A trap is always there for genuine souls. A sponsored hand is always there. Negative forces are all the time trying best to keep you confused about the reality. A truly conscious mind is aware of all these developments quite well.The sponsored love, sponsored hatred, sponsored disputes, sponsored issues, and , above all, sponsored whistle blowers, supported by hidden negative forces, make the cause of genuine souls weak. That’s the worst development. That’s why if there arises any opportunity to wipe out negative forces, do it well, not for the sake of one’s natural moral duty but for the sake of cause of genuine souls. It would help to create space for right people.
The only option left for positive forces is to keep doing what’s in their hands. One cannot change the whole world.That not even an Avatara (Lord’s incarnation) can do. However, we must do all that’s possible in our own capacity. At least, in that regard, we should not be reluctant in playing our part well. Our whole energy gets lost in blaming others. Let’s learn to play our part well. Our small insignificant steps also matter a lot in resurrecting right values. I agree negative forces are in operation in much organized way but that’s no excuse for the right souls not to do anything. Let’s play our part well. It’s entirely in our hands either to be swayed by Manisha’s innocence or Katrina’s sex appeal!
We need better rulers. We need conscious individuals, who can get their priorities right. That’s the only way we can bring better changes. Or else, a “better future” shall always remain an utopia. It’s a sad commentary on state of present day affairs that people at helm of affairs are behaving in irresponsible manner. This tendency has to be curbed that you can fool all the people all the time !
And as we do that, let’s allow the wrong souls to laugh at our efforts. Their ridiculing, their taunting, their silly remarks and their devaluation should only encourage the right souls to remain on right track. A good and powerful soul should refuse to be disappointed. Let that’s be the case with all good souls really wishing to act as agent of change. Let’s that be the guiding force of all positive elements. I don’t know about others but my aim is absolutely clear: Wipe out the negative forces in totality as much as you can.
But be careful as you get involved in the process of resurrection of better ideals. “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” So never ignore the strength of stupid people. The power of stupidity should not be undervalued. It would take few minutes to wipe out Lord Rama but the arrival of another Lord Rama takes place million of years. It’s easy to demolish any good formation but to simultaneously create another beautiful world at the same speed is beyond the capabilities of human beings. That could be better understood if we witness the impact of atomic attack in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The future generations paid heavy price for attack which lasted for few minutes. “लम्हों ने खता की है…सदियों ने सजा पाई ” ( The errors got committed in few seconds, but many generations paid the price). Therefore, the good souls need to be wise enough while handling the ”Aasurs” ( Demons) and “Aasuri Vrittis” ( Demoniacal Orientations). The beautiful souls should realize their worth and keep themselves safe until the “Lord’s Will” finally ask them to quit the drama of life. This beautiful Urdu couplet says all:
हजारों साल नरगिस अपनी बेनूरी पर रोती है,
बड़ी मुश्किल से होता है चमन में दीदावर पैदा।
- Allama Iqbal
( For a thousand years the narcissus has been lamenting its blindness;
With great difficulty the one with true vision is born in the garden )
It really fills my heart with bliss that this part of the world originally hailed as Aryavrata, now known as Bharat (India), has always produced evolved souls, having the capacity to delve deep into the world of mysticism in effortless manner- a reason why this part of the land is viewed with great wonder by people living in the other part of the hemisphere. I often meet yogis/saints, witnessing many such mysterious phenomenon related with world of Yoga, but this feeling saddens me that, back in past, when great saints and spiritually advanced yogis, roamed on this land quite frequently, I wasn’t fortunate enough to be the part of that era! It’s interesting to note that these great souls played different roles as per need of the society. Some roamed in jungles, some lived in caves, some lived as householder, and some became part of mainstream affairs, even as they retained their ascetic robes, to shape the destiny of Bharat-the land of divine principles.
