Having ascertained the existence of other worlds than the purely material, and the interaction of those worlds with the physical manifestation, it is appropriate to raise the question of how the soul interacts with those other worlds, and in particular how the process of rebirth interfaces with those other worlds, if at all. We thus begin a new chapter called “Rebirth and Other Worlds; Karma, the Soul and Immortality” to take up these and related questions.
It is useful to review the Vedic and Upanishadic citations that Sri Aurobindo sets forth at the beginning of any new chapter as they provide insight into the understanding of the ancient rishis and sages, and in many cases illuminate the issues far more clearly with their intuitive, experiential process than we do nowadays with our rational, linear process.
Since we are dealing in this chapter with the mechanism of the soul’s rebirth in relation to the existence and influence of other worlds, we can fruitfully look at what the sages have to say in that regard.
The first citation comes from the Taittiriya Upanishad: “He passes in his departure from this world to the physical Self; he passes to the Self of life; he passes to the Self of mind; he passes to the Self of knowledge; he passes to the Self of bliss; he moves through these worlds at will.”
And the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad: “They say indeed that the conscious being is made of desire. But of whatsoever desire he comes to be, he comes to be of that will, and of whatever will he comes to be, he does that action, and whatever his action, to (the result of) that he reaches….Adhered to by his Karma, he goes in his subtle body to wherever his mind cleaves, then, coming to the end of his Karma, even of whatsoever action he does here, he returns from that world to this world for Karma.”
A lot to reflect on before we enter into the systematic review of the chapter in the next post.
Sri Aurobindo, The Life Divine, Book 2, Part 2, Chapter 22, Rebirth and Other Worlds; Karma, the Soul and Immortality