Sachchidananda 'The Life Divine' Book I,Ch.9, 10, 11, 12 (The Mother Insitute of Research - MIRA) - Session 12 (4 October 1997)

Last time we spoke of some of the riddles that arise out of the supposition that Reality is Satchitanand, particularly the nature of reality is Ananda. The problem was how can Ananda be reconciled with the experience of suffering and with the experience of evil, these two important elements that we experience in the world, how can they be explained, if at the root of the world is Ananda because these three things are quite opposite of Ananda this was the main problem that we were grappling with. So, I shall now revise very rapidly and then take up the thread further.

First of all It'll be argued that this word is not entirely painful, some philosophies do refer to the world to be entirely painful, ‘dukh maya sansara’ this whole world is nothing but full of misery. If you examine the nature of the world objectively, you'll find that there are three experiences of this world, there is a pleasant and a painful experience and a neutral experience. And if actually you can feel it more accurately you'll find that the sum total of pleasant and neutral is far greater than the sum total of the suffering in the world. Normally we don't put into our account book the pleasant and the neutral; in any case neutral is hardly taken into account because it doesn't enter into our conscious experience. But if you take the neutral and the pleasant together, then the sum total of these two is much greater than the sum total of the suffering. But we feel suffering much more acutely than the experience of neutrality and pleasantness that is because normally we have pleasantness and neutrality. And since suffering comes as a kind of an exception, it looms large in our consciousness and we feel as if the world is full of suffering.

In any case the one who is suffering certainly feels that the world is nothing but suffering. But even if the sum total of pleasure and of neutrality is greater than the sum total of suffering, the problem remains. If Ananda is at the root, how can there be suffering, even this little bit of suffering in the world? If Ananda is the Reality then manifestation also should be Ananda; how can there be suffering?

Question: In the Bhagavata Gita Sri krishna says, ‘anityam asukham lokam’, could you please explain this statement.

Answer: Well! This is quite true, this is what I was referring to, that there are many statements of this kind, that this world is described as ‘anityam’, ‘asukham’, and it is not untrue. But if you want to state the whole experience of Reality then the statement has also to be read in the context in which Sri Krishna says that he is present in all the natural phenomena. If you examine the ‘Vibhuti Yoga’ in which Sri Krishna is described as being present, as Arjuna among the Pandavas, and He is Brihaspati amongst the gods, all that is not asukham at all So, if you take the full account of Sri Krishna's account of the world, then this statement is to be read in the context of the rest. But there are philosophies, which even go beyond and they really believe that whatever happiness you have in the world is like having a picnic party on a mountain near a volcano, and the volcano is about to burst out. What will be the pleasure of that picnic, such is the pleasure in this world, is how it is described that people do not know that they are sitting on a volcano. Not knowing they're enjoying, objectively speaking, you know that below this is all volcano and suddenly it will burst out and rebel with the pleasure of this picnic then it is with regard to that statement that he had to say that everything is not volcanic.

That statement is even made that everything is volcanic in the world, that statement is not objectively true. But even though it is not objectively true it is a fact that there is a volcano there in this world, the seed of suffering and their experiences of suffering which are extremely intolerable. And that is what constitutes the problem if reality is Ananda how can there be this kind of suffering now this problem becomes even acute when you assume that this Ananda which is at the root is an omnipotent creator and that is also a farther statement about Satchitananda; Satchitananda is not only the basic stratum of this word but is also a supreme Creator an omnipotent creator. So last time I addressed the problem that if the Divine is the supreme Creator omnipotent creator then it is inconceivable as to how that omnipotent creator was incompetent to eliminate suffering from the world. How could he create a world which was full of suffering even though suffering may not be the totality of the world even partially there is suffering in the world how could he create the suffering and tolerate it? If he's omnipotent he should be able to eliminate it. I'd referred to the dilemma which is presented by Mill very yet said that God is either omnipotent in which case he could not have existed or if evil exists he must be evil himself so either God is omnipotent in which case he must be evil also because evil exists in the world. Or if he's good he cannot be omnipotent because he's not able to eliminate evil from the world. God is either omnipotent or good but he can't be both. This is one of the ways of presenting the problem in fact Sri Aurobindo called this chapter number 11,‘Delight of the Existence: The Problem’. So the statement of the problem has to be quite accurate first we must understand where the sting of the problem lies so this is one of the ways by which it is attempted to ensure that there is dilemma the moment you assume that God is good and he's omnipotent and that is the notion of Satchitananda, Satchitananda is good and he's omnipotent before the problem arises how can we explain the problem of evil and suffering. To save God have told you that there are many ways many adherents try to save God from this reproach if you criticise that God must be either omnipotent or good but not both and to assert that God is both omnipotent and good a kind of a series of arguments are brought forward one argument is that God himself is omnipotent and good but he has given freedom to man, why freedom because God is good and freedom is good therefore God being good he has given freedom to man but that freedom is misused by a man and evil and suffering is the result of the use of freedom in a wrong way and the wrong ways is attributed to man not to God. So this is one of the ways by which God is protected from being reproached of the presence of evil and suffering in the world.

