The Divine Shakti As the Active Presence of the Divine

As can be expected in a wholesale transformation of the standpoint of consciousness and action, there are intermediate stages between the full immersion in the ego-consciousness and the complete sense of Oneness with the Divine and the action of the Divine in the manifestation. Up to this point, even as the individual begins to sense the Divine Shakti acting and thereby reduces the sense of ego as the owner and driver of the action, there remains still at least a subtle sense of difference that continues to reinforce the ego-sense.

Sri Aurobindo notes: “The sattwic, rajasic and tamasic ego is diminished but not eliminated; or if it seems to disappear, it has only sunk in our parts of action into the universal operation of the gunas, remains involved in them and is still working in a covert, subconscient fashion and may force itself to the front at any time.”

The poise of the seeker in the yogic process, at this stage, should be to continually remind himself of the Oneness and the manifestation of all by the Divine through His Shakti. “He must be aware behind Prakriti of the one Supreme and universal Purusha. He must see and feel not only that all is the self-shaping of the one Force, Prakriti or Nature, but that all her actions are those of the Divine in all, the one Godhead in all, however veiled, altered and as it were perverted–for perversion comes by a conversion into lower forms–by transmission through the ego and the gunas. This will farther diminish the open or covert insistence of the ego and, if thoroughly realised, it will make it difficult or impossible for it to assert itself in such a way as to disturb or hamper the farther progress. The ego-sense will become, so far as it interferes at all, a foreign intrusive element and only a fringe of the mist of the old ignorance hanging on to the outskirts of the consciousness and its action. And, secondly, the universal Shakti must be realised, must be seen and felt and borne in the potent purity of its higher action, its supramental and spiritual workings. This greater vision of the Shakti will enable us to escape from the control of the gunas, to convert them into their divine equivalents and dwell in a consciousness in which the Purusha and Prakriti are one and not separated or hidden in or behind each other. There the Shakti will be in its every movement evident to us and naturally, spontaneously, irresistibly felt as nothing else but the active presence of the Divine, the shape of power of the supreme Self and Spirit.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga, Part Four: The Yoga of Self-Perfection, Chapter 17, The Action of the Divine Shakti, pg. 735

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