Friday, April 22, 2011

Matrimandir

Auroville


What is Auroville?

Auroville is a universal township in the making for a population of up to 50,000 people from around the world.

How did Auroville begin?

The concept of Auroville - an ideal township devoted to an experiment in human unity - came to the Mother as early as the 1930s. In the mid 1960s the Sri Aurobindo Society in Pondicherry proposed to Her that such a township should be started. She gave her blessings. The concept was then put before the Govt. of India, who gave their backing and took it to the General Assembly of UNESCO. In 1966 UNESCO passed a unanimous resolution commending it as a project of importance to the future of humanity, thereby giving their full encouragement.

Why Auroville?

The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity – in diversity. Today Auroville is recognised as the first and only internationally endorsed ongoing experiment in human unity and transformation of consciousness, also concerned with - and practically researchinginto - sustainable living and the future culturalenvironmental, social and spiritual needs of mankind.

When did Auroville start?

On 28th February 1968 some 5,000 people assembled near the banyan tree at the centre of the future township for aninauguration ceremony attended by representatives of 124 nations, including all the States of India. The representatives brought with them some soil from their homeland, to be mixed in a white marble- clad, lotus-shaped urn, now sited at the focal point of the Amphitheatre. At the same time the Mother gave Auroville its 4-point Charter.

Where is Auroville?

Auroville is located in south India, mostly in the State of Tamil Nadu (some parts are in the State of Puducherry), a few kilometres inland from the Coromandel Coast, approx 160 kms south of Chennai (previously Madras) and 10 kms north of the town of Puducherry.

Who are the Aurovilians?

They come from some 45 nations, from all age groups (from infancy to over eighty, averaging around 30), from all social classes, backgrounds and cultures, representing humanity as a whole. Thepopulation of the township is constantly growing, but currently stands at around 2,160 people, of whom approx one-third are Indian.

Overview of the city plan

Peace Area

At the centre of the township lies the Peace Area, comprising theMatrimandir and its gardens, the amphitheatre with the Urn of Human Unity that contains the soil of 121 nations and 23 Indian states, and a lake to help create an atmosphere of calm and serenity and to serve as a groundwater recharge area.

Industrial Zone

A 109-hectare area to the north of the Peace Area, the Industrial Zone, a zone for "green" industries, is focused on Auroville's efforts towards a self-supporting township. It will contain small and medium-scale industries, training centres, arts and crafts, and the city's administration.

Residential Zone

The largest of the four city zones, comprising of 189 hectares, the Residential Zone is bordered by parks on the north, south and west. Main access to the zone will be through the crown road with further traffic distribution via five radial roads that divide the zone into sectors of increasing densities. This zone wants to provide a well-adjusted habitat between individual and collective living. 55% of the area will be green and only 45% built surface, thereby creating an urban density balanced by nature.

International Zone

The International Zone, a zone of 74 hectares to the west of the Peace Area, will host national and cultural pavilions, grouped by continents. Its central focus is to create a living demonstration of human unity in diversity through the expression of the genius and contribution of each nation to humanity

Cultural Zone

Planned on a 93-hectare area, situated to the east of the Peace Area, the Cultural Zone will be a site for applied research in education and artistic expression. Facilities for cultural, educational, art and sports activities will be located in this zone.

Green Belt

The city area with a radius of 1.25 km. will be surrounded by aGreen Belt of 1.25 km width. As a zone for organic farms, dairies, orchards, forests, and wildlife areas, this belt will act as a barrier against urban encroachment, provide a variety of habitats for wildlife, and serve as a source for food, timber, medicines etc. and as a place for recreation.
Presently an area of 405 hectares, the Green Belt - though incomplete - stands as an example of successful transformation of wasteland into a vibrant eco-system. Its further planned extension with an additional 800 hectares will make it into a remarkable demonstration site for soil and water conservation, ground water recharge, and environmental restoration. As lungs for the entire township, it will complete the healing process that Auroville started several decades ago.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

God


          They proved to me by convincing reasons that God did not exist, and I believed them. Afterwards I saw God, for He came and embraced me. And now which am I to believe, the reasonings of others or my own experience? 
                                                                                                    - Sri Aurobindo
                                                                                                                                                                                             


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Supramental Yoga


I am concerned with the earth, not with worlds beyond for their own sake;
it is a terrestrial realisation that I seek and not a flight to distant summits.
All other Yogas regard this life as an illusion or a passing phase; the
supramental Yoga alone regards it as a thing created by the Divine for a
progressive manifestation and takes the fulfilment of the life and the body
for its object.
                              - Sri Aurobindo