The other way of protecting God is to say is that although God is the creator of this world any created this beautiful world but individuals when they do some evil or wrong action then God being just he intervenes and metes out justice, for evil actions he inflicts suffering and for good actions he is rewarding with lollipops all kinds of happiness in the world. In other words by bringing in the law of karma it is argued that the law of karma is responsible for suffering, evil and not God; God is only a deity who stands above and depending upon the actions of man God metes out justice and reverse punishment or reward of some kind of happiness inside these are the two basic arguments which have been put forward to protect God from the reproach that he is the creator of evil in this world. Actually both the arguments are in a sense one lenient argument man's action is also because of his freedom so you might say that all actions which are done by man are out of freedom and freedom is given by God and freedom is a good thing therefore God is not responsible for evil and suffering only man is responsible for it, against these two propositions freedom of man and karma an argument is possible the argument is a God gave freedom to man and knew that this freedom can be misused and it'll be misused why should God punish anybody is God knows that freedom implies a misuse of it knowing well he produced freedom having done it why should the punish anybody therefore this argument is not satisfying that it is man who is responsible for evil and suffering second argument is that if God knew that such a misused as possible then why did he give this kind of freedom at all it was really good knowing very well that it can be misused he should have created such a world in which freedom cannot be misused that means he is not omnipotent if he was omnipotent he would have given freedom and yet created a condition in which it can't be misused, why could he not create that kind the world if he was really omnipotent or if you say that it is not because God gave freedom but human beings are right from the beginning ignorant and they are having karma and they are doing some kind of action and then whatever evil exists in the world as a result automatic result of their actions is not that is a God is giving punishment or rewards automatic result in which case the question is when did the man start having the first action and this is where the problem is tangled in such a way that you don't get a clear answer one answer is that ignorance is anadi it is beginningless and therefore it is not as if it is created by him or created by somebody else it is there already but if you say that ignorance is permanent and beginningless then you given up the hypothesis that there is only one reality and that reality Satchitananda; now you're saying that there are two realities one is Satchitananda the and other is ignorance and both our original that means there is a basic dualism but dualism is already dealt with in the earlier chapter where we have seen that if they are two which are existing both exist therefore existence must be common of ultimate reality must be one. So dualism has already been rejected in chapter number nine so we come back to say that there must be only one reality if there's only one reality and still if there is karma and karma must have started only from that reality and nowhere else this is where the problem is if there is only one reality and no other, if that reality is Satchitananda than this world it is the manifestation of that reality must be full of Satchitananda why there is contrary phenomena at all. Faced with this problem sometimes it is argued there is no God at all all these problems arise if you admit God but supposing there is no God at all and you can simply say this world is what it is as you find it this is how it is but having found yourself in this world you are capable of arriving at a new condition of existence with it is a complete peace and harmony that is the Buddhist position. The Buddhist position says that there is no God at all. The world is what it is but it is possible to arrive at a situation where you will have nirvana and in Nirvana you find there is nothing. It is Nihil, now if that is the position you take then the problem is not resolved; it'll only be a kind of a balm being given to the human beings for suffering and you're told that you can come out of it but the basic question as to why the world should be what it is and if ultimately there is nothing then how come nothing this kind of world arise from nothing only nothing would have come about. Out of nothing how this chaos so that also is not the solution this is all that it said last time now we move forward.

Now to deal with the problem more properly we must understand the nature of suffering and the nature of evil. We must keep this premise that it started with that reality is Satchitananda and there is no other reality then Satchitananda and without abandoning that position we have to resolve the problem of the rise of evil and suffering in this world because all other alternatives are found to be inadequate they are not sustainable sure to find a solution to this problem we must understand what is the nature of suffering and what is the nature of evil, there is a view which says that actually this world has no evil at all it cuts the root of the problem altogether by saying there is no evil in this world at all suffering there may but evil there is no such thing as evil therefore you don't have the problem of reconciling evil with God.

Now let us examine this argument more properly is it a fact that there is no evil in this world at all as against this is the fact that we do experience evil, there may be no evil in this world but there is no denial of the fact that we at least experience evil so the question is raised what is your experience of evil we find that the nature as it is is very beautiful in matter there is no consciousness and where there is no consciousness that can't be evil so the material world is devoid of evil at other levels the moment life begins to grow if there is any evil at all it is in the form of suffering and that problem we shall deal with separately. But what we call evil does not exist in the life-world. All plants, insects, animals, a tiger kills an animal of prey they don't say Tiger is evil it is the nature of tiger which works itself out and who knows the suffering that we think is in the experience of the animal of prey may not be when we eat food you're not sure whether the food is not very happy that it is being devoured by us you might even say that all devouring is happiness actually intense love wants to devour the object of love completely without remainder. So it may be said that actually speaking life world has no evil and even suffering does not exist because what we call suffering may not be there at all in any case we do not have any record of any animal saying that there is a suffering it is so that higher levels of animals do have suffering here seen so many animals even land suffers with the thorn in his flesh and so on so suffering may be granted that in the animal world there is some kind of suffering but in plants and in ordinary insects which are not able to report we do not know whether there is any suffering at all or not. But even as we understand does not exist in the animal world even in the human world where suffering is evident then of course we do have the reports of evil the children even experience evil they report evil we see ourselves evil in our lives so we must ask ourselves in what consists evilness of evil how to define evil what is evil in this world? Because we are dealing with the proposition that there is no evil in the world. As against that we're trying to bring all evidence where evil can be seen so we must be able to tell the proponent of the theory there is evil in this world. Not even among all lower levels of humanity even in infants for example you will find there is no evil if a child beats you; you don't think it is wrong. If that child does something you don't think it is wrong. Children do spontaneously something you do not intuit evil in the intentions of the child actually speaking evil starts when you are able to make a judgement that you ought not to do what you do not want others to do unto you this is the basic definition of evil. Evil is that which you do not want to do unto others what others would like to avoid doing to you. That is the story of Rene, a girl was adopted by a family and a visitor comes to see a very hefty lady and as soon as he sees this girl in this family; she says what an ugly girl, this is a statement that she makes. And in this girl says supposing I I told you you are ugly how would you feel, this is the example of the primitive sense of evil when you want to avoid something and you cannot avoid it from others when you start the sense of evil evil is that which you feel should be universally accepted as evil this is the second step of the argument. Do not do unto others what you want others not to do unto you. This is the first formulation of evil and the second is that you are here erecting a universal law that there is something like a universal good which is good for everybody concerned there is a universal evil which is evil for everybody. I don't like to be insulted therefore insult is an experience of universal evil and nobody likes to insult their universality about it. It is only when you arrive at this judgement that you speak of good and evil in this world soon you'll answer to this proponent who says there is no evil in this world. How we can say that there are experiences of evil which we can judge has to be evil there are certain experiences certain actions which are universally attempted to be avoided evil is that which is attempted to be avoided this is one definition of an universally not only me not only you but universally where any action is universally conceived to be desired to be avoided and that is evil. So there is evil in this world. Not the proponent of the idea that there is no evil in the world he says it is true that there are certain judgements of this kind we cannot refute because they do exist he says stealing is an evil, why because when something is stolen from me and I feel very bad about it and even the thief who enjoys this stealing is that thing is taken away from him he also feels hurt about it so basically you find stealing is an evil because everybody agrees it is universally recognised that it is something that should be avoided. Not the proponent of the theory that there is no evil in the world says is that basically every action has to be placed in the context in which it is taking place, whether it is evil or good go into the details of it when you go into the details of any action you will find that that the action was a necessary part of the whole it was a part of the whole and it made a contribution to the whole time if you saw the whole you will find that it made a good contribution to the goodness of the whole. It is true from a personal point of view, from that particular point of view, you are hurt therefore, you say it is not good even if you say that it hurts everybody he says that you examine each act in its own right generalised immediately let every action that you call evil examine it and you'll find and you will find that it was only a part of the whole. And if you know the whole you will find out that that particular thing contributed in such a way so that the totality was benefited therefore how can you say that this is the argument. If you look at anything that is happening in the world, the totality benefits and is it not a fact that what you call evil certainly contributes something to what you call good yourself.

