychic consciousness, Brahman consciousness, Ishwara consciousness, Aditi consciousness. This is the geography of spirituality, total.

Now, when you see all this knowledge was already attained by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and which was already described in The Life Divine, which is a proof. So all this knowledge is already described in The Life Divine. The whole book is an exposition of this knowledge. Then there is a further question. Oh you want real spiritual knowledge, not only words. Anyway, I shall tell you only definitions, all right, for the moment.

Brahman consciousness is the consciousness of the immobile essence. The essence which is always the same, by definition essence is always that which remains the same. Brahman is the immobile essence but of such a nature, it can spread everywhere and yet remain the same. So Brahman has two meanings, ‒ essence, the very word Brahman actually means expansion. That’s why Brahma the creator is called Brahma because he expands. Therefore, the real word Brahman, but Brahma does not have that concept of essence. Therefore, this new word is Brahman, not Brahma, but Brahman. Brahman is the essence which remains the same in immobility, but which also expands and remains the same. It is only when you know this that world becomes one, the essentiality of world becoming one when you know the whole world is one. What do you mean by saying look at the oneness of the world? Actually, we see only multiplicity in the world and they say you see one self in all. Where is one self in all? It is when you see that Brahman, which is essence which is seen spread all over. You can see that Brahman everywhere. But this is a spiritual experience. When you see the Brahman, and that is what is called equal Brahman samam brahman as it is called the Brahman is always samam brahman is always equal, spread out equally, no difference between a dog, elephant, man, god, it is the same reality everywhere, you see the same Self. It is infinite because it spreads infinitely. Alright, this is the meaning, only definition I’m giving just now.

Then Ishwara, Ishwara is the same Brahman; but the consciousness of Brahman which lords over everything, he is the Lord of all that. An experience of a reality, there is an experience, even in ordinary life, you get sometimes experience of lordship, when you have land, you are a landlord and you look at your land, you feel that you are a lord of your land. Similarly, the Brahman, when it extends everywhere, is a kind of a lord over everything he surveys, therefore only Brahman consciousness can have the consciousness of the lordship. Nobody else can have that lordship consciousness, all right, but this consciousness is specially called Ishwara, because sometimes what happens is that you may know the essence, you may know the expansion, and yet you may not know him as the lord. This is a specialty of spiritual experiences. That is why many people who have experienced the Brahman as an essence, they say God is not a Lord he is only Brahman. Therefore there is a distinction, there is a quarrel: is god Brahman or is he Ishwara? This quarrel is unnecessary because it is true that sometimes you experience only Brahman, at that time you cannot experience lordship. It's a different…….