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Pujya Dr. K.C. Varadachari - Volume -4

Sri Aurobindo Or The Future of Philosophy



Every age demands a new interpretation of experience. A new interpretation however is not usually undertaken except when the already ready made traditional or conventional or old patterns of interpretation no longer could satisfy one’s own conscience so to speak in respect of explanations of the new facts that swim into one’s ken.


The rationalist or intellectual line of approach has been to follow the method of conservatism and seek to exhaust every way by which the facts could be explained with its sets of axioms and precedents of solutions. There is excuse for it. If it does not explain, it rationalizes and, even as in morals, there is a large amount of casuistry. We can instance the case of fundamentalists in religion and determinists in science.


The experiential approach, when it does not run to the other extreme of revolutionary thinking, realises the experience of the new factors, or the emergence of new situations, and demands a new act of philosophising. This, it may at once be stated, may appears to  reflect the ‘instrumentalist’ method of knowledge which again feels in reason or intellect, an omnipotent tool of philosophising, albeit of life also. And there need be no contradiction between life and intellect.


A new interpretation has become imperative: this every one knows to be necessary because old ways of ‘knowing’ or interpreting the world around us, have not the capacity to satisfy our present needs. The instrumentalists or pragmatic way of knowledge through action is indeed valuable because it has a close relationship with facts. But even a ‘will to believe’ in the capacity or ability of reason to rise up to tempo of discoveries and inventions and industrial situations and technology, has led to severe shocks on our will. An indomitable will, of course, goes a long way. The burden of civilization however is not so much the presence of new patterns of cultures emerging in the context of discoveries and modern science, but the tardy Nature of human ability to cope up with them. The significant question then for action as well as philosophy is our intellect capable of effectively coping up with the situation brought about unconsciously by science, unconsciously in the sense that applied science did not anticipate the many consequences in their turn, other than what they originally anticipated?


It must be remembered that glorious discoveries and still more the inventions of science that have made us understand the nature of the physical universe in a manner that one would have simply brushed aside as sheer impossibility, are due to the precise and deliberate and patient workings of intellect logically, and yoked to the observations and experimental methods, also products of intellect or reason. Reason and experience yoked together had undoubtedly triumphed over the inanities of both partners. How then do we justify the search for another way of knowledge than reason? This is the question that one is bound to hear for a long time Intellect can solve our problems, and rational approach or scientific approach to the problem of life and truth (at least truths necessary for life ) is the best and not any abandonment of it in favour of superstition and the irrational methods of thought and action dependent on such ‘knowledge’ as may be given by them.


There are very serious thinkers of this kind, be they the realists and pragmatists or idealists. The Ultimate test of any truth is consistency or coherency with the intellectual order and senate order or action or verifiability or fruit.


As has been stated the victories of intellect are stupendous. Intellect has widened the horizon of man’s mind and extended the dimensions of space and time ‘infinitely’. It may perhaps be even granted that its empire would still extend what with the possibilities of space-travel. The sensate world has of course always and recently suffered eclipse, for ultra-sensory and extra-sensory phenomena are coming into the picture of modern man’s facts. Will intellect solve these as indeed it has in a measure solved the sensate?


As instinctive responses have not helped to solve the problems of extended experience, and intellect was devised by evolution for meeting the new fields of sensation and action so too the extra-sensory and extra-conscious fields of life enforce the evolution of a higher than intellect tool of knowledge and action. This evolution of a higher-than-intellect being seems to be implied by the logic of growth and expansion and is not merely a speculative or imagined need. It is not a poetic anticipation or a dreamer’s fantasy, though it must be confessed that true sankalpa may inform their fantasies, which years of hard travail of research and experimentation had tended to confirm as possible.   


The crux of the matter then is: Do we need a philosophy which would lean on the old crutches of intellect and mere sensate methods of science and end up with the new techniques of ‘probabilities’ replacing certainties or hypotheses, or/and a philosophy that would not  brush aside the new emerging awarenesses ( or are they old but brushed-aside awarenesses )  of fields of knowledge beyond the pale of the sensate ? At the beginning let us concede that we might employ new techniques to investigate the new fields of supernormal experiences. The fact has been conceded that this is not so easy or simple a matter. Sciences deal with particulars and determine in fields of human experience laws only on the basis of calculation of probabilities – thanks to the growing employment of statistics called a science paradoxically. The yearning for certainty may be an ideal dream and for lack of better guidance from thought as it is working in the fields of human relations and activities we may be satisfied with the ‘reliable ‘ but not the indubitable,  the  probable and precarious contingency of the  possible. Certainty is a promise never to be kept except perhaps in the circumscribed realm of mechanical phenomenon.


