The Soul, Nature and the Process of Action in the Universe

Sri Aurobindo clarifies further the various concepts introduced to describe the process of the cosmos. Through the action of the Para Prakriti, the Supreme Nature, the “becomings” in the universe are set in motion. This motion is the action of Karma which successively interacts each of the forms and energies to create a continuous stream of movement, action. We might correlate this concept to the Western scientific description of the “big bang” that set forth the expansion of the universes at the beginning of Time!

Sri Aurobindo explains: “All this bringing out and continual change from state to state is Karma, is action of Nature, is the energy of Prakriti, the worker, the goddess of processes. It is first a loosing forth of the swabhava into its creative action, visargah. The creation is of existences in the becoming…and of all that they subjectively or otherwise become…. All taken together, it is a constant birth of things in Time…of which the creative energy of Karma is the principle. All this mutable becoming emerges by a combination of the powers and energies of Nature, adhibhuta, which constitutes the world and is the object of the soul’s consciousness.”

There is however a witness and enjoyer of the play of Nature, of the action of Karma, and this is the soul. The soul involved in the action of the becoming is known as the Kshara Purusha, while the soul uninvolved and separate from Nature is known as the Akshara Purusha. In turn, these two aspects of the soul are unified in the supreme Purusha, the Purushottama, which supports equally the Kshara and the Akshara aspects of the soul. Just as the objects created by nature are known as adhibhuta, the consciousness that informs and reflects this action is called adhidaiva.

The Divine Being is thus both present in each form and being, as well as beyond the limits of each form, and constitutes the individual, the universal and the transcendent at one and the same time. It is the Purushottama that is considered to be the Lord and Master of the creation, and of the sacrifice undertaken by the limited, mutable beings. “From him the soul came forth into the play of Nature’s mutations; to him the soul returns through immutable self-existence to the highest status of the Divine….”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 3, The Supreme Divine, pp. 279-280