( The article first appeared in The Speaking Tree Column, Jammu Plus, The Times Of India)
The world is not the right place for people endorsing out-of the-box thoughts. The world recognizes only stereotyped emotions. It’s not a pessimistic assertion but it’s a result of head on encounter with realism. It’s the essence which keeps natural earthly phenomenon in organized state. It’s the way which has happened in the past. Socrates told truth, and was offered poison! Galileo’s ideas which supported heliocentric world system were considered violation of Catholic Church teachings that the Earth was the center of the universe. That ensured a house arrest for Galileo for rest part of his life. India has also seen episodes wherein the exceptional souls faced the same disastrous consequences.
Meera challenged the monarchy by loving Krishna. She was put on trial by the near and dear ones. The ever-present God’s hand came to her rescue. Prahlad refused to gave way to his father’s belief that he was Supreme, and instead placed his faith in the Vishnu’s mystical power. That brought him against the powerful administration run by his father but as we all know Lord’s Vishnu incarnation as Narasimha came to establish as to who exactly controlled the universe.
It would not be wrong to suggest that “the way of this world is, to praise dead saints, and persecute living ones.” The moment one tries to rope in better ideas, a rush of mass of negativism tries to annihilate it. There may be some fortunate souls whom lady luck allowed to have fertile ground for execution of their dreams but for a greater lot the story has been to move from one conventional norm to another. For average souls, the world is okay. For them it had been an easy task to imbibe all contradictions and evils in name of “practical adjustment” but that’s not the case with people having heightened sensitiveness. Their own ethics prevents them from picking up anything and treating as its own. The so-called practical souls since they stand for nothing other than having deep faith in loose irrational principles are often hailed as pragmatist. “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” So they emerge as successful. They are the champions of pragmatism. They are the ones who are the real heroes for people trapped in livelihood struggles.
However, life is deadly ash. That’s why Lord Shiva’s whole body is smeared with deadly ash. Once you have a real interaction, absolute deadly realization, the ability to make fraudulent dealings gets wiped out totally. Your spirit refuses to participate in worldly affairs, not imbibing everything in name of changes of time. It becomes selective in conscious way. It’s like attaining the “Sthitpragya” state – the state of absolute equanimity attained as result of identification with highest consciousness in a perfect way. Lord Krishna has referred to it in Srimad Bhagvad Geeta:
Prajahati yada kaman sarvan partha mano-gatan
atmany evatmana tustah sthita-prajnas tadocyate
-Lord Krishna said, O Arjuna when gives up all desires for sense gratification produced within the mind and becoming satisfied by the realization of the self in the pure state of the soul; then it is said one is properly situated in perfect knowledge.
True, once that state is attained, the person with such a state of mind refuses to sway with happenings of the world. Nothing seems to change externally but the inner being of such a person undergoes revolutionary transformation. That might make him a failure from worldly materialistic evaluation but in kingdom of souls he is the king of souls like the God principle. He refuses to endorse the worldly orientations and instead walks all alone on path built of out-of-the-box thoughts.
Like always, the worldly temptations manifest for such a soul to distract him. No wonder, Swami Vivekananda treats the path of realization akin to walking on the razor’s edge. The seeker until realization dawns upon him should need to remain highly vigilant, maintaining high level of “viveka shakti”- the sense of making wise choices. In Bhagavad Geeta, Lord Krishna warns the seekers that they should not give way to superficial attainments by worshiping lesser Gods, and thus should not pay much attention to Vedic verses aimed at appeasing him.
Yavan artha udapane sarvatah samplutodake
tavan sarvesu vedesu brahmansya vijanatah (Chapt.2; Verse 46)
- All that is served in well of water is better served by a vast lake; similarly, all the purpose in all Vedic scriptures are realized to he who knows the ultimate truth.
So let’s learn to travel alone even as the route passes through worldly happenings, under the shadow of out-of-the-box thoughts with a conscious and alert mind.
I curiously awaited the screening of the movie “Ship of Theseus“, which had managed to elicit great remarks from leading directors of Indian cinema landscape. The film festival in Allahabad, organised by Dainik Jagran, provided me an opportunity to watch this movie. In eyes of Shekhar Kapoor, the movie marked the arrival of “a brilliant new filmmaker” while Shyam Benegal could not resist himself from stating that it’s a “rare film that engages your mind, emotions and senses in equal measure providing the viewer a cinematic experience that is both hugely entertaining and stimulating”. The movie was inspired from the dilemma whether or not the object remains same if its components undergo total replacement. In this movie the promising young director, Anand Gandhi, has interconnected three different short stories, each dealing with a different issue, but underlying theme remains the same. The first one dealt with visually impaired photographer, who lost her intuitive ability to capture striking images after a successful cornea transplant operation. The second story depicted an ailing monk, questioning life and death via his ongoing fight for rights of animals meant for conducting experiments during preparation of medicines. The third and the final story highlighted corrupt practices prevalent in medical world, wherein a stockbroker tries to place in dock persons involved in organ trade racket.