Monday, April 18, 2011

24 November 1926 - the Day of Siddhi



In order to understand the importance of this day it is necessary to go back to Sri Aurobindo's experiences in jail in 1908-1909 and link them up with his experiences of 24 November 1926. We must also take into consideration what Sri Aurobindo wrote about his own sadhana to Barin in 1920.
In the letter to Barin of April 1920 Sri Aurobindo described the stage of his yoga before he came to Pondicherry in 1910 as "preliminary or preparatory". That is to say it was a preliminary stage of the supramental yoga.
These quotations clearly demonstrate that when Sri Aurobindo came to Pondicherry he was not groping for his path; his path was clear before him. After 1910 the charge of his yoga was taken over by the Divine and the path was revealed to him in ten limbs of the sadhana. He was all along conscious of the existence of the Supramental plane above the mind, and by 1920 he had succeeded in ascending to the lowest stratum of that consciousness and also in drawing up all the movements of his nature into it.
He was, besides, not impatient for action. He did not want to act from ignorant human instruments but from a Higher Consciousness. He had the confidence that if the Supramental descent could be established in its perfection, then other people would be able to profit by it with much less effort.
It was when the Tapasya for the Siddhi of the Supramental was going on that, fortunately, as if by a Divine dispensation, the Mother joined Sri Aurobindo intimately in the great spiritual work. From the beginning of 1926 the work of guiding the disciples already began to move towards the Mother. There were women disciples - three or four in number - staying in the Ashram who used to go to the Mother for meditation. From August 1926 the number of disciples going to the Mother increased. It was as if Sri Aurobindo was slowly withdrawing himself and the Mother was spontaneously coming out and taking up the great work of direction of the sadhaks' inner sadhana and of the organisation of the outer life of the Ashram. The meditations became more and more concentrated and intense. Sri Aurobindo's coming out for the evening sitting began getting later and later. The wonder of it was that no one felt anything unnatural in all these changes. The part of the disciples in the tremendous task of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother was insignificant, still they were the witnesses of the changes in the inner and outer atmosphere of the Ashram.
From the trend of the evening talks just before and after 15 August 1926 it was becoming clear that the importance of a link between the highest Supermind and mind was being emphasised. Sri Aurobindo called this link the Overmind. During the six years since the letter to Barin of 1920 it is evident that he had gone much further not only in the ascent towards and into the Higher Consciousness but also in bringing about its descent into Nature. Several times in the beginning of November 1926, the evening talks turned to the possibility of the descent of the Divine Consciousness and its process. From these evening conversations, therefore, the idea came to several disciples that such a descent might be near. There was the possibility of the descent of the Gods. In "The Life Divine" Sri Aurobindo has given a clear exposition of the overmind plane, overmind consciousness and overmind Gods.
A feeling that the descent of the Higher Consciousness was about to take place grew in the minds of the many disciples either as a result of some indicative personal experience or owing to the general atmosphere. Many felt that great changes in the outer structure of the Ashram were about to occur. Instead of coming to the evening sitting at half past four, the usual time, Sri Aurobindo came at six or seven, or eight o'clock. One day the record was two o'clock in the morning ! It was evident that all his great energies were entirely taken up by the mighty task of bringing about the descent of the Higher Consciousness and that he did not want to lose or divert even a second of his time to anything else. Even though the work of maintaining an outer contact with the disciples was found useful it was becoming more and more difficult in view of the growing demand upon his time for the inner work. Those who do not know anything about his great mission can hardly understand how concentrated and sincere was his application for attaining perfection in his Divine task. In fact, people outside had already begun to be sceptical about any "practical" result of his vast efforts. Even those who had built high hopes upon his spiritual effort and were his genuine admirers began to be disappointed. Some even cherished, in their ignorance, the foolish belief that Sri Aurobindo had lost his way in the barren regions of the Absolute, the Para Brahman, or that he was entangled somewhere in the inscrutable coils of the Infinite ! They believed that Sri Aurobindo had lost his hold on the earth, and that he had become either indifferent or deaf to the pressing and burning problems of suffering humanity. If it was not so, why did he not rush to the help of humanity that was suffering so much with the saving balm of his Divine help ? When was such Divine help more needed than now ?
But, in spite of the apparent contradictions, those who were fortunate enough to live in his vicinity knew very well that the Higher Power that he was bringing down was not only capable of but was actually producing practical results. His contact and identification with the Higher Power were so complete that he was able to put other people, whether near to him or far, in contact with it. There were almost daily instances of people being cured of physical illness by his help. Far from losing his way in the Absolute he was seeing his way more and more clearly every day and was feeling more and more the inevitability of the descent as a natural crown of the movement of evolution on earth. His disciples knew that there was no one on earth who had a deeper sympathy and feeling for humanity than the Master. The silent and solid help that was going out from him to humanity was glimpsed by them at times. They felt later, reading the line he wrote in "Savitri" about Aswapathy, "His spirit's stillness helped the toiling world", that it was so true of his own life. What after all is that "practicality" of which people speak so much ? Claiming to solve problems, does it not really leave them either unsolved or half-solved while giving to the doer a false sense of satisfaction and self-complacence ? In fact, the Supreme Master had such a firm grip over the earth that such illusionary satisfaction could never deceive him. For him karmasa kaushalam (skill in action) consisted in acting from a higher Truth-Consciousness. He did not want to begin outer action so long as the Higher Consciousness did not descend into the physical and even into the gross material consciousness. Only so could a new life, a life that manifest integrally the Divine, be embodied. In the fulfilment of the spiritual work that he had begun lies the ultimate solution of all human problems.
