Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, The Triple Transformation - Track 804

Veiling, Ignorance and Bondage

 Question:  While projecting he is being himself spread out?

 All the three are simultaneous. This is what Sri Aurobindo calls the triple status of the Supermind. So that in the Supramental plane, where we all belong really – at one stage we are all members of this particular ananda – where all the three statuses were together simultaneously. But you can see that now a gradation has come into the movement,...

As a result of that, the play becomes very intense. 

if you use the word Purusha for the individual, and if you use the word, Prakriti, for the play then you can say that the play of Purusha and Prakriti becomes intense and multifarious and in the play so many steps are taken, so many intricacies begin to emerge, multiplicity of forms, particulars; you might say innumerable particulars become manifest and the individual gets projected in all of them very intensely. It is at that stage, if there is an intention of the soul, of the Purusha, to create the veil – (if there is no intention then the veil will not be there) it may remain a transparent movement – but if there is an intention to create the veil, then it is here that the soul can allow the play to play itself out; you might say the soul can remain in a state of sleep.

Question:  Independent?

Independent but in a state in which it does not intervene in the play, this is what going to sleep means. It does not intervene in the play, the play goes on its own as it were, although the play started because he was intensely involved – he was projecting – but once it has started it can go on, on its own and the soul does not intervene in the play, and yet it goes on. And that play also which was aware of the presence of the soul becomes so much intensely aware only of the play, it has no time to look back because of the intensity of the play itself. This is what happens to all of us when we become engrossed in a thing. We become very actively engrossed in an action and by engrossment the action becomes very powerful. But then the rest of the things are not abolished they are ignored; they are not in our frontal consciousness. This condition in which the play becomes acute by concentration is called the condition of veiling. The soul has decided not to intervene. If it does not decide not to intervene then because of the rays of light going from there, this ignoring would not be possible on the part of the play because this light would always enlighten it and would bring it back – but if it decides not to throw its light upon the play, if Purusha decides not to throw its light upon Prakriti and Prakriti goes on playing its game very intensely and becomes so absorbed in the game that it ignores the rest, this absorption is what is called the veil, and if this absorption becomes more and more intense then it becomes more and more opaque in character because of the intensity. This is the origin of ignorance you might say; this is the beginning of the bondage. It is not by mistake, the soul has chosen because of the specific delight which has to be discovered by hiding. Therefore it goes to sleep, does not intervene, allows Prakriti to play intensely and to ignore the whole. This process of ignoring is ignorance. Ignorance does not abolish the totality; it remains there; because of the totality the play goes on. Only where the play is going on, that particular spot becomes ignorant of the rest. If the individual is joined up with this, is associated with this – because it is associated actually right from the beginning – the individual who has gone to sleep deliberately now gets associated with the play of Prakriti, which is absorbed in itself, this is the original state of bondage of the soul.

There are many further stages. This is the first stage in which ignorance arises. But this particular absorption in the play can become so intense that there is only play and no consciousness at all – at a certain stage one is aware only of the play and nothing else. The absorption in the work, in the play is so intense that consciousness gets rolled up in the action itself. This happens to all of us when we are absolutely engaged in a very intense work, like a doctor when he is operating. He is absolutely engaged in the task, he even forgets that he is operating; the operation is the only thing that is there; as Arjuna saw nothing else other than the eye which he had to pierce. A stage is reached where there is not even time to look back for any consciousness to be conscious of the play; there is a pure play and nothing else. Pure activity in which there is no ray of light, no ray of consciousness manifesting is called the stage of inconscience, not only of ignorance but the stage of inconscience when there is a complete darkness but a huge activity, a tremendous activity. This is the stage of inconscience. A complete hiding has taken place, which was one of the intentions.