The Gods and the Brahman: the Parable of the Gods, Part 2

It is a characteristic of the ego-consciousness to center everything around itself and thereby take credit for things that occur as if that individual form were responsible for any success achieved.  This ego-consciousness, however, is only a specialized form of exclusive concentration that temporarily focuses attention on a specific formation, but is not in reality at all separated from the Oneness of the entire creation.  Thus, it is illusory.  The Eternal, the Absolute, the Brahman is the originating and all-encompassing consciousness that creates the entire universe and the individuality of form, and thus, it knows both the Oneness and the fragmented version held by the ego-consciousness.  The individual focus is a temporary stage by which the evolution of consciousness occurs, and at some point, it must be made aware, once again, of the Oneness that stands behind, directs and carries out the action of the universe.

The Kena Upanishad, third part, verse 2:  “The Eternal knew their thought and appeared before them; and they knew not what was this mighty Daemon.”

Sri Aurobindo observes:  “But such is not the full intention of Brahman in the universe or in the creature.  The greatness of the gods is His own victory and greatness, but it is only given in order that man may grow nearer to the point at which his faculties will be strong enough to go beyond themselves and realise the Transcendent.  Therefore Brahman manifests Himself before the exultant gods in their well-ordered world and puts to them by His silence the heart-shaking, the world-shaking question, ‘If ye are all, then what am I?  for see, I am and I am here.’  Though He manifests, He does not reveal Himself, but is seen and felt by them as a vague and tremendous presence … the unknown power, … beyond good and evil for whom good and evil are instruments towards His final self-expression.  Then there is alarm and confusion in the divine assembly; they feel a demand and a menace, on the side of the evil the possibility of monstrous and appalling powers yet unknown and unmastered which may wreck the fair world they have built, upheave and shatter to pieces the brilliant harmony of the intellect, the aesthetic mind, the moral nature, the vital desires, the body and senses which they have with such labour established, on the side of the good the demand of things unknown which are beyond all these and therefore are equally a menace, since the little which is realised cannot stand against the much that is unrealised, cannot shut out the vast, the infinite that presses against the fragile walls we have erected to define and shelter our limited being and pleasure.  Brahman presents itself to them as the Unknown; the gods knew not what was this Daemon.”

Sri Aurobindo, The Upanishads, Kena Upanishad and analysis, pp. 104-106, 171-176