True, many fake Gurus, have turned religion into a most lucrative affair, but it remains ultimate truth that India is intrinsically wedded to yogic principles. This land, in absence of spiritual values, would not be able to survive. May be currents of time sometimes lead to clash of values, but this nation has the capacity to absorb contradictions and conflicts in easygoing way. Like myself, others too, would have not believed the glory of Indian spiritual world, had saints like Swami Vivekananda not appeared in the modern phase of civilization. His presence was certain sign of the fact that supreme consciousness was still in operation. Swami Vivekananda removed my doubt that great yogis were mainly confined to storybooks; that great tales of yogic feats were exaggerated description of imaginative minds. However, after reading life-sketch of, Sri Aurobindo, I became truly confirmed that people in league with extraordinary psychic powers, were not only part of ancient India but they were very much part of modern India as well.
However, today I wish to remain confined to world of Swami Vivekananda, since on this very day, 12 January, 1863, this Avatara of Lord Shiva, manifested on earthly plane. He was an extraordinary person in his lifetime but one who had normal childhood. He involved in naughty pranks like any other child of that age. However, the thing that separated him from others was that he frequently got absorbed in higher form of consciousness. As he grew up and took admission in college life, he was the one who loved to read various philosophies, roped in by great teachers in past. In other words, he remained hooked to intellectual plane alone! That was not the final destination of a great mind like him placed on route to realization. The Updesha Vakyas (Directive Statements) found in Upanishads were yet to culminate into Anubhuti Vakyas or Anubhava Vakyas ( realized truths).
A great truth of the world of spirituality is that a willing seeker or a qualified seeker soon comes to find a Guru (The Master). The same thing happened with Swami Vivekananda, when he met with Sri Ramakrishna. Naturally, that turned out to be life-defining moment for Swami Vivekananda. He soon emerged as a realized soul. In fact, he was always a realized soul and able Guru like Sri Ramakrishna merely ensured that ignorance inside him which made him see himself as ordinary mortal get vanished for forever. It’s interesting to note that in pre-Independence era, we had host of great spiritual souls, who ensured that India’s journey in future as independent nation takes place amid certain special values. The Western world, and we Indians too, remember him mainly because of his great speech at Parliament of the World’s Religions, delivered on 11 September 1893, in Chicago. Not many are aware of the fact that it wasn’t a smooth journey and there was lack of funds to sponsor this visit, and surprisingly, he was not allowed to participate in the conference because of lack of endorsement from a well known organisation. It was only after the intervention of Professor John Henry Wright of Harvard University he got the chance to participate in this conference. Wright was so taken aback that he had to say: “To ask for your credentials is like asking the sun to state its right to shine in the heavens.”
Anyway, a soul of his stature, does not appear on earth for attainment of petty goals. He arrived to make supreme consciousness part of this land, which appears to be heart of the universe. If it stops functioning, the other civilizations are bound to collapse one after another. Although if one has a close look at the life of Swami Vivekananda, one would notice that he suffered life-long at the hands of mediocre minds but today when he is now no more in physical form, his own words have come true that real significance of his achievements would manifest after many years of his death. I must say that now when India is struggling hard to keep its ancient identity- the land of spirituality- intact, the words of Swami Vivekananda offer great solace, great strength. In other words, his thoughts and thoughts of other great minds are keeping at bay values antithetical to its spiritual essence. These great souls have now become active at subtle level, considering the way we have begun to realize that their thoughts alone could brighten our lives marred by ills of materialism.
It’s upon us that we either follow their way and emerge as an evolved being or ignore their wisdom to emerge as “dirty picture” of crass values. “All the powers in universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.” (Swami Vivekananda). Isn’t it the right thing to live life in light of these great values? Is there any merit in dying like a retarded lamb when you could have always roared like a lion? Let’s attempt for such huge transformation from this very moment.
