The views expressed herein unfold Sri Aurobindo’s methadology to deal with huge challenges India was going to face in post-Independence era. Sri aurobindo conveyed these views between 1910-1922 in Arya- an English monthly published by Sri Aurobindo.
“How shall we recover our lost intellectual freedom and elasticity? By reversing, for a time at least, the process by which we lost it, by liberating our minds in all subjects from the thraldom to authority. That is not what reformers and the Anglicised require of us. They ask us, indeed, to abandon authority, to revolt against custom and superstition, to have free and enlightened minds. But they mean by these sounding recommendations that we should renounce the authority of Sayana for the authority of Max Muller, the Monism of Shankara for the Monism of Haeckel, the written Shastra for the unwritten law of European social opinion, the dogmatism of Brahmin Pandits for the dogmatism of European scientists, thinkers and scholars. Such a foolish exchange of servitude can receive the assent of no self-respecting mind. Let us break our chains, venerable as they are, but let it be in order to be free, in the name of truth, not in the name of Europe. It would be a poor bargain to exchange our old Indian illuminations, however dark they may have grown to us, for a derivative European enlightenment or replace the superstitions of popular Hinduism by the superstitions of materialistic Science.”
“Our first necessity, if India is to survive and do her appointed work in the world, is that the youth of India should learn to think, to think on all subjects, to think independently, fruitfully, going to the heart of things, not stopped by their surface, free of prejudgments, shearing sophism and prejudice asunder as with a sharp sword, smiting down obscurantism of all kinds as with the mace of Bhima….”
“Let us not, either, select at random, make a nameless hotchpotch and then triumphantly call it the assimilation of East and West. We must begin by accepting nothing on trust from any source whatsoever, by questioning everything and forming our own conclusions. We need not fear that we shall by that process cease to be Indians or fall into the danger of abandoning Hinduism. India can never cease to be India or Hinduism to be Hinduism, if we really think for ourselves. It is only if we allow Europe to think for us that India is in danger of becoming an ill-executed and foolish copy of Europe…. We must … take our stand on that which is true and lasting. But in order to find out what in our conceptions is true and lasting, we must question all alike rigorously and impartially. The necessity of such a process not for India, but for all humanity has been recognised by leading European thinkers. It was what Carlyle meant when he spoke of swallowing all formulas. It was the process by which Goethe helped to reinvigorate European thinking. But … Europe has for some time ceased to produce original thinkers, though it still produces original mechanicians…. China, Japan and the Mussulman states are sliding into a blind European imitativeness. In India alone there is self-contained, dormant, the energy and the invincible spiritual individuality which can yet arise and break her own and the world’s fetters.”
Source: Bharat Vani
These beautiful verses in Sanskrit unfold glory of India’s past. They make you aware of great souls who made their presence felt on this great divine land. The verses also let you know about beautiful places, rivers and mountains which make this part of the world a poetry carved on planet earth. I first noticed these verses on page of Sri Vijay Krishna Pandey.
