Mayavada Rejects Life in the World as Unreal or Less Real Than the Absolute

Sri Aurobindo wants to ensure that we grasp the implications of the mayavada approach to understanding the meaning of Existence, so that we can recognize the inconsistency in this approach and thereby overpass it to develop an integrated and comprehensive viewpoint that cuts through the dualities.

“For we have in this unfolding of knowledge the two terms of the One and the Many, as we ahve the two terms of the finite and the infinite, of that which becomes and of that which does not become but for ever is, of that which takes form and of that which does not take form, of Spirit and Matter, of the supreme Superconscient and the nethermost Inconscience; in this dualism, and to get away from it, it is open to us to define Knowledge as the possession of one term and the possession of the other as Ignorance. The ultimate of our life would then be a drawing away from the lower reality of the Becoming to the greater reality of the Being, a leap from the Ignorance to the Knowledge and a rejection of the Ignorance, a departure from the many into the One, from the finite into the infinite, from form into the formless, from the life of the material universe into the Spirit, from the hold of the inconscient upon us into the superconscient Existence. In this solution there is supposed to be a fixed opposition, an ultimate irreconcilability in each case between the two terms of our being. Or else, if both are a means of the manifestation of the Brahman, the lower is a false or imperfect clue, a means that must fail, a system of values that cannot ultimately satisfy us. Dissatisfied with the confusions of the multiplicity, disdainful of even the highest light and power and joy that it can reveal, we must drive beyond to the absolute one-pointedness and one-standingness in which all self-variation ceases. Unable by the claim of the Infinite upon us to dwell for ever in the bonds of the finite or to find there satsifaciton and largeness and peace, we have to break all the bonds of individual and universal Nature, destroy all values, symbols, images, self-definitions, limitations of the illimitable and lose all littleness and division in the Self that is for ever satisfied with its own infinity.”

Thus, the basic picture of the world-view of the mayavadin.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 15, Reality and the Integral Knowledge

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