Bliss and the Mental Consciousness

Just as the divine bliss can infiltrate the physical and vital levels of the being, it may also directly infiltrate and impact the mental level, without the entire being having been raised up to the level of pure Sat-Chit-Ananda. The psychological impact of this infiltration of the Ananda into the mental being can lead to several different outcomes, as described by Sri Aurobindo:

“The result is either an immobile cessation of all mind and action or a desire-free unbound action watched by the unparticipating inner Witness. The mental being becomes the eremite soul alone in the world and careless of all human ties or the secret soul that lives in a rapturous God-nearness or felicitous identity and in joyful relations of pure love and ecstasy towards all creatures.”

As the mental level is the third stage of the evolution of consciousness from the Inconscient, after the physical and vital, and has a strong influence and power of action in those preceding planes of conscious-force, the manifestation of bliss on the mental level may also allow it to extend down into the vital and physical being as well. This can lead to a more comprehensive realisation than having just one plain touched or infiltrated by the divine bliss. “The mental being may even realise the Self in all three planes together. Then he is all these things alternately, successively or at once. Or he may transform the lower forms into manifestations of the higher state; he may draw upward the childlikeness or the inert irresponsibility of the free physical mind or the free vital mind’s divine madness and carelessness of all rules, proprieties, harmonies and colour or disguise with them the ecstasy of the saint or the solitary liberty of the wandering eremite.”

Sri Aurobindo goes on to explain that this is not the ultimate or complete realisation as it does not contain the inherent mastery of the upper hemisphere of Sat-Chit-Ananda in all its native consciousness, force and manifested energy. The result is incomplete, although certainly a far advance from the ordinary mental level of awareness: “But Mind can arrive only at a compromise between the infinite within and the finite nature without; it cannot pour the infinity of the inner being’s knowledge and power and bliss with any sense of fullness into its external action which remains always inadequate. Still it is content and free because it is the Lord within who takes up the responsibility of the action adequate or inadequate, assumes its guidance and fixes its consequence.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Two: The Yoga of Integral Knowledge, Chapter 24, Gnosis and Ananda, pp. 479-480