If I fail in the examination I call it evil because I failed. But when you will progress further and you will see retrospectively you will find that because I failed I became very very strong in a particular subject in which this weak and if I were not to fail, I would have never been strong in the subject and because of the strength of that subject has succeeded in my career. So was my failures are kind of an evil no I felt it to be evil but when I look at it from the point of view of the whole totality and totality does not mean only what is happening now totality also includes what will happen in the future if you count all this then you'll find that the totality is good therefore anything that happens in the totality is also a part and is also good although you may see or you may feel that something was wrong or evil this is the argument of the proponents of this theory now there is a great merit in this argument before we said that it is to be condemned there is a great deal of truth in this it is a fact that with regard to many things in the world when examine them when they really happened we felt they were bad. But ultimately retrospectively we do find that they were good. That is why it is set at your ideas of good and evil are only relative to what is good for you may be good for you but it may not be good for me secondly when you look at things from larger point of view what you thought was evil was not really evil in the larger point of view it turns out to be really good. Thirdly when you see a thing and not only enlarge your view but enlarge your view to include the future then you find retrospectively that from the point of view of the future it is very good that this happened. With regard to the logic of this proposition

if from the point of view of the whole whatever you call evil is a part of the whole and therefore good how is it that we do not perceive the whole if everything is the whole then how is it that we do not perceive the whole is itself is a problem if reality is a whole if I am manifestation of the whole how is it that I'm prevented from seeing the whole is Satchitananda is good and omnipotent why does he not make me all the time see the whole so that I do not commit the mistake of saying that this is good or this is bad this is the problem so you see that this argument something is good or evil only as long as you are partial in your perception is an argument which is quite strong and powerful it is not entirely satisfactory because a deeper problem arises how is it that the whole is good in every part in it is good what is it that prevents me from seeing the whole and what is it that prevents me from seeing this part of the whole that is the evil the fact that I'm not able to see the whole and I'm not able to put everything in its whole totality this is evil. So this is our real definition of evil you might say.

The inability on our part to see the whole and to see the contribution that each part makes to the whole this inability is what you may call evil. Not only is this inability basically that all human beings consciously or unconsciously are trying to eliminate. If it was a good thing then I would not try to eliminate even this partiality of my perception. Actually the proponent of the other theory says that even this partiality is good, your inability to see the whole is also part of the whole and since every part of the whole world which is good is also good therefore your inability to see is also good. In other words it may be argued that from this point of view that evil is a necessary evil and that in order that the whole may be good this evil is necessary. Even when seen from the point of view of the whole turns out to be good this is an argument.

The whole point is that if it is really good that we try ultimately to eliminate it, that partiality is an inability. Even with partial vision it is not that every time you see the whole to say it was good, he says that when it happened it was good because it was part of the whole but it could have been better therefore you should get rid of it. The sting of evil is, it is a partiality, it is an inability which has to be eliminated that is the real definition of evil.

Evil is that which is partial, which is an expression of inability, which is felt something which is avoidable, and which must be avoided and which must be removed. This is the real definition of evil.

Question: Doesn't the inability to perpetuate evil?

Answer: Yes, it does. But not from the point of view of the other proponent I agree with your statement because I do not agree with the proponents of the theory that everything in the world is covered and nothing is to be eliminated and that evil is a necessary evil.

Comment: That is accepting evil.

Answer: That is right, you are accepting evil and you do not try to eliminate it. If everything that is good here on late is not seen to be good if that is the only nature of evil it is not acceptable because when you really see the whole then you find that it could have been eliminated and it was worthy of being eliminated and that is the sting of evil, I ought not to have done that is the evil men have done something for examples when Macbeth and Lady Macbeth murdered Duncan Watts is the tragedy of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, he says all the sands of Arabia cannot wash and perfume my hands that was the expression this was the repentance and he said I ought not to have done it that means that you could have avoided it so the sting of evil is a feeling and an experience and a reality not only an experience of reality that there is something in the world which ought not to be still exists which can be eliminated which could have been eliminated. This is the real sense of evil.

Question: How is it that the recipient of evil is the other not the doer?

Answer: It is both actually you are not seeing both, recipients of evil are both. You might say whatever evil has manifested is part of the totality and we all share in it even those who are not connected with that action, even they share in it. If somebody burns a running train, all those who are in the train are suffering. Any person who happens to be inside also suffers. Now you might say that he sees outside the train he does not suffer you only makes others suffer but that is a partial perception in the sense it is true that from that suffering he is free, but there is a karma which he has done which remains in him and you can see more deeply whether it hurts his sense of perfection, as a very great saint said, to remain imperfect is itself a punishment is itself an evil. The man who burns the train the very fact that he decided to burn it is itself a punishment he lives in a state of consciousness from which he cannot come out once he has done this action for him he will not be able to attempt for nirvana until that action is washed out to expect that that man will enjoy nirvana that is not possible because the karma which has built which is done will find him, will necessarily take him to another series of actions.

