We celebrate our Independence day on August 15.It’s a very special day for all the Indians.It’s also a day to acknowledge the contributions of all the freedom fighters who made India’s tryst with freedom a reality.This day is also celebrated as birthday of India’s one of the greatest yogis Sri Aurobindo,who was much influenced with life of Lord Sri Krishna.He was instrumental in creating a big awakening among the Indians via his writings and speeches.
Ours is land of saints, bhaktas and yogis.It’s here alone that the invisible supreme has manifested himself in diverse ways like Krishna and Rama.Not only this, there exists so many ways to reach Him.While Gyana Yogis(Seekers of Knowledge)come to realize him through Shravana(Listening),Manana (Reflection) and Nidihidhyasana (Meditation),the Bhaktas(devotees)attain the Divine Abode by singing His divine glories.The Yogis come to apprehend him by disciplining their minds whereas followers of Tantra attain him via set of complex rituals.Each path further gets divide into various sects to provide suitable environment for the perfect development of the seekers according to his/her natural tendencies.
Sri Aurobindo’s arrival manifested one more fascinating path to strike union with the Lord.He was born on August 15, 1872 in Calcutta.His father Dr. K.D.Ghose ,a civil medical officer , favoured European upbringing for his children. After spending two years in Loretto Convent School at Darjelling ,Sri Aurobindo went to England for higher studies.He was earlier interested in joining Civil services and was nearly very close to fulfilling his ambition but destiny had planned something better for him.It’s strange but true that though he was raised in an European atmosphere he always dreamt of reforming the Indian society. At the age of 21, after spending 14 years in England he returned back to India. The restlessness or “Tamas”(darkness) that has gripped his mind during his stay in England gave way to extra ordinary spiritual well being in Sri Aurobindo soon after his arrival.
He joined the ongoing national movement and was one of the accused in Alipur Trial.In the jail the solitude gave him an opportunity to ponder deeply. As a result he came to ascertain that he was “called upon to preach to my country to make them realize that India had a mission to perform in the comity of nations”. He viewed the attainment of freedom as a first step towards establishment of Divine Rule in India. He engaged himself in spiritual practices for a greater target than freedom-the liberation of human race. He was a Mahayogi (supreme soul) who carved a unique way for the fulfillment of his task. Mysticism heavily shrouds his path which makes exact description of his ways and means adopted a little difficult for average person. So what exists is merely the tip of an iceberg. One reason which could be stated in this regard is that he functioned from a plane of thought that transcends earthly logic. In other words to coin earthly phrases for his sentiments serves little purpose. A fact which he himself asserts in the following words:” No one can write about my life because it has not been on the surface for man to see.”
His Yoga which has become known as Internal Yoga or the Integral Yoga has aspiration, surrender and rejection as its chief components .When one sincerely emulates his path one becomes open to supermind. His integral philosophy says that the “divine transcends from pure existence through the play of consciouness” and then there is compete transformation.There must first be the psychic change, the conversion of our whole present nature into a soul instrumentation; on that or along with that there must be the spiritual change, the descent of higher light ,Knowledge ,Force, Bliss, Purity into the whole being, even into the lowest recesses of the life and body, even into the darkness of our subconsconscience; last, there must supervene the supramental transformation, there must take place as the crowning movement the ascent into the supermind and the transforming descent of the Supramental Consciousness into our entire being and nature.”
We come to recognize our true nature when the veil is removed that separates the lower being from the higher being through the descent of the higher into the nature of the lower being and the forceful ascent of the lower being into the nature of the higher. The mind then recovers its divine light in all comprehending supermind and the soul realizes its divine self in the all-possessing all blissful ananda. Unlike the view maintained by Sri Adi Shankara who considers objective world an illusion, Sri Aurobindo feels that it has a reality separate from human consciousness. When we know ourselves, thinks Aurobindo, by going within ourselves and see with an inner knowledge man rises to the level of Brahman. The Suprarmental light at that stage imbibes his personality. But prior to that final state of pure knowledge or complete descent of supramental consciousness, a being has to pass through several stages from mind to supermind. Such a totally transformed person is known as Gnostic being. The normal human being reasoning rests on senses and reason but the Gnostic personality comprehends and penetrates the object by immediate total identification with it. Put differently, his reason is infused with synthetic vision of unity or identity. Such a being is not opposed to the so-called not -self but he treats it to be the part of the self which ignorant people fail to do.
