April 16, 1999
Sri Aurobindo's Theory of Creation
In his book The Life Divine Sri Aurobindo outlines his theory of
creation. His basic assumptions are,
- The creator is an Omnipresent Reality, Eternal and Infinite;
- In pursuit of Delight, the creator created the universe in which he concealed himself,
so that he would have the joy of discovery.
- As the creator sought the greatest of joys, he decided on the course of Self-discovery
- As he is the All, when he wants to conceal himself, he cannot do so in any other thing.
Hence, the only course open to him is self-concealment.
- He conceals himself within himself by the process of self-absorption.
- The process of Self-absorption takes the course of his four higher aspects converting
into their opposites. Being changes into Non-Being, Consciousness into Inconscient, Bliss
into Insensibility, Supermind into Mind.
- The Omnipresent Reality is known as Brahman in India and Absolute in Europe.
- Involution that ends in Matter that is Non-Being changes into evolution thus evolving
Life and Mind. Mind is seen as Man.
- The ordinary man sees by his senses the material objects around him.
- His highest instrument is Mind which heightens its capacities by concentration and tries
to see the Omnipresent Reality which is in reality his own self.
- Mind is an instrument of Ignorance and is created for division.
- Minds highest ability is to see one section of any whole. It is incapable of
seeing the whole.
- Mind therefore cannot see the ALL that is the whole of creation and its previous status.
- Therefore Mind at its height sees the ALL as a Being which is really not the ALL but its
partial presentation in creation. Mind sees this Being as Being or consciousness or Bliss,
which it is simultaneously.
- Mind can see only one aspect at a time, cannot see all the three aspects simultaneously.
- The involution takes the route of:
|Being Consciousness Bliss
Evolution goes from Matter to Being on the same route in the reverse.
- Supermind creates in the planes of Time and Space.
- Time is the subjective extension of consciousness and Space is the objective extension
- Consciousness splits into two parts, one of knowledge and the other Force. (They are
known as consciousness, force or knowledge, will).
- For the involution to continue, knowledge and will that separated start working.
Knowledge acts on will that is Force.
- Knowledge energises whatever it works on. Here, by working on Force, it releases a plane
of Energy. We call that plane Life.
- In this process of energising will and creating Life, a part of the knowledge loses
itself. Hence, the plane of Life is less conscious than the plane of Mind.
- Involution continues and knowledge continues to work on Force and loses itself entirely,
at which point Force becomes Matter. Thus the plane of Matter is generated.
- Involution does not cease till knowledge is fully lost in Matter, which means the origin
of knowledge-consciousness becomes the Inconscient.
- Involution goes further. That which is prior to consciousness i.e., the Being, also
loses itself in the process into its opposite, Non-Being.
- Now that the Involution is complete, Being that has self-concealed itself has come to
the point that it forgets the very fact of losing itself. Being must remember Itself,
which is awakening, in order to start the reverse process of evolution.
- The process of Self-finding and Self-discovery is the challenge the Being has opted for.
- By the same process, we also see,
Light changes into darkness;
Knowledge into Ignorance;
Good into Evil.
- Evolution is the emergence of Light from Darkness, Knowledge from Ignorance and Good
- It is clear that Ignorance is a later product than knowledge, Darkness than Light, Evil
- Inasmuch as they are further away in the chain, Ignorance is a greater power than
Knowledge, Darkness than Light, Evil than Good.
- Sri Aurobindos thesis is, there is nothing but JOY in the world.
Evil exists only for the divided ego and evil is necessary for the
ego to overcome division.
- The nature of Self-Conscious Being is Bliss and there is no other sensation in the
entire universe. He calls it static Bliss. In the evolution, the static bliss becomes
active delight, thus raising its quality of sensation.
- The Self-Conscious Being is the One. The created objects in the world are the Many.
- The One is identical, united. Its oneness is retained in the creation of the Many.
- The Many returning to the One by evolution first attains oneness and finally Unity.
- Man is the first conscious being on earth in evolution.
- Man becoming conscious of his evolving soul the psychic changes the
descent of involution into the ascent of evolution.
- This awakening is the process of Knowledge emerging out of Ignorance, Light emerging out
of Darkness or Good issuing out of Evil.
- The soul is one of the four parts of the human being, which consists of body, life, mind
and soul. Soul is the highest part.
- Though it is the highest part, it is still a part. Only the being, the embodied being,
is the whole of Man.
- The soul of man detaching itself from mind or other parts enables it to reach the One,
which is liberation of the soul. That is not evolution.
- Evolution is the involved higher consciousness emerging out of its opposite.
- Mind, life and body are nature. But, as all on earth is the Self-conscious Being in
disguise, Mind, Life and Body have the base of the soul.
- This soul emerging out of body or life or mind is the emerging soul. Sri Aurobindo calls
it the psychic being.
- When Man realises that he is God, the Omnipresent Reality, concealed in himself as body
or mind, and tries to reach his Origin, it is evolution.
- That beginning or change is called transformation by Sri Aurobindo.
- The Psychic thus emerging is the psychic transformation.
- When this transformation leaves the human consciousness behind and enters into the
higher regions of higher mind, illumined mind, intuitive mind and overmind, it is called
- The final stage is the supramental transformation when the evolving soul leaves entirely
the triplicity of body, life and mind.
All these assumptions are explained in detail in the 58 chapters of the book.
||He has explained in this process the creation of spirit,
mind, life and matter.
||He says this is not an intellectual knowledge to be gained,
but an integral knowledge to be attained by inner spiritual experience.
||The spirit evolves in the process of involution and
evolution. Therefore he calls his yoga the yoga of spiritual evolution.
||The only service man can render on earth is to realise his
soul and help others to realise their souls.
||The spirit needs more than one birth; in fact, it needs
several hundreds of births to complete this evolution. Hence rebirth becomes a necessity.
||As all Forms resolve into Force, the ideal the Force seeks
is the perfect Form on earth.
||The quarrel between Matter and Spirit is minds taking
different opposite positions. Oneness requires the reconciliation of Matter and Spirit.
||This evolution will take 30,000 years. As this is the
Hour of God, it can be abridged into 300 years. With a small group of people attaining
perfection, it can be done in 30 years.
||If the earth calls and the Supreme answers, it can be NOW.
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