But truth is an ideal value in the sense that it is what can satisfy the fullest and final yearning of man for certitude. So too beauty and love and knowledge. It would be perhaps legitimate to note at once that these so called ultimate values are integral to one another and imply one another.


There are inherent contradictions in the logic of the intellect which make it impossible to help realise the ideal values of life.  However much humanists may try to discover the potentialities of intellect and a logic of integration or synthesis for it, intellect’s preoccupation with one aspect of life alone, and its inveterate bent towards analysis as the means to understand synthesis, its incurable obstinacy in the use of atomistic or fragmented sensory experiences as such unfit it for the task of ‘philosophy’ which is the apprehension of Reality as such as a whole and all elements as organic within it.  Intellect is governed by (and manifests in human beings however advanced ) the logic of the finite mind which however is aware of its limitations and finitude. It does not know or even become aware of the nature of the Infinite and Whole : it is a terra incognata.


The presence of mind or intellect higher that the finite mind and intellect is not a speculation but a real thing: and some of the world’s greatest literature which deal with ‘ eternal things ‘ or felt to be eternal presents the features of the workings of such an overmental mind. Such an overmental mind has certain broad features :It seems to be acting or working through a process of insight which no amount of analysis or synthesis or putting together of facts or even observation can even suggest. Its directness and immediacy and validity are beyond mind, though its presence has been in smaller measure seen to be present in all processes of life, animal and human. A steady dependence on this overmental sense or intuition or insight had produced some of the most significant works of poetry and philosophy and religion, which have the self certifying character or validity for consciousness. This is also the basic assumption of rationalism which depends on ‘axiomatic ‘ nature of truth for its starting point. That may explain why the deductive  method was adopted so as to ‘govern ‘ and condition the entire process of thinking whose natural habit is to forget this ‘ system ‘ of insights.


This overmental need was stressed by Bergson and unconsciously by the irrationalists of course on grounds of both practicality and pure cognitivity or knowledge. A critique of intellect, invaluable in itself, would yet not be sufficient, and even a modification of intellect through seeking a transcendence from its mechanical practicalness and trenchant dichotomies would not meet the situation.


Not that efforts are wanting on the part of pragmatic philosophers and sociologists to rehabilitate intellect as a function devised for social action taken in its broadest sense; it has become apparent that Western Philosophy has come to a state of futility. Western Philosophy has culminated through the technological bent given to it by science in an unprecedented condition of insufficiency and incoherence.


It is not strange that it should have discovered logical positivism or linguistic logic and semantics - which Indian thinkers long ago anticipated in their derision of logical pugilists and grammarian-dialecticians.  Grammatic knowledge is no substitute for real knowledge or knowledge of Reality as All or Whole, which alone can be a saving knowledge.


Knowledge is a means to liberation from all finitude, and as means it implies a sense of efficiency or practical usefulness. Indian thought has really never served this, though what it really served was the use of knowledge for life as it is lived as merely the cycle of earning and spending, birth and death, winning and losing and so on.


Thus we return to the condition of having to reinterpret the problems of life in the West; and the East may profitably help solving the problems.


Would it not be sufficient if we just taught Vedanta to the West? Would it fill the gap or prove an incentive to philosophise with the possibilities of giving a satisfactory account of Reality with all its new discoveries and protean changes brought about by technological advance of the atomic age? The fair answer cannot be favourable to Vedanta as it is today.


