Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12 (The Mother Insitute of Research - MIRA) - Session 3 (10 July 1997)

As we were trying to understand existence, we said that existence is not a predicate. We shall continue from there onwards and try to see wherever we find existence or wherever we feel there is existence and try to examine what it is. The most convincing experience of existence is your inner feeling of your existence. Everyone feels that one exists. It’s a direct experience of existence. It is true that while you look out you feel the whole vast world also is there but even that vast world seems to us to be only around you and our normal experience of our self is that each individual feels that he is the center, and the whole world is a kind of a surrounding. The world is experienced by us as our own surroundings. We even sometimes feel that the world is meant for us, not only that it surrounds us but the world is meant for us as if the circumstances are meant for you. True, sometimes you feel that the world is hostile. That also is an experience but the very idea of its hostility is because you want it to be favourable to you. Your expectation from the world is that the world should be favourable to you, but as you begin to look at the world outside and expand yourself you begin to have an opposite idea. In fact this kind of perception is extremely useful, if you want to come out of your small little world.

At one time Mother has said that if you really want to be free from your immediate conditions then think of your immediate surroundings, it will be certainly vaster than yourself. Whatever surrounding you have it is always vaster than yourself and then that surrounding is a part of a larger surrounding and then enter into a larger surrounding, the locality, the village, the town, the city, the district, the region, the state, the country and the vaster parts of the world and the whole earth and then imagine the earth spinning round the sun and then look at the huge astronomical world of stars and galaxies and imagine now what modern astronomy tells us, all the stars and everything that we see is only three galaxies at the most, where as there are one thousand million galaxies, according to modern astronomy. There are one thousand million galaxies in the world and each galaxy consists of at least ten thousand millions stars. This is the modern knowledge of astronomy, which tells us we are a part of one galaxy, out of one thousand million galaxies and in this galaxy our star, our sun is only a little thing, quite distant from its own center. Every galaxy has its own nucleus as it were and in that, around that small star, all the planets are moving round of which our earth is a little dust particle as it were. In that dust particle where do we stand? Then if you look at it from the point of view of time, it seems according to modern speculation of big-bang theory that it was fifteen to twenty thousand billion years ago and our solar system came to an existence about four thousand million years, and then out of the solar system our earth began to spin some time later and then millions of years have gone since the earth began to evolve. First only matter began to form crystals and various kinds of objects and then the little viruses began to take form in water and then bacteria and then amoeba of various kinds and then thousands of species of all of them and the fungi for example, there are seven thousand of species of fungi alone and out of these small little things, the cellular bodies of various organisms came into existence and then small cellular objects came in the water then came the amphibians that could be both in the water and on the earth. And various kinds of evolutes including birds and mammals and so on until in the evolution after thousands and thousands of species many of which have come into being and many of them have perished; this little species, called human being is surviving and struggling of which we are a member. How many years old in the vast vision of time and space?

You know the very first paragraph that Sri Aurobindo has written in chapter 9 is extremely instructive. I will read out to you the first paragraph of chapter 9. Whenever you feel compressed in this world you read this first paragraph and our tensions will immediately begin to melt away.

When we withdraw our gaze from its egoistic preoccupation with limited and fleeting interests and look upon the world with dispassionate and curious eyes that search only for the Truth, our first result is the perception of a boundless energy of infinite existence, infinite movement, infinite activity pouring itself out in limitless Space, in eternal Time, an existence that surpasses infinitely our ego or any ego or any collectivity of egos, in whose balance the grandiose products of aeons are but the dust of a moment and in whose incalculable sum numberless myriads count only as a petty swarm.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine—I: The Pure Existent

