Process of Creation

March 12, 2001

Sri Aurobindo has given to the world a Theory of Creation. In the course of explaining the features of His theory, He details the process through which creation passes. This has been a question eternally presenting itself to the human mind without finding an adequate answer. Sri Aurobindo’s Theory & the Process attempt to meet that need adequately.

            Science has been the field of discovering various processes and it too has extended its enquiry to the field of creation. Whether there are several existing theories or not, we know the old Indian thinkers who have successfully arrived at their own conception of Reality and practically explained every known natural phenomena, preferred the view that it is not given to man to raise this question – the question of the process of creation. Sri Aurobindo has found it a valid conclusion.

            Sri Aurobindo, in His yoga, has reached a greater height and from there, things can be different. Man from the days of Socrates and Valmiki to the days of Einstein and Vivekananda was using the instrument of mind. It was Sri Aurobindo who came upon a higher instrument of Supermind, whose descent He was working for. A new instrument can have a new ability and may succeed where the old instruments have failed. We will be looking at the theory and the process this new instrument has unravelled. Confronted with the inadequacies of the theories of chance and necessity, Sri Aurobindo posited a hypothesis that the world was not created by an Extra Cosmic or Supra Cosmic Deity, but the Reality itself became the Universe by involution and is evolving for the joy of Self-discovery. If any reason can be attributed for creation, He says, we may say that the Reality seeks delight by that act. By this, we have two of the strategies spelt out. They are Self-conception and Self-absorption. As the Reality chose to create it is by Self-conception and as the Reality that is consciousness changes into this inconscient world, it is by Self-absorption. The Reality being the Infinite and the world being full of finite things, another strategy is obviously Self-limitation. Sri Aurobindo speaks of extensions. One of them is the subjective extending itself as objective and the other nature e.g. Supermind as the nature of Sachchidananda. The involution is achieved by a process of division, for which an instrument of division, Mind, is created as a subordinate power of Supermind.

            The Self-conceptive extension renders the pure Existence, the very first to manifest into the differentiated consciousness and Bliss. This Sri Aurobindo says is achieved by Idea, a vibration of Being.

            The Process of Creation can be explained in summary by its aim, powers, processes, strategies at different stages as follows.


Infinite, Eternal Reality.


The Omnipresent Reality became the Universe.


Self-Conception, Self-Limitation, Self-Absorption, Objectifying, Division, Energising, giving forms.


the Seer-Will self conceives of Nature by creating forms through its forces and principles.

Creates by the Real-Idea.

One is made into the Many.

Ego is created by dividing the Force.

Spirit descending to Matter.

Presenting a thing as two opposites.

Converting Spiritual substance into material substance by the sense of mind.

Energising the will by the idea to create the plane of life.

Creating the form of matter by the will becoming subconscient.

Life emerging out of matter by movement.

Consciousness and Force merging so that life will be transformed.

Reversal of Consciousness.


Moving from Time to the simultaneous integrality of Time eternity and Timeless eternity.

Fundamental spiritual determinants.

Seven types of Ignorance.

Creation of the surface mind.

Spiritual evolution.








 Sri Aurobindo assumes the Origin as Infinite since otherwise it has to be Void, which cannot put forth anything.

Step 1.

The Omnipresent Reality has manifested the Self-Conscious Being by its power of Self-conception and Self-limitation.

Step 2.

By Idea, it has differentiated the One into three as Sat, Chit, Ananda.

Step 3.

By objectivising the subjective state of Satchidananda, it has created Supermind as its nature.

Step 4.

By inner and outer extensions, it has created the planes of Time & Space.

Step 5.

The Self-Conscious Being creates by putting out principles, forces and forms holding back the rest of existence in itself. This is at the level of comprehending Supermind.

Step 6.

The Being fronts the apprehending Supermind with the rest of existence being behind it.

By this the phenomenon of All is in Each and Each is in All is achieved.

Step 7.

Mind is created as a subordinate power of Supermind between the comprehending and apprehending Supermind with two capacities.

1.      It can see either side at a given time.

2.      Its office is division.

Step 8.

Mind divides the Force on the surface of Being in the shape of spiritual substance, views it through the senses, and thus creates the material substance.

Step 9.

One is divided into the Many by the mind.

Step 10.

Mind comes into existence.

It begins to lose itself in its own functions.

Its oblivious self-loss becomes greater when it identifies itself with its workings and later with itself. It is further carried to identification with life and finally with the body where Ignorance becomes complete.

Step 11.

Knowledge is here self-limited to Ignorance or self-absorbed into Ignorance.

Step 12.

Knowledge & Will are separate at the mental level which allows the knowledge to work on the will, thus enabling energy to be released as a plane known as Life. In the process, enough of knowledge is lost.

Step 13.

The Being in Life collects the essence of Becoming of Life and forms as psychic being, lodged in the subliminal cave inside the inner mind.

Step 14.

