Integral Yoga and Evolutionary Mutation - Its Aid to Humanity and Human Species - Notes and References

Notes and References

Notes and References

1 Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary
Library (SABCL), Pondicherry, 1971, Vol. 20, p. 83.

2 Vide., Ibid., p. 2.

3 Vide., Ibid., p. 44.

4 Vide., Ibid., The Life Divine, Vol. 19, p. 832.

5 Ibid., pp. 841.

6 Ibid., pp. 841-2.

7 Ibid., p. 842-3.

8 Ibid., p. 844.

9 Ibid., pp. 1066.

10 Vide., Ibid., p. 882-3.
11 Vide., Ibid., Vol. 18,p.l0.
12 Vide., Ibid., Vol. 19,p. 884.

13 Ibid., p. 885.

14 Vide., Ibid., pp. 889-90.

15 Vide., Ibid., p. 1046.

16 Vide., Ibid., p. 1050.

17 Ibid., Social and Political Thought, Vol. 15, pp.63-4.

18 Vide., Ibid., chapters 19-20.

19 Ibid., pp. 206-7.

20 Ibid., The Life Divine, Vol. 19, pp. 1052-3.

21 Ibid., pp. 1053-4.

22 Ibid., Social and Political Thought, Vol. 15, pp. 546-7.

23 Ibid., The Life Divine, Vol. 19, pp. 1059-60.

24 Vide., Ibid., On Himself, Vol. 26, Part I, sections IV-VI; Part 11, section I-IV.

25 Vide., The Mother, Collected Works, Centenary Edition, 1978, Vol. 12.

26 Sri Aurobindo, On Himself, SABCL, Pondicherry, 1971,Vol.26,p.464.

27 Ibid., The Life Divine, Vol. 19, p. 1062.

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28 Ibid., The Synthesis of Yoga, Vol. 20, p. 164.

29 Ibid., p. 165.

30 Ibid., Vol. 21, p. 662.

31 Ibid., The Supramental Manifestation Upon Earth, Vol. 16, pp. 63-4.

32 Ibid., pp. 64-5.

33 Mother's Agenda, Institut de Recherches Évolutives, Paris, Vol. 2, p.

34 Vide., Blurb of the Mother's Agenda, Vol. 1.

35 Vide., Mother: 1. The Divine Materialism (1980); 2. The New Species
(1982); 3. The Mutation of Death (1987), Institute for Evolutionary
Research, 200 Park Avenue, New York.

36 Mother's Agenda, Institut de Recherches Évolutives, Paris, Vol. 1, p.69.

37 Ibid., pp. 327-8.

38 Ibid., Vol. 2, pp. 52-3

39 Ibid.. Vol. 3, pp. 131-2.
40 Ibid p.211.

41 Ibid., pp. 320-1.

42 Ibid., Vol. 4, p. 78.

43 Ibid., Vol. 6, pp. 224-5.

44 Ibid., pp. 229-31.

45 Vide., Ibid., Vol. 9, pp. 66-7.

46 Ibid., p. 229.

47 Ibid., pp. 232-6.

48 Ibid.. Vol. 10, p. 20.

49 Vide., Ibid., pp. 95-8, 147, 172-3, 304-8.

50Vide., Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, SABCL, Pondicherry, 1971,Vol. 19, pp. 820-3. A few points may be elucidated as follows: When one realizes the immortality of the Spirit, one can feel free from the sting of death. This essential immortality of the spirit is sought to be attained by several systems of yoga, by practicing the disciplines of process is that of withdrawal from identification with the consciousness that is riddled with the ego and with the limitations of the body, life and mind. There are also more composite systems of yoga where immortality is sought to be attained not only by withdrawal from the ego and from the life and mind and the body but there are also

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processes that aim at enlargement of the powers of the mind and life and body to their maximum level of perfection; even then the bodily perfection and immortality of the body is still considered to be impossible. That the soul is immortal is acknowledged in a number of religions and systems of yoga, as a result of which survival after death is admitted and therefore life after death in one form or the other is also admitted. But mere survival after death is not realization of essential immorality; it may only mean continuation of life in other planes of existence, or else travel of the soul in other planes of existence and rebirth or series of rebirths. In the yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the individual soul is experienced as the eternal portion of the Supreme Spirit, and just as the immortality of the Supreme Spirit is an object of yogic realization, immortality of the individual soul is also an object of yogic realization. In fact, conquest of the necessity of death of the body cannot be attained without the realization of immortality of the Supreme Spirit and immortality of individual soul. But even if these two kinds of immortality are realized, the question of the rationale of the embodiment of the soul in body, of rebirth and its real purpose remains unanswered.

In the history of yoga, the greatest experiment that we can see ever conducted in the past in regard to the purpose of human embodiment is to be found in the yoga of the Veda. The Veda constantly speaks of the attainment of the path to immortality and of attainment of immortality. In one of the hymns, Parashara speaks of the path which leads to immortality. In Rig Veda, 1.72.9, Parashara describes the ancient Rishis as possessed of the power to enter into all things that bear ripe fruits,
and he speaks of the path towards immortality which they had hewn out. He states:

"They who entered into all things that bear right fruit formed a path towards the immortality; earth stood wide for them by the greatness and by the Great Ones, the mother Aditi with her sons manifested herself for the upholding."