It’s a huge vision of the world; grandiose products of aeons are but the dust of a moment. All that we count as galaxies and millions of galaxies are but a dust of a moment and in whose incalculable sum numberless myriads count only as a petty swarm, this is the big observation that you need to make, if you want to understand what is existence. At the same time Sri Aurobindo points out that this vision needs to be enriched or even corrected by putting the right placement of ourselves in this vast universe. Compared to that vast universe, it is true that we are less than even dust and yet are we entirely unimportant? We may be a dust of dust and if you examine nature very closely, you’ll find that nature spends the same kind of energy in spinning Jupiter in the hemispheres as in curling, as in fashioning a curl of the hair of the child. It is extremely careful about each and every little thing. If you look at the strength of the strong and weakness of the weak, we feel that weakness is the absence of strength without realizing that if the energy which is at work is a mighty energy, how can there be absence of energy? Therefore, to produce weakness, a mighty energy is needed to produce weakness. To withdraw for example, if there is a wild horse on which you are mounted, it’s a tremendous energy of the horse. If you want to restrain that horse, how much energy do you need to restrain that horse? To make that horse slightly weaker than what it is because of its wildness, you require tremendous power to restrain it. Similarly, to create weakness in the world where there is a tremendous tide of energy, energy must be spending so much of energy to restrain it so that weakness can be produced. Weakness is not actually absence of strength, it is the restraint of strength and that restraint requires as much energy as is required for the spending of energy—to make the strong, strong and the weak, weak—energy spent is equal in both the cases.

Sri Aurobindo says this is the meaning of samam brahma. Brahman is equal everywhere. Therefore in the consideration of the energy of the world, we may be dust of dust but as important to it as the mightiest objects in the world. Even to create these little things , the same energy is spent by the Supreme energy as in fashioning huge astronomical objects in the world. So to make a correct balance of the universe, we should put universal on one side, individual on the other side and put them into the right relationship. We should see on one side the hugeness of quantity which may not have so much of quality as perhaps an animal possesses, or a fish possesses, or a man possesses.

We sometimes have the illusion of the quantity and say that the quantity is as if it is very huge. We say, it is very big but it may not be so, as in that story of the mouse and the lion. The lion is greatest in his own place but the mouse is also greatest in his own place. It’s the same energy, it is samam brahma. But there is another aspect of this movement of energy that we are seeing that this energy is moving so fast according to the latest theory of what is called expanding universe. It is said that each galaxy is running away from another neighboring galaxy at a tremendous speed. The average speed at which it is receding from one another is at least four lakhs thirty two thousand miles. Where? Where is the space where it is moving out? Therefore, the theory that the universe itself is constantly expanding at that speed. If you try to look at any object you find that before you can even point this out, it is gone at that speed. It is normally when there is some kind of duration of an object before our eyes that we can say this. But if it is moving very fast the past is already gone, the future has still not taken birth, but even the present that is before you even before you watch it, it is gone. This perception is very important for determining existence, does it exist? The past is gone, the future is not born and the present before you, just even point it out, it is gone. So, what is it that is before you, what is it that is existing and can you call it existence? And then if you examine the nature of movement, you come to a further complication, particularly when you try to understand movement, either by your rational thought or by spiritual experience. Rational thought tells you that movement is subordinate to utter stability, although we see only movement. In this whole world we only see movement. Even this table, which is stable considering that it is mounted on earth, which is spinning and considering that it is spinning in a huge system of a galaxy, which is only one among one thousand million galaxies of the world, which are also moving away one from the another at a terrific speed, what you call the stability of this table is hardly stable at all. And yet when you look at it from a rational point of view, not merely as you see it, but from a rational point of view you arrive at the conclusion that there is an utter stability without which this movement cannot be—this whole huge vast movement, limitless space, interminable time, beginningless time.

Let us now try to understand this statement that if you look at it rationally, you find that this whole movement is subordinate to stability. Even spiritual experience tells you that this huge movement rests upon a complete peace and silence in which there is no movement at all. That there is sthanu, sthanu is that which is utterly stable. When we say that when we examine this thing from a rational point of view, we must know how does the reason think. We are being invited to think about the movement and how we go about thinking about the movement. So let us do a few exercises, so that we can arrive at certain kind of perception, which we can call a rational perception of movement.

