Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thoughts and Aphorisms 21-22-23


21. Forgiveness is praised by the Christian and the Vaishnava, but for me, I ask, "What have I to forgive and whom ?"

22. God struck me with a human hand; shall I say then, "I pardon Thee thy insolence, O God" ?

23. God gave me good in a blow. Shall I say, "I forgive thee, O Almighty One, the harm and the cruelty, but do it not again" ?

[Sri Aurobindo: Thoughts and Aphorisms]


Forgiveness is a great virtue, it has been said. However, when there is the Supreme Realization, one has the identification with the Divine, sees Him everywhere and in each being. One finds that one is the same Divine as all others are. Then the question of forgiving the same Divine who is in each being does not arise. This is from the viewpoint of the Individual who realizes the Divine.            


Insofar as the Supreme is concerned, in His viewpoint, all is the Divine, as nothing exists without Him and beyond Him, and all the actions are taken by Him, all works are done by Him. Then whom should He punish and whom should He forgive? The Supreme may forgive someone if the latter is different from and other than Him.


Often the Divine may give someone a blow through somebody else — in order to correct Himself in that person. Sri Aurobindo says that it would be a striking through a human hand. One who has the Realization finds this blow to be from the Divine, though through a human instrument. Should the Divine be forgiven, then?


Forgiveness is an idea that belongs to the divided world, the world of Thought when and where the Divine Identification is not yet realized. Persons are different and separate from each other and there is no realization of the inner oneness.


In this regard The Mother has said that if we are afraid of the consequences of some actions, then we must correct ourselves to the extent that the source of the erroneous action is no more left active in us. Then only the resultant reactions of the wrong actions may stop. If the mistake is the result of some ignorance, the ignorance must cease to be in us. Or, if the mistake is committed due to a bad will, then the bad will must leave us. The Mother says: "The regret will not do, it must be accompanied by a step forward."


Only an inner spiritual transformation can save us from the consequences of our bad actions. And then, what is the need of any Forgiveness? We are to unveil and know our inner being, our psychic being, and then have an inner Transformation to begin with. This is the need before each of us.


"A secret soul behind supporting all
Is master and witness of our ignorant life,
Admits the Person's look and Nature's role.
But once the hidden doors are flung apart
Then the veiled king steps out in Nature's front;
A Light comes down into the Ignorance,
Its heavy painful knot loosens its grasp:
The mind becomes a mastered instrument
And life a hue and figure of the soul.
All happily grows towards knowledge and towards bliss.
A divine Puissance then takes Nature's place
And pushes the movements of our body and mind;
Possessor of our passionate hopes and dreams,
The beloved despot of our thoughts and acts,
She streams into us with her unbound force,
Into mortal limbs the Immortal's rapture and power.
An inner law of beauty shapes our lives … …"
                [Sri Aurobindo: Savitri, Bk VII, Co V]


Barindranath Chaki                                                         


[Simultaneously published in Sulekha, All choice and ASPIRATION

Barindranath Chaki






Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thoughts and Aphorisms 19-20


19. When I had the dividing reason, I shrank from many things; after I had lost it in sight, I hunted through the world for the ugly and the repellent, but I could no longer find them.

20. God had opened my eyes; for I saw the nobility of the vulgar, the attractiveness of the repellent, the perfection of the maimed and the beauty of the hideous.


[Sri Aurobindo: Thoughts and Aphorisms]


In the normal human consciousness, reason is mainly analytical. It divides, creating 'opposites' : good and bad, virtue and sin, beautiful and ugly, and so on. In every realm of thinking, normally these opposites come into play. Only in some highly rational thinking, there may be attempts of synthesis. Surpassing thesis and antithesis, there is synthesis. But by a purely rational approach, man cannot experience the synthesis, he can only have an idea of the synthesis, a probability, or a future possibility. To have a true synthesis, Man has to transcend mind.


As long as Man lives with a dividing reason, he sees the ugly and the repellent. And he shrinks from them, hates them, avoids them. But when Man transcends the mind, he grows into a different Man, one with a higher consciousness, when nothing is ugly to him any more, nothing is repellent, for he sees the Divine in everything. Even behind what Man thought or found to be ugly or repellent, he then finds the Divine, the All-beautiful. Behind everything and the world and even behind himself, he finds the principle of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, Sachchidananda, the Supreme Divine, which the principle of the Supreme Beauty, as The Mother has expressed.