If we try to understand the state of immortality that is described in this Rik, we shall find that it consists of the visitation of physical being by the powers of the higher planes of existence, who reign on those planes. These powers are those of the great gods or sons of the supreme creative Mother, Aditi. As a result of these powers in the physical being, the limits of the physical being are broken, and physical being opens

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out to the immortal light; and the physical being is upheld in the wideness by the infinite consciousness. Mother Aditi. In other words, the attainment of the Rishis of the Veda consisted not only of rising to the higher planes of infinite consciousness but also in bringing down that consciousness right up to the physical being, so that the physical being breaks its limits, attains new wideness by the help of the infinite consciousness, and the physical being is upheld in that wideness. Sri Aurobindo, while explaining this Rik states that "the physical being visited by the greatness of the infinite planes above and by the power of the great godheads who reign on those planes breaks its limits, opens out to the Light and is upheld in its new wideness by the infinite Consciousness, mother Aditi, and her sons, the divine Powers of the supreme Deva." (Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, SABCL, 1971, Vol. 10, pp. 191-2.) This is, according to Sri Aurobindo, the Vedic immortality. What is attained is a sense of the universal diffusion of Truth and the birth and activity of all the divine powers in the body. The impulse of the Truth, the thinking of the Truth pervades all the life and in it all fulfill their workings. Parashara states in Rig Veda 1.71.3 of those who had attained immortality as follows:

"They held the truth, they enriched its thought; then indeed, they, the aspiring souls, holding it in thought, bore it diffused in all their being." The truth in the Veda refers to supramental consciousness, and immortality, therefore, would mean diffusion of supramental consciousness in physical body, so as to render it wide and universal in its consciousness. The question is whether the physical being, by visitation of universality of consciousness, would be rendered capable of surmounting the necessity of death.

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother who attempted and reworked all the great achievements of past systems of yoga have confirmed the truth and validity of Vedic realizations, but they have not found in the Veda that key to the conquest of the necessity of death which, according to them, is required for the full manifestation of supermind in Matter. The Mother has stated the following:

"According to what Sri Aurobindo saw and what I saw as well, the Rishis had the contact, the experience — how to put it? ... A kind of lived knowledge of the thing, coming like a promise, saying, 'THAT is what will be.' But it's not permanent. There's a big difference between their experience and the DESCENT — what Sri Aurobindo calls 'The

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descent of the Supermind': something that comes and establishes itself. "Even when I had that experience [the 'first supramental manifestation' of February 29, 1956], when the Lord said, 'The time has come,' well, it was not a complete descent; it was the descent of the Consciousness, the Light, and a part, an aspect of the Power. It was immediately absorbed and swallowed up by the world of Inconscience, and from that moment on it began to work in the atmosphere. But it was not THE thing that comes and gets permanently established; when that happens, we won't need to speak of it — it will be obvious!

"Although the experience of '56 was one more forward step, it's not....
It's not final.

And what the Rishis had was a sort of promise — an INDIVIDUAL experience." (Mother's Agenda, Vol. 2, p. 376)

The coming down of the supermind right up to the physical level, and the widening of the physical being, the universalisation of the physical consciousness can be regarded as a capital experience, although not as a culminating experience. In that context, the description of that Vedic experience given by the Rishis as that of immortality needs to be underlined and understood in its proper context in the history of spiritual and supramental yogic history of the world. But Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have pointed out that the universalisation of physical consciousness by the visitation of the Supermind is not enough. That does not lead to the conquest of the Law of Death. Their experiments have shown that the Supermind needs to penetrate and permeate the mind of the cells and fix itself in it so as to build the foundation of the establishment of the supramental consciousness in the physical and material consciousness. The conquest of the Law of Death would be the ulterior consequence, and farther consequences would include mutation of the human species and development of the supramental beings on the earth. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have, therefore, spoken of the appearance of the Divine Body as a part of the next step of evolution.

51 Vide., Ibid., Vol. 18, chapter 20.

52 Bhagavad Gita, XV.7.

53 Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, SABCL, Pondicherry, 1971, Vol. 18,
pp. 591-2.

54 Ibid., The Supramental Manifestation Upon Earth, Vol. 16, p. 71.

55 Ibid., p. 72.

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56 Ibid., p. 67.

57 Ibid.

58 Vide., Ibid., pp. 65-6.

59 Vide., Rig Veda, 1.72.9.

60 Mother's Agenda, Institut de Recherches Évolutives, Paris, Vol. 1, p.

61 Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, SABCL, Pondicherry, 1971, Vol. 19,
p. 821.

62 Ibid., pp. 821-2.

63 Vide., Ibid., Vol. 18, p. 250.
"Vide., Ibid., p. 251.

65 Ibid., p. 260.

66 Vide., Mundaka Upanishad, 1.2.5-6, 10-11.

67 Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, SABCL, Pondicherry, 1971, Vol. 18, p. 261; see also the following note extracted from the forthcoming monograph on Katha Upanishad (to be published by S. K. Foundation, New Delhi, 2008, entitled The Story of Nachiketas ) , which deals with the problem of immortality:

The Katha Upanishad states that the doors of the body face outward; these doors are the doors of the senses, and it is true that all the senses are naturally sensitive to the impacts coming from outside. It is difficult for man to turn inward. That is the reason why the Katha Upanishad compares our senses with the horses or the steeds that are wild and in their natural condition uncontrolled and run about unless the mind is able to control them.