(Today we are celebrating the birthday of Shri Radhaji. I am posting this article, an ode to female power, to mark the occasion. The article has been previously published in Northern India Patrika, 2001; Soham, bilingual International magazine, 2005; British edition of Indowaves)
Radha holds a special place in the hearts of Radha-Krishna devotees. Krishna without Radha can never be meditated upon, and that explains why Janmashtmi is incomplete without Radhashtmi’s celebrations in full fervour. On this day devotees plunge into a state of euphoria in Vraja where it is celebrated with grandeur. Radharani, daughter of Brishabhanu and Kalawati, was born in Barsaane fifteen days after Krishna’s birth in Mathura. Radha being ‘hladinishakti’ (the power of bliss) of Shri Krishna always remains in unison with him. Radhashtmi, her appearance day, is viewed by the devotees as a day that leads an aspirant on to the path of bhakti and bliss—a step closer towards absolute merging of the lover in the beloved. Radha’s grace alone provide as supreme Bhakti (devotion) and it is she who makes a seeker’s union with Krishna a reality.
According to Padma Purana, Gopis (cow-herd girls) were Rishis of Dandakarnya who had expressed their desire to be in intimate service of Lord Rama. Lord Rama had then told them to wait till his next incarnation as Krishna takes place in Dvapar age. Upanishads, too, appeared in the form of Gopis to participate in Leelas (divine gestures) of Krishna. Gopis who embraced the lotus feet of Lord Krishna have been classified into several categories due to difference in attitude and service. Some are sadhna –oriented i.e. they have attained Gopi bhava because of austerities performed in their earlier births whereas some are in service of Krishna from beginning (Nitya-priya). It is said that a jeeva( worldly soul) attains Gopi bhava through intense tapas. Radha, Chandraravali Visakha, Lalita, Shyama and Padma were prominent Gopis. Shri Radharani is of Mahabhava Swaroopa and, therefore, she stands apart from others as the Chief Gopika.
Raadhika possesses infinite qualities prominent among them being twenty five, which includes chief among Krishna-priyas, soft-spoken, clever, and adept in classical form of music, Rasaswaroopa kind-hearted, owner of pious smile and unusual depth within. Her actions are borne out of desire to serve and please Govinda.
Surdas gives a loving detail of the first meeting of Radha and Krishna. One day Shri Krishna while engaged in the Bal Leela (childhood gesture) happens to reach the bank of Yamuna. He is surprised, as well as delighted, to find there a new face which was glowing with supreme beauty. Krishna, left dumb struck by such a beauty could not resist himself from asking her name, “I have never seen you before in Brija.Who are you?” he asked. “Why should I come to ever come to Brija, I have too many friends to play with at my place. I have come to know that Nanda’s son is a big trouble-maker who excels in the art of stealing,” she shot back. Krishna, determined to get her company said, “What do you possess that I am going to steal from you and which you fear to lose? Come let’s play together. We would form an excellent pair.” Poor Radha she didn’t realize that what she was going to lose—heart the most valuable possession of any woman.
The conjugal relationship between Radha and Krishna is pinnacle of Madhurya Bhava (the bliss oriented state). At this point it is necessary to mention that Parmatma (Supreme Self) is one-without-a-second! Therefore no leela (divine act) is possible in this state. In the madhurya bhava, Nirguna Parabrahman is supposed to have a form with which a bhakta can establish a relationship. Gradually moving through five principle bhavas a stage comes when a bhakta cares little for worldly obligations and principles. This is the peak point popularly known as “Kanta Bhava’in Vaishnava literature. Something that separates Rasa leela from ordinary leelas is whereas the former takes place at yoga maya level, the latter is performed at Mahamaya level (highest plane of consciousness). Surdas considers total surrendering and forgetfulness of body consciousness essential for maturity of Madhurya Bhava. Bhagvan Ramakrishna said, “I have spent a few days in Radha Bhava. On those occasions I use to dress like woman. It is indeed impossible to sing the glory of Radha who is embodiment of refined virtue and supreme love.”
