The Life Divine by Sri Aurobindo: The Triple Status Of The Supermind

This post contains my personal notes and reflections of the chapter called The Triple Status Of The Supermind from the The Life Divine written  by Sri Aurobindo.

All existence is one Being. The essential nature of this Being is Consciousness. The essential nature of Consciousness is Force or Will.  The Being, Consciousness and Force is all Delight. When the Being expresses itself it is the play of the universe. The Delight is the main reason for the existence of everything.We are also, in reality, this Being.But we are not immersed in this Being. We are identified with the body, mind and this life.We want to find the link between the Being and the body, mind and life so that we can realise and live the Being and the Delight in this body, mind and life.This link is the Truth-Consciousness or the Supermind. This is constantly aware of the One Being and manifests the multiplicity of the world from the One Being.

The Triple Status of the Supermind 1

In other words, Sat-Chit-Ananda (Existence, Consciousness(force/will) and Bliss) is what we call as God. This, when it is concentrated in itself is the Transcendent. The active delightful play of Sat-Chit-Ananda is the universe.

The Triple Status of the Supermind 2

Sat-Chit-Ananda means that is obviously omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. How can it not be if it is everything? In the resting, blissful state it is God as we think of Him. In the ignorant and active state, in which we are, it is the mind, life and body. The link between the two is the Supermind or Truth consciousness,  that which is resting and active simultaneously, one and many at the same time and no matter what is constantly aware of the Being.

  • Advaita says that everything is One. This is true.
  • Vishitadvaita says that everything is One in essence but different in form and measure. This is true.
  • Dwaita says that God is different from the human being and the human being is the son of God and the nature of relationship can be varied like a son, lover, servant, friend, etc. This is also true.

The Triple Status of the Supermind 3

The Supermind can be either of the above three or all of the above three simultaneously and all of them are true. This is the triple status of the Supermind.

A few clarifications need to be made:

  1. So, what Sri Aurobindo is saying, that everything is Divine in the ultimate sense. Everything is made by the Divine. The force that makes them and sustains them can be called Conscious-Force or Knowledge-Will and that exists as the Real-Idea in everything that exists. Everything also exists in the Divine. Because of Ignorance is why we perceive things differently and separate.
  2. Adwaita, Vishitaadwaita and Dwaita can be thought of as three different poises of the Supermind. As Aurobindo says:The first founds the inalienable unity of things, the second modifies that unity so as to support the manifestation of the Many in One and One in Many; the third further modifies it so as to support the evolution of a diversified individuality which, by the action of Ignorance, becomes in us at a lower level the illusion of the separate ego.
  3. The Dwaita concept where the individual and the Supreme are separate is not inferior or superior to the other concepts of Vishishtaadwaita or Adwaita. In fact, all of them are equal. It depends on how you see them. Again Aurobindo says:This tertiary poise would be therefore that of a sort of fundamental blissful dualismin unity—no longer unity qualified by a subordinate dualism—between the individual Divine and its universal source, with all the consequences that would accrue from the maintenance and operation of such a dualism….It is because in Time the Many seem not to be eternal but to manifest out of the One and return into it as their essence that their reality is denied; but it might equally be reasoned that the eternal persistence or, if you will, the eternal recurrence of the manifestation in Time is a proof that the divine multiplicity is an eternal fact of the Supreme beyond Time no less than the divine unity; otherwise it could not have this characteristic of inevitable eternal recurrence in Time.
  4. What Buddhism calls Nirvana is also Adwaita in a sense as everything becomes One and is Non-self in that sense but existence does not annul in a void but since that is not comprehended by the mind that we possess we feel that is so. But that cannot be as all things change but never cease to exist in essence as everything is the Divine and therefore cannot cease to exist in essence.

 

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