If you examine the nature of movement, you will find there are four main characteristics. You will find that in this world of movement there is what can be called plenty of quantity. This is the one aspect of this whole movement, which you can designate by the word quantity. Quantity can further be understood in terms of plurality that is to say there is not one object but there is plurality of objects. Then you find that there is not only plurality but even totality. You might not have seen totality anywhere except in small circles, for example, I can say I have seen the totality of this house but once you have this experience of the totality of this house, you are enabled to think of the totality of the whole universe, by analogy this is called the rational way of thinking. The moment I have the experience of the totality of this house, it is very easy for me by rational thought even if I have not seen the totality of the universe I begin to imagine the totality of the universe; this is called the rational leap.

How does a reason function? From a small experience the reason can take a leap and can say even about things which it has not seen this is the specialty of reason. Reason can move over and above what is experienced by our senses. It’s a special capacity of Reason. You might say this is the magic of reason. Reason has a kind of a magical power, although our senses perceive only the totality of one house; it can then transfer it to something which is not seen by means of imagination. Imagination is also a kind of a process of reasoning, by a process of analogy, by comparison, which is also a kind of a process of reasoning. It can also vary itself from experience by means of imagination and analogy. Analogy is a way of thinking, where two objects, when they are similar and if you know one thing, you can transfer the qualities of this thing to the other one, by the leap of reasoning that is called analogy. Although totality is not seen by anybody, merely our experience of having seen the totality of this particular object, you can imagine that the whole universe is like this home because this home is nothing but a portion of space, fundamentally, an enclosure. An enclosed space is what you call this house. Similarly the whole universe could be conceived as an enclosure, but may be slightly different because the universe is expanding.

Since the universe is expanding but expanding in the sense that wherever you see there is a limit, there is a horizon. But the horizon itself is expanding, whenever you look at one horizon and you go forward, the horizon itself goes forward. Somehow this universe which is an expanding universe seems to contain all kinds of quantities, plurality of every kind and maybe even you may call totality, or you can say that even if totality has not yet come into existence because it is all still expanding and developing. All that can come into existence is contained in this huge vast expanding universe, so in that sense you can conceive of totality. All that was, all that is, all that will be, this is another leap of the reason. Although our senses only perceive what is now, our reason is capable of perceiving the future. It’s a special quality of the reason to perceive the future. To perceive the past which has gone and to perceive the future is the special capacity of reason, which goes beyond the sense-experiences. We have not seen the future but still we can think of the future, it’s a special magic of the reason you might say.

Since all the plurality of objects, all the totality of objects they are somehow in one huge space you also have the idea of unity. At least they all subsist together, they coexist together. If they were in conflict with each other they would have killed each other. It is only by some kind of unity that they are subsisting together. The idea of unity, the idea of plurality, the idea of totality these three concepts that you get are special contributions of reason. Senses only give you an experience of the present moment and that is all. Those who do not have a developed reason like very small animals or creatures, if you ask them what is the view of the universe, it will be quite different from ours because we have the Reason. The concept of plurality, unity and totality is a very special kind of perception that our Reason possesses. This is one characteristic of quantity. In regard to quantity, you have three concepts of unity, plurality, and totality.