Man in the ordinary consciousness has an Aspiration for Perfection, in spite of the fact that he finds himself to be surrounded by imperfection. But this very urge for Perfection often impels him to shrink from what he finds to be ugly or what repels him. Whatever is short of Perfection, that may offend his Aspiration and he may avoid it or evade from it, shrink from it. But when mind is transcended, he finds the Divine within and everywhere — and the ugly is no more in his sight and nothing repels him. For, when "Sarvam khalvidam Brahma" [All is indeed Brahman], what is then ugly and what is that repels?




Even if there is lot of imperfection in all respects presently on earth, things will certainly change, even when a group, a small collectivity, will become successful in realizing and manifesting the Divine Consciousness on earth. And such will be result of the Supramental Manifestation, even in the beginning stage. Then, the outer imperfection and ugliness and all that repels will be transformed, with a Divine expression. The Supramental Consciousness will enlighten the entire earth, and there will be the Supramental Light touching "the roads of mind" as foreseen by Sri Aurobindo.


A divine harmony shall be earth's law,
Beauty and joy remould her way to live:
Even the body shall remember God,
Nature shall draw back from mortality
And Spirit's fires shall guide the earth's blind force;
Knowledge shall bring into the aspirant Thought
A high proximity to Truth and God.
The supermind shall claim the world for Light
And thrill with love of God the enamoured heart
And place Light's crown on Nature's lifted head
And found Light's reign on her unshaking base.
A greater truth than earth's shall roof-in earth
And shed its sunlight on the roads of mind;
A power infallible shall lead the thought,
A seeing Puissance govern life and act,
In earthly hearts kindle the Immortal's fire.
A soul shall wake in the Inconscient's house;
The mind shall be God-vision's tabernacle,
The body intuition's instrument,
And life a channel for God's visible power.
All earth shall be the Spirit's manifest home,
Hidden no more by the body and the life,
Hidden no more by the mind's ignorance;
An unerring Hand shall shape event and act.                           

 [Sri Aurobindo: Savitri : Bk XI, Co I]


Barindranath Chaki


[Simultaneously published in Sulekha, All choice and ASPIRATION

Barindranath Chaki








Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thoughts and Aphorisms 18

18. Chance is not in this universe; the idea of illusion is itself an illusion. There was never illusion yet in the human mind that was not the concealing and disfigurement of a truth.

[Sri Aurobindo: Thoughts and Aphorisms]

There is nothing in this Universe which may be described as a "Chance". And this Universe also is not a Chance There is no illusion — the idea of illusion is itself an illusion.

According to Sri Aurobindo, this is the Truth. In the Truth and Reality of Things, there is no Chance, no Illusion. Whatever we, the humans, regard to be an illusion, that has concealed and disfigured some Truth. Behind every "illusion" we have some Truth and we have to find it.

Truth is covered to us — the humans — as our consciousness is limited, as our capacity to know things or Truth of things is quite limited. We know through the senses or through mental groping or through reason. Senses are quite limited and they cover Truth, they give us a limited representation of Truth. The senses constitute a distorted medium of knowledge. Mental groping very often limit us, mislead us, for the light of Truth is often away from the mental ideas or mental groping. In this regard The Mother says: "We know that it [mind] is always groping, seeking to know, erring, returning upon its previous attempts and trying again… … … Its progress is very, very halting."

Reason also is never direct. In inductive reason, we try to reach a Truth by generalization, which may often side-track a difference. We may reach a generalization, after an incomplete survey. For example, we generalize that all crows are black, but our generalization may be after an incomplete survey: the possibility of there being some white crows may be there! And this possibility is always there, till we have direct Knowledge: Knowledge by Identification, Knowledge by an intuitive means, when Truth is revealed like a Sunrise in the darkness!

All this is because the human mind, along with the general human consciousness, as it is now, is very much limited and is in Ignorance and Darkness. The life we are born with, the life we live and lead, the circumstances we are in and we create around us, the collectivity we live with and we live in, the way we grow and the way we accept the physical end — everything is covered with illusion and ignorance, and everything seems to us to be a matter of chance. The things and circumstances we rejoice at, the happenings and the matters for which we dance with joy and in enjoyment, are all covered with ignorance and darkness and inertia. And we seem to be happy with our unhappiness.