I am not the sort of person to go entirely by the rave reviews by big names from the world of cinema. In fact, even the sentiments of well-known directors fail to impress me. “Seeing is believing” has always been the principle which defined my approach, especially while anticipating the worth of a movie. And thus, contrary to the general consensus, I found the acting of Aida El-Kashef ( Aliya in movie as visually impaired photographer) and Farza Khan (Aliya’s live-in-boyfriend in the movie) absolutely horrible. The exhibition of emotions was synthetic and loud. Great movies do not begin that way. The agony that should have hit her, in the aftermath of loss of her intuitive abilities, never got reflected in her mannerism. The saving grace came in the form of crispy thought provoking dialogues: “Does reality exist when no one is looking?” It’s the deep concerns which the characters portray compensates the poor acting.
The movie gained substance with the arrival of crazy monk Maitreya (Neeraj Kabi). Not only humour element got elevated but even the thematic shortcomings got balanced due to superb acting skills demonstrated by Neeraj Kabi and Vinay Shukla ( Carvaka in the movie). This part of the movie successfully conveyed that contradictions rules the lives and a perfect life is healthy assimilation of contradictions. A person should not be too rigid while pursuing noble cause since it comes in the way of fulfillment of goals. It might also limit one’s ability to make better choices. The rigidity displayed by Maitreya is in the eyes of Carvaka- the lawyer who believed in learning arguments of both the sides- was not very different than fundamentalism exhibited by a suicide bomber! This lawyer, follower of Pastafarianism, induces great deal of pragmatism when he tries to create a fitting place for the contradictions. Anyway, Maitreya does impress us all when he places reasons above crude sentimentality!
Well, it’s crude sentimentality which always makes its presence felt in Indian movies. It’s not always the case that movies devoid of melodramatic elements manage to evoke mass attention. The average Indian cinema lover’s connection with melodrama is so intense that a director’s take on critical issue without this element is akin to self-goal in football! Anand Gandhi, at least, need to be credited for the fact that he manages to tell the story for Indians without being in awe of sentimentality! The last scene of the story showing the monk’s decision to live the life fully proves one thing quite well that healthy compromises for an elevated cause is not a bad thing. Well, the monk didn’t talk of Krishna’s Bhagvad Geeta but I feel the realization of monk is on par with view of Lord Krishna who in Bhagvad Gita stated that “every profession is world is tainted by some flaw”. So the summum bonum is: Healthy compromise should not prick the conscience!
The stockbroker’s case in the movie is pretty interesting but I need to differ from the reviews which have appeared in mainstream media and elsewhere that humour element in this part delight us. That’s not true. The humour appears as some sort of forced entry into a well structured plot. It also baffles me that reviewers have ignored some greater aspects related with this part of the movie wherein an young stockbroker trails the missing recipient of the stolen kidney! The reviewers failed to remember the heated conversation between stockbroker and his maternal grandmother, who happens to be progressive thinker, confined to ideological orientations spread in progressive literature churned out by the leftist. The impression she generates, and which irritates this guy working for American companies, is that one can pursue a noble cause only when one is in tune with such literature. The young stockbroker hits hard at her this “fallacious notion” when he tries to ensure justice for the poor labourer. The another myth which gets shattered ( and I really found it pretty interesting) is that fight for greater cause leads to its perfect attainment. Ask a real life hero and you would realize that he/she often feels cheated. The people for whom he/she comes to fight often leave their saviour in the lurch. The stockbroker wanted justice in real terms for this unfortunate labourer whose kidney got stolen for a rich foreigner ( the recipient). The labourer retracts from his promises after his petty interests get fulfilled. The protagonist has to remain contend with limited achievement.
In real life also we find that similar dilemma occurs. For instance, the moment one tries to make the purpose of education an extension of values, one has to face stiff resistance for all quarters of society, which feels that only purpose of education is to earn huge money, no matter if it means adoption of unethical means. The film does not end with a specific message but it does symbolically shows via the passage through the cave that life is full of immense possibilities, which allows nurturing of different perspectives. Hope we come to choose the one which best serves the cause of not only humanity but also our own personal causes close to heart!
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 messages of Krishna offer great solace to us in present times marred by confusion and disorder of worst types. I know it’s one of the easiest tasks to read the great words. It’s proper reflection and subsequent action plans that really matters in the long run. However, such shortcomings on part of human beings do not make these words lose relevance. Even a casual approach on our part while dealing with these pearls of wisdom proves to be a meaningful gesture.