ॐ नमः सच्चिदानंदरूपाय परमात्मने
प्रकृतिः पंचभूतानि ग्रहलोकस्वरास्तथा
दिशः कालश्च सर्वेषां सदा कुर्वंतु मंगलम्॥२॥
ब्रह्मराजर्षिरत्नाढ्याम् वन्दे भारतमातरम् ॥३॥
महेंद्रो मलयः सह्यो देवतात्मा हिमालयः
ध्येयो रैवतको विन्ध्यो गिरिश्चारावलिस्तथा ॥४॥
गंगा सरस्वती सिंधु ब्रह्मपुत्राश्च गंदकी
कावेरी यमुना रेवा कृष्णा गोदा महानदी ॥५॥
अयोध्या मथुरा माया काशी कांची अवंतिका
वैशाली द्वारका ध्येया पुरी तक्शशिला गया ॥६॥
प्रयागः पाटलीपुत्रं विजयानगरं महत्
इंद्रप्रस्थं सोमनाथस्तथामृतसरः प्रियम्॥७॥
चतुर्वेदाः पुराणानि सर्वोपनिषदस्तथा
रामायणं भारतं च गीता षड्दर्शनानि च ॥८॥
जैनागमास्त्रिपिटकः गुरुग्रन्थः सतां गिरः
एष ज्ञाननिधिः श्रेष्ठः श्रद्धेयो हृदि सर्वदा॥९॥
अरुन्धत्यनसूय च सावित्री जानकी सती
द्रौपदी कन्नगे गार्गी मीरा दुर्गावती तथा ॥१०॥
लक्ष्मी अहल्या चन्नम्मा रुद्रमाम्बा सुविक्रमा
निवेदिता सारदा च प्रणम्य मातृ देवताः ॥११॥
श्री रामो भरतः कृष्णो भीष्मो धर्मस्तथार्जुनः
मार्कंडेयो हरिश्चन्द्र प्रह्लादो नारदो ध्रुवः ॥१२॥
हनुमान् जनको व्यासो वसिष्ठश्च शुको बलिः
दधीचि विश्वकर्माणौ पृथु वाल्मीकि भार्गवः ॥१३॥
शिबिश्च रन्तिदेवश्च पुराणोद्गीतकीर्तयः ॥१४॥
बुद्ध जिनेन्द्र गोरक्शः पाणिनिश्च पतंजलिः
शंकरो मध्व निंबार्कौ श्री रामानुज वल्लभौ ॥१५॥
झूलेलालोथ चैतन्यः तिरुवल्लुवरस्तथा
नायन्मारालवाराश्च कंबश्च बसवेश्वरः ॥१६॥
देवलो रविदासश्च कबीरो गुरु नानकः
नरसी तुलसीदासो दशमेषो दृढव्रतः ॥१७॥
श्रीमच्छङ्करदेवश्च बंधू सायन माधवौ
ज्ञानेश्वरस्तुकाराम रामदासः पुरन्दरः ॥१८॥
बिरसा सहजानन्दो रमानन्दस्तथा महान्
वितरन्तु सदैवैते दैवीं षड्गुणसंपदम् ॥१९॥
रविवर्मा भातखंडे भाग्यचन्द्रः स भोपतिः
कलावंतश्च विख्याताः स्मरणीया निरंतरम् ॥२०॥
भरतर्षिः कालिदासः श्रीभोजो जनकस्तथा
सूरदासस्त्यागराजो रसखानश्च सत्कविः ॥२१॥
अगस्त्यः कंबु कौन्डिण्यौ राजेन्द्रश्चोल वंशजः
अशोकः पुश्य मित्रश्च खारवेलः सुनीतिमान् ॥२२॥
चाणक्य चन्द्रगुप्तौ च विक्रमः शालिवाहनः
समुद्रगुप्तः श्रीहर्षः शैलेंद्रो बप्परावलः ॥२३॥
लाचिद्भास्कर वर्मा च यशोधर्मा च हूणजित्
श्रीकृष्णदेवरायश्च ललितादित्य उद्बलः ॥२४॥
मुसुनूरिनायकौ तौ प्रतापः शिव भूपतिः
रणजितसिंह इत्येते वीरा विख्यात विक्रमाः ॥२५॥
वैज्ञानिकाश्च कपिलः कणादः शुश्रुतस्तथा
चरको भास्कराचार्यो वराहमिहिर सुधीः ॥२६॥
नागार्जुन भरद्वाज आर्यभट्टो वसुर्बुधः
ध्येयो वेंकट रामश्च विज्ञा रामानुजायः ॥२७॥
रामकृष्णो दयानंदो रवींद्रो राममोहनः
रामतीर्थोऽरविंदश्च विवेकानंद उद्यशः ॥२८॥
दादाभाई गोपबंधुः टिळको गांधी रादृताः
रमणो मालवीयश्च श्री सुब्रमण्य भारती ॥२९॥
सुभाषः प्रणवानंदः क्रांतिवीरो विनायकः
ठक्करो भीमरावश्च फुले नारायणो गुरुः ॥३०॥
संघशक्ति प्रणेतारौ केशवो माधवस्तथा
स्मरणीय सदैवैते नवचैतन्यदायकाः ॥३१॥
अनुक्ता ये भक्ताः प्रभुचरण संसक्तहृदयाः
अविज्ञाता वीरा अधिसमरमुद्ध्वस्तरि पवः
समाजोद्धर्तारः सुहितकर विज्ञान निपुणाः
नमस्तेभ्यो भूयात्सकल सुजनेभ्यः प्रतिदिनम् ॥ ३२॥
इदमेकात्मता स्तोत्रं श्रद्धया यः सदा पठेत्
स राष्ट्रधर्म निष्ठावानखंडं भारतं स्मरेत् ॥३३॥
जयति पुण्य सनातन संस्कृति…जयति पुण्य भूमि भारत…
जय श्री राम
Source: Vijay Krishna Pandey
These verses in Hindi written by famous poet Neearj unfold the charishma of feeling called love!