Then you have a second characteristic of all that we have seen. In philosophical language this characteristic is called quality. First was the quantity, now is the question of quality. You find that every object that you perceive has some kind of property. Every object that you see has some kind of property. These properties also are of three kinds—accidental properties, separable properties and inseparable properties. Again, you will see that all these three ideas are brought about by a process of thinking. You have observed so many objects and then you arrive at this conclusion that there are three kinds of properties. If I have to show to you that house among many houses on which the crow is seated and you look at that house and you identify that house. After two minutes the crow has flown away, therefore the kind of description that I gave you was a property which was accidental. It was by accident that the crow was sitting at that time. It is not as if the house depends upon that crow, so it is called an accidental property. An accidental property is a property which belongs to any object you might say by accident it so happens at that time. It is not fundamentally connected with the object. If I say that house which is white then I am describing something which has a kind of a separable quality. It’s not easily separable but it can be separated. You can white-wash it and have another colour—it’s a separable quality. But that house made of stone, bricks etc is an inseparable quality of the house. A house which has not been made of some material, some substance either stone, or wood, or cement, or something of that kind is not a house. The concept of the house is inseparable from the qualities, these properties of stone, or wood, or some material and with some cementing force or cementing property. Now all the objects that you see in the world have either of these three properties. Any object that you see in the world has any of these three properties—either accident, or separable quality, or inseparable quality. This is the conclusion of your reason.

I am only giving you the exercises of what reason means, how reason functions so that we may have a concrete experience of reason. Our senses don’t tell you that this is called separable quality, this is called inseparable quality, this is called accident. If you only apply your senses, it will only describe what you see now but to say this is separable quality, this is inseparable quality, this is accidental property, it requires a process of thinking. You have arrived at a conclusion. Without the process of reasoning you would not have arrived at that conclusion. Similarly, there is another kind of relationship between substance and quality. I only gave you first only three kinds of qualities under one category, which is called substance and accident—this is how it is called in philosophical language.

Substance—accident, this is one kind of relationship. There is another; it is a cause and effect relationship. The relationship between substance and property is not of cause and effect. You can see the distinction between the two. The whiteness of this is not the cause of that house nor the effect of the house. They have some kind of, what is called relationship of inherence. Here cause and effect is such a relationship that if one comes into existence, the other follows. The seed is a cause and the tree is the effect. Tree is the cause and seed is the effect, it’s a chain of cause-effect relationship.

The third is in the same category is what is called reciprocity, not cause and effect, but reciprocity. Action and reaction, they are reciprocal. If you push an object in one direction then you find that there is a push from the opposite side—the relationship is that of reciprocity. This is the second category of characteristics of the movement. We are still examining the nature of movement; we are analyzing the movement rationally. There is the third characteristic of the movement, an object that you may see in one of the three conditions, in the condition of its presence, or in the condition of its absence, or in the condition of a limitation. A toy may be existing, it is called the affirmation of the toy, the toy can be removed so it is the absence of the toy, the toy may be broken, it is the limitation of the toy. So, negation, affirmation and limitation these three characteristics combined together are called the relationship of relationship. Quantity, quality, this is a relationship.

There is a fourth category or fourth characterization of all that we see, is what is called modality, the mode of existence, the mode of whatever is present before us, its mode. The rain, which has not yet come but which is likely to come, what is the value of that rain? It is called possibility or potentiality, when it falls it is called occurrence. All occurrences are because they are possible, nothing that is not possible can ever occur. There are some occurrences, which are necessary occurrences, not only possible but which are necessary occurrences. If you make a triangle, it is necessary that the sum of its angles should be equal to two right angles, you can’t escape it, it is necessary. There are certain things in the world which are necessary. Certain things which are only possible and certain things which when possible they occur sometimes, not necessarily they may occur they may not occur. So, occurrences which are possible may occur, or may not occur, or may occur necessarily. These are the three qualities, or three conditions, or modes they are called modalities, modes of existence. Anything that you see in the world is either a possibility, or simple occurrence, or it is something which had to happen and must happen. All events in the world can be divided into three parts, events which are possible, events which are just happening because they are only possible, or events which must occur.

