We tend to live in the individual consciousness most of the time. By virtue of our living in the world and relating to the powers and beings existent in the world, we have contact with the universal forces. Those who are able to quiet the individual being and move beyond the universal can experience the transcendental consciousness that surpasses the limits of mind and speech, and which encompasses both the manifest and the unmanifest within it.
The Divine Shakti also takes on aspects that correspond to each of these three levels of relationship to the reality of existence. Sri Aurobindo describes these three aspects: “There are three ways of being of the Mother of which you can become aware when you enter into touch of oneness with the Conscious Force that upholds us and the universe. Transcendent, the original supreme Shakti, she stands above the worlds and links the creation to the ever unmanifest mystery of the Supreme. Universal, the cosmic Mahashakti, she creates all these beings and contains and enters, supports and conducts all these million processes and forces. Individual, she embodies the power of these two vaster ways of her existence, makes them living and near to us and mediates between the human personality and the divine Nature.”
An individual seeker of the Divine may find that he is attracted to and focused on one or another of these aspects at one time or another. All are aspects of the one divine conscious-force and are thus equally valid paths to realisation. For this reason it is important to recognise that each individual may be undertaking a different path, but this is not to say that one is better than the other. The main thing is to come into contact with the divine Shakti and maintain a constant relationship with Her.