A beginning is something that really matters. It’s better to be part of the journey than remain always trapped in a statue mode. In most cases, the beginning is often in the form of casual interactions with words spoken by enlightened souls. Have you noticed that when we are journeying we often read great messages posted on walls of railway stations? You are in great hurry but even then these words manage to catch your attention. From that very moment a reflection takes place birth inside your mind which if given conscious direction on part of us could lead to miraculous transformation.
So on this occasion when the world is celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna, let’s try to reconnect with Him for one more time via his messages. In lighter vein, Lord Krishna is representative of Absolute Self that’s above birth and death, and still we celebrate his birth with great fanfare. But is it that easy to keep the great charmer Krishna away from one’s life whose very name means the one who has power to attract us-the attractive one?
In the end, I wish to quote the words of Sri Aurobindo Ghosh to make us aware of the worth of messages spread in The Bhagavad Gita. According to Sri Aurobindo Ghosh one should always remember Krishna’s teaching because it ensures “perfection of action. It makes man great. It gives him the utter strength, the utter bliss which is the goal of life in the world.
na tyajyam karyam eva tat
yajno danam tapas caiva
-Bhagavad Gita 18.5
“Acts of sacrifice, charity and penance are not to be given up; they must be performed. Indeed, sacrifice, charity and penance purify even the great souls.”
kascid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascin mam vetti tattvatah
- Bhagavad Gita 7.3
“Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.”
gatir bharta prabhuh saksi
nivasah saranam suhrt
prabhavah pralayah sthanam
nidhanam bijam avyayam
- Bhagavad Gita 9.18
“I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge, and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.”
ananyas cintayanto mam
ye janah paryupasate
yoga-ksemam vahamy aham
- Bhagavad Gita 9.22
“But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form—to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have.”
tvam aksharam paramam veditavyam
tvam asya vishvasya param nidhanam
tvam avyayah sasvata-dharma-gopta
sanatanas tvam purusho mato me
- Bhagavad Gita 11.18
“You are the supreme primal objective. You are the ultimate resting place of this entire universe. You are inexhaustible, and You are the oldest. You are the maintainer of the eternal religion, the Personality of Godhead. This is my opinion.”
yam hi na vyathayanty ete
so ’mrtatvaya kalpate
-Bhagavad Gita 2.15
“O best among men [Arjuna], the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation.”
daivi hy esa guna-mayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te
- Bhagavad Gita 7.14
“This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.”
tam eva saranam gaccha
tat-prasadat param shantim
sthanam prapsyasi sasvatam
- Bhagavad Gita 18.62
“O scion of Bharata, surrender unto Him utterly. By His grace you will attain transcendental peace and the supreme and eternal abode.”
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 !
January is associated with this nation in a youthful way. On January 4, 1924 famous Hindi poet Gopal Das Neeraj was born. A wonderful Hindi poet who wrote in simple style soul stirring verses, which made him darling of the masses. On January 4, 1994 India’s one of the most talented music composers R D Burman left this planet earth to merge in supreme consciousness for forever.
Apart from these two great souls, I also wish to talk about Swami Vivekananda whose birth anniversary falls on January 12. That’s because there is a striking similarity between R D Burman and Swami Vivekananda. These both exceptional souls cared a lot for youths. Their vision and creative outburst were primarily aimed at changing the perceptions of Indian youths.
Swami Vivekananda used spirituality as medium to shape the lives of youth, to carve for them a balanced approach to deal with the complexities of life. He was a spiritual dynamo who surcharged the lives of youths with spiritual waves by introducing them to Vedantic concepts which until now were confined to the pages of scriptures.
R D Burman, on the other hands, explored Indian film music from newer angles. An original composer in the truest sense whose consciousness kept looking for unheard beats and sounds. He mixed the various shades of Indian music with the Western shades to prepare an amalgam that became hot favourite compositions for not only youths of his times but even youths of coming generations. Just visit any music shop you would definitely come to listen one of his compositions in a remixed form. In nutshell, these both gigantic souls turned out to a be big source of inspiration for youth world.
Even Gopal Das Neeraj’s poetry is full of symbols that are fresh, inspirational and unique from many angles. One of the reasons why his poetry struck a chord with the readers is that his verses came straight from the heart, which though used sensuality as a tool were aimed at creating a better space within an individual. Fortunately, he managed to makes his presence felt in Indian movie world which allowed him to unleash his creative energy for a wider circle of admirers.
Neeraj was also lucky in finding the company of greats like S D Burman ( father of R D Burman), Roshan and Shankar Jaikishan who prepared immortal tunes for verses flowing out of his pen. In nutshell, his simple verses which combined metaphysical elements and intimacy existing between man and woman in a lyrical form became part and parcel of ordinary masses.