Gross mundane realities prevent us from having a glimpse of Rasa leela of Radha and Krishna but bhaktas like Surdas are always absorbed in their Madhurya. Explaining the reason of deep love between Radha and Krishna Surdas cites chidhod fancies. He feels a bond of friendship formed in the childhood contains in it the seeds of deep love, which under favourable circumstances get converted into life-long commitment. Gaudiya cult provides an absolutely a different explanation. Here love already exists in their hearts and its growth is not dependant on outside influences. Similarly Radha conceived by Chandidas is too sensitive whose heart aches on hearing the name of Madhava.
Perhaps differences in their outlook are the result of bhava that captivated their hearts, which is in each case unique. So Radha of Surdas has egocentric tendencies. She not only humiliates Krishna but even rebukes him on trivial issues. So what if in isolation she weeps for Krishna, her heart always aching for intimate moments. It is this duality in her behavior and paradoxical approach that keeps Krishna guessing whenever He meets her. On the other hand, Vidyapati’s Radha too has ego but it subsides when she faces Krishna. Radha perceived by Chandidas is completely devoid of ego. She neither reacts nor retaliates but remains absorbed in His thoughts.
Vaishnavaas have carved unique image of Radha, which has no parallel. It is so because Vaishnavas don’t consider Bhakti to be bhava, Bahakti is ‘Rasa’ to them. Though Radha does not figure in clearly in Bhagavat Purana, she is the prime character of Brahma Vaivarta and Padma Purana. Jaideva’s appearance on the scene in 12th century makes Radharani comes into limelight. It is believed that these two Puranas and Geeta Govinda of Jayadeva established her as paragon of love and virtue. But it was Nimbakacharya who first revealed philosophical aspects of Shri Radha’s various dimensions. Lord has two powers namely Kriyashakti (power to perform) and Gyanaskati (power to seek knowledge). Satyabhama (Bhudevi) represents the former while the Rukamani(Sridevi) stands for the latter. In Radha, these two powers get unified and she thus becomes Parashakti (supreme power) of the Lod. In this form these two powers attain a non –dual relationship with the Lord but in their individual state retain their particular relationship. Thus, exists a distinction when one fails to identify with Sri Radha. Sri Nimabakacharya provides a much elevated status to Radha. She becomes Bhakti or Brahman Vidya (Knowledge of self) which liberates jeeva from bondage of Maya. In other words, she becomes a Supreme Master.
Shri Krishna, who always remains one with her, is called “Atma Rama”. Krishna states in Padma Purana: ‘Know Radhika to be best of teachers of the Highest Knowledge—Knowledge of Brahman.’ Let us pray that she appears on the earth again and again. If Radha arrives how can Krishna remain far behind? May we get devotion for her so that our hearts get purified to receive her grace. And, thus, we become one of the participants of ever happening grand ‘Rasa leela of Radha and Krishna ’.
Some Popular Bhajans Associated With Her:
The Hindu scriptures have dealt with the rebirth phenomenon much earlier than any other modern civilization. The Vedas, Upanishads, and, above all, Bhagavad-gita, especially its chapter 2 & 6, have dissected this complex issue in a scientific and clinical manner. Assuring Arjuna not to worry about the fate of his body Krishna says ,” For the soul there is never birth nor death .Nor, having once been does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.”(Bhagavad-gita 2.20)
Our psuedo -secularists and worshipers of scientific superstitions might make these declarations butt of ridicule but leading thinkers in past have come to held the insights of Indian sages in high esteem. For instance,Emerson states that ‘ The soul comes from without into the human body,as into a temporary abode,and it goes out of it anew…it passes into other habitations,for the soul is immortal.’ Even Socrates is not afraid to conclude that ‘I am confident that these truly is such a thing as living again,that the living spring from the dead,and that the souls of the dead are in existence.’
Tolstoy who believes that fate of man is to morph into God categorically states that ‘ As we live through thousands of dreams in our present life,so is our present life only one of many thousands of such lives which we enter from the other more real life …and then return after death.’ One hopes we learn to respect and honour our cultural legacy in an intelligent fashion rather than criticizing it to be in tune with with modernity !
