11 Basic Postulates of Aurobindo's Philosophy

This article throws light upon the eleven basic postulates of Aurobindo’s philosophy.

1. Knowledge, according to Sri Aurobindo, is an integral consciousness of the Reality in all its integrity.

It is not created but discovered. It is not an activity but truth itself. It is the same as the Brahman, the One, the Eternal, the Infinite.

It is the very stuff of man’s spiritual consciousness. Thus, knowledge is one indivisible whole in which the highest and lowest are linked through all the mediating links.

2. Another important feature of the Absolute Consciousness Force is the nature of ignorance. Ignorance, according to Aurobindo, is also a poise of consciousness-force through limited, practical and exclusive concentration. It is heightened by man’s exclusive concentration on the present, oblivious of the past as well as the future.

3. The Absolute, according to Sri Aurobindo, is Sachchidananda — Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. It is one with a triple aspect. In it these three are not three but one. Brahman, the Absolute, embraces all relativities.

It is the inner self of all. It is “One” in many, conscious in everything. It is transcendent as well as incommunicable. It is space and all that is in space, subject as well as object. It is cosmic as well as supracosmic. It is the Purusha, the Soul as well as the Iswara.

4. God and Absolute, according to Sri Aurobindo, are merely aspects of one and the same Reality. Thus, God is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. He is immanent and transcendent, individual and universal. He is the creator, the sustainer and the destroyer of everything. He is the helper, the guide, the beloved and the all-loving. He is the inner self of all. He is determinate yet free, perfect and eternal. He is Being as well as Becoming.

He is the efficient and the material, the first and the final cause of the world. God is subject as well as object. He is the object of devotion, love and mystic union. He is endowed with such qualities as veracity, grace, knowledge, bliss and freedom from pain, evil, suffering, ignorance, limitation etc. God is para-Purusha as well as para-Brahman. God combines two eternal ideas — Atman and Jagat, Self and Universe.

5. According to Sri Aurobindo the world is a play of Consciousness-Force. The universe is a boundless energy of infinite existence, infinite movement, infinite activity pouring itself in limitless Space and eternal Time. This Force is indivisible and gives its whole self to everything at one and the same time. It is the same everywhere, only the form, manner and results of its action vary infinitely.

6. According to Sri Aurobindo, God as creator is Super mind. The universe is the result of the multiple concentration of the supra-mental consciousness. This concentration, with its triple poises, leads to a triple form of manifestation.

“The first founds the inalienable unity of things, the second modifies that unity so as to support the manifestation of the Many in One and One in Many; the third further modifies it so as to support the evolution of a diversified individuality which, by the action of ignorance, becomes in us at a lower level the illusion of the separate ego.”

7. The purpose of creation, according to Sri Aurobindo, is lila (Divine play). The concept of lila escapes all the traditional difficulties in assigning purpose to the creator. Lila is a purposeless purpose, a natural outflow, a spontaneous self-manifestation of the Divine. The concept of lila, again, emphasises the role of delight in creation.

8. The most important principle of Sri Aurobindo’s cosmology is the principle of evolution. This is the governing principle in his metaphysics and, consequently, in his educational philosophy.

9. According to Sri Aurobindo, Matter too is Brahman. This synthesis of the extremes of the materialistic and ascetic positions in the metaphysics of Sri Aurobindo has led to the real idealism of his educational philosophy.

These are complementary to each other. Educational philosophy should be based on hard facts determined by different social sciences, psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, economics and history. Spirit is the soul of Matter and Matter is the body of spirit.

The body should survive, grow and enjoy, as that too is a manifestation of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. Spirit is the true aim of the physical urges of survival, growth and enjoyment. It is in spirit alone that these urges can be fully satisfied, as there alone these meet with their ultimate Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.

10. Life, according to Sri Aurobindo: “is a form of the one cosmic energy, a dynamic movement or current of it, positive and negative, a constant act or play of the force which builds up forms, energises them by an unceasing process of disintegration and renewal of their substance.”

Life is universal, all-pervading and imperishable. Disintegration, change, birth and death, all are different forms and organisations of the same life.

11. According to Sri Aurobindo, there are three stages in the evolution of life — material life, vital life, and mental life — the subconscious, the conscious and self-conscious.

Submitted by : Professor Molly, Category : Philosophy