The Universe Also is Real

Sri Aurobindo, in addressing the philosophy of Shankara, points out: “The mystery of the universe must have a divine sense to the Divine; it must have a significance or a truth of cosmic being that is luminous to the Reality that upholds it with its transcending and yet immanent superconscience.” Maya cannot be a pure illusion. The power of the rational mental intelligence is too limited to grasp the transcendent, eternal Reality; and by the same token, it cannot grasp the meaning and machinery involved in creating the universe of forms. While it can act decisively within its own framework, it is clearly out of its depth when it comes to understanding the Transcendent. Here, the experience of the mystic, seer or yogi gets a glimpse of that wider, transcendent Oneness, but in so doing, experiences the limits and transitory nature of the forms and actions of the world.

Sri Aurobindo concludes: “If the Reality alone exists and all is the Reality, the world also cannot be excluded from that Reality; the universe is real. If it does not reveal to us in its forms and powers the Reality that it is, if it seems only a persistent and yet changing movement in Space and Time, this must be not because it is unreal or because it is not at all That, but because it is a progressive self-expression, a manifestation, an evolving self-development of That in Time which our consciousness cannot yet see in its total or its essential significance.”

reference: Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part I, Chapter 6, Reality and the Cosmic Illusion, pp. 461-465