Days, months and years passed; but Sri Aurobindo did not seem at all in a hurry to begin his work. He was all along preparing the possibility of the descent of the Higher Power. The resistance of the powers of Ignorance against any such attempt is naturally immense. In one evening talk he said that he was engaged in the tremendous task of opening up the physical cells to the Divine Light and the resistance of the Inconscient was formidable. When one knows that all this Herculean labour was undertaken not for himself but for humanity, for making a new departure for man in the course of his evolution then one feels that the words he later used of Savitri, "The world unknowing, for the world she stood", are so very apposite in his own case. It was therefore natural when, by the grace of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the disciples also felt the nearness of the descent, their hearts should be full of expectant and concentrated enthusiasm.
From the beginning of November 1926 the pressure of the Higher Power began to be unbearable. Then at last the great day, the day for which the Mother had been waiting for so many long years, arrived on 24 November. The sun had almost set, and everyone was occupied with his own activity - some had gone out to the seaside for a walk - when the Mother sent round word to all the disciples to assemble as soon as possible in the verandah where the usual meditation was held. It did not take long for the message to go round to all. By six o'clock most of the disciples had gathered. It was becoming dark. In the verandah on the wall near Sri Aurobindo's door, just behind his chair, a black silk curtain with gold lace work representing three Chinese dragons was hung. The three dragons were so represented that the tail of one reached up to the mouth of the other and the three of them covered the curtain from end to end. We came to know afterwards that there is a prophecy in China that the Truth will manifest itself on earth when the three dragons (the dragons of the earth, of the mind region and of the sky) meet. Today on 24 November the Truth was descending and the hanging of the curtain was significant.
There was a deep silence in the atmosphere after the disciples had gathered there. Many saw an oceanic flood of Light rushing down from above. Everyone present felt a kind of pressure above his head. The whole atmosphere was surcharged with some electrical energy. In that silence, in that atmosphere full of concentrated expectation and aspiration, in the electrically charged atmosphere, the usual, yet on this day quite unusual, tick was heard behind the door of the entrance. Expectation rose in a flood. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother could be seen through the half-opened door. The Mother with a gesture of her eyes requested Sri Aurobindo to step out first. Sri Aurobindo with a similar gesture suggested to her to do the same. With a slow dignified step the Mother came out first, followed by Sri Aurobindo with his majestic gait. The small table that used to be in front of Sri Aurobindo's chair was removed this day. The Mother sat on a small stool to his right.
Silence absolute, living silence - not merely living but overflowing with divinity. The meditation lasted about forty-five minutes. After that one by one the disciples bowed to the Mother.
She and Sri Aurobindo gave blessings to them. Whenever a disciple bowed to the Mother, Sri Aurobindo's right hand came forward behind the Mother's as if blessing him through the Mother. After the blessings, in the same silence there was a short meditation.
In the interval of silent meditation and blessings many had distinct experiences. When all was over they felt as if they had awakened from a divine dream. Then they felt the grandeur, the poetry and the absolute beauty of the occasion. It was not as if a handful of disciples were receiving blessings from their Supreme Master and the Mother in one little corner of the earth. The significance of the occasion was far greater than that. It was certain that a Higher Consciousness had descended on earth. In that deep silence had burgeoned forth, like the sprout of a banyan tree, the beginning of a mighty spiritual work. This momentous occasion carried its significance to all in the divine dynamism of the silence, in its unearthly dignity and grandeur and in the utter beauty of its every little act. The deep impress of divinity which everyone got was for him a priceless treasure.
Sri Aurobindo and the Mother went inside. Immediately Datta was inspired. In that silence she spoke: "The Lord has descended into the physical today."
That 24 November should be given an importance equal to that of the birthdays of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is quite proper because on that day the descent of the Higher Power symbolic of the victory of their mission took place. The Delight consciousness in the Overmind which Sri Krishna incarnated - as Avatar - descended on this day into the physical rendering possible the descent of the Supermind in Matter.
Of this descent Sri Aurobindo wrote on several occasions afterwards. In October 1935 he wrote as follows:
"It [the 24th November 1926] was the descent of Krishna into the physical.
"Krishna is not the supramental Light. The descent of Krishna would mean the descent of the Overmind Godhead preparing, though not itself actually bringing, the descent of Supermind and Ananda. Krishna is the Anandamaya; he supports the evolution through the Overmind leading it towards his Ananda." (in "On Himself" page 136)
The names of those disciples who were present on 24 November 1926:
01 - Bijoy Kumar Nag
02 - Nolini Kanta Gupta
03 - K. Amrita
04 - Moni (= Suresh Chakravarty)
05 - Pavitra (= Philippe Barbier Saint-Hilaire)
06 - Barindra Kumar Ghose, Sri Aurobindo's younger brother
07 - Datta (= Miss Dorothy Hodgson)
08 - K. Rajangam
09 - Satyen
10 - A.B. Purani (author of this text)
11 - Lilavati (= Purani's wife)
12 - Punamchand
13 - Champa Ben (= Punamchand's wife)
14 - Rajani Kanta Palit
15 - Dr. Upendra Nath Banerjee
16 - Champaklal
17 - Kanailal Gangulee
18 - Khitish Chandra Dutt
19 - V. Chandra Sekharam
20 - Pujalal
21 - Purushottam Patel
22 - Rati Palit
23 - Rambhai Patel
24 - Nani Bala

