9. What the soul sees and has experienced, that it knows; the rest is appearance, prejudice and opinion. (Thoughts and Aphorisms: Sri Aurobindo)
What is soul, as defined by Sri Aurobindo?
The Ultimate Reality is the Infinite and One Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, whom we name as the Brahman, the Divine, and God etc. He has three aspects, the Transcendental, the Universal and the Individual.
In the Transcendental mode, He is above all manifestation, above all the Universes, all the worlds. He is the Supreme Divine, the One, Indivisible, Infinite, Pure, and bears the eternal consciousness in Him, above all Time and Space.
The Supreme Divine is the Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, as I have already told. He is, He is Existence, eternal existence, and can even become Non-Existence, beyond the apprehension of any manifested existence.
In the Universal mode, He is one with the Universes, though also above them and is their Creator. He is the Manifestation; He is the One who manifests. It is His Will that is manifested. The entire Manifestation is He, and it is His Leela, Play. He is both beyond it, and within it, and in each atom, each living being.
And He is also the Individual, Personal God. All the Avatars are but His Individual Manifestations. The Supreme is with His Creative Force, the Mahashakti, whom we call the Divine Mother. They are One and Indivisible, and yet They are Two in Manifestation and even above Manifestation. It is the Will of the Supreme that created the Manifestation. In words, it may be said that he thought, in the Upanishadic language: “Ekoham, bahu syama.” [I am alone, and shall become many.] The Existence-Consciousness became many, countlessly many, and each of the many is a Soul. A soul, or the atman in Sanskrit, is a part and portion of the Supreme Consciousness, the Divine — a part who is one with the Whole, who can be the Whole also, who can unite with the Whole.
In all living beings, there is a soul, who resides in the background, not easily known or realized. The soul presides over the living being, but somewhat inactively, in the background. The Soul does not generally participate in the Evolution. In the Evolution from the animals to the human beings there has been no active role of the Soul, though the Divine Will was ever active. However, in Man, there is an active part or aspect of the Soul, which is termed by Sri Aurobindo as the Psychic Being, which participates in the Evolution of Man, in the onward journey of the human being on the Path of Evolution into the higher beings, the supramental beings, towards the Manifestation of the Supramental Consciousness, the next phase of the Evolution. The Psychic is not present in any other living beings…
If the New Race has to be here, the first requirement is that some persons must have the psychic unveiling.
Written earlier and published in Sulekha (http://www.barinchaki.sulekha.com/) on 1-11-2007.