Katha Upanishad rightly compares the human body with a chariot and senses as the horses, which are yoked to the chariot, and it compares the objects of the senses as the paths in which they move. But the Katha Upanishad rightly speaks of the soul when it compares it with the master of the chariot. Between the soul and the chariot are the Reason and the Mind. The Reason is compared with the charioteer and the Mind is compared with the reins by which the senses i.e. the horses can be controlled. The Upanishad points out that the first thing that one needs to do is to have the knowledge by means of which the mind applies itself to control the senses. When the senses are controlled by the mind, these senses behave like noble horses that obey the driver.

But this is the first step, and if this first step is not taken, one remains

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unmindful and unclean, and one wanders helplessly in the cycle of phenomena. One does not know why there is this world, why the world is what it is and if the movement in the world has any goal. The next step is to discover the faculty of Reason and to train it.

But Reason is only the charioteer; for Reason can, by the power of Ideas, map out the roads and the interconnections of roads, and can, therefore, drive the chariot in different directions in an orderly fashion. But behind the Reason, there is seated the Soul. The knowledge of the soul, what it is, what it can do and how it can be fulfilled, - this knowledge is the most precious knowledge. This is difficult to attain, and the Katha Upanishad aims at raising questions about this soul. When Nachiketas asks a question as to whether man is or man is not after death, the answer lies in the fact that that soul which is the master of the chariot remains, even when the body or the chariot is dissolved. In other words, Nachiketas is ultimately told by Yama that what remains after the man is dead is his Soul, because the soul is immortal. But what is the Nature of the soul? What is its location? How does it function? Why is it located in the chariot as its master?

These questions are answered briefly. First of all, it is said that the soul is no larger than the thumb of a man and that it is seated in the midst of the Self. That soul is the knower of his past and his future. That soul is today and that shall be tomorrow. It is that soul, which is the Dwarf that sits in the centre. When the body is dissolved then it is that which remains. The man lives by breath, but even when the breath ceases, the soul lives and does not need to breathe for its being, since it is imperishable.

After the death, the soul has a journey; according to the actions that were performed during its sojourn in the body, the soul enters a womb for a new embodiment and is thus reborn in a new body. But if, during the sojourn in the body, there has been a pursuit of the Reality that is immovable, and which is the highest imperishable and immortal Reality, then the soul after death of the body follows after the Immovable.

The immovable is the immortal source of the soul. And the soul cannot be known if the Immovable is not known. That Immovable is described by the Katha Upanishad as the Unmanifest; but that is an incomplete statement. The Upanishad adds that higher than the Unmanifest is the Purusha, the Being, who although Immovable, is the originator of the

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world and also the indweller of the world. (The word Purusha consists of two original words. Pur and vas;, pur means the dwelling; the world which is originated is conceived as the dwelling place; vas means to dwell. Therefore, Purusha means one who originates the dwelling in the form of the world and dwells in it.)

The Katha Upanishad does not limit itself to saying that only the soul is immortal and that the source of the soul is immortal. It goes farther and enumerates all that is immortal. It states that the great Lord, the Purusha, who is the omnipresent self, is also immortal. The Jiva that is described as the 'Eater of Sweetness' (Madhvadah), is also immortal. Then it adds, 'This is Aditi, the mother of the gods', is also immortal. It states further that He, the Lord is the one in whom are all the gods established. Hence, gods too are immortal. The Upanishad speaks not only of the Lord and of the Purusha but also of the Brahman that is also immortal. It adds that the Purusha is called Brahman, and is also immortality. (2.2.8). It further says that it is in him that all the worlds are established. Thus we have a full description of the Reality and it is said, 'None goes beyond Him'.

The Reality is described in the Upanishad as the Purusha, as the Brahman, as the great lord, and that ultimate Reality is immortal. That ultimate Reality in whom all the worlds and all the gods are established is also Aditi, who is described as the mother of the gods. That Reality is also the Jiva, and it is that Jiva who is called the Dwarf who is seated in the midst of our being and is no larger than the thumb of a man and who knows the past and also the future.
Yama expounds in this Upanishad the totality and integrality of the ultimate Reality, which, in all its aspects, as the Purusha, as the Brahman, as the Lord, as Aditi and as Aditi of whom all the gods are children and the Jiva who is seated in man in the midst of his being as the Dwarf, the one who is no larger than the thumb of a man - all this is immortal.

The question of Nachiketas was: There is the debate over the man who has passed and some say, 'This he is not' and some say 'He is'; 'what is the correct answer?' Yama's answer is: 'When man passes away, what always remains immortal is the imperishable Reality, who is Purusha, Brahman, Ishwara and who is himself the Aditi, the mother of the gods, and is also the Jiva who in man is the Dwarf, - all this is imperishable and always remains.'

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Indeed, there are many questions that Nachiketas has not asked and therefore we do not find them answered. But some questions do arise. Some other Upanishads answer some of those questions and the remaining questions are answered by implication or through hints. If there are still further questions, Upanishads counsel that one should find the best teachers and seek the answers:

uttistata jāgrata prāpya varān nibodhata
'Arise, awake, find out the great ones and learn of them.'