Question: Does suffering bring you closer to God?

Answer: Whether suffering washes off is also a question, is it really true in every case it may not be. It may not be necessarily so. The sting of the problem is that there is something evil that ought not to be which could have been avoided; he still has not avoided that is the real definition of evil. Which could have been avoided and which is not yet avoided, and when you say you ought to do what exactly do you mean when a child has not done the lesson and you say you ought to have read what is exactly the meaning of it? The meaning is that the child was capable of it. It only depended upon his or her will to read which she or he had but did not exercise it. It was possible for the child to read it was not as if it was impossible for the child because the child was sick and he ought to have read. You use the word ought only when something was possible, something was desirable and yet it is not being done and that is the sting of evil. And such a thing happens and exists in the world. It is that problem that used to solve, does evil exist in the world the answer is yes it's a fact that there is something in the world which ought not to be or it could not have been and yet it exists. Is it possible to reconcile Satchitananda with the presence of evil of this kind. That which ought not to have been which still exists which could have been avoided and yet it is not avoided this is the real problem. In fact suffering is also basically of this kind you call something suffering, all suffering implies I don't want it any body who suffers really feels that it ought not to be there when you say it ought not to be there that means that you believe that it could have been avoided otherwise how can you say it ought not to be there. In any experience of suffering evil this is the fundamental point in fact if you remove the sense if supposing the senses removed from the world altogether then you might even say that all sense of progress or desire to progress to vanishes you cannot progress if you say that nothing is to be avoided and everything will happen, and everything that happens will be good because seeing from the point of view of the totality it is always good than nothing remains for you to do.13.33 everything will happen as it happens with that is not the truth of her existence. It's a very peaceful and in her existence and after all he cannot sustain it, even if you believe in it the moment somebody insults you view will not say it is very good on the point of view of totality it is good you will react to it and when you react what happens when you react what you imply it ought to not to have happened it could have been avoided then only you react if you knew that it could have been not avoided then you could not say that it is wrong. So there is something in humanity which gives rise to this sense of evil which can be defined as that which ought not to be which still exists even though it is avoidable. This is the basic sense of evil and that is the crux of the problem. How can you reconcile God with the world situation in which such an evil exists. Could God not have created a world that looked like this was avoidable, it is not desirable and yet you have done it therefore God is evil this is the charge against God. And it is this which is a problem which has to be resolved. How shall we resolve it? Therefore we have to see not escape from the problem, there are escapes, one escapes which have already shown you is that God is not responsible for man's actions, second to say that everything happens according to Karma God does not exist at all everything is karma for this to say that everything that happens in the world is good is nothing evil in the world that also is an escape route now we have rejected all the escape routes we want to keep God in the front because our premise is God exists, Satchitananda exists he is Ananda, He is consciousness, he is bliss, without compromising on this premise and without over quoting any sweetness over the evil, seeing that evil does exist in the world we have got to face the problems squarely and answer this problem. So this is where we come to chapter number 12. ‘The answer is actually in the context of evolution. This is the one word which is central in the solution of the problem this world is not a static world. It is not as if the whole world is already there as it is and the totality of it is already present. This world I am not speaking of Satchitananda, Satchitananda is the totality past present future everything. Therefore we must realise that we are dealing with a problem which is concerning a world where the totality is not yet, we're not dealing with that aspect where it's totality already exists we are dealing with the world where totality is not yet so this world is not a static world. That is the first answer to this question. Unless you grant this proposition you will not be able to solve the problem of evil.