But there is truly a rosy Hope with every human being, with all of us, each of us — we can cross the limitations, tear the bondage of ignorance, dispel the darkness shadowing our mind and consciousness. We have nourished, since the beginning of the human race, a Hope. We seek Knowledge and Wisdom, we seek Joy and Bliss, we create things, conquer our difficulties and diseases and try to conquer even 'death'. In the darkest darkness, we cherish a Hope in us. We cherish the Hope of conquering darkness and ignorance, of conquering the limits and limitations. It has compelled us to move onwards through all the impediments on the Way.

In each of us, there is a Divine spark! The Upanishadic Truth is : "EkoΣham bahu syāma." I am alone, I will be many — so said the Supreme. The Divine seed is there in each of us — the psychic. So, we shall have to become the Many — not the many animals, not the many human beings who are covered by Ignorance and Darkness and are also limited — but the many Divine Beings! And we shall become so — that is the Hope! That is the Divine Will, the Will of the Supreme which is being realized from the moment of the Big Bang!

The way the ordinary human being sees and knows things, everything appears to be "illusions" — for, we do not see the Reality, the Truth, which remains covered and limited. Once the consciousness rises and expands beyond the limits, we find Truth, become Truth, we live in Truth. There is no illusion, then. In the Truth of the absolute Reality, there is no illusion, for, when we ascend the state of a higher mind, Truth is revealed, and we find that actually there is no illusion. And then we fins also find that this creation, this Universe is not a mere chance, it is the Will of the Supreme, of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.

As we have a limited and covered consciousness, in the level of the ordinary human consciousness, the Reality appears to us to be something what it is not really. It appears to be something else, something other than what it truly is. But the appearance is only a cover; behind it, there is the Reality, Truth, the Divine. This we can realize and understand, once we march ahead beyond the limit. This Real Truth is behind all the appearance that the Universe seems to be.

Sri Aurobindo says that the World is not an Illusion, not a Falsehood, it is a Reality; only, our perception of it is covered, and therefore, wrong and false.

Out of the inconscient and subliminal
Arisen, we live in mind's uncertain light
And strive to know and master a dubious world
Whose purpose and meaning are hidden from our sight.
Above us dwells a superconscient God
Hidden in the mystery of his own light:
Around us is a vast of ignorance
Lit by the uncertain ray of human mind,
Below us sleeps the Inconscient dark and mute.

[Sri Aurobindo: Savitri : Bk VII, Co II]

This is the state of consciousness of an ordinary human being — "we live in mind's uncertain light." But as we have seen earlier, there is a Hope for us all

This is not all we are or all our world.
Our greater self of knowledge waits for us,
A supreme light in the truth-conscious Vast:
It sees from summits beyond thinking mind,
It moves in a splendid air transcending life.
It shall descend and make earth's life divine.
Truth made the world, not a blind Nature-Force.
here are not our large diviner heights;
Our summits in the superconscient's blaze
Are glorious with the very face of God:
There is our aspect of eternity,
There is the figure of the god we are,
His young unaging look on deathless things,
His joy in our escape from death and Time,
His immortality and light and bliss.
Our larger being sits behind cryptic walls:
There are greatnesses hidden in our unseen parts
That wait their hour to step into life's front:
We feel an aid from deep indwelling Gods;
One speaks within, Light comes to us from above.
Our soul from its mysterious chamber acts;
Its influence pressing on our heart and mind
Pushes them to exceed their mortal selves.

[Sri Aurobindo: Savitri : Bk VII, Co II]

To exceed our mortal selves is our Hope and our Future and possibility and also our Task ahead. That is the Truth of our being : to become the Divine selves. We must realize that our true selves are beyond death and Time. Anything else or anything less is truly an illusion, a falsehood.

Barindranath Chaki


[Simultaneously published in Sulekha, All choice and ASPIRATION

Barindranath Chaki


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thoughts and Aphorisms 17


17. Someone was laying it down that God must be this or that or He would not be God. But it seemed to me that I can only know what God is and I do not see how I can tell Him what He ought to be.. For what is the standard by which we can judge Him ? These judgments are the follies of our egoism.

[Sri Aurobindo: Thoughts and Aphorisms]


God IS. He is the Pure Existence, the Pure Consciousness, along with His Supreme Creative Force, and He is also the Pure Bliss and Joy. Sri Aurobindo says that we can know God and what God is, but we cannot dictate what God should be. We cannot qualify God's Existence or His Consciousness, or His Form or Formlessness, or His Joy.