There is, as we have indicated above, the best teacher, Sri Aurobindo, who has explained the great teachings of the Veda and the Upanishads in his voluminous writings, and he has opened a new chapter of spiritual victory over Matter in terms of Supramental Manifestation on the earth. We shall, therefore, refer to his writings for illumining ourselves in regard to the question as to what is the real reality of the human being, and whether after the death of the human being anything remains alive, and if so, what happens to that which remains alive. What Sri Aurobindo has written confirms what is written in the Katha
but he has also explained all that in detail and, on account of his laborious research, the question of the human soul and its immortality have been expounded and answered in completeness, in the light of new knowledge.

According to Sri Aurobindo, there is in the human being a psychic entity or the divine individual soul. This soul puts forward a formation, which evolves gradually in the human complex of the body, life and mind. It is that formation which is called the psychic being. This psychic being is constantly at work in order to awaken the body, life and mind, so that by that awakening, these instruments (body, life and mind) turn to the higher realities and the Supreme Divine, who is the ultimate origin of all that is in the universe. The psychic being also acts as a guide and a teacher of these instruments, but like all good teachers, it does not impose itself on these instruments. It acts more through influence, suggestions and counsels, which are heard as it were in deeper recesses of the heart. The psychic being inspires body, life and mind to give their consent for their awakening and their turning to the divine consciousness. This consent, when obtained, is a necessary condition for a rapid growth of these instruments. The more decisive is the consent, the greater is the efficacy of the psychic being. As a result, the psychic being becomes more and more powerful, and ultimately it

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floods its light on the instruments and makes these instruments more and more trained, more and more perfect and suffused with the psychic light.

This process is, in the beginning quite slow, and therefore, the psychic being, lives in the body, life and mind as something not quite fully grown up. That is why the psychic being can be described as a Dwarf or as one that is no bigger than the thumb of a man

.Human life is a process by which, through varieties of experiences, it teaches us that we need to awaken to the presence of the psychic being, who is secretly sitting in the deep cave of the heart. That is why, the great teachers of mankind have counseled us to look deeper and deeper in the heart and enter into a long tunnel at the end of which one can discover that deepest psychic being. Once we can reach that psychic being, we can get true guidance more and more readily, and we can
walk on the path of life as on a sunlit path.

As the process of the discovery of the psychic being is long, this process cannot be completed within a short span of one life or even several lives, although once the psychic being is discovered, the full manifestation of the psychic being does not take one or two lives or little more.

In any case, this process is long; the psychic being has to carry on its journey through a number of successive bodies. Hence, when the given human body dies, this psychic being withdraws from the body and travels through various stages. This is because the death of the body does not mean that nothing of the human being that was acting and living in the body also comes to an end. The psychic being is immortal, it continues to live, no more in the body as it was living earlier in the body, and which is now dead, but it has its own inherent life and is able to conduct a journey. When the psychic being leaves the body on the death of the body, it carries with it three elements with it, namely, the mental being, the vital being and the subtle physical being which were developed in the body which is now dead. The departing soul at the time of death chooses what it will work out in the next birth and determines the character and condition of the new personality. That is why it is said that the psychic being has the knowledge of its past births, present birth, and it also knows what has to happen to it in the future. The following statement of Sri Aurobindo gives a brief outline of what happens after the death of the body:

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'It is true that the departing psychic being in the vital body lingers for sometime near the body or the scene of life very often for as many as eight days.... even after the severance from the body, a very earth bound nature or one full of strong physical desires may linger long in the earth atmosphere up to a maximum period extended to three years. Afterwards, it passes through the vital worlds, proceeding on its journey...' (Volume 22, Letters on Yoga I, pp. 436-437)

We may also study the following statement of Sri Aurobindo:

'When the body is dissolved the vital goes into the vital plane and remains there for a time, but after a time the vital sheath disappears. The last to dissolve is the mental sheath. Finally, the soul or the psychic being retires into the psychic world to rest there till a new birth is close...' (Ibid, p. 433)

Let us also study another statement of Sri Aurobindo:

'After leaving the body, the soul, after certain experiences in other worlds, throws off its mental and vital personalities and goes into rest to assimilate the essence of its past and prepare for a new life. It is this preparation that determines the circumstances of the new birth and guides it in its new reconstitution of a new personality and the choice of its materials.

The departed soul retains the memory of its past experiences only in their essence, not in their form of detail. It is only if the soul brings back some past personality or personalities as part of its present manifestation that it is likely to remember the details of its past life. Otherwise, it is only by yogadrishti that the memory comes...' (Ibid, p. 434)

We may also refer to some more statements from Sri Aurobindo:

'At the time of death the being goes out of the body through the head; it goes out in the subtle body and goes to different planes of existence for a short time until it has gone through certain experiences which are the result of its earthly existence. Afterwards, it reaches the psychic world where it rests in a kind of sleep, until it is time for it to start a new life on earth. That is what happens usually-but there are some beings who are more developed and do not follow this course. (Ibid, p. 435)

'The movement of the psychic being dropping the outer sheaths on its way to the psychic plane is the normal movement. But there can be any number of variations; one can return from the vital plane and there are

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many cases of an almost immediate birth, sometimes even attended with a complete memory of the events of the past life...