Sri Aurobindo played an instrumental role in shaping the destiny of this nation. It’s a great coincidence that India achieved freedom on the day when he manifested as human being on this planet earth. As a scholar and poet we find him penning a masterpiece like “Savitri’. As a revolutionary we find him engaged in explaining the masses true meaning of liberty. However, he did not wandered on this planet merely to help India attain freedom. He came to prepare a new thought force that would guide the path of this nation for many centuries. He came to unleash a spiritual consciousnesses, which would help this nation of Yogis and Rishis to remain on right path amid onslaught of negative forces. This very short and slender bodied person was a divine figure but who chose to remain between us like a simple person. In him and mother we could very well see the reflection of bond that held Radha and Krishna together. Let’s devote some time in company of his thoughts and vision. At least, this much we can do for this person who made immeasurable contributions for Bharat Mata and her children.
India believes in and has the key to a psychical world within man and without him which is the source and basis of the material. This it is which Europe is beginning dimly to discover. She has caught glimpses of the world beyond the gates, her hands are fumbling for the key but she has not yet found it. Immortality proved and admitted, it becomes easier to believe in God. The spiritual message is that the universal self is one and that our souls are not only brothers, not only of one substance and nature, but live in and move towards an essential oneness. It follows that Love is the highest law and that to which evolution must move. Ananda, joy and delight, are the object of the lila and the fulfilment of love is the height of joy and delight. Self-sacrifice is therefore the fundamental law. Sacrifice, says the Gita, is the law by which the Father of all in the beginning conditioned the world, and all ethics, all conduct, all life is a sacrifice willed or unconscious. The beginning of ethical knowledge is to realise this and make the conscious sacrifice of one’s own individual desires. It is an inferior and semi-savage morality which gives up only to gain and makes selfishness the basis of ethics. To give up one’s small individual self and find the larger self in others, in the nation, in humanity, in God, that is the law of Vedanta. That is India’s message. Only she must not be content with sending it, she must rise up and live it before all the world so that it may be proved a possible law of conduct both for men and nations.
-Sri Aurobindo In Karmayogin ; Vol.I. Saturday 26th June 1909 No.2.
Source: Aurobindo in Karmayogin
There is not the slightest doubt that our society will have to undergo a reconstruction which may amount to revolution, but it will not be for Europeanisation as the average reformer blindly hopes, but for a greater and more perfect realisation of the national spirit in society. Not individual selfishness and mutually consuming struggle but love and the binding of individuals into a single inseparable life is the national impulse. It sought to fulfil itself in the past by the bond of blood in the joint family, by the bond of a partial communism in the village system, by the bond of birth and a corporate sense of honour in the caste. It may seek a more perfect and spiritual bond in the future. In commerce also so long as we follow the European spirit and European model, the individual competitive selfishness, the bond of mere interest in the joint-stock company or that worst and most dangerous development of co-operative Capitalism, the giant octopus-like Trust and Syndicate, we shall never succeed in rebuilding a healthy industrial life. It is not these bonds which can weld Indians together. India moves to a deeper and greater life than the world has yet imagined possible and it is when she has found the secret of expressing herself in these various activities that her industrial and social life will become strong and expansive.
Nationalism has been hitherto largely a revolt against the tendency to shape ourselves into the mould of Europe; but it must also be on its guard against any tendency to cling to every detail that has been Indian. That has not been the spirit of Hinduism in the past, there is no reason why it should be so in the future. In all life there are three elements, the fixed and permanent spirit, the developing yet constant soul and the brittle changeable body. The spirit we cannot change, we can only obscure or lose; the soul must not be rashly meddled with, must neither be tortured into a shape alien to it, nor obstructed in its free expansion; and the body must be used as a means, not over-cherished as a thing valuable for its own sake. We will sacrifice no ancient form to an unreasoning love of change, we will keep none which the national spirit desires to replace by one that is a still better and truer expression of the undying soul of the nation.