Knowledge continues to work on the will until it is entirely lost and becomes inert inconscient matter.


            This is God in the descent, known as involution. Evolution begins with matter and proceeds until the released knowledge and spirit evolve to return to the Absolute. Man has evolved from life, which has evolved out of matter. His major descriptions are the stages of evolution from man to the supramental being. In this process the various things spoken of are:

  • Going below the surface into inner mind.
  • Moving further from the inner mind into the subliminal mind.
  • Finding the psychic lodged in the subliminal cave.
  • Starting of the Double Opening of the new evolution by which the psychic moves upwards to end as Ishwara and downwards to become the psychic being of the physical at which stage it becomes the supramental being.
  • This process has three divisions of 1) the psychic transformation, 2) the spiritual transformation and 3) the supramental transformation.
  • The above five stages are termed by Him as the occult secret He was looking for, for 10 long years since His release from the jail and the link between the mind and Supermind.
  • He has concluded that it is the destiny of man, the Individual who has found himself as the centre of the universe and transcendence and no other agency such as a government or monasteries could do it.
  • The inescapable method for that Individual is the transformation, which can be achieved only by the surrender of his soul and nature to the Divine Being.
  • The world is in Time, the higher hemisphere of Being is in Timelessness while the future evolution will be in the Being of the Becoming in the plane of simultaneous integrality of Time eternity and Timeless eternity.
  • His theme is rebirth is essential for the Spirit to evolve. He calls this new evolution, evolution of the Spirit and His yoga as the yoga of spiritual evolution.
  • Lila is for the taste of Ignorance and He says it has now come to an end. In this sense, Ignorance is greater than knowledge and the highest achievement of evolution is Ignorance.
  • He says man is not the end, he evolves and supramental being will be the next species.
  • As there are 8 principles in all – Sat ….. Matter – and at a given time only one principle – e.g. mind in man – is in action, all the other principles need to evolve in time. What is involved, He says, must evolve.
  • This evolution is made possible as the substance at all levels is the same.
  • His position is the Absolute has never ceased to be the Absolute for one moment. Only our view of the mind sees the relative differently.
  • Life consists of Unity, Goodness, Truth, Knowledge, Force and Love, which it builds up one by one. Hence, the absolute justice aimed at the end is now partially prepared under one of the above heads appearing as partial justice or even injustice.
  • Ego is of the Infinite. It is one poise of Supermind. Pain and evil are for the divided ego and not for the being. There is no drop of pain in creation except for the divided being when it insists on the division.
  • The psychic is the leader of evolution and not the central being, Jivatma.
  • The Unity of Supermind is presented to the lower hemisphere as contradicting opposites for the conflict to release the force involved in the opposite to realise its complementary nature. This, He says, is the profoundest method of Nature.
  • Man is not free to release his spirit so as to reach the Superconscient, but must return through the universe to the Transcendence to fulfil Lila. The Universe created the Individual for that purpose.
  • Purpose of creation is to express Sachchidananda in the lower triplicity. Sachchidananda, emerging in the lower hemisphere, completes the aim of Lila and finds it more full and richer than in its own plane.
  • Creation is not by the Mind, but by the Supermind through the 24 fundamental (cosmic) spiritual determinants.
  • Involution is achieved by the four types of Knowledge and seven kinds of Ignorance.
  • Man, who can retire into That in himself, is not granted that luxury.

 We can consider the involution is creation in one sense or include evolution from Matter to Spirit also. But the process at every stage is the same, only that it is in the reverse. When moving from one plane to another below in involution or one above in evolution, the process is the same as the one for the whole creation.

             In our own life, major events will fully answer to this description, though every ACT, however small it is, is qualified for this description. On page 304 of Life Divine is the key sentence: “…. the Infinite’s self-perception of the significant form, the living body of its power of existence that has to emerge from its own self-compression in energy-substance would be carried internally in the form of the seed, carried in occult consciousness involved in that form, and would naturally evolve out of it”. That evolving is to be done by a rhythm and process.

             One who conceives of founding an institution Self-conceives the significant form. The company or the institution emerges out of that self-conception. It is easy to see the principles, forces and forms of that company issue out of the Idea, which is a Real-Idea. The founder sets out the principles. He puts out the forces of production in the shape of money or organisation, energy, attitude, direction etc. All the forms the company acquires are given by him.

             Maybe he understands that that expresses his family status, or personal ability or his mental idea or even his own property. Thus, he will be expressing his vital or mental or physical personality. It is possible to conceive that he, after all, expresses his spirit or soul. Each of these planes expresses in faculties appropriate to their planes. Physical as property, vital as energy, mental as ideas, spirit as a silent witness are expressed. He can see deeper inside that all these issue out of NOTHING or something which cannot be described as energy or idea or even silence. Perceiving that some inside NOTHING issues all these, he perceives that he expresses his own inner Brahman. It is a realisation of Brahman in Life, which I call Sri Aravindam.