'There is no rule of complete forgetfulness in the return of the soul to rebirth. There are, especially in childhood, many impressions of the past life, which can be strong and vivid enough, but the materializing education and influence of the environments prevent their true nature from being recognized. There are a great number of people who have definite recollections of a past life. But these things are discouraged by education and the atmosphere and cannot remain or develop; in most cases they are stifled out of existence. At the same time it must be noted that what the psychic being carries away with it and brings back is ordinarily the essence of the experience it had in former lives and not the details so that one cannot expect the same memory as one has of the present existence.

'A soul can go straight to the psychic world but it depends on the state of consciousness at the time of departure. If the psychic being is in front at the time, the immediate transition is quite possible.. .On the whole it may be said that there is no one rigid rule for these things, manifold variations are possible, depending upon the consciousness, its energies, tendencies and formations, although there is a general framework and design into which all fit and take their place.' ( Ibid, pp. 437-438 )

It is important to note that when our knowledge expands, we come to know that the material world that we normally see and experience is not the only world in the universe. The universe has many planes of existence, and it has many worlds in it; the material universe is only the lowest plane in the total scheme of the universe. According to the knowledge that was developed in the Vedas and the Upanishads, and which has been confirmed from age to age, and which Sri Aurobindo also confirms, is that above the physical world, there is a Vital world, above that is a world of the Mind, and then there are several planes between the Mind world and the world of the Supermind; these are worlds of Higher Mind, Illumined Mind, Intuitive Mind and Overmind. On the top level, there are worlds of the Supermind, of Bliss, Consciousness and of Existence. In the various descriptions of the universe, there are slight variations, but on the whole the most prominent description of the universe is that it is seven-fold. The Veda, therefore, speaks of Bhur (Earth plane), Bhuvar (world of Life), Swar (world of Illumined Mind), Mahas (world of Supermind), Jonah

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(world of Delight), Tapah (world of Consciousness-Force) and Satyam (world of Pure-Existence).

These worlds are connected among themselves, each one having its own influence and pressure. A special feature of the earth plane is that it is evolutionary in character, while other worlds are typal and non evolutionary. It is on the earth that we find the evolution of Life in Matter, of Mind in Life and we see in our present earth-situation that Mind is also evolving. In the process of evolution, we find certain laws. According to one theory of evolution, which was developed by Darwin, the Law of evolution consists of struggle for existence and survival of the fittest. There are, indeed, debates on this theory. But there is also a spiritual theory of evolution that we find in the writings of Sri Aurobindo. He agrees with the scientific theory that the evolutionary history of the earth has witnessed the evolution of Life in Matter, Mind in Life, but the mechanism of the evolution is, according to Sri Aurobindo, not identical with what the Darwinian theory wants us to believe. According to him, the Law of evolution has three processes: There is, first, multiplication of forms of Matter; when these forms become numerous and complex, the evolutionary force, which is working in Matter, brings out from the depths of Matter, Life, which is already latent in Matter. This process of Ascent from Matter to Life is aided by the forces, which come down from the world of Life. In other words, it is by the junction of the Life struggling to burst out of Matter and forces of Life coming down from the typal world of Life that
eventually Life could be established in Matter. But after Life comes to be established in the form of minute organisms, it turns its gaze downwards towards Matter and produces and assumes more complex material forms, at least a few of them, assimilated in the Law of Life and gradually the material bodies in which the Life functions tend to grow more and more responsive to the forces of Life. This process is called the process of integration. When this process of integration develops further, there is once again multiplication of forms of organisms; these forms become more and more complex. This complexity is aided constantly by the forces descending from the world of Life and there is a gradual development of new organs, new structures and new modes of functioning. This is the reason why there are countless species and countless forms of bodies in which Life has been struggling to establish itself securely in Matter. There is, in fact, a great struggle between Life and Matter, and although Life has emerged

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and Life has developed many forms, we see that no organism has yet been able to secure itself or establish itself so fully in Matter that it can continue to live in Matter without end. There is, thus, the Law of Death; and this Death operates because in the struggle between Life and Matter, Matter continues to impose itself and Matter becomes victorious over Life. This victory of Matter over Life is victory of the Law of Death.

Next, Mind evolves in Life; it is because of the pressure of the Mind, which was already involved in Life, and it was aided by the pressure of the Mind acting from the typal world of Mind. [The worlds of Life, of Mind and other worlds which are above our earthly plane are, as stated earlier, called typal because each of these worlds is non-evolutionary. Only our earth plane is evolutionary.] When the Mind evolves, a new power begins to act, because Mind has the capacity to plan and design;

it can foresee the results with some kind of probability; it can therefore change the plan to bring about better probable consequences. This capacity is of tremendous significance. When the human mind develops, it can develop sciences and technologies. Mind can see the outer world, it can also see the inner world; it can come to know by special methods other worlds and can even design and plan how the powers of other worlds can be known and even brought down on the earth.In India, as elsewhere, many advanced minds have tried to develop not only the sciences of the outer world but also the sciences of the inner world; they also developed the science of living and technology of living. The technology of the highest, truest and noblest living came to be called, in India, Yoga.