जब तक आँसू साथ रहेंगे,
मुझको याद किया जायेगा;
जहाँ प्रेम की चर्चा होगी,
मेरा नाम लिया जायेगा ।
जब भी कोई सपना टूटा,
मेरी आँख वहाँ बरसी है;
तड़पा हूँ मैं जब भी कोई,
मछ्ली पानी को तरसी है ।
गीत दर्द का पहला बेटा,
दुःख है उसका खेल खिलौना
कविता तब मीरा होगी,
जब हँस कर ज़हर पिया जायेगा ।
जहाँ प्रेम की चर्चा होगी,
मेरा नाम लिया जायेगा ।
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.”
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
India is on the path of progress and glory. It’s a matter of pride that India on both economic front and scientific domain has attained glorious heights. That too when the nation being marred by series of scams one after another apart from being chased by horrible contradictions has virtually given way to chaotic state of affairs. However, such a complex scenario has not deterred Western nations to treat India as superpower in the making.
From one angle if we analyze our tremendous growth story, it’s really an encouraging sign for a nation that in not so recent past suffered series of jolts in a very long period of foreign rule. Though I have no intention of ignoring the rise of India, it’s still a very difficult task for me to go gaga over its success story. Why? In the very beginning, let me make it very clear that a nation which was once undisputed leader in the field of enlightened knowledge, it’s really a pathetic scenario that yardstick to measure one’s worth has become materialistic. As a result of shift from a knowledge-oriented society to purely wealth-oriented society,the nation has given way to strange set of values.
You switch on the radio.The first advt. that hits the ears is of a condom !! Look at the way to sale the condoms.The impression generated by the advertisement is that whole causal sexual act becomes no less than a holy ritual only if the partner has manged to have access to condoms. In the end, the man using a condom emerges as man of wisdom. Now that’s the sign of wisdom! Can you notice the subtle change in our attitude? Showing traces of guilt complexes and shame in such matters is backwardness. No wonder why, the younger generation is fast giving way to depressive tendencies. That too is evident if one is lover of radio like me.
I was taken aback when I heard and advertisement on radio that talked about visiting depression treatment centres. What is more shocking is that advertisement cited funny reasons of catching depression. Like if Mr. X comes to own car and Mr. Y is conscious of it than Y has given way to huge bout of depression. Anyway, what I am trying to suggest is that the society, at present, having deviated away from the “samskaras” oriented life has given way to upsetting behavioural changes wherein the person cursing the old order of living is modern and progressive no matter even if he/she is in grip of wrong living patterns.
It’s time to ponder why India has given way to such tendencies that have given rise to society based on ‘Kama’ (desire) and Lobha (Greed). These are two attributes as per Lord Krishna ensure ones birth in the hell. It’s not all surprising that Indian society is exhibiting all the negative traits which have in their root these two attributes. Interestingly, I came to be aware of the fact that now Rural Courts would be order of the day in villages. This news was greeted in a positive way by all and sundry. However, the news was an alarming one for my ears. Matters which till now got settled within the four walls of house with the intervention of elders or senior citizens shall now be issue in case before the courts ! How can that be a healthy sign? However, the reactions of my friends in this regard made me look like a fool. My point of view is that it’s not wrong to rejoice over material progress.
