The Spiritual Nature, Para Prakriti

The concept of the supreme spiritual nature, Para Prakriti, is developed at some length in the Gita, and it provides a bridge between the inactive witness consciousness and the outer nature manifesting in the world. The idea is that the Supreme Divine Consciousness is not simply an abstraction, or an impotent, immobile, uninvolved consciousness to which we must escape; rather, it has its own Power of action and it is THAT power which eventually creates and manifests everything in creation. The lower nature then is a derivative form that has its existence due to the reality of the higher power.

Sri Aurobindo describes the supreme Nature further: “It is the integral conscious-power of the supreme Being, cit-shakti, which is behind the self and cosmos. In the immutable Self it is involved in the Spirit; it is there, but in nivritti or a holding back from action: in the mutable self and the cosmos it comes out into action, pravritti. There by its dynamic presence it evolves in the Spirit all existences and appears in them as their essential spiritual nature, the persistent truth behind their play of subjective and objective phenomena. It is the essential quality and force, svabhava, the self-principle of all their becoming, the inherent principle and divine power behind their phenomenal existence. The balance of the Gunas is only a quantitative and quite derivative play evolved out of this supreme Principle. All this activity of forms, all this mental, sensuous, intelligential striving of the lower nature is only a phenomenon, which could not be at all except for this spiritual force and this power of being; it comes from that and it exists in that and by that solely.”

Since the lower nature is derivative, we cannot, by staying within its scope and action, realize the truth and complete sense of our existence. “The real truth is this spiritual power, this divine force of being, this essential quality of the spirit in things or rather of the spirit in which things are and from which they draw all their potencies and the seeds of their movements. Get at that truth, power, quality and we shall get at the real law of our becoming and the divine principle of our living, its source and sanction in the Knowledge and not only its process in the Ignorance.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 1, The Two Natures, pp. 255-256