“Well, it happens — and this is very interesting — that there is a region like that, a region which... how to put it?... which is the negation of all that exists. Behind all the planes of being, even behind the physical, there is a Nirvana. We use the word Nirvana because it is easier, but we can say, “There is an impersonal Divine behind the physical, behind the mind, behind the vital, behind all the regions of being; behind, beyond.” (We are obliged to express ourselves in some sort of way.) It is not necessarily more subtle, it’s something else, something absolutely different”
“A certain kind of Nirvana experience is necessary even for this Yoga. That is, the world must become in a way nothing to you because, as it is constituted, it is a work of ignorance. Then only can you enter the true creation and bring into existence here the world of Truth and Light.”
- “Isn't Nirvana a fundamental spiritual experience?
Nirvana, as I know it, is an experience in which the separative personality is blotted out and one acts according to what is necessary to be done. It is only a passage for reaching a state in which the true individuality can be attained. That individuality is vast, infinite, and can contain the whole world within itself. It is not the small narrow limited individual self in Nature. When you attain that true individuality you can remain in the world and yet be above it. You can act and still be not bound by your action. For getting rid of the separative personality Nirvana is a powerful experience. After Nirvana you can go on to realise yourself as both the One in all and the One who is Many – and yet that One is also He.
- What you have called ‘multiple unity’?
- The trouble is that we are so much attached to our body and bound up with our ego and passions that it seems hardly possible to get out of a life filled with them. Such a life alone appears real then.
You have to give it its place in Reality. And to come out of it or get beyond it there are conditions laid down: for example, rejection and surrender. You have to get rid of desires and passions to arrive at the higher consciousness.
- And when in addition to our own burdens and difficulties and egoism we are asked to work for the Divine, for you and the Mother, the trouble increases!
There again the same conditions are applicable. You have to work with the right attitude, without personal ambition, without ego. Necessarily, that can't be done in a day.
There are people here whose egos take a new tum – what may be called ‘egoism for the Divine’; thus, instead of saying “I” and “mine”, they say “our work”, “our Ashram” etc. But this form of ego too must go.”
- “Nirodbaran: But why should the Gods want to evolve? They are quite happy in their own state.
Sri Aurobindo: They may get tired of their own kind of happiness and want another kind: for instance, Nirvana.
- But then one may get tired of Nirvana too!
There is no ‘one’ in Nirvana. So who will get tired? That was the difficulty I had with Amal at one time. He could not get it into his head that the personality does not exist in the experience of Nirvana. He would ask, “Who has the experience of Nirvana if there is no being in that state?” The answer is, “Nobody has it; something in you drops off and Nirvana takes its place.” In fact, there is no ‘getting’ but a ‘dropping off'’. Amal was probably thinking that he would be sitting with his mental personality somewhere, looking at Nirvana and saying, “Ah, this is Nirvana!” But so long as ‘you’ are there, you haven't got Nirvana. One has to get rid of all attachments and personalities before Nirvana can come and that is extremely difficult for one who is attached to his mental personality like Amal.
- Satyendra: If Nirvana is such a negative state, what is the difference between one who has it and one who hasn't?
- Purani: From the point of view of Nirvana there is no difference.
Yes. You find the difference because it is ‘you’ who gets blotted out in Nirvana and not somebody else.”