All these descriptions that we have given of the world is a description that we can make because of the reasoning that we have applied. The whole world can be described under these twelve headings; four main categories, each one has got three (triplet), so under these twelve categories the whole movement can be described. There is nothing now which has escaped except for two things—space and time. All that is happening is happening in space and in time. If you now put space and time that makes fourteen, the whole movement can be now described. You can be sure that now nothing has escaped from this description. The entire universe has been explained or has been stated, described, under these fourteen headings. There is nothing in the world which cannot be described under one of this fourteen. So you have now the total view of the universe, whether you go around anywhere in the universe, you cannot escape. Even while sitting here you can see the whole world and this is the capacity of the reason. The reason can sit here in the armchair and can tell you that wherever you go, whatever you do at any time, whatever happens, whatever exists is nothing but which can be described under one of these fourteen elements. This is certain you have no doubt at all about it now.

Nothing in the world exists which cannot be described in this form. But in this whole thing there is one thing which has not come into the picture—stability. All that I have described is the description of movement. In Indian philosophy all these fourteen elements put together are simply, very simply told it is nothing but naama rupa—Name and Form. The whole world is nothing but name and form.

These fourteen things that I described to you are a special contribution of a philosopher called Kant to whom I have referred earlier, while speaking of the proof of the existence of God. It is he who described the whole world in these fourteen terms. But as I told you these fourteen terms do not include the word stability because in this movement there is nothing stable. Even what is stable or what is seen to be stable is actually not stable. Reason goes beyond all these descriptions and says that this movement has behind it, has above it—stability.

How does it come to this conclusion? It’s a real discovery made by reason which is not before our eyes, these fourteen things, somehow these are things which are described by our senses in some way. And then we have gone by analogy or something of that kind. But this stability, which is not seen, or even if it is seen, which ultimately will turn out to be really a spinning. How does the reason arrive at a conclusion that behind all this is stability? Even then the reason says there is behind it, above it, beyond it, Stability. This is the conclusion that reason arrives at, not only that but it says that it is that Stable which is really existing. All that you see is existence by courtesy. We were in search of the idea as to what is existence. Now the conclusion of reason is that behind all this is really—a stability, and it is that stability, which you can really describe as Existence. Because all that is moving is constantly spinning and even before you say it exists, it is gone. Is it existing, is it existence? Unless there is a stability, which is not moving, you cannot call it existing. To exist is to be stable, to exist, is to be and to be is to be permanently. It may be argued that this is simply quibbling on words, actually there is nothing but there is a whole world before us. Even if it is not existing this is all that is there, then saying there is no such thing as existence at all, why do you want existence at all? There is no such thing as existence—no stability. We don’t see stability anywhere at all. Let us say simply that the world is a constant mobile and that is all that is there in the world.

Let us see how reason answers this question. Let us start by saying that all movement implies a process of change. This is the first step of the argument; all that is moving is the process of change. Can there be something that is changing? If there is change there must be something that is changing, otherwise you have to say that there was one thing that doesn’t change, it disappears, another thing has come and that’s all; the idea of change doesn’t arise at all. If there is change, if the idea of change has any validity at all then there must be something that is changing. There must be a stable which is changing. It may be a contradiction, something that is stable that is changing. So, either of the two alternatives, either say there is no change at all in which case each thing happens, another thing happens or you say that there is something that changes and it remains what it is, otherwise there is no idea of change.

You have brought the idea of soul; let us not bring that idea immediately.Soul can be later on discussed but the argument is that this change process of the body cannot occur unless there is behind it a stable substance. There is a stable substance, which is the base of change. That base must remain as it is, without a permanent there cannot be a change. This to our mind seems a contradiction but you think the other way round which I am telling you. If this is not so then what happens is that there is one thing which occurs now that goes away, another thing comes but in which case, each one of them as long as it remains is permanent—is stable. Each one of them as long as it remains it is permanent, it is devoid of change.

Let us take the example of speech. Speech is nothing but a succession of words. If there is no succession of words, if there is no punctuation between words, there is no speech; it can be sound at the most, but not speech. Even what you call sound, if you examine it properly, actually you will find that there is punctuation, what is the punctuation between sound and sound, between word and word, if not silence. Silence is the base on which you can have succession of sounds, succession of words. You have not seen silence that is true; it’s only a rational faculty which is trying to understand how the words can make a string without a stable base. If there is no stable base, you cannot have the string of words at all. The speech will be impossible if there is no silence in between the two words.

