Tusar Nath Mohapatra

Archive for April 2014

Sri Aurobindo Studies

Eventually, the crux of the change brought about by the spiritual consciousness is the release of the focus and concern for the outward forms and forces at work in the world, and a reorientation that moves the awareness to that of the Eternal which resides behind and above all the changes and modifications we see in outer things. The Shwetashwatara Upanishad has an extensive section devoted to the recognition that all that exists, all the forms we see, all the experiences we undergo, are the One Eternal Brahman. It then goes on to show the necessity for detachment to gain understanding of the Truth: “Two winged birds cling about a common tree, comrades, yoke-fellows; and one eats the sweet fruit of the tree, the other eats not, but watches. The Soul upon a common tree is absorbed and because he is not lord, grieves and is bewildered; but when he…

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Sri Aurobindo Studies

The Gita does not try to recapitulate the detailed, extensive descriptions of the creation of the universe and the forces that are operative within it. These descriptions, set forth at great length in various Vedic and Upanishadic texts, are worthy of review in and of themselves, but the information they contain is not immediately pertinent to Sri Krishna’s teaching within the context of Arjuna’s crisis on the battlefield! Rather, the Gita provides a quick summary of the essential points in order to provide a basis for the active understanding required by Arjuna to implement the teaching.

Sri Aurobindo describes the Gita’s view of the constitution of the field of action, which is grounded in the Sankhya philosophical statement: “First there comes the indiscriminate unmanifest Energy; out of that has come the objective evolution of the five elemental states of matter; as also the subjective evolution of the senses, intelligence and…

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Sri Aurobindo Studies

Sri Aurobindo reminds us that, while we delve into the details of the field of action, that the knowledge gained and applied here is limited and does not represent the entirety of knowledge. The sages of the Upanishads sought “that by knowing which all is known”, the unifying and comprehensive knowledge which reconciled Spirit and Nature. They repeatedly indicated to us “not this, not that” so that we would not become fixated on the limited focus on the world to the exclusion of the true wisdom that transcended the world. Sri Aurobindo describes it thus: “There is something beyond to be known…, and it is when the knower of the field turns from the field itself to learn of himself within it and of all that is behind its appearances that real knowledge begins, jnanam,–the true knowledge of the field no less than of the knower. That turning inward…

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Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

Yoga is a predominantly psychological process of conquering one’s weaknesses through the assistance of a Higher Light.  As part of the surrender (samarpan) to the Divine, one is expected to reject deviant movements within oneself and offer them to the Divine for removal.  This is a private exercise which does not require confessing in front of family, friends, priests or the public at large (…by writing a memoir or appearing on a TV talk show, as Americans tend to do these days).  The exercise is undertaken not to gain social acceptance or to unburden oneself but to eliminate the depravities which occlude the inner light – the psychic being – from shining forth.

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Sri Aurobindo Studies

Before proceeding to the detail level of interaction between the soul and nature, Sri Aurobindo provides us a quick summary of the Gita’s view on the triple status of the soul and the dual status of nature and the primary aspects of their interaction with one another. While this is ground previously covered, given the immediate relevancy to understand the granular level of detail that is about to begin, it is very useful to summarize this information once more before proceeding:

“The Soul which finds itself here embodied in Nature has a triple reality to its own self-experience. First, it is a spiritual being apparently subjected by ignorance to the outward workings of Prakriti and represented in her mobility as an acting, thinking, mutable personality, a creature of Nature, an ego.”

“Next when it gets behind all this action and motion, it finds its own higher reality to be an…

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Sri Aurobindo Studies

The Gita presents a yogic path that has advantages in comparison to the austere path followed by the traditional yoga of knowledge. The primary advantages reside in the opportunity to embrace the Divine Presence in all aspects of life, with all the various capacities, powers and senses that the human being possesses. This means, as Sri Aurobindo elsewhere states, that “all life is yoga.”

At the same time, this is not something that allows one to wallow in the fulfillment of desires, and engorgement with the objects of the senses and simply consider oneself “saved”. What the Gita is actually asking us to do is to systematically confront every thought, every feeling, every impulse, every physical sensation and convert it from our normal human response and view to the point where everything we see, do, experience and respond to is seen and responded to as the Divine.

“no doubt, on…

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Sri Aurobindo Studies

While the Gita acknowledges the traditional yoga of knowledge, with its renunciation of the world and its attempt to attain the silent, immutable Eternal as its goal, it also notes the difficulty of this particular path and the strenuous efforts it requires to suppress all of the natural tendencies and energies of life in order to achieve the result. The Gita therefore recommends another route. Sri Aurobindo explains:

“The Yogin of exclusive knowledge imposes on himself a painful struggle with the manifold demands of his nature; he denies them even their highest satisfaction and cuts away from him even the upward impulses of his spirit whenever they imply relations or fall short of a negating absolute. The living way of the Gita, on the contrary, finds out the most intense upward trend of all our being and by turning it Godwards uses knowledge, will, feeling and the instinct for perfection…

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Tusar N. Mohapatra

Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum
SRA-102-C, Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad - 201014 (UP) India + 91 96500-65636
Aadhaar No. 3628 2075 7337
SELF posits a model of counselling and communicative action as an instrument in order to stimulate the public sphere. The model aims at supplementing the individual’s struggle for a successful social adjustment with more aspirational inputs so as to help one take an informed and balanced attitude towards life as well as society.
Savitri Era of those who adore,
Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.

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