The Life Divine ( Audio Book )

The Life Divine – Sri Aurobindo / Chapter One

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A Brief explanation is required about this book and might be summed up by another critique from amazon:

Sri Aurobindo’s sentences are built of triple dependent clauses (without commas, he’s an Oxford grad)

Sri Aurobindo’s sentences are built of triple dependent clauses (without commas, he’s an Oxford grad),but if you stay with him, follow the thread, you’re a different person by the time you reach the period. He is pure genius. A gift from the Gods. His long sentences are a kind of meditation really; their gentle coaxing detail draws the inflated reactionary mind down to a still point.

In that vain it must be stated that this is one of the most intellectually difficult books to read and incredibly difficult to narrate because of the sentence structure and the inability to find a rhythm for the work. We have recorded approximately 1/3 of the 900 page book  ( 17 hours ) and unless there is significant demand for the rest we will not complete the work for fear of not doing justice to the work. I believe this is one of those books that must be read, slowly, to attain the message. We added the incomplete audio to the site to give readers a taste of Sri Aurobindos erudition.

We apologize for the mispronunciation of any words or sentences, the fault was ours and not the authors. We submit the work with the hope it will be taken in the spirit in which it was intended, and we apologize if we fell short.

We recorded 31 chapters with a total recording length of 17hrs

The Life Divine

Sri Aurobindo

Book One

Omnipresent Reality and the Universe
Chapter I
The Human Aspiration 3
Chapter II
The Two Negations
1. The Materialist Denial 8
Chapter III
The Two Negations
2. The Refusal of the Ascetic 20
Chapter IV
Reality Omnipresent 29
Chapter V
The Destiny of the Individual 38
Chapter VI
Man in the Universe 47
Chapter VII
The Ego and the Dualities 56
Chapter VIII
The Methods of Vedantic Knowledge 66
Chapter IX
The Pure Existent 78
Chapter X
Conscious Force 87
Chapter XI
Delight of Existence: The Problem 98
Chapter XII
Delight of Existence: The Solution 108
Chapter XIII
The Divine Maya 120
Chapter XIV
The Supermind as Creator 130
Chapter XV
The Supreme Truth-Consciousness 141
Chapter XVI
The Triple Status of Supermind 152
Chapter XVII
The Divine Soul 161
Chapter XVIII
Mind and Supermind 170
Chapter XIX
Life 185
Chapter XX
Death, Desire and Incapacity 200
Chapter XXI
The Ascent of Life 210
Chapter XXII
The Problem of Life 220
Chapter XXIII
The Double Soul in Man 231
Chapter XXIV
Matter 245
Chapter XXV
The Knot of Matter 254
Chapter XXVI
The Ascending Series of Substance 266
Chapter XXVII
The Sevenfold Chord of Being 276
Chapter XXVIII
Supermind, Mind and the Overmind Maya 285
Book Two
The Knowledge and the Ignorance—The Spiritual Evolution
Part I
The Infinite Consciousness and the Ignorance
Chapter I
Indeterminates, Cosmic Determinations and
the Indeterminable 309
Chapter II
Brahman, Purusha, Ishwara—Maya, Prakriti, Shakti 336
Chapter III
The Eternal and the Individual 380