If the world is as it is and it is going to remain as it is forever and ever then you cannot resolve the problem. It is only because the world is not static the world is moving and not only moving but the world is evolving. So I'm making two statements the world is moving in which the future as yet has not yet manifested and secondly what is to be manifested is to be manifested by a process of evolution.18.45 now it is in the context of evolution that the problem of suffering and evil can be resolved without compromising on the perfection, goodness and the omnipotence of God. Let us examine it you are very often seen in this world any incomplete work a statue in the making statue in the making may be quite ugly but unless the statue passes to the stage of ugliness it can never become as beautiful ultimately as you ultimately see it. And it is only when you eliminate the ugliness of that incomplete stage that usually arrives at that completeness this is an example of an evolutionary process. In evolution you have stages and certain stages are to be eliminated in order to allow them to grow into perfection. All evil arises out of error, I'm now introducing a new element in the exposition. All evil is the result of error, is the basic point. If there was no such thing as error what we call evil will not arise behind every well there is at a deeper level and error committed. If I beat somebody I am making an error regarding that person. If I knew that person thoroughly well truly well then what I call evil will not arise. Now error arises out of what? Where is the root of error? The root of error is ignorance. If there is no ignorance there can be no error, if there is all light then there can't be any error. But if ignorance is at the basis of error what is on the basis of ignorance is the basis of ignorance, you will ultimately find Satchitananda at the back you dig anywhere ignorance if you go behind and behind and behind you will find Satchitananda behind it. In other words there can be no ignorance if there was no Satchitananda, that's the basic point. You take away Satchitananda from the picture then you have to explain the origin of ignorance from where ignorance arises. It can't be ultimate. There can be an argument that it is the ultimate. It's like that because by nature ignorance is half light and half ignorance so you explain how this picture arose. Light and ignorance how they came together actually speaking at the base of ignorance is complete inconscience. It is only darkness, the darkness itself is nothing but veiling now what is it that is veiled if you open the veil you find the light. So behind inconscience is a veiling, a total veiling and when you unveil it you will find there is Satchitananda there. now the question is can this veiling be regarded as evil is inconscience evil is ignorance evil you will find that none of them is actually evil if you really found them to be evil then there would have been a tremendous problem because it would be insoluble if Satchitananda in its luminosity is perfect Ananda perfectly full of goodness but even if he is veiled neither he becomes corrupted nor the veil itself is corrupt veil is one of the capacities of the divine you remember once I told you that omnipotence consists of both in the capacity put forth as also the capacity to restrain only one who is omnipotent can restrain the movement of force, capacity only a good charioteer who is capable can allow the horses to run and also can restrain when necessary so the capacity to restrain is not inconsistent with omnipotence therefore the act of veiling is not inconsistent with the omnipotence of the divine the omnipotent can decide to manifest himself fully without any veiling or he can manifest with a veiling that is his omnipotence. And veiling by itself is not evil, just as I give you the example that the capable charioteer is able to restrain the horses it's not a evil thing it's the capacity so veiling of any kind whether full or partial is not inconsistent with Satchitananda is not inconsistent with omnipotence it is out of this veiling when this veil becomes more and more restricted that arises ignorance complete veiling is inconscience a partial veiling is called ignorance of whether the veil is complete whether the veil is incomplete both are the powers and neither of them is evil and both powers are the expression of the divine so evil does not exist either in the inconscience nor does it exist in ignorance. The evil arises only when ignorance tries slowly to unveil itself it's a temporary phenomenon and where ignorance tries to unveil itself slowly it is then that the error is committed to supposing you do not know on that below this is a golden piece you do not know now you do and don't need a golden piece if you are not looking for it then there is no problem it is only if you have a hypothesis that there is a golden piece that you begin to look for it if you're capable of putting this table just at one stroke openly not slowly but just at one stroke you'll find the golden piece but if you do slowly lifting of the table then at many points you won't find it and at every stage you will say I've made an error I have not been able to open that spot where the golden pieces lying actually an attempt to discover light but slowly if you discover light with all your vehemence and completeness light will manifest at once and there is no error and this happens. As Shri Ramakrishna said I must have the darshan of Kali now it was vehemence and he wanted to tear the veil at one stroke he did. It is possible in which case error does not get committed but if you try to open it slowly gradually then error is committed.


It is to say that if I were able to lift the table at one stroke that means that if I were divine myself then there's no problem; slowly means that I am restricted, my effort to slow that means it is egoistic, it is limited so it is my ignorance or egoism which tries to discover the truth slowly then error is committed. So it could not have been committed unless there was a golden piece which I am looking for. Now, error by itself is not evil. That also has to be underlined that error by itself is not evil, evil arises out of error but it is not that error must result in evil. A scientist, for example, in search of the truth by method of trial and error if he does it and goes on about his business is not doing any evil action. It is a process by which gradually the truth is discovered. The evil arises only when error is turned into falsehood is the difference between error and falsehood, errors is a truth finder by itself. So error is not an evil what you call evil is nothing but error stressing itself to be the truth and nothing but the truth and which prevents you from looking further for the truth. This is the falsehood when the error stresses that whatever it has found a erroneously is the truth and there is nothing further to be sought after that element is the element of falsehood or what we call really evil. All that is evil in the world which we feel that ought not to be, which can be avoided is this experience falsehood trying to establish itself as the truth nothing but the truth and therefore nothing more to be sought after. If there is a constant seeking then falsehood can't remain, the moment there is a further seeking falsehood is removed but this falsehood itself is a result of some kind of seeking in the beginning afterwards he stops seeking. So let us now see inconscience itself is not evil, ignorance is not evil, committing error is not evil. What is evil is the stress on the unfound truth as truth and insisting on it as the truth and rejecting any further movement to discover the truth. This is the only problem to be resolved. All others are perfectly consistent with the supreme omnipotence that can certainly allow this kind of movement and there is no evil in it. But we can see at once that if there is ignorance then such a thing can happen if the movement is by ignorant consciousness it can certainly arrive at a point where truth can be claimed to be the truth without arriving at the truth because of ignorance so even falsehood as it appears can be seen to be not inconsistent with the presence of the divine. but the nature of falsehood itself is such that the moment you dwell upon it more and more points will be reached where you will say this is avoidable, this ought not to be and this has to be destroyed. It is also a part of the same movement therefore if there is a slow development and this is the intention of the divine to manifest slowly by a process of evolution then falsehood can arise evil can arise suffering can arise but not inconsistent with the divine presence because in that very process that which is called falsehood is itself insisted upon as something to be removed or removable. Falsehood does not stand here therefore as an exact opposition to something inconsistent with the divine. Because it itself is removable and it insists upon its removal now this is you might say a metaphysical way of meeting the problem but now let us see the psychological way of meeting the same problem.

Question: Does that mean that if the movement towards the truth is slow that itself is evil?

Answer: It's not evil, slow is perfectly intended. There's nothing wrong with moving slowly or fast. Both are good, both are possible. But because of the slowness there is a partial discovery and as a result of that you happen to assert it and you arrest your movement. The result of ignorance is evil and not ignorance itself. Slowness itself is not evil. The result of slow movement is evil. That is quite true and we should not retract from it. We can't say it is good, evil is evil and we have to explain how it arises, and how it is consistent with God's presence. The problem arises only when you say God being God. How can this arise if you can show that it can arise out of the omnipotence of God in spite of the omnipotence of God the problem doesn't remain a problem. So we have shown how if you start by saying that God has capacity of veiling or unveiling and both the capacities are good equally good it is not as a veiling of God is an evil. When Sri Krishna plays with the gopis and hides himself, it is not an evi lits is one of the ways of revealing himself with a greater joy there is nothing evil and it. It is only if Sri Krishna hides himself with an intention that he will never reveal himself and then allows the gopis to remain in perpetual agony then the accusation will be valid but if it is the intention of gradual unveiling then there is no evil in it, in the process unveiling the resultant will be suffering, the gopis does feel suffering so they there is certainly suffering. We are not denying the presence of suffering, we are only explaining how that suffering arises and that suffering would not arise if there is no intention of complete unveiling that is the importance. It is because there is a intention of complete unveiling that in the intermediate stage of partial unveiling that suffering arises but even that would not arise if there is no ultimate intention of complete unveiling.