- A.B. Purani
(The Life of Sri Aurobindo, pp. 210-217)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Why is there pain and suffering?




Question: Why is there pain and suffering? How should we deal with them, including physical illness? What happens when we seek for pleasure?
Answer: Pain and grief are Nature's reminder to the soul that the pleasure it enjoys is only a feeble hint of the real delight of existence. In each pain and torture of our being is the secret of a flame of rapture compared with which our greatest pleasures are only as dim flickerings. It is this secret which forms the attraction for the soul of the great ordeals, sufferings and fierce experiences of life which the nervous mind in us shuns and abhors.
                                                                                                - Sri Aurobindo

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Considering the Dynamism of the Mother's Symbol



12 August Wayland Smithy crop circleThe Mother's Symbol
On 12 August 2009 a crop circle was discovered at Wayland Smithy, Oxfordshire which by date and by structure emphasize the 12 division of the circle. This crop circle is a variation of the Mother's Symbol with its 12 petals and 3 concentric circles. In the crop circle we see the center circle (undivided) surrounded by two larger circles demarcated by dotted rings. This structure is praised in the ancient Rig Veda and is discussed thoroughly inSecrets of the Earth by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet.
Twelve spokes, one wheel, navels three.
Who can comprehend this?
On it are placed together
Three hundred and sixty like pegs.
They shake not in the least.
(Rig Veda 1.154.48)

One is the wheel; the bands are twelve;
three are the hubs – who can understand it?
Three hundred spokes and sixty in addition
have been hammered therein and firmly riveted…
(Atharva Veda X, 8)

LORI TOMPKINS

Friday, April 15, 2011

Attitudes in Sri Aurobindo


Professor Gabriel Monod-Herzen, the well-known French physicist, once explained in what sense Sri Aurobindo embodied for him the quintessence of the scientific spirit. “There are two attitudes in him which I most admire: The first is that he does not reject anything or anyone; there is a place for all opinions, even those which he does not accept, in his work. He has come to find that particle of truth that exists in everything because without it that opinion itself could not exist. One never feels a prisoner of ideas when one reads him. One never says, ‘This is falsehood’, or else ‘That person is wrong’; one says, ‘Here is an incomplete idea.’ Being a physicist, I was deeply struck because I had always been greatly impressed by the fact that the long succession of scientists did not contradict one another, as say those who have not studied science themselves. In fact they complement one another.”

