The term “Divine” is used by Sri Aurobindo, starting with the title of his magnum opus, The Life Divine. How do we understand the term? In the Taittiriya Upanishad, a seeker asks his father and guru, “Lord, teach me the Eternal.” The response provides us an understanding of the Divine: “Seek thou to know that from which these creatures are born, whereby being born they live and to which they go hence and enter again; for that is the Eternal.” There is yet another response which aids in our understanding of the term: “By askesis (tapasya–concentration of conscious force) do thou seek to know the Eternal, for concentration of force is the Eternal.” Sri Aurobindo has provided his own definition of the term “Divine”.

Sri Aurobindo writes: “The Divine is the Supreme Truth because it is the Supreme Being from whom all have come and in whom all are. … The Divine is that from which all comes, in which all lives, and to return to the truth of the Divine now clouded over by Ignorance is the soul’s aim in life. In its supreme Truth, the Divine is absolute and infinite peace, consciousness, existence, power and Ananda. … The Divine has three aspects for us: 1. It is the Cosmic Self and Spirit that is in and behind all things and beings, from which and in which all is manifested in the universe — although it is now a manifestation in the Ignorance. 2. It is the Spirit and Master of our own being within us whom we have to serve and learn to express his will in all our movements so that we may grow out of the Ignorance into the Light. 3. The Divine is transcendent Being and Spirit, all bliss and light and divine knowledge and power, and towards that highest divine existence and its Light we have to rise and bring down the reality of it more and more into our consciousness and life. … In the ordinary Nature we live in the Ignorance and do not know the Divine. The forces of the ordinary Nature are undivine forces because they weave a veil of ego and desire and unconsciousness which conceals the Divine from us. To get into the higher and deeper consciousness which knows and lives luminously in the Divine, we have to get rid of the forces of the lower nature and open to the action of the Divine Shakti which will transform our consciousness into that of the Divine Nature. … This is the conception of the Divine from which we have to start — the realisation of its truth can only come with the opening of the consciousness and its change.” Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 4 The Divine, the Gods and the Divine Force, The Divine pp. 77-82

Author's Bio: 

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