Comment: All this problem would be resolved if there was speed.

Answer: Quite true, therefore all revolution ultimately implies that you get more and more speed all yoga nothing but speed you accelerate the process. Ultimately as Sri Aurobindo says that in your sadhana but time must come when what you will is realised on the spot instantaneously. That is called the real siddhi. All siddhis are like this the moment you will it happens it is all ‘open sesame’ just say sesame should open and it opens on the spot so all evil and all suffering is because of a slow development and that too only because there is intention in it to unveil fully. If there was no intention then even that suffering could not exist that is very important to note. It is only when there is a will to open up fully and when it is opening slowly that suffering is experienced that suffering is a suffering only because it is to be transcended, it is to be cured. There is no such thing as incurable suffering, incurable evil doesn't exist, evil exists. We are not having that philosophy that evil does not exist, evil exists, suffering exists, but what does not exist is incurable suffering or incurable evil. In fact it is in the process of curing, it is in the process of curing full veiling that this suffering or evil arise as intermediate steps.

Question: This analysis makes us realise the divine will, and not evil as evil?

Answer: No, even divine’s will doesn't see evil as evil, but he says that this evil cannot be avoided if you are following a process of a slow development and I have willed it, it should be slow, in my decision to move slowly there is no evil it is because I want to reveal myself fully therefore you are having the intermediate steps which is full of evil and suffering, if I had no intention of fully unveiling myself even this intermediate suffering would not exist and my intention to unveil myself fully is good there is no intention of unveiling myself fully that also is not evil it is you might say God decided to unveil himself slowly and you might say that God could have decided not to unveil slowly you could argue that if God was really good and really kind why should we put us into this problem this is the problem. You might say instead of anything evil in God's intention to unveil himself slowly and to veil himself slowly or both the processes it's the slowness which is the problem the answer is that every process is to be measured and judged by what is intended ultimately to be obtained. If you want to make chapati of a certain kind then making dough which may look ugly at a certain stage is inevitable you cannot avoid it. If ultimately you want to have that kind of chapati similarly if you want that kind of the delight which comes by slow veiling and unveiling if you want that kind of delight it's a specific kind of delight that candy delights which comes without slow veiling and unveiling that also is a delight delights are of different kinds. If you want that kind of delights which comes as a result of a slow veiling and a slow unveiling if this is intended and that delight is as good as other delight also both are equally good delight obtained by full unveiling at one stroke revelation of the delight by an instantaneous unveiling is one kind that delight that comes as a result of their slow veiling and unveiling is of a different kind it's also a delight that of a different kind not the question is which and a delight did you want, if you want that kind of delight it is possible you want this kind of delight that also is possible and for God both kinds of delight are equally good then you might say why does you choose this. If both are equally good and you're capable of both and you choose one that is nothing wrong about it you're capable of both both are good it's not as if this is better and that is less. There is a theory which says that this world is the best of all possible worlds in spite of evil being there and suffering being there is an argument that this world is the best possible world why because that kind of good can come about only if there is suffering and the real good can never come about if there is no such suffering that is another theory. Now that theory I am not advocating and saying that delight is as good as this delight although there are different kinds of delights God is capable of either of the two or both of them together he can do both at the same time and if he chooses one it is out of delight in fact that is a very starting point for a whole argument, why do we say that God is delight, God is delight because when he was capable of not manifesting it all he still manifests and the question was why is it that he's manifesting is there any compelling reason upon him is he compelled to manifest, no by not manifesting also he was in delight and manifesting also He is in delight and he's free to remain here or remain there. If so then one time he will choose this and that is because he is really free with no compulsion on him. Now if that is the case and you want that kind of delight by slow veiling or slow unveiling it is also delight. Now let us look at the problem from another point of view, after all this travail of suffering in the world if you ask a saint who really reaches God or unveils he never complains as to what has happened to him was wrong. In fact you will find that that delight, other kind of delight he could have got by any other means but that delight which now he's experiencing, he could experienced only if the movement was slow, if the movement was not slow than that kind of delight would not have come to him.

As it is said in the Vaishnav tradition the divine is all the time in sport, he could have chosen a sport in which there was no hiding and seeking it will be delightful where everything is manifest God is never veiled and everything is raslila all the time but that is not the only kind of delight that he is capable of there is another kind of delight which comes by hiding and seeking another kind of delight and if you want that kind of delight which itself is not wrong to have that kind of delight then in the process the suffering becomes inevitable you are not denying suffering you're not saying it's a part of joy no suffering is suffering but that kind suffering is inevitable if you want that kind of delight. Now you may ask the question why does the Divine want that kind of delight which comes through this suffering the answer is the following that even what you call suffering even in the creature who suffering the inner delight is never abolished the inner delight which is available to everybody is never abolished it's never extinguished it is hidden but never abolished not only that but there is a inner joy which is present even in the suffering, inner joy not that explicit joy the inner joy is always present and that is why a person is able to bear this suffering. Why is it that humankind is able to bear the worst kind of suffering? Or when the suffering becomes absolutely worst, he faints. There is absolutely no experience of suffering, all suffering and this is very important, all suffering is sufferable. The argument could be levelled against God only if there was suffering which was insufferable although we complain very often that the suffering is insufferable, but when it really becomes insufferable you find that there is no suffering; this is the presence of the divine. Divine does not want to give any suffering which is insufferable and that suffering which you experience does not abolish the inner delight on the contrary you are spurred to eliminate the suffering to such an extent that it can ultimately be destroyed. Destroyable, sufferable, suffering is the nature of suffering if this was not so we cannot defend this world. We are saying that this suffering is of such a nature that while suffering, you have an inner joy, if you really go into the depths of your matter you will really experience the inner joy which is never abolished. And secondly even the suffering that suffering could not be a threat, joy was not manifesting in one way as suffering is a farther point, suffering itself is a current of that joy. Suffering would not be suffering if it was not a current of joy. So joy is not abolish the all on the contrary, suffering itself is a current of joy. It is experienced by us are suffering its another matter it's another kind of taste you might say. The bitter taste is a taste, similarly this is the this is a bitterness but bitterness of Ananda. Ananda is capable of manifesting itself as neutrality as pleasure and pain. From the point of view of Ananda all the three are all pain basically. Even what you call pleasure of is actually the deformation of that Ananda, neutrality is deformation of Ananda, what we call pain is deformation of Ananda. The very fact that what we call pleasure can be experienced as pain which happens very often that which is pleasure can be experienced as pain and that is pain can be experienced as pleasure they are transferable. That shows that these currents are not absolute currents, these currents are transferable from one to the other. And finally they are not only transferable from one to the other they can be completely transformed into Ananda that would not be a suffering was absolute or that suffering was really something that was permanent as a temporary experience in order to attain to that Ananda that we can obtain only when we pass through suffering, which searches the scheme of the world then there is no contradiction between Ananda and the suffering.

