10. My soul knows that it is immortal. But you take a dead body to pieces and cry triumphantly, “Where is your soul and where is your immortality?”
(Thoughts and Aphorisms: Sri Aurobindo)
The vision and experience of soul alone can lead us to Truth. And we have seen earlier what the soul is. The Supreme is the Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, as I have earlier told. He exists. He is eternal Existence, and seems even to go beyond and become Non-Existence, beyond the understanding of any manifested existence. As Sri Aurobindo has rendered from Taittiriyopanishad, “In the beginning all this was the Non-being. It was thence that Being was born.” He has further stated: “But, still, there is the absolute withdrawal, there is the Non-being. Out of the Non-Being, says the ancient Scripture, Being appeared.” [The Life Divine: Reality Omnipresent]
The possibility of Non-Being may lead one to reason that the ultimate reality is, therefore, a state where there is no manifestation, no universe, and ultimate truth leads one to Nihil, Nirvana. The question arises, as Sri Aurobindo puts it, “… does not the Non-Being, at least, as primal state and sole constant reality, negate and reject all possibility of a real universe?” And this may lead to the confirmation of the stand of certain schools of thought that Nirvana or a similar solution is the correct and only Way.
Sri Aurobindo has also answered this question. He says: “Non-being is only a word.” He says that the concepts of an absolute non-existence and of the infinite Self of Being are both the ideative formations of Mind. He says further: “We erect a fiction of nothingness, in order to overpass, by the method of total exclusion, all that we can know and consciously are.” Thus, Existence is the Ultimate truth — Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.
In the Universal mode, He is the Creator of the Universes, and is one with them and also above them. He is the Manifestation, and also He is the One who manifests. The entire Manifestation is He. It is His Leela, His Play. He is both beyond it, and within it, and in each atom, each living being.
And Individuality is also an aspect of the Manifestation that Existence-Consciousness has become. The Supreme Consciousness has manifested Himself in and through all the individual beings. The Existence-Consciousness became many, and each of the many is a Soul. The Soul is the individual aspect of Manifestation. A soul, which is termed the atman in Sanskrit, is a part and portion of the Supreme Consciousness, the Divine — a part who is one with the Whole, who can be the Whole also, who can unite with the Whole.
The Soul is originally and can become, through Realization, One with the Supreme Consciousness. It is thus, in truth, immortal and eternal, beyond Death. The body, which is subject to death, is an evolutionary condition and is subject to Transformation and change.
Interested mainly in the Adventure of Consciousness, I believe in human progress and evolution and in the inner capacity of Man to outgrow and master all his imperfections and darkness, to grow into a creative and constructive divine being, along with the society, conquering all inner and outer darkness, crossing all barriers and divisions.
I am a retired Officer of the Orissa Administrative Service from Orissa, India. Since adolescence, I was inspired by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother (Mira Alfassa) and sought to understand and follow Their Teaching, and make others understand and follow Them. In 1956, I read The Life Divine, and gradually, read almost all that is written by Them and about Them. I have visited the Ashram and Auroville some times. I organized some Sri Aurobindo centres in Orissa, and often met Prapatti and Ramkrishna Das. I and my wife and children had a special Darshan of The Mother on my birthday on 3rd March 1972.
Mira Aditi Centre has published my Bengali translations of some books including Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness by Satprem, India's Rebirth and India the Mother, collections from the writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.