If we try to impose what God should be, then He will no more be the Supreme, but a plaything of the half-conscious physical mind of Man, crowned with Ego..


Generally, in the ordinary state of human consciousness, there is mainly the play of the vital being and the physical mind. And the individual consciousness there has taken the false form of the Ego in Man. And the Ego carries with it the heavy weight of ignorance, darkness, inertia and vital and physical grossness.


A few religious preachers have limited God to their choice. Some say that one particular Teacher or Embodiment is the only Manifestation of God on earth. Some say that He has this (one particular) Form and no other. Some even declare that He has no Forms.  Some say that He is far above the Creation and does therefore never interfere. There are several specifications which often create religious conflicts. These are all the results of choices and impositions made by Ignorance and Ego.


The Mother has said that when God is realized by someone, his physical mind is then changed and transformed. And the Realization comes with an identification with the Divine  when the individual consciousness surpasses the physical mind and its limits.


The Divine is within Man  as the Psychic Being and It has to be unveiled. According to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, though the Soul is present with all living beings, the Psychic Being is  different from it in the sense that the psychic is an active and evolving aspect of the soul and is present only in Man.**


In the ordinary level of human being, the psychic being is veiled and the consciousness is covered with Ignorance. But then, he has the Task and the Opportunity of going deep within and unveiling the psychic. That is the First Step of the possible Transformation of Man.


When the psychic being is unveiled, the human being then has the Divine Realization, for he has the Identification with the Divine residing within, and his physical mind is changed — he ascends to a Mind of a higher Consciousness.


Man, in the level of ordinary consciousness, lives in the lower triplicity — the mind, the vital and the physical. There is the possibility of a Divine Realization in that level, only when the consciousness in Man reaches and realizes the Supermind and has the required Transformation. Otherwise, Man has reach and live in a level beyond Mind.


The Mother has said: "The capacity to know God can be achieved in the lower triplicity — the mind, the vital and the physical — only with the supramental transformation, and this comes only just before the ultimate realization, which consists in becoming Divine."




We have seen in what is said by The Mother that Man can know the Divine by becoming the Divine himself. And the first step thereof is the unveiling of the psychic, the discovery of the Soul in Man's innermost Depth.


The Mother says: "To find the soul, you must step back from the surface, withdraw deep inside, and go in, farther in, go down, farther down, into a very deep hole, silent and still: there you will find something warm, tranquil, rich in content, and very still, very full, a sort of softness — that is the Soul. And if you persist and are yourself conscious, there comes a sense of plenitude, of something complete that contains unfathomable depths. You feel that if you entered there, many secrets would be revealed; it's like the reflection of something eternal on a very peaceful surface of water. And the limits of time no longer exist. You have the impression of having always been and of being for eternity."


The Mother has also given us, in Her way, the guidance for how the psychic is opened, how the soul is discovered :  " You are seated before a closed door, as it were, like a heavy door of bronze, and you remain there with a will that it should open to let you through to the other side. So, all your concentration, all your aspiration is gathered in a single beam and keeps pushing and pushing against that door, pushing harder and harder, with increasing energy, until suddenly the door gives way. And enter, as if thrust into the light."


And that is indeed a New Birth, a New Becoming for the Aspirant. The man in ignorance is reborn for ever with a Divine Light, a Divine Fire. Prior to this state of discovering the Inner Divine, the soul, the psychic being, our life is but a march onward from Matter to the "timeless Self" — this unveiling, this discovery should be and is our first Goal.


The physical mind, or even the rational mind, has no necessity of deciding what God should be or should not be, though it may gather information, as a preparatory measure from Those who have seen or realized. In order to know the Divine, one has to become the Divine, or , to be more specific, one has to unveil and realize one's own Divinity — hence there is no need or scope to decide or determine or impose what God should be. 

O man, the events that meet thee on thy road,
Though they smite thy body and soul with joy and grief,
Are not thy fate,--they touch thee awhile and pass;
Even death can cut not short thy spirit's walk:
Thy goal, the road thou choosest are thy fate.
On the altar throwing thy thoughts, thy heart, thy works,
Thy fate is a long sacrifice to the gods
Till they have opened to thee thy secret self
And made thee one with the indwelling God..
O soul, intruder in Nature's ignorance,
Armed traveller to the unseen supernal heights,
Thy spirit's fate is a battle and ceaseless march
Against invisible opponent Powers,
A passage from Matter into timeless self.
[Sri Aurobindo: Savitri, Book VI, Canto II]



"In all living beings, there is a soul, who resides in the background, not easily known or realized. The soul presides over the living being, but somewhat inactively, in the background. The Soul does not generally participate in the Evolution.


