Spiritual Realisation Goes Beyond Mental Acceptance

The Upanishads have an intriguing statement that there is a “bliss of the Eternal from which words turn back without attaining and mind also returneth baffled…” (Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Taittiriya Upanishad, Brahmanandavalli Chapter 9, pg 274)

The mental faith, the adherence of the mind, the opening of the emotions and the focus of the will and the vital energies are all preliminary steps that turn and open the seeker to the spiritual Truth, but they all fall short of the actual spiritual realisation. The awakened seeker, as we see with Arjuna, may find his being in all its parts turned towards the Divine, and it is at such a time that there is the opportunity for the larger spiritual realisation to take hold and gain ascendancy over the being. Sri Aurobindo describes this state of being and the opportunity it presents: “This is a truth which is evident only to the supreme Soul in its own self-knowledge…. This is a knowledge that comes by spiritual identity and the unaided heart, will, intelligence of the natural man cannot arrive at it by their own motion and can only get at imperfect mental reflections that reveal less than they conceal and disfigure. This is a secret wisdom which one must hear from the seers who have seen the face of this Truth, have heard its word and have become one with it in self and spirit.”

“Once revealed, it has to be accepted by the assent of the mind, the consent of the will and the heart’s delight and submission, the three elements of the complete mental faith, sraddha.”

Even this is not the complete realisation: “But still there will reamin the need of that deeper possession in the very self of our being and out from its most intimate psychic centre, the soul’s demand for that permanent inexpressible spiritual realisation of which the mental is only a preliminary or a shadow and without which there cannot be a complete union with the Eternal.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 8, God in Power of Becoming, pp. 343-344