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The Absolute and the Manifestation

This cosmic diagram was drawn by Sri Aurobindo sometime in 1926 or 1927, and first published in Mother India in December 1953 under the editorial title "The Divine Plan". They were republished - along with short essays by Sri Aurobindo, in the little booklet The Hour of God, first printed in 1959 (4th ed. 1982), and then in 1972 in volume 17 of the Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library. It was in that work that I discovered them when I was at La Trobe University, Melbourne (the library there had the complete works), and they have fascinated me ever since. I remember being a bit confused by the same terms reappearaing, and showing them to Moshe Kroy who instantly exclaimed by way of explanation "its resonances!" In later years I wasn't sure whether Sri Aurobindo was serious about these transcendental hypostases, since these ideas appear nowhere else in his mammoth writings. Nevertheless there is something that draws one to cosmic diagrams like this, so I decided to scan them in and put them on the Web

The material in this cosmic diagram was utilised by the group/former web project "The Divine Plan" in one of their charts (available for download here), and has already been external link uploaded here (Integral Yoga - a Russian site dedicated to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother)

The Diagram - and an Interpretation

This diagram, "The Absolute and the Manifestation", shows a series of hypostases, which repeat on each the three grades of Transcendent existence. As Moshe said, they are "resonances", or one could equally interpret this in Procline terms, with the "lower" (relatively speaking only, they are still infinitely transcendent from our human perspective!) absolutes and lokas "participating" in the nature of the higher ones.

In any case these are various aspects and stages of the Supreme, from Unmanifest to Transcendent Manifestation. Aditi is the Supreme Shakti (the Mother in Hindu thought) or Power of Creation - Life or Procession in Proclus's teachings - and gives rise the two-in-one polarity of God

The pages that make up teh diagram can be listed as follows:

The first diagram and level pertains to the Unmanifest Absolute, the second to the planes of infinite Sachchidananda (here Satya Loka replaces the plane of Sat), and the third to the Supermind in its own realm. The last diagram represents the world of duality, from matter upto the Overmind.

Note near the bottom of the third diagram the perfected Truth-Mind, Truth-Life, and Truth-Form, which perhaps exist as perfect potentialities or archetypes within the Supermind, waiting to be actualised through the supramentalisation and divinisation of the physical cosmos. These Realities may well exist now, but are just waiting (according to our thinking, which is time-bound - in the absolute there is no "waiting") to be actualised physically.

Child nodes: The Supreme Self-Contained Absolute | The Eternal Manifestation | The Manifestation in Eternal Time - the Supramental Reality | The Temporal Manifestation

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
Material by Sri Aurobindo © Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust 1982
page uploaded 11 August 2004, last modified 28 September 2009