In the Evolution from the animals to the human beings, there has been no active role of the Soul, though the Divine Will was ever active. … … … 


However, in Man, there is an active part or aspect of the Soul, which is termed by Sri Aurobindo as the Psychic Being, which participates in the Evolution of Man, in the onward journey of the human being on the Path of Evolution into the higher beings, the supramental beings, towards the Manifestation of the Supramental Consciousness, the next phase of the Evolution. The Psychic is not present in any other living beings. 


Sri Aurobindo adopted the term "psychic being" for the word soul is vaguely used :


"The word soul is very vaguely used in English- as it often refers to the whole non-physical consciousness including even the vital with all its desires and passions. That is why the word psychic being has to be used so as to distinguish this divine portion from the instrumental parts of the nature.' "  


[Quotations are from The Psychic Being written by me in the website The New Horizon,, published by me.]



Barindranath Chaki


[Simultaneously published in Sulekha, All choice and ASPIRATION


Barindranath Chaki







Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Thoughts and Aphorisms 16

16. Do not, like so many modern disputants, smother thought under polysyllables or charm inquiry to sleep by the spell of formulas and cant words.
Search always; find out the reason for things which seem to the hasty glance to be mere chance or illusion.
[Sri Aurobindo: Thoughts and Aphorisms]

Many intellectuals, in the present days of Philosophy and Science and thinking, have covered thought within one or two or a few words, consisting a few syllables. And the covering has been such that it suppressed and throttled thought so as to stop its further progress towards the real Discovery of Truth.

And they have also mesmerized enquiry into sleep by using some formulæ or a few words. So, thought is silenced and enquiry is stopped. Questioned in the mind are lulled. A real and complete search, a deep and genuine seeking, is not there: only, there are half-seeking, with easy-going and stop-gap arrangements.

Whatever seems to us to be chance or illusion, whatever we patent or name as chance or illusion, may not be really so. There must be some reason behind their existence. There must be some meaning of whatever we label as chance or illusion.

The Mother has said, while interpreting Sri Aurobindo, that the mind has several levels or zones or regions from the ordinary physical mind to the higher mind, which receives the rays of the Supramental Light in the form of intuitions. One of these regions is the mind that uses ‘practical reason’ which termed otherwise as commonsense.

Often the mind of practical reason or commonsense inconclusively concludes some mental searches or enquiries or discussions and labels them with some ‘polysyllables,’ as stated by Sri Aurobindo.

The Mother puts it beautifully:
“To this region of practical reason belong the ‘polysyllables’ of which Sri Aurobindo speaks, the commonplaces or clichés, all the readymade phrases which run about in the mental atmosphere from one brain to another and which people repeat when they want to appear knowledgeable, or when they think themselves wise.”

Words such as illusion, hallucination or chance are examples of such polysyllables. Some phenomena which cannot be explained or understood are referred to as illusions or hallucinations or chances. There, at that level or region of mind, further search or enquiry is stopped, for the phenomena concerned are explained away. For, the human consciousness at its present general level is partial and superficial and confined by man himself to the gross limits of the physical mind.

That is the reason why Sri Aurobindo has said: “Search always”. We should continue the enquiry, continue to find out the real answers to our questions, the inner questions. According to Sri Aurobindo, the World is real. If it appears to us to be unreal or an illusion or a falsehood, it is then the lack of a true search and a true realization. The search must go on, till we find the One by which all live and exist:

A pure existence safe from thought and mood,
A consciousness of unshared immortal bliss,
It dwelt aloof in its bare infinite,
One and unique, unutterably sole.
A Being formless, featureless and mute
That knew itself by its own timeless self,
Aware for ever in its motionless depths,
Uncreating, uncreated and unborn,
The One by whom all live, who lives by none,
An immeasurable luminous secrecy
Guarded by the veils of the Unmanifest,
Above the changing cosmic interlude
Abode supreme, immutably the same,
A silent Cause occult, impenetrable,--
Infinite, eternal, unthinkable, alone.

[Savitri, Book Two, Canto One]

Barindranath Chaki

[Simultaneously published in Sulekha, All choice and ASPIRATION.]

Barindranath Chaki