Indian Philosophy has had a long history even as western Philosophy had, perhaps a longer one. In its history there are clear evidence of different levels and scales of thinking and being and adapting to the world around. Indeed this is a significant fact that several systems of thought and realisation of liberty (this ‘pragmatic’ of philosophy was never forgotten) had endeavored to present systems of reality which took into consideration several types of  humanity determined by the pursuit of ends. Indeed philosophies of Nature as well as philosophies of soul, and philosophy of the Whole or the Greatest that includes both, thus entailing approaches to the conception of Reality from the physical, psychical and total or spiritual had flourished. The Vedic including the Upanishadic thought and function have been taken from the Spiritual point mainly though it did define the nature of soul and Nature from its standpoint. It was in fact a true and parallel incentive that made the Jaina system seek a  comprehensive and synthetic point of view but it was found to be a quasi-intellectual standpoint. Here we find that the systems or darsanas, though intrinsically capable of being derived from the large overmental standpoint of the Vedic seers who said to be the founders of these systems, later on at the hands of the interpreters or Sutrakaras even and Vrittikaras and Bhasyakaras, suffered an intellectual treatment, and gradually this treatment turned out to be translating in a queer way the Vedic intuition or the Rishi-intutions. The definition of philosophy as a consistent or persistent intellectual attempt to explain reality seemed to take philosophy out of the field of experience, or restrict it to the field of sensate interpretation or interpretation of sensate experiences alone. All knowledge proceedings from the known to unknown became restricted to the knowing of the supersensory or transcendent to sense in terms of sense – a proceeding that could not but lead to anamolous and paradoxical results. Philosophy in turning to illuminate experience in terms of popular language and experience tended to foredoom itself to failure. The traditional interpretations of the sutras of several darsanas unfortunately record this intellectualising of supersensory experience and thus render the luminous truths granted by the use of a overmental vision dark and obscure and indeed definitely unintelligible and contradictory to sensate experiences governed by the ends of physical security and advance.  


Knowledge surely is related to ends (Purusarthas), and is to be indeed interpreted in their terms. This is a truth that would demand consideration. But to have a knowledge of the highest end of man would include the understanding and attainment of all in terms of that enlightenment.


Vedic knowledge as gleaned from the Upanishads that teach the Ultimate Nature of Reality and its relationship to the soul and Nature in terms of Spiritual Identity left a gap so to speak, and this gap has unfortunately not been able to be filled by our finite rationality or rationality devoted to finite ends, namely physical security and pleasure and pseudo-liberty of social dharma or law. Indeed dharma in the earliest period had reference to ritual work of the Divine, but later it had become the interpretation of social conduct so as to facilitate the pursuit of ends, the most diverse and divided, according to station, type and birth. This too is an intellectual finite process albeit not characterized by mere division and conflict. It was based on cooperation and recognition, rather too realistic, of the basic existence of differences that demand a unity. All this showed that the earlier darshanas fulfilled a limited function, and even in that they failed when they began to communicate their truths in the language of the common man or for the purposes of the understanding and emancipation of all men from ignorance. By the very same token it became impossible for all men to emancipate themselves from the language of ignorance – which is the application of language belonging to a particular level of awareness and scale of perceptions to levels of awareness and scales of perception below it.


The popular slogan in the democratic age of emancipating all, which every reformer or idealist (sometimes mystics also enter this group and perhaps even encourage such possibilities) is all to the good and commendable, but it does not work, and perhaps works when it does yielding paradoxical results.


Double-talk then seems enforced on the mystic but it may not always or in every case turn out to be a case of cheating or hypocrisy. Provided the seer is of major character and stature, the communication of knowledge to the lower mental being or mental being is creative of a condition when it can rise up to the overmental realisation. Suggestion or creative suggestion and symbolism and use of myths and parables are implicit in the use of language of a different kind. It is the teacher of realisation or realised being who can perform this satisfactorily. But when higher truths are interpreted atomistically and literally without the backing of the creative suggestion then it becomes a grave cause of ignorance.


Philosophy of this interpretative kind or scholastic type tends to promote rather than remove ignorance and cultivates a security of knowledge that is profoundly disturbing. Obviously Sri Krsna referred to them by his significant phrase – panditamaninah. Professor Popper’s criticism of Plato in his major work ‘Open Society’ misses a great point due mainly to his incapacity to perceive the different levels of awareness between men and the double talk would be seriously taken exception of when it happens on the same plane of experience, such as politics or economics or law. Surely ends do not justify the means but the question is not one of ends and means but one of growth from the levels of submental, lower mental to the mental and to the overmental levels of experience. Even within the same field of experience it is well known that some of the most advanced techniques and interpretations of science are incommunicable and popular magazine-writings of great discoveries would testify to the mystifying nature of the jargon used. The climate created by propaganda can be seriously mischievous and confusing or lead to self-deception.


