The proposed study of Consciousness as defined and spiritually practiced by the three Great Saints of Contemporary India is of great interest. It involves three different approaches to attainment of highest level of Consciousness by a yogi Purusha. The most modern scientist-spiritualist Maharishi Mahesh Yogi interpreted Veda in scientific terms. His approach to Consciousness appeals to all rationalist and spiritual seekers of modern times. It has tremendous impact on contemporary society. This aspect needs to be studied in-depth at different levels of community, society and nations. While Maharishi Mahesh Yogi approaches Consciousness as Vedic Doctrine and interprets it in terms of modern Physics, Biology and Genetics, there are saints who have had no formal education at College level and have attained greatest heights in spiritual development. Sri Ramana Maharshi and Swami Ramakrishna and Swami Yogananda are great examples and a model to us. However, Sri Aurobindo is one of the greatest scholar- saints of our times whose adventure in Consciousness is simply astounding. He is attaining to ranks of ancient Rishis who had a glimpse of the Lord, the Creator and observed Him in action. These are Vedic Seers whose consciousness reached the level of ‘Brahm’ or universal Consciousness. Sri Aurobindo aimed at this in attaining to Supramental levels through the technique of ‘descent of Consciousness fro the Universal to the individual instead of raising it to Sahasrar level from the Kundalini at the individual level. He aspired for the spread of this individual to the collective level of Consciousness and tries to transform the whole society, the whole national and then the entire world. This approach to development of Consciousness at the individual and the national level in India is the need of the hour.
This project makes an attempt in this direction in the Aurobindo Centre for Study of Consciousness at Belgaum in Karnataka, India.
A comparative study of Sri Aurobindo and Sri Ramana Maharshi on the one hand and Sri Ramakrishna and Maharshi Mahesh Yogi on the other makes a very interesting study. Their different approaches are studies carefully and the intricacies of Spiritual exercises Sadhana to attain these levels are discussed here after a practical experiment by the author with Transcendental Meditation [TM] program.
*Director, the Aurobindo Centre for Study of Consciousness,Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Belgaum-6
PERSPECTIVES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
-The Scientific, Philosophical and Spiritual Aspects
Dr. Tippur N, Achuta Rao, Ph.D.
The history of human development through the ages is reflected in the civilization of man. It is reflected in the art and crafts, science and technological progress, and his philosophy of life. History of development of man is the history of development of Consciousness. Man and his consciousness go together; however, not all are conscious of this and most of us live and work without being consciously aware of our own ‘being’. This is evident in the disparities in social, economic, and spiritual development of the people in the world. Even the most advanced country in the world has dark patches. Not all countries are equal in their ability to manage and develop their resources and manpower and most of them are still backward. The factors that constitute this diverse development and the role of Consciousness in development are the vital questions addressed in this research project.
There are the scientific aspects of development and man has shown his ingenuity in cloning and sending man to space and getting back repeatedly, and has successfully landed on moon; he has plans to colonizing a part of it. But not all scientific development is in human interest and some are threatening his very existence.
Then, there are the moral, ethical, and philosophical aspects of development. Here again, the disparities in level of consciousness are much evident in the life style and ways of thinking. Here again, not all of this philosophy is in human interest, and it has come as a threat to the very existence of man on earth. This is evident from the global unrest, terrorism and fundamentalist and religious dogmatism. Man is a rational animal but his rationale is limited to his worldly attainments and, it is not in human interest, and definitely not in raising the collective consciousness. Individual development is no regional or national development.
All these above maladies of development can be erased and a new world order for a permanent peaceful social and economic development is possible from the spiritual development of man. Here, the path shown by Sri Aurobindo, Sri Ramana Maharshi, and Sri Maharishi Mahesh Yogi are very important. These three yogis are selected as representatives of the three different perspectives of Consciousness the yogis have had and the means they adopt in their attainment to the highest level of Consciousness. Sri Aurobindo is a Master of Arts and Sri Mahesh Yogi is Master of Science; Sri Ramana Maharshi is a spiritually attained person of the highest order by sheer Sadhana and Samskara. Even the non-formal education that some yogis have had in their childhood days is no obstacle to attainment to highest level of Consciousness and its associated spiritual development as proved by Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Yogananda and others.
The burning problem of our people in this great country of Yogis is that they have forgotten their antecedents, their history and culture, their ancient civilization, their sanatana dharma. The need of the hour is to restore this ancient civilization of the Vedic period- one of pure Consciousness. There was a BHARAT where there were no widows, no thefts, no cheating and crimes! Can we restore that pristine glory? No matter we eat a single meal or a half but do not tell a lie; no matter we lie on a mattress in the cold and the dark, we do not steal others property. We stand by the doctrines of Ishavasya Upanishad and practice it in daily life. We shall regain our lost Consciousness and live true to our Consciousness.
This Research Project is undertaken in three different phases and will first cover the basic concepts and then the entire field of Consciousness- science, philosophy and spirituality aspects of it.
The Introductory aspects are covered in the enclosed book entitled:MAHAVISHNU-
THE POORNAPRAJNYA AND HIS PRAJNYAADHAARAA.