Excerpts From Messages Of Swami Vivekananda Meant For Youths:
1.Rouse yourselves, therefore, or life is short. There are greater works to be done than aspiring to become lawyers and picking quarrels and such things. A far greater work is this sacrifice of yourselves for the benefit of your race, for the welfare of humanity.
2.Man is like an infinite spring, coiled up in a small box, and that spring is trying to unfold itself; and all the social phenomena that we see are the result of this trying to unfold.
3. Give up that awful disease that is creeping into our national blood , that idea of ridiculing everything, that loss of seriousness. Give that up. Be strong and have Shraddha (faith), and everything else is bound to follow.
4. Inspiration is not filtered out to the world through one channel, however great. Each generation should be inspired afresh.
5. Make your nerves strong. What we want is muscles of iron and nerves of steel. We have wept long enough. No more weeping, but stand on your feet and be men.
Neeraj’s Great Inspirational Poem Dedicated To Youths And People Having Lost All Hopes:
This Hindi poem written by Hindi poet Neeraj has the capacity to instill confidence even in the most depressed souls. It’s must read for any youth who feels life’s game is now over. The youths are the one prone to losing all hopes all of a sudden. The moment examinations results are declared the sad news of bright and young souls committing suicide gets reported from across the nation. Career related disappointments or failure in love have also become frequent in our times.
The youths who are quick to fall in love are often unable to bear the jolts they receive in such mercurial relationships. Anyway, even a casual glance at this poem is enough to make any youth regain hopes in sustaining human life instead of extinguishing it in one go!!
छिप-छिप अश्रु बहाने वालो
मोती व्यर्थ लुटाने वालो
कुछ सपनों के मर जाने से
जीवन नहीं मरा करता है।
सपना क्या है, नयन सेज पर
सोया हुआ आंख का पानी
और टूटना है उसका ज्यों
जागे कच्ची नींद जवानी
गीली उमर बनाने वालो
डूबे बिना नहाने वालो
कुछ पानी के बह जाने से
सावन नहीं मरा करता है।
माला बिखर गयी तो क्या है
खुद ही हल हो गयी समस्या
आंसू गर नीलाम हुए तो
समझो पूरी हुई तपस्या
रुठे दिवस मनाने वालो
फटी कमीज सिलाने वालो
कुछ दीयों के बुझ जाने से
आंगन नहीं मरा करता है।
खोता कुछ भी नहीं यहां पर
केवल जिल्द बदलती पोथी
जैसे रात उतार चांदनी
पहने सुबह धूप की धोती
वस्त्र बदलकर आने वालो
चाल बदलकर जाने वालो
चंद खिलौनों के खोने से
बचपन नहीं मरा करता है।
कितनी बार गगरियाँ फूटीं
शिकन न आई पनघट पर
कितनी बार कश्तियाँ डूबीं
चहल-पहल वो ही है तट पर
तम की उमर बढ़ाने वालो! लौ की आयु घटाने वालो!
लाख करे पतझर कोशिश, पर उपवन नहीं मरा करता है।
लूट लिया माली ने उपवन
लुटी न लेकिन गंध फूल की
तूफ़ानों तक ने छेड़ा, पर
खिड़की बन्द न हुई धूल की
नफ़रत गले लगाने वालो! सब पर धूल उड़ाने वालो!
कुछ मुखड़ों की नाराजी से दर्पण नहीं मरा करता है॥
To those who shed tears in hiding
Shedding tears in hiding,
Throwing away your gems,
Your life does not come to an end,
When unfulfilled remain some dreams.
What’s a dream? Water
Of sleeping eyes on lashes.
It breaks loose like
Rising from sleep of naive youths.
Passing your life in tears, taking your baths not drowning,
If some water flows out, monsoons do not come to an end.
So what if the garland’s beads got loose?
The problems get solved themselves.
When tears get to an auction,
Know that that your travails are over.
Passing your days in sorrows, getting your torn shirts stitched,
If some lamps die out, the terraces do not die out.
Nothing is lost here.
Only the book changes its covers.
Like the night shedding off moonlight,
Wears in the morning a skirt of sunlight.
Wearing different clothes, walking in different gaits,
If some toys are lost, childhood is not lost.
