Archive for December 2013
The Gita is attempting to translate from an experiential, symbolic basis to a more or less intellectual statement, an understanding of the Reality, the primacy of the spiritual consciousness and the essential spiritual force that permeates and inhabits the entire created, manifested world. While the Rig Veda can refer to “the golden child in the womb (hiranyagarbha)” and the Upanishads can speak of the Ashwattha Tree that has its roots above and its leaves and branches down below, the Gita does not rely on this type of purely symbolic transcription of the spiritual standpoint, but rather tries to provide for those who base their understanding on the mental process, what may be called a philosophical statement, although the Gita continually insists on the need to actually transfer the standpoint of the consciousness to gain the actual sight and experience of the spiritual essence of all existence.
The Gita does this…
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In order to make its point about the spiritual essence of everything that exists, the Gita continues to provide examples that illustrate that the essential and defining energy of each thing is what can be traced to the Divine Presence. The outer forms are the occasion for this manifestation, and they are in fact formed and created by that Power in order to provide a vehicle for the force to manifest.
Sri Aurobindo translates a verse from Chapter VII of the Gita: “I am the light of sun and moon, the manhood in man, the intelligence of the intelligent, the energy of the energetic, the strength of the strong, the ascetic force of those who do askesis, tapasya.”
It becomes even more starkly defined: “I am life in all existences.” Sri Aurobindo explains: “In each case it is the energy of the essential quality on which each of these…
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The mental consciousness, with its exclusive tendency, has a hard time with subtle distinctions and gradations or modulations in relationships. Thus, it can go from one extreme to another, from “everything is separate” to “everything is one” without recognizing that there are situations where both may be true at the same time without contradicting one another. The limitation is one of the mental process, not the reality that it is trying to understand and express.
Interfacing what we can understand of the integrated consciousness of the higher nature, with what we can understand of the action of the lower nature, we can see that while the one is causative of the other, they have different “roles”, if you will, and thus, within the scope of their own sphere of energy and action, take on different characteristics.
Sri Aurobindo describes it as being the difference of the essential quality or power…
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The Gita has stated “I am in beings the desire which is not contrary to their Dharma.” Sri Aurobindo points out that in our normal view of spiritual attainment, all desire must be rooted out and eliminated. There is here an apparent contradiction which Sri Aurobindo undertakes to resolve.
Once again we are faced with a paradox caused by our attempt to understand issues beyond the mind by relying on the mental faculties and our linear and limited way of expressing these concepts. What is, then, this “desire which is not contrary to their Dharma”, and how does it differ from the forms of desire that we usually are trying to overcome?
We understand, through experience, the force of desire in the lower nature. The Gita describes this as impulsion controlled by the action of the Gunas of Nature, and in particular, Rajas.
The desire in the higher nature can…
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(To be constantly governed by the Divine:) A constant aspiration for that is the first thing – next a sort of stillness within and a drawing back from the outward action into the stillness and a sort of listening expectancy, not for a sound but for the spiritual feeling or direction of the consciousness that comes through the psychic.
(SABCL Vol. 23 p. 693)
Sri Aurobindo describes yet another riddle posed by the Gita: “But what again is meant by saying that the Divine is not in the becomings, the forms and affections of the lower nature, even the sattwic, though they all are in his being?”
The Gita has spent much of the first six chapters underlining the unity of all creation, the omnipresence of the Divine, and the Oneness. This statement, however, appears to carry with it some sense of a separation or duality. This is another instance of the difficulty of translating a unified consciousness of Oneness into the language and structure of the mental, linear forms.
Sri Aurobindo explains: “But what is meant is that the true and supreme spiritual nature of the Divine is not imprisoned there; they are only phenomena in his being created out of it by the action of the ego and the ignorance.” We basically…
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The mystery of the divine Maya is reviewed by Sri Aurobindo as he explores the relationship between the higher nature of the Divine and the existence and action of the lower Nature. Maya does not imply something purely illusory, but rather, something that is real, but experienced in such a way that we do not perceive or understand the ultimate Truth behind it. Sri Aurobindo describes it: “It is a cosmic veil which the Godhead has spun around our understanding; Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra have woven its complex threads; the Shakti, the Supreme Nature is there at is base and is hidden in its every tissue.”
The gods work through the interplay of the three Gunas, Rajas, Sattwa and Tamas (which correspond ultimately to the primary quality of the triple gods of creation, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva (Rudra), in their character as Creator, Sustainer and Destroyer of the manifested worlds.
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