Fortunately, the records of the knowledge of the science and technology of Yogic living have been kept intact and alive. The most precious records are those of the Vedas and the Upanishads. When we read these records, we find stories such as those of Nachiketas, where there are debates and exchanges in regard to the development of the knowledge of what is life, what is death, why are there processes of birth and death and why a human being is obliged to be born as a baby and grow up
and achieve many victories and yet why he is obliged to die. This was the central question that Nachiketas had asked. What is death? What happens after death? And is there any Reality which is immortal? Having given this background, we can see the importance of the question that we have been discussing here. We have seen that according to

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the knowledge that is available in Yoga, there is in man a psychic entity or the soul, which is immortal and remains alive even after the death of the body. We have seen that when the soul leaves the body on the death of the body, it travels to the world of Life and then travels to the world of Mind. Thereafter it travels to the world of Souls, the psychic world. According to Sri Aurobindo, the soul rests in the psychic world and during this period of rest it assimilates the experiences that it has gained when it was in its previous body. The mission of the soul is to gradually influence more and more powerfully the powers of the mind, life and body and turn them to receive the higher and highest light from above and to transform them so that they may act in the physical world with the light and power of the highest consciousness. We have seen that this is a very long work, and the mission of that work cannot be fulfilled within a short span of one life. It is for this reason that there is in the world the machinery of rebirth. Rebirth becomes inevitable because the soul's work continues to become more and more victorious in its mission, and in every new body, the soul attempts to create a more and more powerful nucleus of its light from where its rays of light can spread over the mind, life and body. That nucleus of light is called the psychic being. The psychic being is the growing nucleus created by the psychic entity out of its own light and power so that through the instrumentality of the psychic being the mind, life and body can become more and more transformed.

When Yama explains to Nachiketas that there is a being in us, which is seated in the center of one's self and which is no bigger than the thumb, he refers to the psychic being. Hence, the first important thing for the individual to do is to get in touch with the psychic being. But this cannot be done if one remains turned outwards. That is why Yama points out that one should turn inward. It is by turning inward more and more that one can discover the psychic being. Yama also points out that this turning inward would not be easy, if one does not distinguish between what is pleasant and what is good. Yama also points that if one seeks pleasure, one will remain constantly in the world of blindness. It is by choosing the good that one becomes able to walk on the path of the discovery of the psychic being.

It is often asked as to why seeking of pleasure leads one to the world of blindness. The answer is that pleasures keep one fixed on the outer senses, and one remains more and more out ward, whereas the guiding light of the psychic being is available only when one turns inward. But

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the question is- how does one know what is good? One simple answer is that any action or any thought which makes one serious and sincere and leads one to think deeply by going inward, and any action or thought which makes one serious and sincere to live more and more within one's self and to control the outer actions and thoughts, is a good action and a good thought. But this is a simple answer. At a deeper level, it is found that the good is an expression of states of consciousness, which are very wide, very quiet, very stable and very compassionate. These states of consciousness are conducive to the contact with the psychic being. Hence, the more one controls one's desires for pleasures, the wider becomes his consciousness and the nearer he reaches the psychic being.

Yama also explains that apart from the psychic being, there is a greater Reality of which the psychic being is a delegate. That greater reality needs to be known, since the knowledge of that reality is a terminal point of the work of the psychic being on the earth, although even after knowing that Reality, a very different task still remains to be done. That task is to create conditions in the Mind, Life and Body by means of which that Reality can manifest fully on this earth. If, therefore, it is asked as to why we are here on the earth, we shall see that it is, firstly, to discover and realize that greater Reality, which is called in the Upanishad, the Brahman, and, secondly, to manifest that Reality in physical life in fullness. Since this task is a long one, we require to be ready for a long journey and work out patiently these two tasks as quickly as possible but also as perfectly as possible.

The Katha Upanishad, like all the other Upanishads, is centered on Brahma-Vidya, the knowledge of the Brahman. The greatness of the Upanishads lies in the fact that they give us full description of the essence and nature of the Brahman. That knowledge remains perennial, since the essence and nature of Brahman is immortal and does not change. That is why the knowledge given in the Upanishads, although it is very ancient, has remained true, and even now it is true. The truth of that knowledge can be verified by following the methods that Upanishads have given. That is why the Upanishads are not dogmatic. What the Upanishads had realized about the nature of the Brahman has come to be verified again and again, and Sri Aurobindo in his writings has confirmed that in his own experiences he has discovered the essence and nature of the Brahman, as it was described in the Upanishads. In fact, the knowledge of the Upanishads is itself a veri-

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Notes and References

fication and restatement of the knowledge of the Brahman that we find in the Vedas. Hence the knowledge of the Brahman given in the Upanishads is also called Vedic Knowledge. According to that knowledge, Brahman is immortal, and therefore, when Nachiketas asks as to what remains after the death of a man, Yama's reply is not only that the soul is immortal but he also points out that the soul itself is imperishably connected with the Brahman who is the source of immortality. Hence, the knowledge of Brahman is indispensable. Not only that but the knowledge of the Brahman brings about an identity with the Brahman, and therefore, one attains to the immortality of the Brahman.