Let us take some other larger examples. All change may be regarded as an effect. All change means an event which occurs after something else, even if you don’t use the word effect. Every event of change is that which takes place after something else. There is an antecedent and a consequent. You may call consequent, an effect and you may call antecedent a cause. In this whole universe you find that there is a constant succession, one after the other. It’s a very special characteristic of the world, which you call time. Time is nothing but something in which things happen one after the other. If it is a relationship of cause and effect in which effect comes after the cause then you may say that effect exists therefore, the cause must exist. If cause did not exist the effect could not have existed. The effect could not exist without the cause. That cause again is an effect of another cause. That cause again is an effect of another cause which must exist, this can go on, if it goes on and on, which never ends, which had never begun then this effect could have never existed. If it had never begun then this effect which I am seeing could have never existed. It must have begun somewhere, if it begins somewhere that thing itself must not have been the effect. If it was the effect, again it would have started with some other cause. Therefore, that from which the whole cycle has started must be of such a nature that although it was the cause of all this but was itself not caused by anything. This must be, otherwise I can never explain this effect. Therefore, there must be something but not only anaadi, anaadi of a peculiar nature, anaadi of a stability character.

Anaadi can be beginning less also but not in that sense. It is such a beginningless that it is purely stable. It doesn’t need to go forward behind it to find itself. This you see by reason, effect exists therefore cause must exist. Therefore, there must be a cause, which itself is not caused by anything else. That which is not caused by anything else and yet which is the cause of all this is what reason perceives, must be. There is no now, here there is a necessity. It’s not that it may be, it may not be, it must be because this effect exists. Since effect exists there must be a cause and that cause ultimately must be of such a nature that it must itself not be an effect.

So, there must be a stability which is not caused, therefore, it’s not a change of anything. If it was itself an effect it would have change. If it is not caused, it must be something which is not of the nature of an effect, therefore it is not of the nature of change. Therefore, by reasoning you come to the conclusion, you are not seeing that stability anywhere, but by reasoning,—this is what is called the perception of reason.

Question: In the Gita when it refers to the pearls being strung on a thread.

Answer:That thread is the stability, it is called the uncaused cause, a cause which is itself not caused by anything. In Latin it is called sui generis; sue means self, generis means produced, produced by itself that cause of which it is itself the cause. It does not need to go outside itself for its cause. Such a thing must exist, must be, because this effect is existing, which is a very important argument. Effect is here, unless there is such a thing as this, effect couldn’t have been before me. This is called the rational perception of stability. This is what the reason tells us that there must be stability and whereas with regard to all that is moving, you cannot definitely say it is, with regard to that you can always say it is—always present, always permanent; so the nature of existence is permanence.

Comment: In other words they also say that everything is changeable but change.

But there is another way that is not the same thing. It is simply a description of change. It’s only the word change. The word does not change while describing changes, but that is not the same thing as this. The permanent of which you are speaking is stable in its very character, in its very being. It’s not only the word that we are using. It is not the permanence of the word. This is the permanence of what we call the substance. Even the other sentence which I have spoken last time “nasato vidhyate bhavo na bhavo vidhyate satah” that which exists, exists, it’s not as if it has now come and gone. That exists is that which exists and yet it is such an existent, which is capable of this whole movement because we arrive at this conclusion only from movement. If movement did not exist our whole conclusion would be finished. Movement exists in some way even temporarily; it is there and on account of that we are now led to conclude that there must be a stable that which does not move at all that which does not move yet moves and this is the paradox. But your reason is obliged to say this, you can’t help it. This is what is called the incorrigibility of the perception of reason.