Thus it would be necessary to state at once that Indian Philosophy had tended to scholastic formalism and has hardly affected the life of the people. A new revaluation of its material is necessary, and it cannot be on the plane of intellectual rationality to which western philosophy has more seriously attached us during the past one century.


Thus to conclude our preliminary survey of present tendencies in philosophy, we can state that firstly, philosophy has tended to discard its universal function; secondly, it has tended to limit itself to the deliverance of sensate intellect as that which can give us a knowledge and realisation of the entire Reality; thirdly, it has been unable to explain a large part of Reality and committed a mistake comparable to the other serious mistake of dealing with the worlds of diverse experiences as a play of Maya or illusion or phenomenon; fourthly it has sought to make intellect just a function of practical activity in a world that is constantly developing new patterns of knowledge and community, and has ceased to consider the vaster arena of Being, which thanks to developing concern for psychic phenomena and extrasensory perceptions and yogic experiences has to be taken consideration in interpreting this fragment of Reality. The logic of the finite mind is seriously unsuited for purposes of the synoptic and organic nature of the Whole and the Infinite. Transcendent values are values of the higher consciousness and even the very cogent explanations and interpretations of the Philosophy of the Spirit by Hegel and Bendetto Croce leave the vast bulk of being out.


The darsanas in India are not in better condition. The recent interest revived in Buddhism and its values have not been radical enough and the interest seems to be rather referable to other causes than its sufficiency as a metaphysic of Reality or Society even or even Freedom.


Modern Indian Philosophers undoubtedly have been seized with these considerations and have been actively and even creatively interpreting the ancient Indian Philosophical schools. But the climate of interpretation is for them the understanding of the West and exposition is based on the technique of western exposition with intellectual categories. Thus intuition or Sruti  is something is but an intensified or universalised intellect and is capable of leading to Direct knowledge or saksatkara. But we have already pointed out that this cannot be for the overmental is not just the universalisation of and intensification of intellect but a radically different and interior knowing by identity.


In an age of confusion of tongues it is that serious thinkers try to see their way either by a return to the past or to an insight into the future guided by the goals that seem to be desirable. In the fields of philosophical thought, we can see the methods of ‘return’, and a careful seeker can find that with certain explainable differences the old ideas return in new garbs. In India however it is the effort to rehabilitate the past thought of the Upanishads, of the Bhagavad Gita, of the Vedas, and the yogas of karma, jnana, and bhakti and Rajayoga and so on. In every case it has not been possible to reinstate the old, for the simple reason that the world or the zeit geist has changed.


It must however be said that these forerunners in the Indian scene had done something that is of inestimable value. They anticipated the crises(not a single crisis but many) of the modern situation and ‘planned’ to guide the change; and the work of Ram Mohan Roy, Ramakrishna-Vivekananda, Rabindranath, Dayananda Sarasvati, Mahatma Gandhi and Sri Aurobindo, and Ramana Maharshi and others at the present day can be said to prepare the dynamic of cultural change that does not seriously imperil the eternal values of the past. It is not a resurgence of the Old but the traditional coming to steady the present confusion of cultural interactions resulting in the chaos both in the individuals and the world. The urge to recover the ancient heritage or the demand to experience the truths of Being enunciated by the ancient thinkers or both have not a little contributed to the spurt of philosophical activity. It can also be said that both the processes have been taking place. Professors like Dr.Radhakrishnan had begun writing Indian philosophical interpretative treatises and stimulated an eagerness to know the ancient past: Men of the stature of Sri Ramana and Sri Ramdas or Sivananda have stimulated an eagerness for experience or Yoga or Mystic Realisation(Anubhava), and the work of Sri Aurobindo seems to fall into both classes. A profound knowledge and scholarship of the language and literature of Ancient India the Vedas, Upanishads, Tantras, both Vaisnava and Sakta, The Itihasas and classical sanskrit literature, had made for the sweep of scholarship that is one of genuine understanding. His efforts to translate or understand the Upanishad and the Mantras of the Veda through his own personal experience led to his serious undertakings in Yoga. Thus anubhava and sruti met in his person. One could almost say that nothing that Sri Arubindo wrote savours of the  mere scholar or the grammarian : nor should it be said that it is mere poetry or imaginative reconstruction or lyrical  raphsody. There is a profound experience of the integral consciousness which he discovered in his Yoga, to which he grants the name Vijnana ( supermind ). Indian Psychology had  in the  Upanishadic period itself discovered levels and scales of being and named them. Knowledge of these scales of being meant cognitions of several kinds and laws of perception. An intellectual objective methodology would have, as it in fact did, misunderstood all these. Indeed we see even now how certain psychological terms have lost their distinctions and become wooden lexicographical synonyms. The flexible and fluid nature of language suited to the similar nature of Mind or Soul and Spirit no longer could do anything but a denotative function. Sri Aurobindo’s first effort one feels was to search for the inner deep psychological import of  Vedic experiences and language and the starting point was made in the Adhyatmika method of interpretation. It is certainly not like the higher criticism of the Bible in the West where spiritual experiences had to stand the test of the sensate intellectual or scientific crucible. The contributions in this regard were surely amazing, and we have yet in India and elsewhere to know more about it and continue the work so gallantly begun. One must hasten to add that it cannot be done with the help of a new dictionary of terms but by a consistent endeavor to achieve the integral consciousness and then focus that as an instrument of our understanding. The usual ways of applying merely his technique without the stature or poise of integral consciousness could only repeat the failure of the past in the sphere of the darsanas.