Water vessels broke a million times
But no sorrows prevail at shores
Boats drowned a million times
But same festivities go on at shores
Lengthening your happiness, shortening your grief,
If fall comes a million times, spring still does not die
Translation Source: EduAsharm4
R D Burman’s Lesser Heard Compositions Which Are Still Hot-Favourite Among The Youths:
Movie: Palay Khan( 1986) ; Lyrics: Anand Bakshi; Singers: Lata and Suresh Wadekar
Movie: Samundar (1986); Lyrics: Anand Bakshi ; Singers: Kishore and Lata
Movie: Duniya ( 1984) ; Singer: Kishore
Movie :Yeh Wada Raha ( 1982) ; Singers: Kishore and Asha
Movie: Jeeva ( 1986) ; Lyrics: Gulzar ; Singers: Amit Kumar and Asha Bhosle
Quotes of Vivekananda Have Been Borrowed From “Great Sayings” Published By The Ramakrishna Mission Institute Of Culture, Calcutta.
“Thoughts Of Power” Published By Advaita Ashrama, Calcutta.
The so-called traces of extremism in Srimad Bhagavad Gita located by over enthusiastic pseudo intellectuals led to huge genuine protest in many circles. Many were left stunned as Srimad Bhagavad Gita is primarily a life giving scripture which talks about evolution of human being via various devotional and spiritual practices formed as per one’s bent of mind. It’s one of the Prasthantrayi scriptures, which deal with principles related with deep philosophical truths aimed at making a person a self realized soul. In fact, all the conscious and evolved souls who came to rely on this enlightening piece delivered by the Lord Krishna to Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra have perceived it as medium to rise to a higher plane of thought.
Mahatama Gandhi was of the opinion that ” when doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and I see not one ray of hope on the horizon, I turn to Bhagavad-gita and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. Those who meditate on the Gita will derive fresh joy and new meanings from it every day.” In fact, the brilliant minds across the globe have also intercepted the same great truth about this Divine document. Emerson categorically states that “I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-gita. It was the first of books; it was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us.”
Henry David Thoreau , an American author and philosopher, words are enough to put to shame the people interested in viewing it as a literature promoting extremism. Thoreau says: ” In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial.”
I must say that it’s a devastating scheme on part of misguided souls to defame Hinduism. However, these voices originating from the hearts and minds of agents of devil cannot wipe out the life-giving essence inherent in this Eternal Song sung by the Lord. Let me make it clear that the whole issue needs to viewed in light of the property dispute between The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and local authority in the Siberian city of Tomsk.
It remains a mystery as to why Russian version of Prabhupada’s ‘Bhagwad-gita As It Is’ was brought in question while dealing with an alleged property dispute? It was this version which was being treated by the prosecutors in Tomsk as an extremist literature. It’s no secret that Orthodox Church at various places be in Russia or elsewhere is not happy with ever increasing reach of ISKCON.
Anyway the recent verdict that summarily rejected the stand of prosecutors interested in seeing the scripture as an extremist literature. The verdict allows the Hindus to heave a sigh of relief. One cannot ignore the fact that present Congress regime which usually takes an equivocal stand pertaining to cause of Hindus and divided Opposition which loves to remain disunited on sensitive issues came together on this issue and sent a strong message to Russian government.
“This complaint, apparently driven by some local individuals, was to the effect that the third Russian edition of the publication ‘Bhagwad Gita As It Is’ – a translation of a commentary by Swami Prabhupada, founder of Iskcon, had certain portions that were ‘objectionable’ and ‘extremist’ in nature… It (Gita) is one of the defining treatises of Indian thought and describes the soul of our great civilization. The Gita is far above any cheap propaganda or attacks by the ignorant or the misdirected.” ( S M Krishna addressing the Lok Sabha)
He had later assured the agitated members that government is pursuing the matter quite seriously and is in constant touch with embassy of India (in Moscow). Anyway, all’s well that ends well! Let’s understand one thing very clearly that readers would fail to get the true purport of any verses if they are not familiar with Sanskrit terms besides the fact that reading a refined scripture needs a certain refined bent of mind. If any of them is missing one would rarely get the true meaning of the verses.
Deviating away from the main theme of the article I wish to say that many religious gurus like Sri Osho or Sri Prabhupadaji have interpreted the scriptures from a certain vision. Unless a devotee owns a certain bent of mind it would a great possibility that he/she might not be able to digest the interpretations. I find that critics of Sri Osho commit the same blunder when they come face to face with the views of Sri Osho. For them Sri Osho was a sex maniac, who advised free sex in name of spiritual insights. The truth is that he practiced a higher spiritual form having close proximity with Vama Marga( Tantra Marga). This path is certainly not made for ordinary seekers. Again many object to Sri Osho’s love for Bhagvan title as prefix. As per the critics it led to rise of many so-called Bhagvans ( Gods). The technical definition of Bhagavan means one who is owner of six primary attributes: strength, fame, wealth, knowledge, beauty and detachment. ” Iśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥjñāna-vairāgyayoś caiva ṣannāḥ bhaga itīṇganā” ( Vishnu Purana (6.5.79), Parashara Rishi )
In this context it would not be out of place to inform that a true self realized soul can be addressed as Bhagvan. I find no harm in it. However, the pretenders would meet the same fate the way fake Krishna came to meet at the hands of real Krishna in his own times !! Ending the issue with a verse from Srimad Bhagavad Gita:
“tvam aksharam paramam veditavyam
tvam asya vishvasya param nidhanam
tvam avyayah sasvata-dharma-gopta
sanatanas tvam purusho mato me”
(Chap.11 Verse 18)
“You are the supreme primal objective. You are the ultimate resting place of all this universe. You are inexhaustible, and You are the oldest. You are the maintainer of the eternal religion, the Personality of Godhead. This is my opinion.”
