Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, The Triple Transformation - Track 503

Vedic and Western Psychology

In other words the psychology that is being studied and explored all over the world is still what we may call the ABC of psychology. In fact Sri Aurobindo in one of his letters says we should never confuse Freud's psychology with yoga because many people who read yoga and read Freud, they immediately feel a great consonance between the two because both deal with some kind of unconscious. Even yoga deals with the unconscious and superconscious about which you are unconscious therefore it is all labelled as unconscious. So many people believe that yoga is the same thing as Freud – Freud's psychology is called psychoanalysis – so they believe that yoga and psychoanalysis are very similar or they come very close together. Therefore, Sri Aurobindo has given a great warning saying that one should never confuse yoga with psychoanalysis. And then he says that modern psychology is only in its infancy. It is only learning the ABC of psychology and is like a child who, when he is able to write A, declares that he has now conquered the whole world. So such is the enthusiasm of the modern psychology, it has hardly discovered a little bit and wants to claim that it has discovered everything.

Now this concept can be compared to the concept of the unconscious in the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Gita, which is so profound. In the Veda there is the concept of the three oceans, samudraha, ritsamudraha, sindhu. These are three terms which occur quite often in the Veda. Normally samudra means the unconscious; ritsamudra means the human consciousness, that which is very alive in the heart of man; and sindhu is the superconscicus of which we are not aware now but which is itself a vast ocean, an ocean of light not of unconscious. If you read the Veda from this point of view you will find that the Veda is not only a discovery of these three oceans but also the method of a successful travel in these three oceans and how you can successfully travel in these three oceans; how you can understand better the ocean of unconscious, how you can become very conscious and how you can transcend the limitations of your consciousness and enter into the superconscious.

Question: Superconscious is intuition?

There are many levels. Intuition is one of the powers of superconscious. There are supposed to be seven rivers according to the Veda which flow from the sindhu, and the several names are to be found in the Veda which refer to these rivers. The one name that is given is Saraswathy. This is one of the very famous goddesses in the Veda. It is one of the rivers that flows from sindhu. The others are Ila, Mahati, Sarama and Daksha. At least we can identify these five out of the seven rivers mentioned. They speak of seven rivers but it is five names which we can, if we study the Veda, distinctly discern from this vast literature. Each one is described precisely in detail in the Vedas. Mahati is the river of vastness.

Question: Vastness?

The very name Mahati is vastness, Ila is the power of revelation, Saraswathy is the power of inspiration, Sarama is the power of intuition and Daksha is the power of discrimination. Each one has a special function and if you read the Vedas you will find that whenever it speaks of Ila it speaks of revelation, whenever it speaks of Saraswathy it speaks of inspiration, whenever it speaks of Sarama it speaks of intuition, whenever it speaks of Daksha it speaks of discrimination. It's a very conscious knowledge. If you enter into the superconscious you will have these five very important experiences of the superconscious. The whole ocean is even vaster than these five streams you might say – these are five rivers – and there is still a huge ocean. The whole huge ocean is described as Savitri – the Supreme light which Sri Aurobindo calls the Supermind – Savitri is described by many terms, Surya for example. And this discovery of Savitri was preceded by some other discoveries which are also described in the Veda and they found that before you get admission into Savitri you have to go through four important guardians. They are called the guardians of light - Varuna, Mitra, Aryaman, and Bhaga.

Varuna gives you vastness. Just as Mahati gives you vastness and it is a feminine energy; Varuna is the masculine energy. Mitra is the Lord of harmony, the real friend; the secret of friendship is contained in Mitra. Aryaman is the Lord of austerity and tapasya; all effort, the hard right way of making an effort is in Aryaman. And Bhaga, is the right way of enjoyment, the true delight, the mastery of delight and the capacity to contain the delight. With most of us, even a small delight can make us excited and we cannot hold it and as you rise higher and higher, greater delights come. Therefore we require greater capacities to keep the enjoyment intact and you learn to rightly enjoy. So if you want the Supreme to be experienced and enjoyed, then you require a tremendous capacity because the real delight which is also described as Soma in the Veda is an elixir of delight.

Actually there is one full chapter in the Veda, i.e. Rig Veda, 9th chapter, which is entirely given to Soma and which actually gives you conditions by which Soma can be approached and the purity that is required to approach Soma. It says that only when you are heated perfectly well and you become like a baked jar – a body is like a jar – baked jar, very well baked jar, only then, when the Soma is poured into you, you can sustain it. Otherwise like an unbaked jar it would break, Soma cannot be held in you. So if you really want the highest delight then you have to purify yourself of all the dirt, all the impurity that is in our being, and to be so pure, so transparent, that when that delight manifests in us you remain intact and there is no disbalancement. The ecstasy of the delight is so great, it is like an ocean of delight – not only a stream, not only a small cup of delight, but the ocean of delight and if it descends into you normally we would be broken, unless we have been trained in a great tapasya. Aryaman has to be fulfilled completely before Bhaga can come into play.

So the entire Vedic process you might say is aware of the unconscious. Freud is aware only of a bit of the conscious and of one part of the unconscious and he is not aware as to how the unconscious itself comes out, what is the origin of unconscious. He does not raise these questions at all – whereas in the Veda there is the knowledge of origin of the unconscious. The Veda says, satyam charitam chabhiddat tapasodhyajayata, tatoratrijayata, tataha samudro arnavaha. This is one of the famous verses of what is called the Agharmashana mantra. Agha means sin, marshana means destruction, a mantra which can destroy the sin. If you know this secret as to from where darkness has come, then you can really cure it. The cure can be effected only when you know the origin of a certain disease. So darkness is the unconscious – samudro arnavaha is the darkness – darkness came out from ratri, ratri is a half darkness.