Archive for February 2014
The result of an integral process that engages all aspects of the being in the practice of the yoga is an integral realisation that eventually has us seeing, experiencing and acting from a foundation of God-knowledge. The soul that has this knowledge, “…knows God as the Father of this world who nourishes and cherishes and watches over his children. It knows God as the divine Mother who holds us in her bosom, lavishes upon us the sweetness of her love and fills the universe with her forms of beauty. It knows him as the first Creator from whom has originated all that originates and creates in space and time and relation. It knows him as the Master and ordainer of all universal and of every individual dispensation. The world and fate and uncertain eventuality cannot terrify, the aspect of suffering and evil cannot bewilder the man who has surrendered himself…
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The yoga of works relies on turning all action into a sacrifice. But the esoteric sense of the outward action is based in the Oneness of all existence, where it is the Divine himself that carries out the sacrifice. A famous sloka of the Gita, frequently recited before taking food, conveys the sense of the integration of knowledge, works and devotion through the mystic Unity: “Brahman is the giving, Brahman is the food-offering, by Brahman it is offered into the Brahman fire, Brahman is that which is to be attained by Samadhi in Brahman-action.”
In the yoga of knowledge, the Divine is the knower, the knowledge and the object of knowledge. Knowledge is not intellectual, but experiential. The sacred Mantra carries the sound-body of the Divine and is the essence of knowledge. Sri Aurobindo describes this relationship: “The Mantra of the divine Consciousness brings its light of revelation, the Mantra…
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For many people following traditional paths of evolutionary development, there is a division between the path of knowledge and the path of devotion. The path of knowledge tends towards abstraction, distinguishing the illusions of the “personal” from the reality of the transcendent. Practitioners of the path of knowledge have tended in many cases to look down from their heights of knowledge and treat those who follow a devotional path as following a lesser path, one steeped in illusion. At the same time, those who have followed a devotional path have seen the path of knowledge as one that is dry, abstract and unconnected to life, and thus, itself unreal.
The Gita does not, however, accept either of these positions; rather, it finds that devotion and knowledge are dual strands of development that intertwine and support one another. Knowledge in its truest sense leads to devotion, just as devotion carried through…
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An abstract philosophical acknowledgement of the infinity or omnipresence of God, insulated and isolated from the rest of our being and its motive springs of action, is relatively impotent to achieve the kind of total, integral Oneness that the Gita describes. While it may be a starting point for further development, it can also be a dead-end street that goes nowhere.
Sri Aurobindo describes the characteristics of a true knowledge that embraces the reality of the divine Being and consciousness: “To know god thus integrally is to know him as One in the self and in all manifestation and beyond all manifestation,–and all this unitedly and at once. And yet even so to know him is not enough unless it is accompanied by an intense uplifting of the heart and soul Godwards, unless it kindles a one-pointed and at the same time all-embracing love, adoration, aspiration. Indeed the knowledge which…
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When we consider the radically different standpoint and basis for understanding and living in the world represented by the Divine Consciousness from our everyday human, mental view based in the ego, it is clear there is a serious hurdle to overcome to finally fix ourselves in that other consciousness fully and integrally. Sri Aurobindo has recounted the limitations and obstacles we face based on the egoistic view from which we begin this effort: “Mortal mind is bewildered by its ignorant reliance upon veils and appearances; it sees only the outward human body, human mind, human way of living and catches no liberating glimpse of the Divinity who is lodged in the creature. It ignores the divinity within itself and cannot see it in other men, and even though the Divine manifest himself in humanity as Avatar and Vibhuti, it is still blind and ignores or despises the veiled Godhead….”
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It doesn’t matter how great your religion is or how ancient your scriptures are if you will not attempt to independently rediscover the Truths which were discovered by your forerunners. Much too often, people forget this cardinal dictum and fall into the egoistic trap of boasting of the greatness of their religion without actually living it. The practice of Yoga provides a pathway for rediscovering the verities recorded in the scriptures such as the Upanishads and Vedas. This article examines the Nachiketa fire sacrifice as experienced by a disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
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Sri Aurobindo describes the relationship of the individual soul to the ultimate nature of the Divine: “In his spiritual essence the individual is one with the Divine. In the works of the divine Prakriti he is one with him, yet there is an operative difference and many deep relations with God in Nature and with God above cosmic Nature.”
There is a separation or veil so that the manifestation can take place with each individual person or form acting from a standpoint unique to itself for the overall interaction and play of Nature. “In the works of the lower appearance of Prakriti he seems by an ignorance and egoistic separation to be quite other than the One and to think, will, act, enjoy in this separative consciousness for the egoistic pleasure and purpose of his personal existence in the universe and its surface relations with other embodied minds and lives.”
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