Archive for January 2015
When one gets the call to take up the spiritual quest, the human personality is still in place and fully active. As a result, the first response is to engage the vital energy through the force of desire. Some spiritual disciplines counsel suppressing desire, but as Sri Aurobindo has pointed out elsewhere, this generally results in making the force even stronger. Others counsel techniques to sublimate the various forms of desire into more positive forms. Sri Aurobindo describes a process whereby desire can be systematically transformed:
“This craving life-force or desire-soul in us has to be accepted at first, but only in order that it may be transformed. Even from the beginning it has to be taught to renounce all other desires and concentrate itself on the passion for the Divine.” Thus, the powerful vital impulse of desire is first harnessed to the spiritual quest.
“This capital point gained, it…
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The process of the self-consecration undertaken through an ever-increasing concentration on the Divine through the thought, the will and the heart, eventually brings the seeker to the point where the Divine fills his life and his focus to such a degree, that nothing else intervenes. The “something else” referred to here represents the ego-consciousness and its attempts to acquire the objects of its desire. The process must eventual lead to the extirpation of the force of desire through a perfect self-surrender of the ego-consciousness to the Divine.
Sri Aurobindo explains that in fact, the true transformation of consciousness comes about when the seeker recognises that there is nothing else other than the Divine! “The effective fullness of our concentration on the one thing needful to the exclusion of all else will be the measure of our self-consecration to the One who is alone desirable. But this exclusiveness will in the…
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Sri Aurobindo is a versatile spiritual genius, who is not only a Master-Yogi with profound spiritual realizations, but also a great scholar and thinker who wrote extensively on various topics ranging from politics to yoga. His writings shine with a penetrating spiritual insight which brings out the deeper, psychological and spiritual dimensions of the human, terrestrial and cosmic life. In this article, we present a brief and synoptic overview of the contents of Sri Aurobindo’s major works.
1. Life Divine
- The philosophical testament of Sri Aurobindo. But it is not philosophy as it is understood in the West. It is an intellectual formulation of the inner spiritual experiences and realisation of Sri Aurobindo, expressed in a logical and conceptual format. As the Mother points out, in Life Divine, expression is intellectual but the inspiration is spiritual.
- The first parts of the book deals with the major problems and…
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I am sitting at the Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry as I write about what I feel for the world. Even though my heart is brimming with emotions, fear, anxiety and my mind is like a whirlpool of questions, I feel peaceful while I sit here.
The courtyard of the Ashram is the place where the Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s samadhi lays. As they rest here, they bring with them immense peace.
I can see,
a huge tree above the Samadhi, towering tall in the courtyard.
devotees resting there heads on the samadhi, saying their silent prayers.
an abundance of flowers in the garden, colorful flowers everywhere.
men, women, children, young and old sitting in the courtyard, some meditating while others only thinking.
Squirrels give occasional company to many. I was caught by surprise when it was my turn.
Here there is no religion, no caste, no creed, no color, and…
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Posted January 26, 2015on:
The power and amplitude of the individual’s yogic practice is conditioned by the wideness and height of the aspiration and the completeness of the consecration. Some focus on a specific aspect or realisation, and they orient their lives around it. The integral Yoga requires a consecration that embraces the entire manifestation, as well as the transcendent beyond. The seeker of the integral Yoga eventually finds that he must unify what are generally considered to be opposite concepts. The Upanishadic formula “One without a second”, usually interpreted to mean that the world around us is unreal, and that we should focus on the transcendent Brahman, must eventually be joined with the equally insistent formula “All this is the Brahman”. Sri Aurobindo’s viewpoint leads to what he calls “reality omnipresent” and the formulation for action based on “All life is Yoga.”
“But still the greater and wider the moving idea-force behind the…
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The traditional yogic paths of knowledge, works and love choose the leverage of specific aspects of human capabilities to focus the being exclusively on the spiritual quest and achieve the desired result through that concentration. The choice is usually based on the particular bent or development of the individual practitioner. They follow well-developed lines of practice and for the most part, tend to be mutually exclusive, so that those who follow the path of devotion will not concurrently take up the practices of knowledge or the exercise of will in action.
Sri Aurobindo mentions the need to find the highest and most powerful aspects of the human instrument to achieve the spiritual result, and this brings us to a review of the use of the higher mentality, the higher will and the higher capacities of love and devotion that we see in the traditional paths. In the case of the…
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When we begin the path of Yoga we are faced with something of a paradox. We are asked to concentrate on the Divine, and yet we do not know or recognize the Divine upon whom we are asked to concentrate. The solution to this riddle comes from reflection that the standpoint of the ego is not, in reality, the true and essential standpoint from which actions in the universe take place. Elsewhere Sri Aurobindo has advised “He who chooses the Infinite, has been chosen by the Infinite.” Thus, before we actually know what it is we are seeking, the Divine has begun to lay out before us the path, the way and the direction. While intellectual development may be useful, it is not the essential factor. “All that the Light from above asks of us that it may begin its work is a call from the soul and a sufficient…
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