We had a fascinating discussion on this issue on Facebook. I am sharing the excerpts of that discussion which I had with Dharmendra Sharma, Ras al Khaima, United Arab Emirates and Vishal Sabharwal , New Delhi, India.
Vishal Sabharwal said:
Why even write about people like Osho? There are billions like him trying to concoct their own religion. Brahmakumaris preach their own manufactured theory and so funny that they claim someone in their lineage to be Lord Brahma. Absolutely silly thoughts they preach out of their own whims and fancies. I think Arvind PRABHU can tell us something and that may be value addition for us . Certainly one thing as to what osho preached about the absolute truth. What was the sum of his teachings? What according to him is God and why he taught abominable sex as means to achieve God?
Dharmendra Sharma said:
Yes I have heard few discourses of Brahmakumaris also. They also have the habit of introducing there own free style thoughts without any solid basis. in one discourse they preached that we call the birthday of Sri Krishna as Janmashtami because it was the eigth birth of Sri Krishna as Sri Krishna.
Arvind K.Pandey said:
Well, just a minor clarification that when I treat him as person whom I respect or admire it does not mean that I accept each and everything flowing from him as a gospel truth.. My own sense of discretion is always there. That’s why many of the views of Sri Osho are always under my mind’s scanner.
However, having said that, I need to say that Sri Osho is not meant for average readers. There is no point in discussing his views from a layman’s perspective. Those who are sensible in approach on road to spiritualism will always have the ability to see the right meaning in words of Sri Osho. The lesser mortals shall always remain confused. There are many ways to reach to the highest goal. Some are easy to comprehend while some are difficult like the Tantra Marga. So select the one that suits you instead of meddling with the routes not meant for you. I must add our society needs more people like Vishalji and Dharmendraji.. You people are coming up with excellent views on matters related with higher truth. Just keep the diya (oil lamp made of clay) of knowledge burning with full glory. We need the light badly.
Dharmendra Sharma said:
Dear Arvind Ji, I am not saying that all of his thoughts were wrong. that is why i mentioned his thoughts as delicate mixture of nectar and alcohol. and it is also correct that hardcore spirituality is not a matter of average minds. “Manushyanam sahashreshu kashchidyatati siddhaye”. And it is not the genesis of the thought which is important, but it is the outcome/essence (conclusion) of a thought process which is important, because that is directly affect the life style of the followers. There is a basic antagonism in the attachment to worldly pleasures and attractions, and the self realisation (the highest goal of spiritual practices).
Osho’s approach to cut these attachments by not highlighting these pleasures and attractions by any restrictions (he thinks that if you restrict yourself from eating some delicious food, you are actually increasing its importance and simultaneously the desire to have it). and he advocates that free yourself from all restrictions and enjoy all the pleasures to negate there importance and to kill the desires and uproot the attraction towards these pleasures. But this approach has several loopholes and drawbacks, even if we keep aside the societal norms and culture. and a better and non-failing approach is available.
Osho says that to extinguish the fire of desire, do not starve it with fuel, but add in the fuel in plenty and you will find that all the desires are non-existent after that. (My concern: True momentarily, but it is an illusion, the desires are still there but dormant. If a hungry person is provided with too much of delicious food daily, he may develop aversion to it. However, the desires will ignite again very soon upon the deprivation of food, and this time the fire will be much more fierce and powerful than before because you have added extra fuel to it. Just think about the end result.
The better approach is to fix all our senses to the sea of infinite beauty, Bhagwan Sri Krishna. By doing so we are not restricting our desires, and are not highlighting or giving indirect importance to the material subjects of worldly pleasures. Osho’s approach :- Jal me rah kar magar se vair na karo ( never be in conflict with those living in your surrounding) ; Sri Krishna’s approach :- why to remain in water itself come directly out of the water.
By the way, the only thing exalted in this creation is the dust of lotus feet of Sri Krishna.
