Book One Canto IV Summary

Aswapati seeks and discovers the Master plan of this universe, its occult cause and moving force, the far-off goal towards which creation moves. This knowledge is secret because we cannot find it through the mind or the senses but can discover it through other faculties and powers which have now awakened in Aswapati.

The Sailor on the Flow of Time pp. 69-71

Sri Aurobindo compares the human soul to a sailor who sails through many lives and in the course of this journey discovers itself and the world. The world experiences are not just a means for the soul to discover itself but also a means for its self-fulfillment in the conditions of material existence.

The Journey of Life pp. 68-69

The great journey of life is the Purusha sailing through the fields of his experiences created by Nature. It is through this journey that he grows into his full stature. Sri Aurobindo gives us here the broad outline of this journey that the soul undertakes impelled by the currents and waves of nature.

Our Present State pp. 68

Ignorance too is a mask of the Divine that He wears upon Himself for the play of multiplicity. The individual soul must go through it, until, growing from depth to depth of its own being, it discovers that We are That and that our individual Self and the Universal Self are one.

The Master of Existence Dwells Within Us pp. 66-67

Until the transformation takes place, human life will remain imperfect, beset with riddles, struggling on its road in the fields of Death. But with God and His transforming Touch, all can become beautiful and wonderful, as life should be, is meant to be, and must one day become. Thus we see the essential unity of the Lord and His Shakti as well as of the Creator and His Creation. This is the fundamental basis of transformation. Since the Divine has become this creation, therefore this creation must also become divine.

The Play of Purusha and Prakriti, Soul and Nature (4) pp 65-66

The game being played between Soul and Nature starts with the utter self-forgetfulness and slavery of the Soul to Nature but ends in Mastery through discovery of our true and highest Self. All the experiences that Nature arranges for the soul, – things terrible and beautiful and dangerous and divine, – are really a schooling and a training for the Soul to grow and recover its lost divinity.

The Play of Purusha and Prakriti, Soul and Nature (1-2) pp 61-63

The Soul and Nature are two poises of One Truth. Indeed Prakriti is the power of the Purusha. She builds for the soul the instruments needed for their play and gives the experiences necessary for the growth and fullness of the evolving soul in creation. This evolving soul is a portion of the Jivatma sent down into the bounds of Time and Space for the replicating the truth of Iswara and Shakti here, in the conditions of matter and earthly life.

The Two Who are One p 61

Having revealed to us the essential Unity of creation because of the One Divine Presence within it, Sri Aurobindo now reveals to us also the fundamental unity between the static and dynamic aspects of Creation, that is to say, between the Divine Reality behind it and the Divine Force that has gone into it.

The One Who Has Become the Many pp 60-61

Though creation appears to our senses as a number of separate objects hung in Space and connected through the play of Time, behind all its variations and multiplicity, there is the One. It is the One Reality that has become the Many. This is the great secret we are here to discover.

The Great Promise and the Hope pp 58-59

The Divine Grace is always with us through all the difficulties, struggle and pain that we encounter in our long evolutionary journey. It is there even when appearances and dark and we do not see it. This is the truth we must always hold within through all the long and difficult journey and the dark passages of life.

The Realm of the Gods pp 57-58

In the passage that follows we have a description of the upper pole of the ladder, the stair where the great Gods reside, the Overmind world that borders on the Supermind. Sri Aurobindo describes the relation these great and luminous beings have with our world, the mysterious and ill-understood way of their working, their effect and influence upon our humanity.

Ignorance and Knowledge pp 55-57

Essentially the Mind is a dividing consciousness that by its very nature cannot arrive at an Integral Truth. It is only by removing the dense veil of Ignorance and discovering the Divine Truth hidden in our hearts that we can rediscover the lost Unity.

The Divine Promise of a Luminous Future p 55

The lines that follow give man supreme hope that whatever the appearances, the transformation is going to be. It is being prepared behind the veil and often the darkest hours are the one’s followed by the New Dawn that is bound to arrive.

The Immortal Gods pp 53-55

Instead of being bewildered by passing appearances that easily deceive we should rather tune ourselves to the inner Truth that is trying to manifest. Then we too shall share the wisdom of the gods and our actions leave a trail of light towards the future.

The Ignorant Vision of Man pp 52-53

Sri Aurobindo bids us to rise from our present state of Ignorance into the Light and Truth of an illimitable vast Consciousness. Until we do that we shall never really fathom the true cause and the inner reason that moves our destiny. And yet there is hope, and the passage closes with a glance into the Future that is bound to be splendid and meaningful.