Spiritual literature requires to be investigated in the only way that is open to man, that is through his awakened consciousness of the higher powers of man, beyond the pragmatic rationality that is man’s reason today all the world over. It is this truth that Sri Aurobindo emphasized and by his interpretation of the Rig Veda Mantras and the Upanishads and the Gita showed not only to be possible but the only testament of inestimable value to spiritual  evolution.


Indeed his synthesis on Yoga is a marvel of exposition of the several  lines of Yoga and every one who has the patience to go through any one of the chapters would  already be in the presence of one who touches the central or key word of realisation. Anubhava of the Integral Reality or the Transcendent Absolute Reality is not a dream of darsanikas but a possibility within one’s lifetime. It is surely a dynamic way of presenting the oldest and eternal Reality (which almost seems to have faded in these days of sensate empiricism and utilitarian ethics into the distance) by saying that the Experience of Absolute or Integral Reality can be had by the proper method of using the adequate pramana. It is being realised more and more that micro-organisms cannot be perceived with the help of naked eyes, nor can macro-bodies. Proper instruments are necessary, and in the psychic field and of spiritual evolution it is indeed the preparation of the mind and body to be able to develop the vijnana or supermind even as the human being uses ( do all do this ?) the jnana and citta or buddhi.


This leads to the question of Pramanas and Sri Aurobindo discusses this very luminously in his Introduction and exposition  of the Kenopanishad and the Life Divine. There is no use in merely quarrelling with one's tools or limit oneself to one’s available organs or tools. There is creative necessity to evolve higher and finer organs or tools. This is truer of spiritual life and evolution than the biological and physical.


It is not  of course intended to do anything more than grant to sruti a position that they have been amenable to higher than the practical consciousness known as reason. Nor does anubhava mean the practical verification of a sensate consciousness as in the case of scientific hypotheses seeking verification in the fields of the physical and other sciences. The anubhava of the saint verifies undoubtedly the truths of the Sruti; so too the supramental anubhava verifies the Vedic truths iand gives meaning to them too in the application of those truths in Yajna or Brahmana. The svatah pramana theory or theory of self-validity comprises then the fields of mantra-brahmana and Upanishad, and despite the ‘directness’ the ‘immediacy’ or ‘self-evident’ force of the Vedic utterances, they demand verification in their experience by the seeker (whose qualifications have been prescribed) in his knowledge, Works and attainment of Bliss or fulfillment.


If for one thing alone Sri Aurobindo could be said to be the father of future philosophy this discovery of the new Organon of knowledge the Supermind, it would be correct. Undoubtedly there will be efforts to rehabilitate the fortunes of intellect and science of the sensate, but as already pointed out, intuitive insight and supramental apprehensions of Reality which are of the universal and the organic integral, will play a major part in dynamic philosophy. No longer will the sciences with their atomised thinking and perceptual processes and compartmentalised and divided knowledges so nicely described by Indian seers as ‘avidyas’ play any significant role. Nor can a synthetic mind so called that tries to put together even in a consistent way the results of the sciences even including humanistic hopes ever really be an integral mind, thinking and acting and living and feeling not merely individually wholly but with the Reality as a Whole. Sri Aurobindo’s “Life Divine” expounds clearly the movement and nature and function of the Supermind in the future of mankind.