Reason perceives it and you cannot correct it, there is no mistake in it, there is no error in it. It is this perception which is also called intuition. Very often when we speak of intuition what is the nature of intuition? Intuition is a perception which you cannot correct, which has no error in it. When you perceive, you perceive that it is true; it must be true there is no other alternative. But still it may be argued after having established all this, it may still be argued.

Question: Intuition is given by God?

Answer: It is there, it is in your mind. It is not implanted from outside. You yourself are able to see it. It is only a perception which was closed by this kind of a stimulation of this process which I gave you, now that closed perception is opened and now you can see directly. Having argued this, it can still be argued that really speaking there is really nothing but movement. All talk of stability etc., is your mind’s imposition. You are thinking, is an imposition of your reason. You may grant that reason certainly sees only in this way and it has got to oblige itself to perceive stability but it is only fiction of your reason. Your reason is thinking like this, therefore, it is there but really speaking it is not there.

It may be argued, and I am stating it because in the process of reasoning we need to confirm again and again—to ask whether we are not merely deceiving ourselves or not. Once again, let us see, let us examine—is it simply what my mind is imposing upon it or is it something else. Once again, let us repeat the argument—what I see exists, is it not? what I see exists. It is an effect of something else, therefore, the cause must exist. If the cause did not exist, this would not exist. If that cause was itself an effect another cause would be existing, if it was beginning less then this effect would never have come into existence, if it was beginning less. It must, therefore, have a ground, a basis—there must have…now there is no question…once again I am repeating—there must have been a cause which is not caused. So as far as reason is concerned, you can be sure that this is the conclusion. If somebody now argues, you can say that your argument may have a ground but not on reason. You can argue from any side because without reason you can argue. Even irrationally also you can argue but if you claim that your argument is rational, is reasonable, is based on reason, then this conclusion is inevitable.

Not only that, but now, we make a further proposition that even in a higher experience, we find stability. Not only from the point of reason we have come to this conclusion but when you go behind the experience of all the movement, in an experience, you arrive at an experience of complete silence, complete stability.

Question: Do we conclude from this that effect is always a movement and cause is stability?

Answer:Not every cause. Only that cause which is not itself an effect.

Question: Temporarily whatever we see, or the basis of what we are seeing as the effect that soul is movement one gives rise to it, as they say the illustration of the moving train. In that context do we keep on negating all effects and causes until we come to a final stable cause?

Answer: It must be so otherwise it cannot be, quite true.

Question: So in that context the effect is always movement.

Answer: Effect is always a movement.

Question: And cause a temporary stability.

Answer:In a certain sense but ultimately that is a movement because it itself is an effect until you arrive at a cause which itself is not an effect. That is the real stability. Now this is the conclusion of the pure reason and this is also the statement of all those who experienced Reality. You can experience Reality at two levels either by sense experience or at the spiritual consciousness level. All those who have experienced spiritual consciousness, they all have affirmed that there is a complete silence, complete stability.

Question: Silence is complete stability. In complete silence you see complete stability.

Answer: You can use the word interchangeably. Complete silence is what, silence means absolute stability. It is a permanent silence. So both from the point of view of reason and from the point of view of higher consciousness and experience, you conclude that there is a permanence.

I think we shall stop here today because there is a very convenient point to stop because I have to go further than this.

Question: What is this state of complete silence and complete stability? Can it be defined in one word?

Answer: It is Brahman. The Brahman is a complete silent Self. We are already in it, it is imperishable. It is always present. All that moves, moves in It. That is not moving, all things are moving in it.

Question: …… (inaudible)

Answer:If there is a weakness, you can be sure that there is a tremendous strength behind which is restrained. If you can release it, it can be strong.

Question: How can you release it?

Answer: If you concentrate on it. By concentration all movement in the world is nothing but the magic of concentration. Everything in the world is nothing but the magic of concentration. Concentration is the one simple magic in the world. You concentrate on anything and the result will come out of it. All results are contained in concentration. What you put into your concentration, that will be the consequence.

Question: In other words you can say atmabala.