Let us, therefore, read once again what Yama says about the Brahman. First of all, the Brahman is described as Atman or the Self, since the Self is the essence, which is imperishable. Yama says to Nachiketas that the Self is not to be won by eloquent teaching, or by brainpower, or by much learning. None who has not ceased from doing evil, or whose mind has not been tranquillized can attain to Him or to that Self. Moreover, one needs to develop wisdom to attain to Him. One who pursues knowledge and one who becomes constantly mindful and keeps himself pure always, reaches the goal of the knowledge of the Brahman. The Brahman is the highest. The Katha Upanishad describes that highest as follows:

'The objects of sense are higher than the senses; the Mind is higher than the object of sense; the Supermind is higher than the Mind; the Great Self is higher than the Supermind; the Unmanifest is greater than the Great Self; the Purusha is greater than the Unmanifest. None is higher than the Purusha. He is the culmination. He is the highest goal of the journey.' (See verses 10& 11, Chapter III, 1st Cycle, Katha Upanishad.) The Supreme Reality is defined here as Purusha; it will be seen that the word Brahman is not used in the above verse. This is because the word Brahman and the word Purusha are often used interchangeably and they are also used with the specific connotations. If we want to understand the specific connotation of the words Brahman and Purusha, it can be said that Brahman stands for the essence; it also stands for the essence that expands and is, the before, present everywhere; it also stands for what is understood to be the meaning of self, because self means that which is most essential. For that reason, the word Brahman (essence that expands) is also equated with Atman (self). Purusha, on the other hand, stands for Being. There is a distinction between essence

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and being. Essence is that which is what remains whether it manifests or does not manifest. It is true that what manifests can be none other than the essence, and what is spread in the manifestation is also essence. But the concept of Purusha brings in a more complex idea; Being is one, who is essence but who also determines whether to remain unmanifest or manifest. Hence, the word Purusha means the being who determines or who originates the manifestation. The word Purusha has also a further connotation; he is not only the being who determines whether to manifest or not to manifest, not only the originator of manifestation but who also relates himself with what is manifested and dwells in manifestation. (As explained earlier, the word Purusha consists of two words - pur and vas, - pur stands for the field or the town or the body or the universe, which is manifested, and vas stands for dwelling, to dwell, to live.)

We may also add that the Supreme Reality is often described as Ishwara. Again, the words Brahman, Purusha and Ishwara can be used interchangeably, but the specific meaning of Ishwara is one who is the Lord of all that is manifested. As the Lord, the relationship with the manifestation is not the same as the Purusha has with the manifestation. The relationship between Purusha and the power of manifestation (Prakriti) is that of eternal companionship, such that Purusha consents to Prakriti and Prakriti consents to Purusha, depending upon the nature of the play that they want to play with each other. The relationship between Ishwara and manifestation is not that of companionship, but that of a relationship in which Ishwara always acts as the Lord of the manifestation, who controls manifestation, who commands manifestation and overrides with his Will so that that Will prevails. These three words describe the Supreme Reality in its totality in which these three aspects are three poises, and there is still a higher poise, which is attained when all the three poises are transcended. That transcendental is, in a sense, indescribable, but if it is to be described, it is described as a Parabrahman or Purushottama or Parameshwara.

According to the Katha Upanishad, when the word Purusha is used as the one who is highest, it should be understood that the Purusha that is the highest is the Purushottama. It is the knowledge of the highest Purushottama that one should aim at. It is that Purusha, in its highest poise that is the real immortal one, and it is because that Purushottama has all the three poises of Brahman, Ishwara and Purusha, the realization of the Brahman or Ishwara or Purusha is also the realization of

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immortality. But apart from the highest Purushottama, and his three poises, there is also the power of Purushottama, which is the power of manifestation. That power of manifestation is known in the Vedas as Aditi and Katha Upanishad also uses the same name and points out that that Aditi is also immortal. Further, the Katha Upanishad also points out that there is Jiva, who is the eater of sweetness, and that Jiva is manifested in the Aditi, who is herself the ocean of sweetness. That is why Jiva is described as the eater of sweetness. That Jiva also is immortal. The Katha Upanishad also speaks of a being who is no bigger than the thumb (soul or psychic being) and as Sri Aurobindo points out, that being that is no bigger than the thumb is a delegate of the Jiva or of the Individual Self. According to the Katha Upanishad, that, who is no bigger than the thumb, is also immortal, and it is that one who travels as an individual traveler, who enters into the human body at birth and departs from the body on death of the body; after the death of the body, it travels into different worlds which are other than the worlds of the
physical existence; after the intermediary travel and rest in its own world, which Sri Aurobindo calls the Psychic world, after about three years of sojourn in the psychic world, it gets reborn into another human body. This traveler is immortal, and it is that traveler who is obliged to come back again and again into the human body because, as Sri Aurobindo points out, it has an intention, the fulfillment of which can take a very long time, and therefore, until that intention is fulfilled, it comes again and again into the human body, and during each birth, it works out a part of the work which is to be fulfilled over repeated rebirths.

The question is: What is the intention of the soul on the earth, which it intends to fulfill? This question is extremely difficult to answer. A part of the answer is that the soul that enters into the human body has to be awakened to the reality of the Purushottama. Hence, the soul constantly works on the consciousness of the body, life and mind to make that consciousness more and more aware of the Purushottama. When that awareness is attained in the body, life and mind, it is said to have
attained the state of immortality. Indeed, this is a very difficult task, and one mark of that realization of immortality is that one becomes superior to the body, life and mind permanently, and it is no more obliged to become bound to the body, life and mind. Hence, that state is also called the state of liberation or Moksha.

Sri Aurobindo goes further and points out that attainment of liberation

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is only the first step of the fulfillment of the purpose for which the soul comes down into the body, life and mind. Hence, a further task remains still to be accomplished. A part of this task is to develop body, life and mind to such a point of perfection that they too become divinised, and one could describe the divinised body, life and mind as the divine temple, that lives physically on the earth and manifests fully the divine consciousness in each and every movement of body, life and mind. This
aspect of the work of the soul is not described in the Katha Upanishad. But what is left unsaid in the Upanishad remains to be accomplished and it is here that a new knowledge and a new method of application of that knowledge had to be discovered.

