The Conversion of The Physical

The Sense of The Bhagavad Gītā

The Spirit moves from infinity to a finite existence in order to embody and evolve into progressive forms until in the end rediscovers its own infinity in the divine Gnosis, but not only in the heights but also in the abyss of the Inconscient. The Spirit in its descent assumes successive forms and moulds itself into evolving determinisms of Nature, and each successive descent and assumption of form brings about a diminution of its original value; the indeterminate begins to be more and more a finite determinate, predictable, corruptible and therefore in the final consequence undivine. The Inconscient itself is divine in its secret Determinate, not the ruptured carcass comprised of darker and more darker universes, but a Matter divine yet to be revealed and realised. Matter is infinite, not finite or limited, though experience proves otherwise to mind and physical senses. The apparent contradictions experienced of Matter both in the mental and physical consciousness are due to Ignorance, the grim law of becoming in the earth-consciousness, for the consciousness in self-ignorance seeks only to understand everything through a coloured prism of life and arrive at a confident synthesisation of its many errors. Evolution works by a reverse law in which whatever thrown assumes the nature of what is already dominant there, a dark web of multitudinous aberrations moving away from the secret immanent principle of the Divine, and it is only by Nature’s hard, slow and laborious movement that a few come to be aware of the first native principle of the Divine in the Inconscient and still a very few realise even partially in their own individual movement. There is an another movement, a movement of the Spirit which when descends into the lower existence with its utter and inexhaustible power, consciousness, light and knowledge, it compels the course of evolution to follow a swifter movement of ascent into the Divine by transcending the lower first and then transforming it into a direct expression of the Divine here in the very terrestrial. The assumption of progressive forms by the Spirit is twofold in the consequence of its movements; an assumption through the forms of ignorance and an assumption through its native forms of light and consciousness and prevailing over the lessor forms of ignorance to be changed and transformed. It is in the latter that we are interested.

Painting by Priti Ghosh

A higher divine Light in the physical constitutes the dynamics of the future prototype of a body made up of a less-hard, a more plastic matter than this weak, vulnerable, self-decaying and rigid biological substance that we are, but it cannot be effected without the descent of a higher divine prototype itself from the Supramental planes above. A larger, more supple divine Matter must penetrate the ignorant physical substance and effect a difficult transition to the next species, or if it were too far-fetched at this point of time, to effect a profound biological transition in a body made of countless little deaths. It is less likely to evolve into anything that we have known so far or possibly imagined or by the foundations that we have built or through the scope and term of a mere animalistic transition of the innate form which passes from one physical frame to another without effecting much in terms of a higher divine possibility, and if has effected a change in its form at all, it is more likely to be an enlargement of its previous form into a heightened symbol and glory of a self-presiding mental being caught up at the wrong end of the evolutionary ladder. A transformation so effected within the bounds of the mental parameters is not Supramental or even remotely close to it. But a transformation effected thus to a point at which the biological workings of the body respond only to the invading force of the supreme divine Gnosis and no longer to the chaotic and dangerous rhythm of the physical as well as subterrestrial mind is an extraordinary accomplishment in itself and a great beginning of sorts. It is upon this firm ground that we must build our future figures.

The labour of the Spirit in the physical begins with a certain assertion of a boundless possibility against an indomitable negation of the Inconscient. While Life and Mind had flowered out of a sum of impossibilities, they were never freed of their limitation and inherent darkness, for they are the expression still of a formidable principle of Ignorance. While they are more or less free and boundless at the higher levels, especially the mind principle in its afflatus, the memory of the downward pull into Ignorance cannot not be abolished by ascending to their natural zenith, though a sense of spiritual liberation and a will to stay longer there could be achieved or even a termination with the terrestrial existence, but it would be nothing more than an amputation of the self-evolving spiritual being, one in the higher enjoying the froth of God’s ether and other languishing in the lower terrestrial darkness. To having conquered the necessity of rebirth may amount to a completion of an eternal cycle but does not constitute or amount to a completion of a terrestrial cycle, the importance of which is found in the early Vedic thought and in abundance in the writings of Sri Aurobindo. And a spiritual self-attainment without transforming the terrestrial being is bound to be incomplete and invalid to the purpose of a still higher seeking in the Divine.

