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Sri Aurobindo

Letters of Sri Aurobindo

2. Integral Yoga and Other Paths

Fragment ID: 58

See largest or earliest found fragment here

Sri Aurobindo — Unknown addressee

October 16, 1931

The sentence1 is rather loose in expression. It does not mean that Maya is Brahman’s freedom, but “the doctrine of Maya simply comes to this that Brahman is free from the circumstances through which He expresses Himself.” This limited play is not He, for He is illimitable; it is only a conditioned (partial) manifestation, but He is not bound by the conditions (circumstances) as the play is bound. The world is a figure of something of Himself which He has put forth into it, but He is more than that figure. The world is not unreal or illusory, but our present seeing or consciousness of it is ignorant, and therefore the world as seen by us can be described as an illusion. So far the Maya idea is true. But if we see the world as it really is, a partial and developing manifestation of Brahman, then it can no longer be described as an illusion, but rather as a Lila. He is still more than His Lila, but He is in it and it is in Him; it is not an illusion.


1 “Maya means nothing more than the freedom of Brahman from the circumstances through which he expresses himself.” Sri Aurobindo, The Yoga and its Objects (1968 Edition), p.39.


Current publication:

Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Yoga // SABCL.- Volume 22. (≈ 28 vol. of CWSA).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1971.- 502 p.

Other publications:

[Largest or earliest found passage: ] Sri Aurobindo. Letters on Himself and the Ashram // CWSA.- Volume 35. (≈ 26 vol. of SABCL).- Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 2011.- 658 p.