Sri Aurobindo himself reveals in his various works and in the practical guidance of the spiritual evolution at his Ashram the supermental integrality to be a different kind of ‘integrality’ which no intellectual synoptic or synthetic can catch upto.


The dynamics of Evolution has been one of the most important scientific facts of the century. Not that some kind of explanation was not always available : creationism and evolutionism, in India known as arambhavada and parinamavada, sought to explain the existence of the world and its process. Darwin and his followers have scientifically explained certain other features of this process of evolution: the motive or purpose of evolution the process of evolution  as a gradual ascent ( rather than descent ), and growing need to ‘will’ an evolution hereafter or plan an evolution rather then merely abide by the natural evolution, are all significant. A speculative mind would have jumped as indeed we witness in the writings of Fichte and Nietszche to the anticipations of the coming race of super men, endowed with higher powers hidden to and in man at present. Theosophy spoke of the next root-race to come almost at the beginning of this century. The idea of Superman therefore is not new : it was anticipated. But it was a mere ideal. It cannot be said that Sri Aurobindo merely sought to give it the sanction of his Yoga. Herbert Spencer, wrote his speculative philosophy : Henri Bergson finally anticipated in his modified finalism that the world is for the making of the Gods who are mystic ‘open’-society-men, in whom the creative evolution would discover a new frontier though not the Ultimate or the final end.


The synthesis, if it has to be so called of the Divine Evolutionism, is a unique one. There is of course the descent of  Spirit ( as Prakriti of the Samkhya )  reaching up to a plane of being that is veriest matter in which the spirit is secret and occult. The establishment of the planes of Being culminating in Matter having been accomplished, in which the Oneness of the Spirit has discovered its manyness, the return or the Ascent (called Evolution) is made through the many linking up in an organic history matter, life and mind and so on. Let it be granted for man that he is the last term of evolution so far, but his own mind enforces because of its limitations and sense of bondage and limitations brought home to it in its sufferings and defeats, a further step. The development of the ego to its level of consciousness now enforces its discarding the practical ego for the purposes of higher consciousness or higher evolution. Evolution is of consciousness and the secret of evolution is the linking up in unity the diversity : it is the play of oneness-manyness in disjunctive unity and conjunctive division.


A close student of Indian Philosophy looking at the darsanas will  find the splendid and brilliant suggestiveness underlying their readings, thanks to the subtle suggestions of the supramental metaphysics and psychology of Sri Aurobindo.


Thus in the field of interpretation of the darsanas as in his Vedic interpretations, Sri Aurobindo recovers for the student of Philosophy the instrument by which he can discern the unity and meaningfulness of apparently contradictory notions so detailed by the recent commentators.


It is true that Sri Aurobindo is opposed to Mayavada, as a serious mystic. Mayavada is precisely the intellectual dialectic that it inherited from that so called ‘Doctrine of Reason’ of the Buddha ( there used as a limited instrument to get  rid of attachment to sensate and  perishing fleeting experiences ), and  but for the supreme attachment of Advaitins to the Absolute, it would have led Advaita to the very haven of nihilism or scepticism. In an age where intellect gets unduly worshiped, Mayavada can not be distinguished from sunyavada dialectics: and added to it the climate of immoralism or utilitarianism removes the one safeguard that early buddhism provided. Today unless Mahatma Gandhi’s ethics can be rehabilitated in the minds of all the citizens of India, the doctrine of Buddha revived as purified, Vedanta, will not lead to any spiritual development or even social amelioration.