Painting by Priti Ghosh

But rebirth itself is not as much a necessity as it is a process of the Spirit in evolution to arrive at a certain synthesisation in order to work out the decisive will and outcome of the Supreme Lord in the terrestrial play, the outcome being the growth of the Spirit in the physical and its embodying it towards a supramental physicality. We may not see the idea of rebirth explained in its essential process and structure in the Gita, for it seems to admit cessation of birth as something ideal and sign of a liberated spirit, but it does not see rebirth as something essentially evil and a grotesque necessity either, for the Gita does not seek its reconciliation in the process of rebirth or in the evolutionary ideal of the Spirit. But a certain amplification of its core idea into the sense and practise of our approach seems more than just imperative to the ideal of a perfected consciousness, the fiat of the evolving spirit seeking after a material composite form of itself in the terrestrial. The formation of a progressive physical through perishable forms borrows from the great energy of the Spirit immanent in the Inconscience; it casts its forms out for better ones until it reaches a certain acme of its search and self-fulfilment and continues to evolve through a more plastic and more vibrant forms towards a plenary material being of the Spirit above. Death does not dissolve the progressive physical; neither rebirth alters the course of it into a wayward seeking to be lost in some darkness of the Inconscient or to chose an आधार:* unfit for the purpose of divine transformation. It is the last surviving sheath of the immanent Spirit, for it too is immortal and boundless in nature, and stationed above in a semi-ethereal state above the gross body. The perfection of both the mental and the vital must be followed by and enlarged into the ambit and scope of a physical perfection here in the terrestrial, the gross progressively assuming the nature of the subtle and the divine and the marvellous, thereby reflecting the high altitudes of the supreme Spirit in the low nether finities of the gross material.

The constitution of the physical follows the coarse law of the terrestrial nature besieged by death and decay, by the age-old ramblings of the dissipated mental aided by a raunchy, self-exceedingly stupid vital in its loose elements. Its response to the lower goading and its cherished whims arises from its inability to organise its energies towards the Divine due to a lack of a dominant or central personality as its guiding force; the Psychic from its distant sphere casts an occasional influence upon the lower only to be rejected and turned away; it is only when it draws close to the lower by an intense power of aspiration and sincerity that there may finally come about the necessary spiritual change in the lower members, but it ought also to be understood that in matters of spiritual transformation of the physical, the role of the Psychic is only substitutional, though it is as imperative to the final goal as it is inevitable to the spiritual progression of the embodied being. To alter its constitution, an another Law is needed, a Law that is not subject to the lower insinuations and machinations, to the precepts of the grim foundation of the Inconscient, to the touch of its million or trillion deaths hammered into an instant of Time, to the unspeakable horrors of Death masquerading as Life. It is upon this new foundation that we have to repose our efforts towards a greater physicality of the Divine here in the terrestrial. The body is a wonderful instrument to the purpose of divine transformation; it is in fact the most indispensable of all, for in it lies the key to a perfect change towards a higher and larger dimension of existence in the terrestrial, the measure of the absolute Infinite in the finite-infinite. The body scales up ad infinitum towards a boundless materiality of the Spirit and reveals through its pores and cells the form and principle of the true divine Matter, infinite, plastic and ever-expanding, the true Conscient replacing the Inconscient.

To effect a conversion of the physical, to alter its constitution along with the mental and vital is the aim and object of integral Yoga. Death is a protégé-son of the Inconscient, an unending nemesis which resists the divine Light fiercely and resolutely with its vast and almost unalterable power of negation, and it is in the conquest of Death lies the felicity of a supreme divine change of being, the lever of which is hidden as a fount of inexhaustible youth in the deepest abyss. This lever is a spring of the Spirit hidden in the Nescience; it rises through the feet to the Superconscient. A material existence thus defined by a larger and wider Consciousness, Light, Knowledge, Delight is the inevitable arrival-point of all our search after something more definitive and more meaningful than the present misery-ridden life in the twilight of an unholy existence.

*आधार: The physical frame or the body.

Painting by Priti Ghosh

The End

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — Introduction

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — Sense of Nationalism

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Forms of Governance

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — Vidya or Education

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Sign and Symbol of a Teacher

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Nature and Dynamics of Spiritual Action

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Guide within

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Conduct of a Disciple

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — God in humanity

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — God, The Destroyer

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — God, The Saviour

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Conversion of The Mental

The Sense of the Bhagavad Gita — The Conversion of The Vital