Question: If we become conscious of our goal as Ananda, any suffering I can take in that sense, is there any suffering I can take with that attitude?

Answer: Very true, it's not only attitude but also it is really so merely by taking attitude it cannot happen if it was not really so. Ultimately it is only because really speaking that the joy can be transferred into pain and pain can be transferred into joy really speaking. As Sri Aurobindo says when he was in the Alipore jail one of the experiences that he had was that red ants, poisonous ants used to bite him in the jail because there was no protection, the ground was not cemented so in the hot summer he was arrested in the month of May it was a hot summer and the red ants used to sprawl upon his body and bite him tremendously and then Sri Krishna said that I have brought you to this point because I want you to see how this pain can be transformed into ecstasy. So he experienced ecstasy with the bite of the poisonous ants. It is a real fact. It is not as if an attitude is taken, no know I can enjoy it that is also good but ultimately it is because of the fact that the suffering can be really changed into Ananda. Sri Aurobindo says that all things are jugupsa, jugupsa means shrinking, shrinking is because of limitation or slow development. You see when a child wants to talk to you, the child first comes to you and then runs away. The child is very shy. It is jugupsa. And in that experience that is suffering, if the child knew that there is no need to be jugupsa at all, that mother is not going to scold me, mother is not going to do anything and that I'll be welcome fully then there is no problem but because of my limitation I shrink.

Now whatever is the object from which you shrink gives you the experience of suffering that very thing when there is no shrinking gives you delight in that very thing. That very thing which was actually giving you suffering gives you suffering on the because of the limitation of your consciousness, for examples some people say that the sun is very hot in the scorching I can't walk in it but you say I want to admit sun into my consciousness not limiting myself, this is not very experience which many people can experience. The moment you say I really want to experience and welcome sun in my body then that very fall of the sun and its shine and its heat you enjoy it in any case in the cold season the same sun which was scorching and giving trouble gives you delight the same sunlight because now you're open to it because of the cold season enables you to open up fully to the heat and therefore that he gives you delight is the same thing. So basically Sri Aurobindo says there is only delight in the world if delight was not there then suffering also would not be there, there is only delight everywhere everything that we receive is only delight, everything we send back is delight only in the middle there is a kind of a separateness, small island that we have made because of the limitation of our consciousness. So when the delight is rushing upon you; you feel it to be undelight or suffering because we are not open. It is otherwise delight in itself that which is rushing upon you is delight. You will have seen that in every experience of discovery that which was found to be really dreadful when you really discover that which was dreadful was really your own mother, all your suffering goes away, disappears. When you find that this enemy home you thought was your enemy actually he was your best benefactor, your whole consciousness changes and he becomes, the very person becomes delightful. Sri Aurobindo says that the whole world is a sea of delight; the world is nothing but delight.

Comment: I accept it intellectually only, it does not help.

Answer: No not at all, why because our consciousness physically ourselves must ultimately open up to that. Merely saying that all is delight only gives you philosophic calm. At the most you will not scold you will not get wild did that is all. You will be in some kind of quietude but that is not enough, you should be able to convert it. But the very fact that you can convert it shows that basically all is delight, and delight is not inconsistent with it; on the contrary suffering itself is possible only if there is delight. If there was no delight at all or if the current suffering was not the current of delight suffering would not be suffering at all. Suffering itself is the current of delight. And that is the solution of the problem. What you call suffering is itself a kind of a delight of movement of delight and you could not have suffering and there was no delight behind it or in it, or it was itself. Delight behind delight at the cause and itself as a delight. This is a real solution of the problem that Ananda is perfectly convertible into suffering and suffering is convertible into Ananda and the whole world being a deliberate act of hiding and slow veiling and unveiling because it is only through that that kind of delight can be experienced. It is not that it is the only kind of delight therefore those theories which say that this is the best of all possible worlds is not advocated. What we say is that this world is as good as any other good world. Any world that is created by God will be as good as basically it might not have the same kind of experience but fundamentally all delight whether it is ice cream delight, of a vanilla or of chocolate they may give different flavours are both are equally delightful and you can choose one or the other. Similarly if you want this kind of delight it comes out of a slow movement which gradually becomes quicker and ultimately becomes instantaneous if you want this kind of delight this is the only way by which it can happen. And this is what God had chosen now, because we all agreed in fact according to Sri Aurobindo before even the veiling was done we were all taken into counsel, and we were asked and you want this and we all said yes we want this kind of delight he wanted delight in which you will be hiding yourself and we will be seeking you and pining for you we shall be in agony and then the kind of delight which will come by a revelation that delight that he want therefore this is allowed actually because we have chosen. Only on this premise we can now absolve God from any kind of reproach because this is a possibility of delight in which we are all a party to it because we are not different from all. As Sri Aurobindo says if God were different from us and had decided that he will intrigue this pain on somebody else than himself then you can say that he himself remaining in delight and here all suffering that also is not true because advaita this is the only answer when we are suffering actually he is suffering through us so he's not absolving himself from this suffering, he's also passing through this suffering. Inflicting pain upon others while himself remaining immune from it is evil or monstrous but he himself suffers and in inflicting suffering, he's inflicting suffering on himself and by the decision of the one who is himself but another form and that another form has consented to it where is the reproach. So this is the solution.

