MAN-NATURE UNION IN HINDU METAPHYSICS Ramakant Sinari, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India
Sri Aurobindo describes Reality as a cosmic flow, the cosmic energy, the cosmic vitality manifesting itself through a myriad beings. The only way in which Reality can realize itself is by creating these beings. Human consciousness with its multiple states is itself the expression of the evolving Real. The Real, Aurobindo says, has no excesses in its evolutionary process. Matter, life and mind, i.e., the substrata which Reality emits as it ascends higher toward what he meaningfully characterizes as the "Supermind", are some kind of incarnation of Reality itself. The evolution of Reality is an act inherent in its very nature. Thus the material world belongs to the growth of the Real. There is nothing in the perceiver or the perceived which falls outside the Real (the World-Spirit). The entire variety we witness in Nature is, for Aurobindo,the creative adventure of the World-Spirit in the uncharted ocean of inconscience so that the infinite possibilities inherent in reality may be expressed in material conditions.
One can easily see that the identity between the anthropocentric and cosmocentric concerns propounded by the Vedic-Upanisadic sages has found its most systematic and elegant expression in Aurobindo's integralist metaphysics. Underneath Aurobindo's formidable literary and philosophical enterprise there is the constant endeavour to break the walls our worldly consciousness posits between "I" and "Nature", human reality and the cosmos, the subject and the object, the individual and the universal, these being for him merely a part of the style the World-Spirit works.
In Hindu metaphysics, the description of the Man-Nature union, of its width and depth, of its oceanic vastness, is shrouded in metaphors. These metaphors would remind one of the language of the famous holists of all time, such as Teilhard de Chardin, Karl Jaspers, Josiah Royce and Heidegger. These metaphors emanate from the expanse the individual consciousness enters into in order to capture the very spirit of the Man-Nature integration. Having a close affinity with the mystical experience, the experience of this integration would force on the language of its description inexpressible nuances, a certain fluidity and elusiveness which, hermeneutically speaking, would remain open to numerous kinds of empathetic comprehension. However, if woven into the educational scheme, this language of metaphors would not fail to generate in the people spontaneous friendliness toward the environment, physical and social. 1997-2004 HERE-NOW4U Home