The Riddle of this World

The Riddle of this World by Sri Aurobindo

The Riddle of this World

From immemorial ages, from the time of the Greek mysteries and before, human beings have been facing the riddle of the Sphinx – the riddle of this world. And even in this age, the age of modern science, and digital technology, we have no choice – we either have to answer it or perish in nameless shadows.
Have you ever wanted to discover for yourself – directly, without premade, prefabricated answers given by others – the meaning of the Universe and the purpose of human existence? Have you ever wondered why there is so much insensitivity, foolishness and ignorance not just in the world but in yourself as well? Have you ever wondered why our greatest aspirations are almost invariably betrayed by our own natures or why apparent victory always carries the taste of incompleteness? In The Riddle of this World, Sri Aurobindo answers these questions for his disciples in terms that are highly relevant for us today. Today, as in the deepest past, the challenge for each human being is to discover the purpose of his own existence.

Book Details

Author: Sri Aurobindo

Print Length: 60 pages

Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram

Contributors: Krishna

Book format: PDFePubKindle

Language: English

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  • A Far Greater Truth
  • Supernals
  • The Graded Worlds
  • The Ascending and The Descending Movement
  • Western Metaphysics and Yoga
  • The Agnostic and The Vedantic Unknowable
  • Doubts and The Divine
  • The Valley of The False Glimmer
  • The Intermediate Zone
  • A Problem of Faith
  • The Triune Godhead
  • Some Spiritual Dilemmas
  • Rebirth and Personality
  • The Riddle of This World


The Riddle of this World

A Far Greater Truth

I meant by it the descent of the supramental consciousness upon earth; all truths below the supramental (even that of the highest spiritual on the mental plane, which is the highest that has yet manifested) are either partial or relative or otherwise deficient and unable to transform the earthly life; they can only at most modify and influence it. The Supermind is the vast Truth-consciousness of which the ancient seers spoke; there have been glimpses of it till now, sometimes an indirect influence or pressure, but it has not been brought down into the consciousness of the earth and fixed there. To so bring it down is the aim of our Yoga.

But it is better not to enter into sterile intellectual discussions. The intellectual mind cannot even realise what the supermind is; what use, then, can there be in allowing it to discuss what it does not know? It is not by reasoning but by constant experience, growth of consciousness and widening into the Light that one can reach those higher levels of consciousness above the intellect from which one can begin to look up to the Divine Gnosis. Those levels are not yet the Supermind, but they can receive something of its knowledge.

The Vedic Rishis never attained to the Supermind for the earth or perhaps did not even make the attempt. They tried to rise individually to the supramental plane, but they did not bring it down and make it a permanent part of the earth-consciousness. Even there are verses of the Upanishad in which it is hinted that it is impossible to pass through the gates of the Sun (the symbol of the Supermind) and yet retain an earthly body. It was because of this failure that the spiritual effort of India culminated in Mayavada. Our Yoga is a double movement of ascent and descent; one rises to higher and higher levels of consciousness, but at the same time one brings down their power not only into mind and life, but in the end even into the body. And the highest of these levels, the one at which it aims is the Supermind. Only when that can be brought down is a divine transformation possible in the earth-consciousness.

May 4, 1930