 (Amal-Kiran: Poet and Critic, Page 258)

 


Calmness


A calmness neared as of the approach of God

- Sri Aurobindo

( Savitri, Book IV, Canto I, Page 351)


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grace and Protection of the Divine Mother


The more complete your faith, sincerity and surrender, the more will grace and protection be with you. And when the grace and protection of the Divine Mother are with you, what is there that can touch you or whom need you fear? A little of it even will carry you through all difficulties, obstacles and dangers; surrounded by its full presence you can go securely on your way…
                                                                                            – Sri Aurobindo


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

World War


Question: If a world-war breaks out, it may not only destroy the major portion of humanity but may even make living conditions for those who survive impossible due to the effects of the nuclear fall-out. In case the possibility of such a war is still there, will it not affect the advent of the Supramental Truth and the New Race upon earth?

Answer: All these are mental speculations and once you enter the domains of mental imaginations there is no end to the problems and to their solutions. But all that does not bring you one step closer to the truth.
      The safest and most healthy attitude of the mind is like this one: We have been told in a positive and definite way that the supramental creation will follow the present one, so, whatever is in preparation for the future must be the circumstances needed for this advent whatever they are. And as we are unable to foresee correctly what these circumstances are, it is better to keep silent about them.  
         - The Mother
(CWM, Vol.15, Page 120)


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Difficulties




       To anticipate difficulties is to help them happen. Always to foresee
the best with a total trust in the Divine Grace is to collaborate effectively
in the supramental work upon earth.   
                                                                                             - The Mother
(CWM, Vol.15, Page 121)

Monday, April 11, 2011

There is a Power within


There is a Power within that knows beyond
Our knowings; we are greater than our thoughts,
And sometimes earth unveils that vision here.

          - Sri Aurobindo

(Savitri ,Book 5 Canto 2, Page 397)


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Yogic methods


                         Yogic methods have something of the same relation to the customary psychological workings of man as has the scientific handling of the force of electricity or of steam to their normal  operations in Nature. And they, too, like the operations of Science, are formed upon a knowledge developed and confirmed by regular experiment, practical analysis and constant result. All Rajayoga, for instance, depends on this perception and experience that our inner elements, combinations, functions, forces, can be separated or dissolved, can be new-combined and set to novel and formerly impossible workings or can be transformed and resolved into a new general synthesis by fixed internal processes. Hathayoga similarly depends on this perception and experience that the vital forces and functions to which our life is normally subjected and whose ordinary operations seem set and indispensable, can be mastered and the operations changed or suspended with results that would otherwise be impossible and that seem miraculous to those who have not seized the rationale of their process. And if in some other of its forms this character of Yoga is less apparent, because they are more intuitive and less mechanical, nearer, like the Yoga of Devotion, to a supernal ecstasy or, like the Yoga of Knowledge, to a supernal infinity of consciousness and being, yet they too start from the use of some principal faculty in us by ways and for ends not contemplated in its everyday spontaneous workings. All methods grouped under the common name of Yoga are special psychological processes founded on a fixed truth of Nature and developing, out of normal functions, powers and results which were always latent but which her ordinary movements do not easily or do not often manifest.
                        But as in physical knowledge the multiplication of scientific processes has its disadvantages, as that tends, for instance, to develop a victorious artificiality which overwhelms our natural human life under a load of machinery and to purchase certain forms of freedom and mastery at the price of an increased servitude, so the preoccupation with Yogic processes and their exceptional results may have its disadvantages and losses. The Yogin tends to draw away from the common existence and lose his hold upon it; he tends to purchase wealth of spirit by an impoverishment of his human activities, the inner freedom by an outer death. If he gains God, he loses life, or if he turns his efforts outward to conquer life, he is in danger of losing God. Therefore we see in India that a sharp incompatibility has been created between life in the world and spiritual growth and perfection, and although the tradition and ideal of a victorious harmony between the inner attraction and the outer demand remains, it is little or else very imperfectly exemplified. In fact, when a man turns his vision and energy inward and enters on the path of Yoga, he is popularly supposed to be lost inevitably to the great stream of our collective existence and the secular effort of humanity. So strongly has the idea prevailed, so much has it been emphasised by prevalent philosophies and religions that to escape from life is now commonly considered as not only the necessary condition, but the general object of Yoga. No synthesis of Yoga can be satisfying which does not, in its aim, reunite God and Nature in a liberated and perfected human life or, in its method, not only permit but favour the harmony of our inner and outer activities and experiences in the divine consummation of both. For man is precisely that term and symbol of a higher Existence descended into the material world in which it is possible for the lower to transfigure itself and put on the nature of the higher and the higher to reveal itself in the forms of the lower. To avoid the life which is given him for the realisation of that possibility, can never be either the indispensable condition or the whole and ultimate object of his supreme endeavour or of his most powerful means of self-fulfilment. It can only be a temporary necessity under certain conditions or a specialised extreme effort imposed on the individual so as to prepare a greater general possibility for the race. The true and full object and utility of Yoga can only be accomplished when the conscious Yoga in man becomes, like the subconscious Yoga in Nature, outwardly conterminous with life itself and we can once more, looking out both on the path and the achievement, say in a more perfect and luminous sense: “All life is Yoga.” 
                                                                                   - Sri Aurobindo