Vishal Sabharwal said:
Two very admirable people are discussing things which actually need discussion. All glories to both of you. My humble obeisances may KRSNA bless you both. Only point is if a person knows the absolute truth there may be millions of ways to reach that truth but if a person is preaching something as absolute truth which may not be truth then any endeavor to reach that truth does not carry much of significance. I m not sure but i think he advocated impersonal GOD theory. Please correct me if I am wrong .
Senses are such devilish masters that more you serve them more they are burning for more. That’s the basis axiom of VEDIC knowledge. Subdued senses are really good masters. Lust ll burn more and more and can never be satiated .
Also KRISHNA is the absolute truth that he himself has declared in Gita not only that other scripture like Puranas ,Guru Granth Sahib second the truth. So if someone is aware of this basic fact then anything built on it ll not perish as KRISHNA ll take care like Mira Rani followed a path which is so simple yet so difficult and it just cant be taught by any Guru. Its spontaneous. Point is whats the end goal. If end goal is not KRISNA then entire theory is flawed.
It’s so divine to learn things from such exalted devotees. Not to be proud but i must have done so much austerities whenever to be present here. Krishna is such a sweetheart. Who won’t love Krishna ? Who can remain uninfluenced, who can remain untouched ,who can think of anything else when it comes to beauty, mercy, wealth, pure love, strength and whatever quality Krishna is master of all 64 kalas (arts) !!! HARI Bol Radhey Radhey Bol !!!
Arvind K. Pandey said:
True!!! The senses are hardcore masters !!
Chanchalam hi manah Krishna pramaathi balavad dridham;
Tasyaaham nigraham manye vaayoriva sudushkaram. (Gita 6.34)
“The mind verily is restless, turbulent, strong and unyielding, O Krishna! I deem it as difficult to control as to control the wind.”
So it’s clear that dominance of senses is not because of the teaching of Osho. The revival of vasanaas (desires) is not because of the methodology of Sri Osho !!
It’s because of the nature of vasanas (desires) itself. I don’t remember clearly but I think it was Ramakrishnaji who said that as long as the body is there the vasanas would always make their presence felt!! Anyway, Dharmendraji I am very pleased to see you dealing with the theme in such a refined way and you sound so right ‘ to fix all our senses to the sea of infinite beauty, Bhagwan Sri Krishna” is the the ultimate method”. Undoubtedly, the supreme path !! The end result of any spiritual exercise should make you Krishnamaya (like Krishna).
P.S.: I also need to thank Narendra Bisht for his presence in this post. The editing of the Facebook conversation is a challenging task as the writers there mostly use abbreviated forms. So I tender my apology if some grammatical errors in construction of sentences make their presence felt.
I have tried my best to avoid major mistakes but in case they still appear I hope the readers would ignore them, concentrating more on the theme raised instead of taking note of minor mistakes.
Indian soil is the home of mystics and philosophers. Their long-standing involvement with divine affairs has given rise to host of ideologies, which have always enraptured the hearts and minds of all elevated souls. When one talks about Radhakrishnan the image of an educationist, possessing a philosopher’s soul, gets stuck in our consciousness who wished to see his pupils turning into carrier of the India. After all, furtherance of great ‘argumentative tradition’ was his prime aim. This is why he was an educationist par excellence, whose ideas left an indelible impression on everyone who came in contact with him. Strange are the affairs of nature. He appeared at a time when India desperately needed a soul who could unravel the inherent intricacies of Indian philosophical system in a way which enabled the masses, especially the conscious souls, to grasp their meaning without losing sight of their essence. It was none but Radhakrishnan who could do it with ease. After all, he was the nature’s ‘beloved agent’ due to his peculiar bent if mind that intercepted philosophical truths with perfect clarity. In this piece I would like to confine myself to his philosophical revelations.
We are living in age in which the ‘anxiety of doubt and meaningless is dominant’. In this background, the role of philosophers has gained immense importance. The philosophers bring under their contemplation ‘what time and nature have extinguished’ and thus they gain the power to predict the unpredictable. According to Radhkrishnan the humanity is on the brink of total collapse because mutual mistrust has blocked real communication. We have maintained a negatives silence that has reduced the world into mad-house. This ‘lack of understanding’ that has caused fragmentation of the society needs to be checked. But that can never be achieved if we don’t develop the capacity to look within. “If you want to be a truly loving being, it is essential for you to understand what our feelings are. How cursed mankind is?