Chapter I
The Human Aspiration
She follows to the goal of those that are passing on beyond,
she is the first in the eternal succession of the dawns that are
coming,—Usha widens bringing out that which lives, awakening
someone who was dead. . . . What is her scope when
she harmonises with the dawns that shone out before and
those that now must shine? She desires the ancient mornings
and fulfils their light; projecting forwards her illumination she
enters into communion with the rest that are to come.
Kutsa Angirasa—Rig Veda.1
Threefold are those supreme births of this divine force that is
in the world, they are true, they are desirable; he moves there
wide-overt within the Infinite and shines pure, luminous and
fulfilling. . . . That which is immortal in mortals and possessed
of the truth, is a god and established inwardly as an energy
working out in our divine powers. . . . Become high-uplifted,
O Strength, pierce all veils, manifest in us the things of the
Godhead. Vamadeva—Rig Veda.2
THE EARLIEST preoccupation of man in his awakened
thoughts and, as it seems, his inevitable and ultimate
preoccupation,—for it survives the longest periods of
scepticism and returns after every banishment,—is also the
highest which his thought can envisage. It manifests itself in
the divination of Godhead, the impulse towards perfection, the
search after pure Truth and unmixed Bliss, the sense of a secret
immortality. The ancient dawns of human knowledge have
left us their witness to this constant aspiration; today we see
a humanity satiated but not satisfied by victorious analysis of
the externalities of Nature preparing to return to its primeval
longings. The earliest formula ofWisdom promises to be its last,
—God, Light, Freedom, Immortality.
These persistent ideals of the race are at once the contradiction
of its normal experience and the affirmation of higher
and deeper experiences which are abnormal to humanity and
only to be attained, in their organised entirety, by a revolutionary
individual effort or an evolutionary general progression. To
know, possess and be the divine being in an animal and egoistic
consciousness, to convert our twilit or obscure physical mentality
into the plenary supramental illumination, to build peace
and a self-existent bliss where there is only a stress of transitory
satisfactions besieged by physical pain and emotional suffering,
to establish an infinite freedom in a world which presents itself
as a group of mechanical necessities, to discover and realise
the immortal life in a body subjected to death and constant
mutation,—this is offered to us as the manifestation of God in
Matter and the goal of Nature in her terrestrial evolution. To
the ordinary material intellect which takes its present organisation
of consciousness for the limit of its possibilities, the direct
contradiction of the unrealised ideals with the realised fact is
a final argument against their validity. But if we take a more
deliberate view of the world’s workings, that direct opposition
appears rather as part of Nature’s profoundest method and the
seal of her completest sanction.
For all problems of existence are essentially problems of
harmony. They arise from the perception of an unsolved discord
and the instinct of an undiscovered agreement or unity. To rest
content with an unsolved discord is possible for the practical and
more animal part of man, but impossible for his fully awakened
mind, and usually even his practical parts only escape from
the general necessity either by shutting out the problem or by
accepting a rough, utilitarian and unillumined compromise. For
essentially, all Nature seeks a harmony, life and matter in their
own sphere as much as mind in the arrangement of its perceptions.
The greater the apparent disorder of the materials offered
or the apparent disparateness, even to irreconcilable opposition,
of the elements that have to be utilised, the stronger is the spur,
and it drives towards a more subtle and puissant order than
can normally be the result of a less difficult endeavour. The
accordance of active Life with a material of form in which the
condition of activity itself seems to be inertia, is one problem of
opposites that Nature has solved and seeks always to solve better
with greater complexities; for its perfect solution would be the
material immortality of a fully organised mind-supporting animal
body. The accordance of conscious mind and conscious will
with a form and a life in themselves not overtly self-conscious
and capable at best of a mechanical or subconscious will is
another problem of opposites in which she has produced astonishing
results and aims always at higher marvels; for there her
ultimate miracle would be an animal consciousness no longer
seeking but possessed of Truth and Light, with the practical
omnipotence which would result from the possession of a direct
and perfected knowledge. Not only, then, is the upward impulse
of man towards the accordance of yet higher opposites rational
in itself, but it is the only logical completion of a rule and an
effort that seem to be a fundamental method of Nature and the
very sense of her universal strivings.
We speak of the evolution of Life in Matter, the evolution
of Mind in Matter; but evolution is a word which merely states
the phenomenon without explaining it. For there seems to be no
reason why Life should evolve out of material elements or Mind
out of living form, unless we accept the Vedantic solution that
Life is already involved in Matter and Mind in Life because in
essenceMatter is a form of veiled Life, Life a form of veiled Consciousness.
And then there seems to be little objection to a farther
step in the series and the admission that mental consciousness
may itself be only a form and a veil of higher states which are
beyond Mind. In that case, the unconquerable impulse of man
towards God, Light, Bliss, Freedom, Immortality presents itself
in its right place in the chain as simply the imperative impulse
by which Nature is seeking to evolve beyond Mind, and appears
to be as natural, true and just as the impulse towards Life
which she has planted in certain forms of Matter or the impulse
towardsMind which she has planted in certain forms of Life. As
there, so here, the impulse exists more or less obscurely in her
different vessels with an ever-ascending series in the power of its
will-to-be; as there, so here, it is gradually evolving and bound
fully to evolve the necessary organs and faculties. As the impulse
towards Mind ranges from the more sensitive reactions of Life
in the metal and the plant up to its full organisation in man, so in
man himself there is the same ascending series, the preparation,
if nothing more, of a higher and divine life. The animal is a living
laboratory in which Nature has, it is said, worked out man. Man
himself may well be a thinking and living laboratory in whom
and with whose conscious co-operation she wills to work out
the superman, the god. Or shall we not say, rather, to manifest
God? For if evolution is the progressive manifestation by Nature
of that which slept or worked in her, involved, it is also the overt
realisation of that which she secretly is.We cannot, then, bid her
pause at a given stage of her evolution, nor have we the right to
condemn with the religionist as perverse and presumptuous or
with the rationalist as a disease or hallucination any intention
she may evince or effort she may make to go beyond. If it be
true that Spirit is involved in Matter and apparent Nature is
secret God, then the manifestation of the divine in himself and
the realisation of God within and without are the highest and
most legitimate aim possible to man upon earth.
Thus the eternal paradox and eternal truth of a divine life
in an animal body, an immortal aspiration or reality inhabiting
a mortal tenement, a single and universal consciousness representing
itself in limited minds and divided egos, a transcendent,
indefinable, timeless and spaceless Being who alone renders time
and space and cosmos possible, and in all these the higher truth
realisable by the lower term, justify themselves to the deliberate
reason as well as to the persistent instinct or intuition of
mankind. Attempts are sometimes made to have done finally
with questionings which have so often been declared insoluble
by logical thought and to persuade men to limit their mental
activities to the practical and immediate problems of their
material existence in the universe; but such evasions are never
permanent in their effect. Mankind returns from them with a
more vehement impulse of inquiry or a more violent hunger for
an immediate solution. By that hunger mysticism profits and
new religions arise to replace the old that have been destroyed
or stripped of significance by a scepticism which itself could
not satisfy because, although its business was inquiry, it was
unwilling sufficiently to inquire. The attempt to deny or stifle a
truth because it is yet obscure in its outward workings and too
often represented by obscurantist superstition or a crude faith,
is itself a kind of obscurantism. The will to escape from a cosmic
necessity because it is arduous, difficult to justify by immediate
tangible results, slow in regulating its operations, must turn out
eventually to have been no acceptance of the truth of Nature but
a revolt against the secret, mightier will of the great Mother. It is
better and more rational to accept what she will not allow us as a
race to reject and lift it from the sphere of blind instinct, obscure
intuition and random aspiration into the light of reason and an
instructed and consciously self-guiding will. And if there is any
higher light of illumined intuition or self-revealing truth which
is now in man either obstructed and inoperative or works with
intermittent glancings as if from behind a veil or with occasional
displays as of the northern lights in our material skies, then there
also we need not fear to aspire. For it is likely that such is the
next higher state of consciousness of which Mind is only a form
and veil, and through the splendours of that light may lie the
path of our progressive self-enlargement into whatever highest
state is humanity’s ultimate resting-place.


Neville Goddard, Summa Theologica, Manly P Hall, A Course In Miracles

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