It is however not enough to provide ethical safeguards alone. For ethical norms get their real basis in the spiritual goal of being. A being that is impoverished of all the richness of values and culminates in a negation neither can be real goal nor be an incentive. It may be true to say that the values of Good and truth and Intelligence or Saccidananda get more and more definite and definable in new contexts and consciousnesses and as such incapable of being defined with a set of frames that our present ends and needs have defined for us. The eternal yearning for perfection and the awareness that impinge on man’s consciousness of a higher and fuller perfection and being when he has traversed the evolutionary journey is sufficient enough to justify the hope that a constant ‘transvaluation of values’ is necessary. Beyond Good and Evil have significance for this unceasing ascent of life and it is precisely this awareness of higher ends that makes definition of higher realities imperative. The ethics without metaphysics even like a Religion without God is Hamlet without the prince of  Denmark. But a great reconstruction of the nature of knowledge as it infiltrates our consciousness in the fields of ethics, politics and economics on the one side and as it would modify the conceptions entertained in the fields or matter (physics) and biology (life) and other sciences can never be adequately achieved except when one is trained in such an apperception of the Whole. One of our present problems is precisely how best to consolidate the science which have tended to  fall apart and not merely diverged and indeed developed mutual contradictions and conflict. No sooner than this was perceived there would happen an attempt to swing back, despite resistance’s of specialists and extremists.


There are very fruitful lines of development envisaged in the fields of psychology of the individual and social development and the more mundane activities of man which would demand in the years to come the operations of the Supramental consciousness. There is always a serious difficulty when men forget that the ideals of social unification and political and individual development do not pull together. Liberty, fraternity and equality have been dynamic mantras of the modern age and the attempts to incorporate them all in the context of the individual and his co-members and the society has entailed several paradoxical projects of adjustment, compromise and cooperation, despite the intellect having devised the ready method of dialectic of ideas and forces economic and cultural. The Philosophy of Spirit demanded a new formulation, and indeed is today one of the basic needs.


Every new age is ushered in by the emergence of a new idea provided it is capable of being accepted as the significance of one’s life and being. The Mantra of the New Age is Supermind according to Sri Aurobindo and its fruit is the Life Divine. A new level of consciousness develops its own technique of manifestation in and through the individuals who surrender to that Ideal. It is something that would make the potent and real ideals  of human dignity such as liberty, Equality and Fraternity integral to individual personality and united Society, so much so these no longer would appear as ideals but spontaneous responses and activities in the lives of all individuals.  If it could be achieved in the life of a community of persons it would in the process of time be the living reason of the world community and all.


It is perhaps necessary to refer to a criticism against this ‘expansive metaphysic’ since it affirms  the existence of higher levels of consciousness beyond  the human. Whether we like it or not the view that this ‘expansive’ metaphysic would be unintelligible to the large mass of mankind trained in practical methods of fragmentary living and survival, or hedonistic ethics, may be true. However in a sense even the superstitions of the ages seem to have percolated into the very intellectual sensate minds and express the mystical trans-sensate and trans-intellectual truths of higher mind. In India this is especially true. Its effective loss in the West has been the cause of much of the misery that dialectical thinking or thinking in opposites, has unfortunately produced. It is not without a lot of justification that Sri Aurobindo contrasted the basic genius of the East with the West.


There is always a danger in trying to be acute or too optimistic about the results. Sri Aurobindo had done one important thing and that is to show how the supramental interpretation of the ancient traditions have to be carried out, and how it attempts to solve the problems so very pressing on mankind as a result of the phenomenal developments in almost all fields of knowledge entailing superior intelligence in respect of ends and means. In a sense when ‘men seem to be hastening unknown ends’ in the language of Dr. Radhakrishnan, even any light thrown on the future is welcome. The supramental may at first begin as one way and may by the results turn out to be the only way.


It is not necessary to hold that Sri Aurobindo has given a complete picture of the supermind or its activities and functions. It has been conceded that it is the beginning of a great expanse of the zone above the world of Ignorance. There are perhaps further zones of being beyond the supermind. We are already aware of the overmental and other higher levels of mind which are intermediate. But it is a fundamentally unified mind and beyond ignorance completely. It can become a future mind of mankind by its descent in the evolution of the individuals. The zone is very vast – veritable Brahmanda and its powers of universal Nature. Sri Aurobindo has opened up that vast terrain of illimitable possibilities free from the ignorance which has haunted all that is of evolution up to and including homosapiens.


The future of Philosophy no longer would be just one history of Western Philosophy or of Indian Philosophy but a truly universal philosophy – not merely a study of comparative philosophies or religion or ethics and anthropologies, - carried on by superminds, as Sri Aurobindo has described with larger goals and more serious endeavours of Human Unity and Culture.


Sri Aurobindo a superman with a supermind, indeed is the father of future universal philosophy.