Answer: Yes, correct but atmabala may be potentially present but not be manifested so when you want it to manifest it, you concentrate. So concentration by itself is not atmabala but is a process of that bala.

Question: So wherever the points are weak, one should concentrate just on those points and in another way one tries to pray.

Answer: You can concentrate on that point; you can concentrate on connected points; you can concentrate on the Supreme. Any concentration, which concentration you should do about a particular thing will depend upon a particular case but the general answer is—it is concentration.

Question: In other words you can. This is a kind of a prayer also.

Answer: Prayer is also concentration.

Question: Meditation, concentration is all one and same, put in different words.

Answer: Each one has a different affectivity no doubt but basically they are all forms of concentration.

Question:Finally, they will be giving the same result, more or less.

Answer: As Sri Aurobindo says, “King idea, master act and prayer.” All the three basically are identical but in different forms. A king idea, king idea is the supreme idea, master act, the most heroic action and a simple prayer of a child’s heart—all the three can move mountains, either of these three. King idea, master act and prayer, if you combine all the three it will be marvelous but anyone of them can move mountains.

Remark: That what Sivananda is saying in Gems of Prayer, is the same thing.

Answer: Yes, same thing.

Question: Isn’t this silence being called Sat that we were discussing.

Answer: Absolutely. What we discussed now—the stability—is what is called sat. In fact this whole chapter “The Pure Existent” is the chapter on sat.

Question: So it means we have not touched on the other two aspects.

Answer: Not yet, we are still in the elementary stage of the argument. We are just trying to see whether rationally, rationally that was our whole question, intellectually can you prove the existence of God and we said if God means sat, if God means stability then you have proved now. At least satwe have proved; something more also needs to be proved but that we shall come to. At least we have proved by reason we have proved that sat exists. Reality is sat.

I would suggest that actually now you have reached a stage, where I would really like you to read Chapter 9 of The Life Divine. You have now become ripe enough to read this Chapter 9. It would not be as difficult as it normally is but with this background, not fully as yet, you will still find difficulties. With the next lecture it would become much easier but already if you can start reading it, you will know where the difficulty is. You will have some more food for thought so I would suggest to you, I don’t know if everybody has got this book or not. If you don’t have one, kindly have it.

Question: Is there any difference we realise by reason to senses thing or of the spiritual level, is there any reason you feel or is it the same?

Answer: It is quite different. Rationally you are obliged to say that stability must be but if anybody asks you how you feel about it, you have no answer because reason does not give the experience of stability. You can now at least comprehend to some extent. It is called buddhi grāhyam.

Question: But it does not satisfy, so that experience must emerge.

Answer: As Sri Aurobindo says, “Our consciousness looks at Reality through two eyes always—through the eye of the idea, i.e. reason and through the eye of experience.” And although to the idea it is self-sufficient but to the totality of the being it is not sufficient. You are not totality to the being. To the reason it is complete, it is incorrigible but to the totality of your being merely proving this does not give you satisfaction. You must now really touch that permanent. You must really experience that silence, then you will be really satisfied. So what we have done is only at the intellectual level because that is also very important. Intellectually, you are quite convinced that such a thing must be. Now it can give you a great push if it is, I can experience it; therefore, my basis for sadhana becomes permanent without doubt. At least rationally you cannot doubt it.

Question: How long do those periods of silence last usually?

Answer: No, once you really enter into it, it is permanent but until you reach that point sometimes it rests only for a short while and again we are in the turmoil of the world but we have to continue all the time more and more and more and more. The whole being should become filled with that peace and silence.

Question: Physically even if you are sitting in the world or present in the talks and everything but inside, you can say atma se if you are quiet inside then you always remain in that state, I suppose.

Answer: Yes, quite true.

Question: And you don’t get also involved in all the worldly matters.

Answer: Yes, quite true. It is already an experience of stability.

Question: Even with your children or what they do, you don’t get disturbed.

Answer: Quite right, very true.