(SABCL, Vol. 20, pp. 3-4)




Friday, April 8, 2011

Hallucination and Coincidence


Hallucination is the term of Science for those irregular glimpses we
still have of truths shut out from us by our preoccupation with matter;
coincidence for the curious touches of artistry in the work of that supreme and universal Intelligence which in its conscious being as on a canvas has planned and executed the world.
                                                                               - Sri Aurobindo

                                                               (Thoughts and Aphorisms 15)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Purpose of life




All your life must be an offering and a sacrifice to the Supreme; your

only object  in action shall be to serve, to receive, to fulfil, to become

a manifesting instrument of the Divine Shakti in her works.

                                                                                  - Sri Aurobindo

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Song and Poem


Once I asked Sri Aurobindo if song and poetry were akin to each other.
 This was his answer: "No, a song is not a kind of poem; or need not be. There are some very good songs which are not poems at all. In Europe, song-writers or the writers of the librettos of the great operas are not classed among poets. In Asia the attempt to combine song-quality with poetic value has been more common, but this is not essential. In ancient Greece also lyric poetry was often composed with a view to being set to music. But still poetry and song-writing, though they can be combined, are two different arts.
   
"The difference is not that poetry has to be understood and music or singing felt {anubhuti). If you only understand the intellectual content of a poem, its words and ideas, you a have not really appreciated the poem at all. And a poem which contains only that and nothing else, is not true poetry. A true poem contains something else which has to be felt just as you feel music and that is its more important and essential part. It has first, a rhythm, just as music has, though of a different kind, and it is the rhythm that helps this something else to come out through the medium of words. The words by themselves do not carry it or cannot bring it out altogether, and this is shown by the fact that the same words written in a different order and without rhythm or without the proper rhythm would not at all move or impress you in the same way. This something else is an inner content or suggestion, a soul-feeling or a soul-experience, or vital feeling or life experience, a mental emotion, vision or experience (not merely an idea) and it is only if you can catch this and reproduce the experience in yourself, then you have got what the poem can give you, not otherwise.
"The real difference between a poem and a song is that a song is written with a view to being set to musical rhythm and a poem is written with a view to poetic rhythm or word music. These two rhythms are quite different. That is why a poem cannot be set to music unless it has either been written with an eye to both kinds of rhythms or else happens to have (without specially intending it) a movement which makes it easy or at least possible to set it to music. This happens often with lyrical poetry, less often with other kinds. There is also this usual character of a song that it is satisfied to be very simple in its content, bringing out a single idea or feeling, and leaving it to the music to develop it; but this is not always done." (4.7.31)
                                          - Sahana Devi

                                    (“Forty Years Ago”)

SRI AUROBINDO AND LORD KRISHNA


You can’t expect me to argue about my own spiritual greatness in comparison with Krishna’s. The question itself would be relevant only if there were two sectarian religions in opposition, Aurobindoism and Vaishnavism, each insisting on its own God’s greatness. That is not the case. And then what Krishna must I challenge, — the Krishna of the Gita who is the transcendent Godhead, Paramatma, Parabrahma, Purushottama, the cosmic Deity, Master of the universe, Vasudeva who is all, the Immanent in the heart of all creatures, or the Godhead who was incarnate at Brindavan and Dwarka and Kurukshetra and who was the guide of my Yoga and with whom I realised identity ? All that is not to me something philosophical or mental but a matter of daily and hourly realisation and intimate to the stuff of my consciousness. Then from what position can I adjudicate this dispute? X thinks I am superior in greatness, you think there can be nothing greater than Krishna: each is entitled to have his own view or feeling, whether it is itself right or not. It can be left there, …

                                                                              - Sri Aurobindo


(SABCL, Volume 26, page 136)



Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chance and Illusion


Chance is not in this universe;
the idea of illusion is itself an illusion.
There was never illusion
yet in the human mind that was not the concealing and disfigurement of a truth.
                                                                             - Sri Aurobindo
(Thoughts and Aphorisms 19)