Sri Aurobindo made a fresh effort of yogic research and found out that in order to fulfill the soul's task on earth, it is not enough to secure the realization of the immortality of the soul and of the Jiva but also to realize the immortality and power of manifestation of Aditi, (which Sri Aurobindo also calls Supermind) has also to be known in fullness. Sri Aurobindo goes even further, and points out that the power of Aditi or Supermind has to be brought down by its descent, so that the Supramental power can inundate the mind, life and body. It is only when the Supermind has fully inundated the mind, life and body, that the divine temple can be built on the earth. When that state is achieved, not only the mind and life but even the body is fully supramentalised, and the body can also develop a new structure that can manifest Supermind fully. In that state, even the mind becomes immortal, life becomes immortal and even the body becomes immortal. This triple immortality of the mind, life and body is the sign that the Purushottama and Aditi have become fully manifest on the earth. Indeed, humanity has not yet reached that point, where this ideal can be said to have been accomplished. In the meantime, most of us are still to attain to the first half of the work, which is described in the Katha Upanishad, namely, the task of the realization of the immortality of the Purushottama and of Aditi. Some, who are very advanced, can move forward towards the remaining half of the work; only a few have the capacity of working towards the completion of the task. According to Sri Aurobindo, it may take a few centuries before one can attain to the triple immortality of the mind, life and body. The body's immortality will be the last achievement, and it is towards that achievement that we have to prepare ourselves increasingly and, with the constant help of Aditi, work out the attainment of full supramental manifestation on the earth.

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Notes and References

It may be added that immortality of the body, when it is achieved, will not mean the obligation or the necessity of the soul to remain in the same body, but it will be free from the necessity or obligation to enter in the state of death. The supramental being will have the freedom to choose to leave the body whenever it so wills. That capacity to leave the body at will is, truly speaking, what can be called iccha mrityu. That means that death is not a necessity; at present death has not been conquered by humanity, even though there have been instances when some advanced yogis have been able to postpone the moment of death; but their body itself has not yet achieved that level of conquest where it can be said that the law of death itself has been eliminated from our present state of physical existence.

We have thus covered, not only the teaching of Katha Upanishad, but in the light of Sri Aurobindo, also brought out what can be called the complete knowledge, not only of immortality of the Supreme Reality but also the immortality of the instruments of the Spirit on the earth. It is true that one has to make a very large study of the methods by which the conquest of death in the human body can be realised. But for that, the minimum that we can recommend is to study SriAurobindo's book:

'The Supramental Manifestation Upon Earth''

68 Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, SABCL, Pondicherry, 1971, Vol. 19.

pp. 822-3.

69 Ibid., p. 823.

70 Ibid., Vol. 18, p. 247.

71 Ibid., The Supramental Manifestation Upon Earth, Vol. 16, p. 22-3.

72 Ibid., p. 26

73 Vide., Ibid., pp. 26-8.

74 Ibid., p. 27.

75 Vide., Ibid., pp. 28-30.

76 Vide., Ibid., pp. 31-3.

77 Ibid., pp. 32-3.

78 Vide., Mother's Agenda, Institut de Recherches Évolutives, Paris,
Vol. 10, pp. 18-27.

79 Vide., Ibid., Vol. 11. pp. 99-105.
80 Ibid., pp. 101-3.

81 Ibid., p. 104.

82 Ibid., p. 174.

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Notes and References

83 Vide., Sri Aurobindo, The Supramental Manifestation Upon Earth,
SABCL, Pondicherry, 1971, Vol. 16, pp. 34-40.

84 Ibid., p. 36.

85 Ibid., p. 38.

86 Ibid., p. 40.

87 Vide., Mother's Agenda, Institut de Recherches Evolutives, Paris,
Vol. 11, pp. 149-159.

88 Ibid., p. 186.

89 Ibid., Vo. 13, pp. 98-100.

90 Ibid., Vol. 5, pp. 175-6.

91 Vide., Ibid., Vol. 8, pp. 21-5.

92 Ibid., Vol. 10, pp. 63-5.

93 Vide., Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, SABCL, Pondicherry, 1971, Vol. 19, pp. 821-3. Sri Aurobindo explains here the conditions under which the mind, life and body could attain victory over death and matter, and these conditions include the individualization, integration and openness of the mental being, vital being and physical being, on the surface, to the supermind.

94 Mother's Agenda, Institut de Recherches Évolutives, Paris, Vol. 10,
pp. 86-7.

95 Ibid., p. 95.

96 Ibid., Vol. 13, p. 399.

97 Ibid., pp. 417-20.

98 Satprem, Mother: The Mutation of Death, Institute for Evolutionary

Research, 200 Park Avenue, New York, 1987, pp. 280-1.
99 Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, SABCL, Pondicherry, 1971,

Vol. 20, p. 3.

100 Ibid., On Himself, Vol. 26, pp. 468-9.
101 Mother's Agenda, Institut de Recherches Evolutives, Paris, Vol. 3,

pp. 156-9.
102Ibid., Vol. 1, p. 75.

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