Defining the All-delightful

रसः प्रीतिरानन्दः इति सर्वानन्दः

rasaḥ prītirānandaḥ iti sarvānandaḥRasa is the appreciative perception of that guna, that áswada, taste and quality which the Ishwara of the lila perceives in each different object of experience (vishaya) and for the enjoyment of which He creates it in the lila. Pritih is the pleasure of the mind in all rasa, pleasant or unpleasant, sweet or bitter. Ananda is the divine bhoga superior to all mental pleasure with which God enjoys the rasa; in ananda the opposition of the dualities entirely ceases. (CWSA, Vol 10, p 5)  

The Vision and the Rapture of the All-Beautiful

Beauty is not the same as delight, but like Love it is an expression, a form of Ananda,—created by Ananda and composed of Ananda, it conveys to the mind that delight of which it is made. Aesthetically, the delight takes the appearance of Rasa and the enjoyment of this Rasa is the mind’s and the vital’s reaction to the perception of beauty. The spiritual realisation has a sight, a perception, a feeling which is not that of the mind and vital; —it passes beyond the aesthetic limit, sees the universal beauty, sees behind the object what the eye cannot see, feels what the emotion of the heart cannot feel and passes beyond Rasa and Bhoga to pure Ananda—a thing more deep, intense, rapturous than any mental or vital or any physical rasa reaction can be. It sees the One everywhere, the Divine everywhere, the Beloved everywhere, the original bliss of existence everywhere, and all these can create an inexpressible Ananda of beauty—the beauty of the One, the beauty of the Divine, the beauty of the Beloved, the beauty of the eternal Existence in things. It can see also the beauty of forms and objects, but with a seeing other than the mind’s, other than that of a limited physical vision—what was not beautiful to the eye becomes beautiful, what was beautiful to the eye wears now a greater, marvellous and ineffable beauty.

The spiritual realisation can bring the vision and the rapture of the All-Beautiful everywhere. (CWSA, Vol 27, pp 700-701)

What experiences the Rasa within

For, as we now know by psychological observation and experiment that the subliminal mind receives and remembers all those touches of things which the surface mind ignores, so also we shall find that the subliminal soul responds to the rasa, or essence in experience, of these things which the surface desire-soul rejects by distaste and refusal or ignores by neutral unacceptance. Self-knowledge is impossible unless we go behind our surface existence, which is a mere result of selective outer experiences, an imperfect sounding-board or a hasty, incompetent and fragmentary translation of a little out of the much that we are,—unless we go behind this and send down our plummet into the subconscient and open ourself to the superconscient so as to know their relation to our surface being. For between these three things our existence moves and finds in them its totality. The superconscient in us is one with the self and soul of the world and is not governed by any phenomenal diversity; it possesses therefore the truth of things and the delight of things in their plenitude. The subconscient, so called,1 in that luminous head of itself which we call the subliminal, is, on the contrary, not a true possessor but an instrument of experience; it is not practically one with the soul and self of the world, but it is open to it through its world-experience. The subliminal soul is conscious inwardly of the rasa of things and has an equal delight in all contacts; it is conscious also of the values and standards of the surface desire-soul and receives on its own surface corresponding touches of pleasure, pain and indifference, but takes an equal delight in all. In other words, our real soul within takes joy of all its experiences, gathers from them strength, pleasure and knowledge, grows by them in its store and its plenty. It is this. real soul in us which compels the shrinking desire-mind to bear and even to seek and find a pleasure in what is painful to it, to reject what is pleasant to it, to modify or even reverse its values, to equalise things in indifference or to equalise them in joy, the joy of the variety of existence. And this it does because it is impelled by the universal to develop itself by all kinds of experience so as to grow in Nature. Otherwise, if we lived only by the surface desire-soul, we could no more change or advance than the plant or stone in whose immobility or in whose routine of existence, because life is not superficially conscious, the secret soul of things has as yet no instrument by which it can rescue the life out of the fixed and narrow gamut into which it is born. The desire-soul left to itself would circle in the same grooves for ever. (CWSA Vol 21, pp 236-237)

Explore the Journal

Renaissance, the monthly e-journal of Sri Aurobindo Foundation of Indian Culture (SAFIC), features inspiring articles, essays, book reviews, interviews, and reflections that speak of how the eternal spirit and creative genius of India are being reborn and renewed in various domains – spiritual, artistic, literary, philosophic, scientific, aesthetic.

Copyright © 2019 Renaissance | Powered by Sri Aurobindo Society

Scroll to Top