We know the right, but we do not do it; we know the wrong, but we cannot abstain from it. It is this cursedness in human nature, which has to be got over. Love, therefore, is not a mere brilliance of intellect but it is discipline of the heart. Without discipline mere brilliance will not do.”In Geeta this inability to execute the desired despite being aware of its advantages has been explained in terms of man’s bond with previous samskaras. Desires can never be annihilated unless man rise above chain of reactions triggered by ignorance—the root cause of all desires. Radhakrishnan sounds true when he says that it needs an intense soul- searching to get above fractured intellectual knowledge and hence come in touch of ‘Intuitive knowing’, which alone makes the inward journey possible. Intuitive knowing, according to him, is unimprisoned by the divisions of space, successions of time or sequences of cause and effect. ‘Intellectual knowledge is a scattered, broken movement of the one undivided infinite life which is all –possessing and ever satisfied…It is through quieting the strivings of the will and the empirical intellect that the conditions are realized for the revelation of the Supreme in an individual soul. Therefore having calm, subdued quiet, patiently enduring and collected, one sees the Self just in the self”. Only the man who has a pure heart (read childlike nature) can know God. In one of the famous episodes in the Upanishad Sanatkumara makes Narada aware of futility of excessive learning. The encyclopedic knowledge of Narada did not make him attain tranquility of mind. Thanks to the wisdom of Sanatkumara that ultimately pushed him beyond the realm of intellect. Faust says:
“ I have studied now philosophy
And jurisprudence and medicine
And even, alas theology,
With vision keen, from end to end
And yet poor fool, with all my learning
I am no wiser than before.”
It must be very clear from the above disclosures that ‘no amount of theoretical knowledge can serve as a substitute for the practice of life of spirit.’ In other ors, the art of swimming cannot be gained by mere articulation of its rules—it’s by getting into the alone one can turn into a perfect swimmer. One of the drawbacks of present age is that communication between individuals has totally evaporated. Even the inventions of science have not been able to reduce the distance between due to air of mistrust. Mobile flashing may have become a hot-favorite thing in Yuppie circles but it hardly evokes a fruitful dialogue. Similarly, Internet no doubt has shattered boundaries of nation but has it dissolved the loneliness, which exists within the individuals? The answer is emphatic no. Why this monstrous silence has become part of our culture, especially when we are living in a country known for its festivals? One reason for it could be that the age in which we are trapped today has been hijacked by transitions of all sorts. Prominent features of society wrapped in transition phase are ‘disintegration and renewal’. Since we are still in the process of development of society that caters to new ideas and beliefs as its own the confusion has gained upper hand.
Under this circumstances ‘the history of the new world, of one world which is rich in range and majestic in its scope’ can never be attained if we keep on fanning suicidal tendencies breeding separation and cynicism. Radhakrishnan offering a solution says, “The only attitude that we can adopt in the present context is an attitude not of exclusiveness but of comprehension, not of intolerance but of understandings, not of hatred and fanaticism but of appreciation and assimilation of whatever is valuable”. Drawing a rather unusual comparison let me say that rigidity in beliefs only produces Jihadis or, for that matter, communists. For both of them whoever falls outside rather perverse mindset doesn’t deserve a right to live further .If he does manage to survived hi is either a ‘kafir’ or ‘fascist’. Such dangerous classifications alone have turned the world into hell.
According to Radhakrishnan the goal of life should be to rise above day-to-running and get merged with the finer spiritual existence , which all the time keep surfacing form of antipathy towards earthly pursuits. But this can never be the reality so long our identification with ‘selfish ego’ that considers ‘conceptual reason ‘as ultimate doesn’t get shattered. If religion has turned into source of bitterness it’s because of wrong identification with their symbols considering ‘these relative symbols for the absolute truth’. The confusion that arises due to ‘self-confident jugglery’ with symbols and definitions makes realization of “supreme self’ a distant dream .Finally, let’s grasp this fully named perfectly that aim of life is to mould yourself in the image of divine. Radhakrisnan states that “nothing on earth is utterly perfect or utterly without perfection. Those who have the visions of perfection strive continually to increase the perfection ….Life is ever striving for its fuller creative manifestation. The life of God is the fullness of our life.”
Finally, some thoughts from his book ” Eastern Religions And Western Thought” :
With all her poverty and degradation , her suffering and subjection , India still bears witness to the cult of the spirit . It is not right to complain that India has failed to because the she has followed after things spiritual .She has failed because she has not followed after them sufficiently . She has not learned how to make spirit entirely the master of life , but has created in recent times a gulf between spirit and life and has rested in a compromise .
To be inspired in our thoughts by divine knowledge , to be moved in our will by the divine purpose , to mould our emotions into harmony with divine bliss , to get at the great self of truth , goodness , and beauty to which we give the name of God as a spiritual presence , to raise our whole being and life to the divine status , is the ultimate purpose and meaning of human living . Some exceptional individuals have achieved this status and harmony .They are the highest type of humanity yet reached and indicate the final shape which humanity has to assume . They are the forerunners of the new race .
” Eastern Religions And Western Thought ” by S .Radhakrishnan, Page 56-57.
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