-Sri Aurobindo In Karmayogin ; Vol.I. Saturday 26th June 1909 No.2
Source: Sri Aurobindo in Karmayogin
Our ideal is that of Swaraj or absolute autonomy free from foreign control. We claim the right of every nation to live its own life by its own energies according to its own nature and ideals. We reject the claim of aliens to force upon us a civilisation inferior to our own or to keep us out of our inheritance on the untenable ground of a superior fitness. While admitting the stains and defects which long subjection has induced upon our native capacity and energy, we are conscious of that capacity and energy reviving in us. We point to the unexampled national vigour which has preserved the people of this country through centuries of calamity and defeat, to the great actions of our forefathers continued even to the other day, to the many men of intellect and character such as no other nation in a subject condition has been able to produce, and we say that a people capable of such unheard-of vitality is not one which can be put down as a nation of children and incapables. We are in no way inferior to our forefathers. We have brains, we have courage, we have an infinite and various national capacity. All we need is a field and an opportunity. That field and opportunity can only be provided by a national government, a free society and a great Indian culture. So long as these are not conceded to us, we can have no other use for our brains, courage and capacity than to struggle unceasingly to achieve them.
-Sri Aurobindo In Karmayogin ; Vol.I. Saturday 31st July 1909 No.6
Source: Sri Aurobindo in Karmayogin
Never forget that you are not alone. The Divine is with you helping and guiding you. He is the companion who never fails, the friend whose love comforts and strengthens. The more you feel lonely, the more you are ready to perceive His luminous Presence. Have faith and He will do everything for you.
- 27 September 1951
“I say, of the Congress, then, this, – that its aims are mistaken, that the spirit in which it proceeds towards their accomplishment is not a spirit of sincerity and whole-heartedness, and that the methods it has chosen are not the right methods, and the leaders in whom it trusts, not the right sort of men to be leaders; – in brief, that we are at present theblind led, if not by the blind, at any rate by the one-eyed.”
” I thought that a yoga which requires me to give up the world was not for me. I had to liberate my country. I took it up seriously when I learnt that the same tapasya which one does to get away from the world can be turned to action. I learnt that yoga gives power and thought: why should I not get the power and use it to liberate my country?”
“What Sri Aurobindo represents in the world’s history is not a teaching, not even a revelation; it is a decisive action direct from the Supreme.”
Therefore Sri Aurobindo declared, in no uncertain terms that nobody could write his biography:
“Neither you nor anyone else knows anything at all of my life; it has not been on the surface for men to see.”
In Integral Yoga, God-realisation means merely standing at the shore of the vast sea of Consciousness. The fire-pure change of the inner and outer life means swimming in that sea. Manifestation of the Divine on earth means returning Home after having crossed the sea, bringing with you the Golden All.
It is not a dream of God but His Decree that Heaven and earth must fall supremely in love with each other. He wants their marriage to take place sooner than immediately. Earth feels that she is inferior to Heaven. Heaven feels that he is superior to earth. And because of their mutual hesitation, the day of their marriage is kept in abeyance.
Integral Yoga has made a significant choice. It wants not only to see and feel the conscious evolution of life, but also to embody a fully harmonised life of Matter and Spirit.
An Integral Yogi is he who sacrifices his life to become a bridge between earth and Heaven. He has foregone Heaven; he uplifts earth.
The aspirant in man is the cross-bearer. The Yogi in man is the crown-bearer.
To say that Yoga is the realisation of God is not to say all. Yoga is the living union with God by self-affirmation and self-abnegation.
“To save the pious, to punish the wicked, to protect religion I create myself in every age” [and continued:] “So said God. This you will only realize by belief and firm faith. Three demons have been created in the world. The first is a nation having a desire to enrich itself by looting wealth of others. The second is a nation having a desire to extend supremacy over other nations by grinding them down. The third is an atheist.
“The time is near at hand when God will appear in the world. We should put aside self-interest and work in unity with each other. When the time comes the 33 crores of gods will destroy the above said demons. We should, therefore, trust in God. India is bound to prosper and religion will spread.”
_Sri Aurobindo’s speech at Nasik