The Gita Resolves the Different Poises of Consciousness

The Gita makes a number of statements that create apparent opposition when viewed from our normal mental standpoint. For instance, Sri Aurobindo provides the following examples: “Thus the Gita begins by affirming that the Supreme contains all things in himself, but is not in any,…, ‘all are situated in Me, not I in them,’ and yet it proceeds immediately to say, ‘and yet all existences are not situated in Me, My self is the bearer of all existences and it is not situated in existences.’ And yet again it insists with an apparent self-contradiction that the Divine has lodged himself, has taken up his abode in the human body,…, and that the recognition of this truth is necessary for the soul’s release by the integral way of works and love and knowledge.”

The apparent contradictions contained here are resolved when on recognizes that each one is a statement from one of the four primary aspects of the Divine Reality, as transcribed into the mental consciousness. Each one conveys a truth reflecting a different standpoint, all of which are part of the complete Reality of the Divine Presence. For example, Sri Aurobindo states: “It is as the supracosmic Godhead that he is not in existences, nor even they in him; for the distinction we make between Being and becoming applies only to the manifestation in the phenomenal universe. In the supracosmic existence all is eternal Being and all, if there too there is any multiplicity, are eternal beings, nor can the spatial idea of indwelling come in, since a supracosmic absolute being is not affected by the concepts of time and space which are created here by the Lord’s Yogamaya.”

In the manifestation we find extension in space and time and in this sense we see different stances as the Lord who supports and controls, the containing existence, the manifesting Being, etc. “He seems to pervade and to contain mind, life and body, to support them by his presence: but this pervasion is itself an act of consciousness, not material; the body itself is only a constant act of consciousness of the spirit.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 5, The Divine Truth and Way, pp. 303-304