Sri Aurobindo was born on
Sri Aurobindo spent his life - through his vast writings and through his own development - working for the freedom of India, for finding and showing the Way to the further Evolution on earth, and to bring down the Consciousness beyond Mind, that he named the Supermind to enable such progress.
Sri Aurobindo was a philosopher par excellence, a poet par excellence, a rare and superb visionary of evolution. But that is not the complete truth about Him. Further, He has been described as the Hope of Man. And Satprem, a disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Mira Alfassa, has described Sri Aurobindo as the Adventure of Consciousness. He was not only an Adventurer of Consciousness, but Himself the Adventure.
Yes, He was an Explorer of Consciousness, and further, He was also the builder of the New World, basing on the New and a Higher Consciousness, the Supramental Consciousness, a much higher level of Consciousness, which was hitherto unmanifest, and which is discovered by Him. And He has shown us the Way, the Integral Way to the New Realisation, not of realising the Divine Consciousness and merging into It, transcending and leaving the Manifestation, the World and the Universe, forgetting the mankind and its past and present and future. He did not teach us to have Nirvana, or Moksha, or of reaching the Heaven and staying there forever hereafter. He did not ask us to return to the Source, to the Origin. He has given us a Way to discover and manifest and realise our own possibilities, our human and also our superhuman and divine possibilities, step by step. He tells us about transforming our individual existence and also the world, breaking all our personal and egoistic limits, becoming one with our earth, as vast as our earth. To divinise and supramentalise the world was ans is the Task he performed and asked us to perform.
As a philosopher, we find Him to be at the topmost level of Consciousness, denying none of the philosophical truths reached by the earlier philosophers, but by accepting and transcending and integrating them all in a new synthesis into one whole Truth.
As a poet, he shows us the Way to the Future Poetry, and His Poems were expressions of the Truth, which He saw and realised and lived, and which creations of highers planes of mind and Consciousness.
The Mother has said :
What Sri Aurobindo represents in the world's history is not a teaching, not even a revelation ; it is a decisive action, direct from the Supreme.
What is this Action from the Supreme? We may try to have some understanding of the Supreme and His Will and His Action.
The Infinite and One Existence-Consciousness-Bliss is the Ultimate Reality, whom we name as the Brahman, the Divine, the Supreme, God etc. He has three aspects, the Transcendental, the Universal and the Individual.
In the Transcendental mode, He is above all manifestation, above all the Universes, all the worlds. He is the Supreme Divine, the One, Indivisible, Infinite, Pure, and bears the eternal consciousness in Him, above all Time and Space.
The Supreme Divine is the Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, as is told. He is, He is Existence, eternal existence, and can even become Non-Existence, beyond the apprehension of any manifested existence.
In the Universal mode, He is one with the Universes, though above them and is their Creator. He is One who is the Manifestation, who is manifested, and He is the One who manifests. It is His Will that is manifested. The entire Manifestation is He, and it is His Leela, Play. He is both beyond it, and within it, and in each atom, each living being.
And He is also the Individual, Personal God. All the Avatars are but His Individual Manifestations.
The Supreme is with His Creative Force, the Mahashakti, whom we call the Divine Mother. They are One and Indivisible, and yet They are Two in Manifestation and even above Manifestation.
It is the Will of the Supreme that created the Manifestation. In words, it may be said, in limited human parlance, that He thought: “Ekoham, bahu syama.” [ I am alone, and shall become many.] And the Existence-Consciousness became many, countless many, and each of the many is a Soul.
However, there was no Time, when Souls were created. They are eternal aspects of the Eternal Supreme. There was and is no time, when the Souls were not there, or when the Souls will no more be.
A soul, or 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. 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 generally no active role of the Soul, though the Divine Will was ever active. The Divine Will is the Source of the Action
A human existence is a part and portion of the Pure Existence, conditioned by all the inconscience (unconsciousness) and half-consciousness of our earthly and physical surroundings. Inconscience belongs to Matter. Or it seems inconscient to the half-awakened human being. Half-consciousness belongs to the animal world, the world of the vital consciousness, as per the definition given by Sri Aurobindo.
However, Man is not only an animal. He contains in him the Divine possibility. As is generally accepted by many of the philosophical and spiritual thinkers, all living beings have a soul.
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, as there is no such evolutionary necessity.
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.
The Presence of the psychic being in man is the Promise that one day a new and higher Divine race shall emerge on earth and shall form the crown of the Evolution, shall be the apex of the Manifestation. The psychic being is a special term and it should not be confused with the other uses of the word in general.
In spite of the Presence of the psychic being, human beings are in general not yet conscious of his Goal, of his higher possibilities, of the Higher Existence on earth.
But there are persons, who are becoming conscious, maybe in an imperfect way, incomplete way, but they are being conscious, growing towards the New Becoming.
In the onward progression of Evolution, Time has now arrived, when Man has to transcend himself and further the Evolution in manifesting the Supreme Himself, as per the Will of the Supreme.
Man dwells only superficially in the Mind, mainly as a mental animal, not always a rational animal. But he is generally in the lowest rung of the mental principle, covered by some grossness, some darkness, some ignorance, more or less to a great extent.
Time has come that the scene and the situation has to be changed, uplifted, and man has to be established in his divine consciousness, with his divine possibilities. That is the Reason why Sri Aurobindo was / is here - on earth.
Sri Aurobindo has began the journey to the New World, for the entire mankind, scrapping all religions, all sectarianism, all divisions, all differences. Not theoretically, but in action, by discovering and ascending to the Supermind, by preparing for the Descent of the Supermind on earth, for the well-being and progress of the humanity. For this Descent, in the Course of this Descent, He sacrificed His own body on the Day of His physical withdrawal, on 5th December 1950.*