The first solution is as I told you that there is a possibility for God to manifest himself in many different ways. You might say infinite ways and all the infinite ways are as good as the others, one is as good as the other. In every expression that is delight. But the kind of delight that is in one expression is different from the kind of delight that is in the other expression that was the only difference. So there can be a number of delights, it is possible, he is full of delight anantguna. Out of that he chooses one which is as good as the other in that particular thing a possibility of suffering is inevitable but that possibility arises only because there is delight that suffering itself is a current of delight if it was not a current of delight suffering would not arise and ultimately it is something that is not absolute that is not destroyed  but something that is itself so created that right from the beginning it is intended to be eliminated. Evil is that which is itself is such that it is to be eliminated even as that which is to be eliminated which ought not to be there which is there and it is avoidable and which can be eliminated that is our definition of evil. Such a evolution is possible as a result of which there is special kind of delight which arises, it is to experience that delight that all of us that God himself and the ourselves at God as his parts he himself is what we are, we have taken a deliberate decision to enter into it and then gradually evolving out of it. It's a process of evolution in which this is a necessary consequence. But something has to be destroyed which is destroyable and it is not inevitable that it will be a permanent condition in which we are going to be. It cannot be a permanent condition or a permanent condition cannot be created because it is only a result of evolution. And evolution by nature is something which is bound to evolve further, so evil is not a permanent feature, that evil is not a necessary evil it is only a part of a decision which could have been taken otherwise. Some other decision could have been taken then this evolution would not be there at all. It is only because a decision has been taken that it has to be an evolutionary movement therefore this result is inevitable. Only in that sense it is inevitable only conditioned upon a decision which was taken which was not itself absolute or compulsory. So that is the first answer. The second answer is that even while evil or suffering is experienced it does not destroy the inner delight which is present. If it was really contradictory than the moment there is suffering the delight would have been abolished if there was a contradiction between the two but that was not the case. Even when in the deepest sorrow it is always possible for us to withdraw and to experience it. Even in the deepest sorrow we are upheld even though we may feel that we are helpless but actually speaking we are always upheld and when the suffering becomes unsustainable you faint therefore there is no suffering. All suffering is sufferable suffering and that is because the delight which is inside is never abolished you can always recover it. Secondly every suffering is capable of being transformed into pleasure or neutrality that also is possible and thirdly you can transform each one of them into complete delight not only transform them into each other but each one of this neutrality pleasure or pain all can be transformed into complete delight. Not only transform but it will happen ultimately automatically because of the evolutionary force even if you say no you do not want that experience it'll happen evolutionary necessity is there because evolution is going on you are a part of evolution and you cannot avoid it therefore your goal of enjoying the utter delight of the presence of the divine is assured such is the scheme and that being the scheme it is possible to the reconcile it with the Satchitananda. With this reconciliation can take place only if Satchitananda is one, without the second only on the basis of advaita. Then only this is possible therefore it is vindication of advaita also. If advaita was not there, if reality was different from us then the approach could be possible he himself remains above and puts us into this suffering that is a terrible monster but if he himself is we is advaita and he himself knows that when I put myself into suffering the joy will not diminish and I can convert all my suffering into different kinds of joy or neutrality and that there is no suffering which is insufferable that ultimately all the suffering can be transformed into delight and I'm going to do it then only you can reconcile otherwise there is no other reconciliation possible. So we stop here today.

Question: Is the feeling of pleasure and pain felt equally by all human beings or does it depend on their evolution?

Answer: It depends upon their limitations. You can see that actually if a child was prepared for the examination fully, the same examination gives delight. If a child was not prepared the same examination gives pain. It is upon your awareness and your largeness. Actually you feel very happy when the examination comes. When the child is ready he feels very happy as soon as the examination comes near and he says now I'll show how much I can do. He feels delighted.

Question: But does the largeness give you the feeling of pain with equal intensity?

Answer: It depends upon what largeness it is there are various kinds of largenesses.

Question: Doesn't the experience of pain and pleasure go side-by-side or hand-in-hand?

Answer: No these are three currents of the same current basically, depending upon the kind of obstruction mankind gives you pleasure, another kind of obstruction gives you pain, another kind of obstruction gives you neutrality but basically the current in the same current Ananda. The kind of obstruction that you give, gives you these three consequences.

Question: The obstruction would be measured by a largeness or limitation?

Answer: Largeness or limitation the kind of its angularity also what angle you take what kind of angle is there in your obstruction.

Question: There's no homogeneity within angle in a person?

Answer: There are various kinds of possibilities so if you're already angularised you will always take it like that how many people are so cheerful by nature whatever may happen he goes on laughing angularity such and somebody so pessimistic all the time that the heaven will fall now and he feels all the time morose, it depends upon his angularity circumstances are the same but see it differently.

Comment: Part of it is habit.

Answer: Yes it's a process of evolution in which habits are formed they become permanent they become hardened nothing is permanent but they become hardened so it depends upon that is why education is so important. If you educate the children rightly you give a lot of plasticity and give right from the beginning equality and always tell them that he should always expand and that he should get the right knowledge. In fact a supramental consciousness or the highest consciousness, has these three qualities complete equality and complete plasticity and absoluteness of knowledge. Train every child into these three capacities right from the beginning his evolution will be much smoother. All right. Now I don't think we need to meet again. We have finished chapter number 12. I would like you to read down chapter number 11 and 12 and then if you have questions can you invite me and I will come.