Monday, April 4, 2011

Consequences of our actions


The Divine does not see things as men do and has no need to punish or reward. Each and every action carries in itself its fruit and its consequences.
According to the nature of the action, it brings you near to the Divine or takes you away from Him, and that is the supreme consequence.
                                                                                                    - The Mother

                                                                                             


Main Points in Sri Aurobindo’s Teachings


·         The human is a transitional being. A new spiritual life, a divine life on earth awaits him.
·         We can attain this new life on earth by making the effort of transformation.
·         We must not only cope with the problems of life but transform them so they are changed permanently.
·         Religion has failed to change the essential nature of man. It has not focused on permanent transformation, and has lost its relevancy in that regard. 
·         (Also each religion only expresses but one or two major rays of the spiritual reality; and hasn't the multi-rayed integral truth. The spiritual reality, which can be experienced by anyone at any time, expresses this multiple, integral, dynamic aspect of the Divine.)
·         The individual consists of the physical, vital, and mental plane. As we grow and evolve, we move from the lower to the higher aspect of each of these planes
·         Our physical, vital, and mental nature are filled with the limitations that need to be transformed -- the inconscience, inertia, and incapacity of the physical plane of our being; the passions, irrationality, attachments, and ego of the vital/emotional plane of our being; to the knowledge, perceptions, and insight of the mental plane. 
·         Most individuals are centered in their vital functioning. In the last 50 years or so there has been a rapid movement toward a centering in the mental consciousness.
·         Mind proper ranges from the sense-based mind (focused on interpreting that which our senses experience) to reasoning and conceptive mind.
·         Though mind proper is the highest of the three functionings, there are planes of spiritual mind above mind such as higher (silent) mind, illumined mind, intuitive mind, and Truth consciousness itself (supermind).
·         We begin the process of evolution, development, and transformation by becoming aware of the deficiencies of our nature, having the aspiration to overcome them, and then making the effort to change them.
·         We also make the movement within to touch our inner being (our psychic being, our personal soul force), which helps us move away from our ego sense and nature, our separateness, which also helps us overcome the limitations of our physical, vital, and mental nature, and also creates an opening to the spiritual Force above.
·         In his opus The Life Divine Sri Aurobindo explains the nature of the immutable Divine source of all, the Absolute (also called Brahman in the East); how the Absolute manifest the universe we live in; the nature of what was created, including matter, life, and mind in the universe, including man; and the purpose and destiny of the universe and the humanity.
·         The process that created the universe from the Divine Source, the Absolute, is the involution. That process begins when the Divine Absolute self-conceives a formation of forms. To begin this process the Absolute separates from a unitary Divine Reality and extends itself into a trinity of Existence, Consciousness-Force, and Bliss. Out of Consciousness-Force comes Energy, energy at rest, which then begins to move, and thus the beginnings of existence in the universe. The point up to the movement of energy is the involution. The process by which the universe though the emergence of the consecutive planes of matter, life, mind, and spirit reconnects with the underlying hidden spirit that enables the experience of the delight of being is called the evolution.
·         The purpose of the creation from the Divine Source is Delight of being. When we discover our higher nature we experience the delight of this discovery. In experiencing that delight we fulfill the very reason the Divine created the universe of being -- delight of being. [Also the greatest discovery is Self-Discovery of our True Self and Spirit, which creates the greatest Delight.]
·         The Divine Source was at first the Omnipresent Reality (the Absolute, Brahman); timeless, spaceless, ungraspable, immutable spirit. To begin the process of extending that spirit into a material universe it first became Existent, i.e. it began to exist as a reality beyond its unknowable state. This Existence (or Being) then extended Itself as a self-conscious Force. It further extended itself as Delighting in its existence, in Its being conscious of its existence. The Reality had become the triune of Existence-Consciousness Force-Delight(Sat-Chit-Ananda) to begin the process that would enable its Being/Spirit, its Force, Its Delight to extend to a created universe.
·         A fourth aspect, Supermind, emerged from the three to enable the universe to emerge. The Supermind (i.e. Supramental Consciousness) is the intermediary plane that enabled the cosmos, the universe to manifest from the conscious, delighting Being, the Spirit. Supermind thus in essence enabled the creation. It became the ordering mechanism that enabled the Absolute/Brahman to move from its original status of Existence, Consciousness-Force, and Bliss (Delight) into a universe of matter, life, and mind.
·         Supermind was/is the ordering mechanism that enabled the Force of the original Divine Spirit to manifest as material formations of that Force.
·         All of existence in the universe are forms of the original Force of spirit. I.e. matter, life, mind, etc. are all forms of this Force.
·         The universe, and hence the life within it was created in division and duality to enable the greatest multiplicity and variety of forms.
·         The struggle from the original inconscience of matter to life to mind to spirit is the evolution. The goal of the evolution, of life in the universe is to enable the spirit, the Force, and the Delight of being to emerge in all forms in the creation, including us.
·         We can make this effort of growth, evolution, even transformation on our own, but we can also be aided by the same Force that enabled the universe. This (Supramental) Force enables us to overcome the limitations of our own physical, vital, and mental nature; to overcome the inconscience, ignorance, falsehoods in our own lives and life in general; and enable a radical transformation of individuals and humanity into a higher functioning, perhaps a enabling a new species to emerge beyond the human, culminating in a divine life on earth.
·         We can also utilize the Force to effect life's actions and results. We can learn to bring in the Force to release the infinite potential in life, including our ability to bring about infinite accomplishment, success, and joy in our lives; to make every activity, action, situation, and circumstance end in perfection, in ways never thought of, releasing the infinite potential and unity that lurks behind.

