God As Power in Manifestation

Those who focus on the power of creation in the world, the Divine Shakti, have seized upon a truth that needs to be incorporated as part of an integral understanding of the meaning and purpose of the Divine Manifestation. The Gita validates both the Vedantic emphasis on the pure Existence and the Tantric emphasis on the power that manifests all beings and forms in the world, through its balanced approach based on accepting Transcendent, the Universal and the Individual forms and beings as one divine Existence. While the one tended to fixate more on the unmanifest or the transcendent, the other tended to worship the power in manifestation. In fact, both are two sides or aspects of the divine Reality, the Being and its Becoming, the Existence and its Power of manifestation.

Sri Aurobindo explains: “The Divine is being, consciousness and delight, and in the world all throws itself out and finds itself again by energy of being, energy of consciousness and energy of delight; this is a world of the works of the divine Shakti. That Shakti shapes herself here in innumerable kinds of beings and each of them has its own characteristic powers of her force.”

This means that every form we see, with whatever powers it expresses, whether those of knowledge, or beauty, or might, is an expression of that divine Shakti. Therefore, “It is the Godhead who manifests himself in the great thinker, the hero, the leader of men, the great teacher, sage, prophet, religious founder, saint, lover of man, the great poet, the great artist, the great scientist, the ascetic self-tamer, the tamer of things and events and forces.”

This understanding is the basis for the concept known as the special manifestation of pre-eminent power called the “Vibhuti.” Whenever we see something that attracts us with its force of manifestation, we are recognizing therein the “Divine in manifestation.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 9, The Theory of the Vibhuti, pg. 360

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