Wednesday, October 31, 2007

11. Sri Aurobindo’s Contribution to the Understanding of Vedic Symbolism - IV (1)


Sri Aurobindo has taken care of almost all the aspects of Vedic symbolism including seers, metres, gods and goddesses. He indeed has put forth a symbolic system which has the potentiality of explaining comprehensively and homogeneously everything in the Veda. This system was evolved in course of his intensive yogic sādhanā resulting on the one hand in the making of his own philosophical system known as integral Vedanta and on the other in the formulation of his view of the Veda particularly the symbolism involved in it. While the crux of his philosophical system is embodied in his magnum opus, The Life Divine, his theory of Vedic symbolism is formulated in his Secret of the Veda, both these works were serialised in the Arya concurrently during the years 1914-20. To understand his theory of the symbolism, it is essential to have some idea of his philosophical system which in itself seems to have been formulated as much by his understanding of the Veda from within its symbolic system as by his own yogic experiences.

To put it summarily, there are mainly seven pillars on which his philosophical system is built up. These pillars are: Existence, Consciousness, Delight, Supermind, Mind, Life and Matter. There is nothing hypothetical about these seven principles. They summarize the entire spectrum of reality conceivable by the human consciousness. Apart from Matter, Life and Mind which are the physical components of the being, Existence is absolutely necessary for the admittance of these components themselves.

The admittance of these components including Existence itself is dependent inevitably on consciousness. Consciousness, in its turn, is to be found nowhere operating just as mere awareness but as oriented to a certain end characterized by some or the other shade of Delight.

Lastly, the entire spectrum of these six factors coalescing with one another has the involvement of a certain system behind it evincing the working of a super intellect and serving as the basis of the human understanding of the nature of things by all means, including the commonsense, psychological, philosophical and scientific. Sri Aurobindo terms this supervening principle as Supermind.

The Supermind is the intermediary lying in the middle of the rest of the six principles. It is flanked by Existence, Consciousness and Delight on the one hand and by Matter, Life and Mind on the other. Its function lies in the conversion of the former three into the latter three as well as in the re-conversion of the latter into the former. It is on account of these processes of conversion and re-conversion that there is commotion involving movement, change, growth, mutilation, and transformation taking place constantly in the spectrum of the reality, actual and conceivable.
According to Sri Aurobindo, Vedic gods and goddesses are forces, formulations or agencies of the Supermind operating in the midst of these processes of conversion and re-conversion going on all planes of being. That is why there is constant commotion in their behaviour as recounted in the Veda in the form of coming into being, expanding, fighting, striking, emerging, illuminating, consuming, protecting, guiding, rescuing, sustaining, providing, helping, etc. Although everything in the world is the result of the operation of these forces, no matter tangible to the human consciousness or not, it is their operation between the Mind and the Supermind which in particular is the object of seeing of the Vedic seers.

In his view, this operation is oriented towards transformation of the mental into the supramental. Though the same operation is going on as per the orientation of the nature of things itself, human consciousness of the same operation as well as its own concerted striving in that direction is sure to stimulate and expedite the process of upward movement.

Vedic seers, according to Sri Aurobindo, are the scions of this stimulation and expedition. It is particularly with this end in view that they contemplate on gods and goddesses, seek to propitiate them by means of prayers and sacrifices.

The effectiveness of the role of gods and goddesses in this respect emerges from the pivotal position they occupy in the spectrum of the reality ranging from the mental to the supramental. The range between the mental and the supramental is by no means small. It is almost as large as that between any other two pillars of the reality such as Matter and Life, Life and Mind.

1 comment:

Alessandra said...

Hi! Please, i need a help! What is supermind? Where Can I create what i want in Spiritual life?
Exisist a place where i can found what i want after death?
Please help me!
Alessandra