The Revelation of the Divine In the World Around Us

The Upanishads reveal the universal Presence of the Divine in all existences. The Isha Upanishad begins with this insight: “All this is for habitation by the Lord, whatsoever is individual universe of movement in the universal motion.” (Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Isha Upanishad, v. 1, pg. 19)

But the Isha Upanishad is not alone in describing the universality of the Divine. The Shwetashwatara Upanishad declares: “That alone is the fire and That the sun and That the wind and That too the moon; That is the Luminous, That the Brahman, That the waters, That the Father and Lord of creatures. Thou art the woman and Thou the man; Thou art a boy and again a young virgin; Thou art yonder worn and aged man that walkest bent with thy staff. Lo, Thou becomest born and the world is full of thy faces. Thou art the blue bird and the green and the scarlet-eyed, the womb of lightning and the seasons and the oceans. Thou art that which is without beginning and Thou movest with Thy pervasive extension whence all the worlds are born. (op. cit, Shwetashwatara Upanishad, ch. 4, v. 2-4, pg. 369)

Sri Aurobindo expounds: “The Divine reveals himself in the world around us when we look upon that with a spiritual desire of delight that seeks him in all things. There is often a sudden opening by which the veil of forms is itself turned into a revelation. A universal spiritual Presence, a universal peace, a universal infinite Delight has manifested, immanent, embracing, all-penetrating. This Presence by our love of it, our delight in it, our constant thought of it returns and grows upon us; it becomes the thing that we see and all else is only its habitation, form and symbol. Even all that is most outward, the body, the form, the sound, whatever our senses seize, are seen as this Presence; they cease to be physical and are changed into a substance of spirit.”

The result of an ever-increasing identification with this experience is to transform our consciousness and our existence into a manifestation of the Divine in the universal creation. “Our own mind, life, body become to us only its habitation and temple, a form of its working and an instrument of its self-expression. All is only soul and body of this delight.”

As Sri Aurobindo poetically states in his epic poem, Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol: “and Matter shall reveal the Spirit’s face.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Three: The Yoga of Divine Love, Chapter 7, The Ananda Brahman, pg. 571


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