Before the descent of supramental consciousness the mind passes through higher mind, illumined mind and the overmind. In the higher mind the limitations of thought or the rules of logic are absent. Totality is grasped as a single view in the higher mind. In the illumined mind the intuition plays a great role. Intuition allows one to look deeper into the reality underlying the substance by an intimate truth perception. Intuition brings before our eyes unknown by harmonizing will, feelings and emotions. Next comes the overmind which has the capacity to reconcile differences but that is not enough to bring integral transformation. The overmind cannot counteract the negative forces cause downward pull of the human soul.
The fear vanishes with the emergence of supramental consciousness. The descent of supermind is a prerequisite for formation of spiritualized society in which all the individuals unite themselves in a single world State This yoga comes to bring an inner elf development by which all beings discover the one self in all and evolve into higher consciousness. He comes to apprehend ‘the real truth of spirit in the world and real truth and highest law of life’. The attainment of this vision needs complete overhauling of our personality in order to make it adaptive to the higher consciousness.The supramental transformation brings an’ inner organized consciousness’ and personality vibrates with psychic abilities. But there must be preparation from below and grace from above. The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Asharama in Pondicherry provides us the features of being who has undergone supramental transformation which are a perfect and constant equality and absolute certainty in the highest laws of nature.
Sri Aurobindo was of the opinion that gap between reason and faith, the phenomenal and noumenal world and the world of necessity and the world of freedom can be reduced to zero. He says” when we speak of It (read Absolute) as unknowable, we mean that, It really escapes the grasp of our thought and speech, instruments which proceed always by the sense of difference and express by the way of definition; but if not unknowable by thought. It is attainable by supreme effort of consciousness. There is even kind of knowledge which is one with Identity and by which, in a sense, It can be known.” In order to fulfill his dreams he set up a Ashrama at Pondicherry.On December 5,1950 he left his physical body to make his dream of getting Supermind into the material a reality. The much awaited descent of Supermind took place on February 29,1956. The Mother emphasized on April 24,1956 :’ The manifestation of the supramental upon earth is no more a promise but a living fact , a reality. It is at work here and one day will come when the most blind, the most unconscious, even the most unwilling will be able to recognize it.’
According to Sri Aurobindo whatever he is doing is “a beginning, not a completion.It is the foundation of a new consciousness on earth- a consciousness with infinite possibilities of manifestation”.
Let us not ignore the principles of Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma as that will dangerous for the progress of this nation. What he wrote in Karma Yogin needs to placed firmly in our hearts and mind. He stated that “The task we now set before ourselves is not mechanical but moral and spiritual.We aim not at the alteration of form of a government but the building of nation. Of that task politics is a part, but only a part. We shall devote not only to politics alone ,nor to social questions alone ,nor to theology or literature or science by themselves, but we include all these in one entity which we believe to be all important ,the dharma, the national religion which we also believe to be universal. There is mighty law of life , a great principal of human evolution , a body of spiritual knowledge and experience which India has always been destined to be guardian ,exemplar and missionary. This is Santana Dharma-the eternal religion.We must return and seek the sources of life and strength within ourselves. We must know our past and recover it for the purpose of our future. Our business is to realize ourselves first and to mould everything to the law of India’s eternal life and nature. We believe that it is to make Yoga the ideal of human life that India rises today; by the Yoga she will get the strength to realize her freedom, unity and greatness, by the Yoga she will keep the strength to perceive it. It is spiritual revolution we foresee and the material is only its shadow and reflex.”
1. Sri Aurobindo by Navjata (National Book Trust, India)
2. Concepts Of Reason And Intuition By Ramesh Chandra Sinha (Janaki Prakashan ,Patna and Delhi)