We can learn the secrets to literally move and effect the world outside ourselves fromwithin ourselves by connecting with our Inner, Psychic Being, personal soul; and then further opening to the infinite, ever creative, ever unifying, timeless, spaceless, causal actions and powers of the Supramental Consciousness. 
·         The discovery of our inner, personal soul or psychic being is the way out of our ego, separateness, universal Ignorance, and the divisions and dualities of existence. Connecting thus within and a further opening to the Supramental Force and Consciousness is the key to our progress and transformation, and to the transformation of the society out of its ignorance, falsehood, division, suffering, and pain. 
·         When we open to spirit it expresses as any of Truth, Knowledge, Power, Oneness, Peace, Delight, Beauty, and Love.
·         One of the experiences of the Divine Consciousness is the experience of harmony, Oneness, and Unity of being; oneness within ourselves; and oneness with that which is outside ourselves. Through Oneness we broaden our perspective beyond our ego, ourselves, to the all, and thus to that vaster realm of possibility. From that deeper and broader status we can much more easily find greater solutions to the mysteries, issues, and problems of life. Likewise institutions and nations functioning from this status of Oneness within itself and outside itself can see the solutions to all problems, as well as the development of new, unthought of possibilities.
·         "All problems in life are problems of harmony." Any problem that exists can be resolved by finding a higher harmony than currently exists between and among parties, entities, and individuals. There is therefore no problem that cannot be solved by rising to a higher harmony that resolves the contradictions that exist at the previous level. When we live in our higher consciousness we are far more able to see the higher harmony that is emerging, that is in potential, which then known we can help bring about in the world. We develop this higher consciousness by living more within in the depths, and by opening to the Force around us. [Editing point]
·         The individual has not only his individual purpose, but a purpose and destiny that relates to the social environment, the collective, and the universe itself.
·         Through the individual the collective purpose and the universe's purpose is fulfilled. The ultimate status of the individual then is to find his true Individual Self (his psychic being, i.e. the personal evolving soul), and to also discover his Universal Self and even his Transcendent Self.
·         By overcoming one's limited propensities one begins on the path of personal growth. By moving within into the depths one begins to rise in consciousness to the point where he discovers his personal evolving soul. He is then open to universal truths and powers, his inner guide which guides him along the way, and to the higher truth and knowledge that is emerging in the atmosphere at any moment. He discovers the unity with everything around him. He then can more easily open to the Force living a consecrated life so all actions he takes end in perfection and infinite results, and he can further surrender his very existence to this Force in all aspects of his life so that his own will and purpose is one with the Divine purpose.
·         Man's ultimate evolutionary possibility is the supramental transformation of his being. By opening to the Supramental Consciousness and calling in its properties, we see the emergence of a new type of individual, living in a unitary consciousness that is one with all parts of his being, one with everything around it; with the total knowledge, comprehension, and understanding of the truth of every moment, that enables him to take the right and most perfect action at any moment in time. He becomes one with the flow of the universal action and the Divine spirit. Individuals living in such a poise has great positive influence and oneness with the activities, projects, institutions, organizations, communities, nations, societies that he is engaged in or connected to. His involvement lend itself to fantastic successes for any of these, enabling the greatest efficiencies of success; i.e. enabled the greatest results with the least effort in the shortest period of time.
·         Eventually we begin to see the emergence of a coming together of such individuals in a collective life. These individuals become harbingers of a new type of existence; a society steeped in the inner consciousness and spirit, releasing its infinite potential, culminating in a new type of life, a divine life on earth.
                                                                                                               - Roy Posner