The Divine Consciousness encompasses both a vast peace which can fill the being and bring the seeker to a realisation that all the external life details, about which so much worry and fretting take place, are relatively inconsequential in the larger scheme of things. When the peace descends, the seeker may feel separate from the action of the world, including his own individual mind-life-body as part of that external action. This is the experience that the Sankhya defines and which Sri Aurobindo describes as the separation of Purusha and Prakriti. This realisation provides liberation from the stress and worry of life and action in the world. Yet it is not the entirety of the Divine Consciousness. The dynamic aspect includes the vast Knowledge, Force and Ananda of the universal manifestation. When it descends into the seeker, it can energize action in the world, but without the preliminary basis of calm and peace, can simply overwhelm the body-life-mind complex, leading to illness, emotional imbalances, vital disruptions and mental confusion. The story of the “unbaked jar” illustrates this concern, that if the vessel is not entirely and properly prepared, it simply cannot hold the forces that enter into it. These forces, when properly integrated, can lead to transformation of the nature, self-perfection and a new, higher action in the world.

Sri Aurobindo advises: “It must be noted however that the opening upward does not necessarily lead to peace, silence and Nirvana only. The sadhak becomes aware not only of a great, eventually an infinite peace, silence, wideness above us, above the head as it were and extending into all physical and supraphysical space, but also he can become aware of other things — a vast Force in which is all power, a vast Light in which is all knowledge, a vast Ananda in which is all bliss and rapture. At first they appear as something essential, indeterminate, absolute, simple, kevala: a Nirvana into any of these things seems possible. But we can come to see too that this Force contains all forces, this Light all lights, this Ananda all joy and bliss possible. And all this can descend into us. Any of them and all of them can come down, not peace alone; only the safest is to bring down first an absolute calm and peace, for that makes the descent of the rest more secure; otherwise it may be difficult for the external nature to contain or bear so much Force, Light, Knowledge or Ananda. All these things together make what we call the higher spiritual or Divine Consciousness. The psychic opening through the heart puts us primarily into connection with the individual Divine, the Divine in his inner relation with us; it is especially the source of love and bhakti. This upward opening puts us into direct relation with the whole Divine and can create in us the divine consciousness and a new birth or births of the spirit.”
Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 8, The Triple Transformation: Psychic, Spiritual and Supramental, The Spiritual Transformation, pp. 209-229

Author's Bio: 

Santosh has been studying Sri Aurobindo's writings since 1971 and has a daily blog at and podcast at He is author of 16 books and editor-in-chief at Lotus Press. He is president of Institute for Wholistic Education, a non-profit focused on integrating spirituality into daily life.