Introduction to the Order of the Worlds

As we begin a new chapter, Sri Aurobindo sets forth some interesting citations from the Upanishads and the Rig Veda which are thought provoking. The ancient seers had a clear insight into the various planes of consciousness and manifested “worlds”. Their psychological knowledge is just now starting to be reintegrated into our understanding. Before we dive into the subject proper, it would be useful to review the citations that Sri Aurobindo has placed before us:

“Seven are these worlds in which move the life-forces that are hidden within the secret heart as their dwelling-place seven by seven.” (Mundaka Upanishad, II.1.8)

It is interesting to note that the 7 “worlds” correspond to the planes of consciousness we have been reviewing, Sat, Chit, Ananda, Supermind, Mind, Life and Body, essentially an upper hemisphere of 3 planes (Sat-Chit-Ananda), a lower hemisphere of 3 corresponding planes (Body-Life-Mind) and the Supramental plane which acts as the connector, lynch-pin and causal plane for the effectuation of the involution and evolution of consciousness from the higher to the lower hemisphere and back.

“May the Peoples of the five Births accept my sacrifice, those who are born of the Light and worthy of worship; may Earth protect us from earthly evil and the Mid-Region from calamity from the gods. Follow the shining thread spun out across the mid-world, protect the luminous paths built by the thought; weave an inviolate work, become the human being, create the divine race….Seers of truth are you, sharpen the shining spears with which you cut the way to that which is Immortal; knowers of the secret planes, form them, the steps by which the gods attained to immortality.” (Rig Veda, X.53.5,6,10)

We see in this ancient vedic passage more or less a prescription for the work of the seeker to become aware of and systematically build the links to the various planes or levels of consciousness as part of the evolutionary process that awakens consciousness in matter, develops the human consciousness and provides a platform for growth into a divine being. The passage makes it clear that we need to gain knowledge of the “order of the worlds” which is the subject of the new chapter.

Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 21, The Order of the Worlds

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