What’s really wrong is that we have started treating material success as be all and end all of the human life. Let’s not downsize the value of human life. It’s been given to restore our connection with the Absolute. It’s not been given to create new bondage. May be that’s why we find that a business tycoon yields a greater respect than people representative of wisdom! Yes, it’s time to discover why money has marginalized knowledge in the Indian society? Why a society that once loved to explore the attributes in field of metaphysics and mysticism as its birth right is now more involved in attainment of material pursuits? Why we did not bother to borrow better values from Western worlds instead of accepting with open arms their discarded values ?
The analysts might come to the conclusion that it’s because of the sinister design of the Lord Macaulay who wished that Indians should be denied access to the refined attributes that have gone into the making of Indian culture. “I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief, such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and ,therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.“(AN EXCERPT FROM LORD MACAULAY’S ADDRESS TO THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT, 2 FEBRUARY, 1835).
I must say that this gentleman named Lord Macaulay has emerged triumphant. Just cast a glance at people living in metros or the villages fast turning into cities. You would always find individuals mired in the traits wished by the Macaulay. I am sure his soul, wherever it is, must be very contented over achievement of the desired goals for he has managed to give rise to a scenario wherein worshiping Goddess Saraswati is now communal or outdated happening, but celebrations related with Valentine’s Day is secular and is very much in tune with the times!
Anyway, there is no point in crying over spilt milk. Let’s talk about solutions. One easy way would be that let people in league with wisdom come to the forefront and play a dominant role in awakening of the consciousness of the people. One reason why the negative souls came to rule is that good souls are often passive in their approach. I am not saying that it’s a child’s play to rope in right values. What I am trying to suggest is that even if we all just make a beginning and stay on the route of reforms in a consistent way, I am sure, sooner or later, one would come to notice the changes we all longed for. If the souls capable of bringing in changes further delayed their active role then I must say the Indian civilization would meet the same fate like the civilizations which gave importance to opulence over simple lifestyle.
The first step towards revival of past glory is that let’s have a first hand experience of our cultural legacy. The tendencies of servitude which has come to environ us since the Muslim rule has made us incapable of accepting our stronger points in a positive way. It’s a strange thing that unless a certain theory is ratified as perfect by the outsiders, it’s really become a tough task for us to find meaning in them. It’s really pathetic that outsiders have to make us aware of our past glory. There is again a weird thing involved in attempts to get hold of our better aspects.
Though it’s beyond doubt that Western historians are guilty of distorting the reality and making us have not history but a concocted version of history. In the same crowd of prejudiced minds one also notices some exceptional people born in distant lands, who were not all hesitant in accepting the glory of Indian values.They were, in fact, thoroughly convinced about the supremacy of Indian civilization. So it really embarrasses me when I find our so-called great progressive intellectuals leaving no stone unturned in making us feel backwards and brutes. Worse, they set road blocks on road to revival,proclaiming that there is an attempt on the part of “saffron brigade” to make all Indians owners of “cave-mentality”. I come to remember my writer friend who never misses an opportunity to suggest that Indians lack methodology to create something unique and universal. We are merely used to making false claims just aimed at generating sense of superiority.
Let me strongly refute his claims. It’s very necessary that such figures of negativism be sabotaged with right sort of revelations. ” More high-reaching, subtle, many-sided, curious and profound than the Greek, more noble and humane than the Roman, more large and spiritual than the old Egyptian, more vast and original than any other Asiatic civilization, more intellectual than the European prior to the 18th century, possessing all that these had and more, it was the most powerful, self-possessed, stimulating and wide in influence of all past human cultures.” (Sri Aurobindo).
Echoing the same feelings Radhakrishnan says: “ Indian thought is an extraordinary mass of material which for detail and variety has hardly any equal in any other part of the world. There is hardly any height of spiritual insight or rational philosophy attained in the world that has not its parallel in the vast stretch that lies between the early Vedic seers and the modern naiyAyikas.”
May be in eyes of some readers, who would only believe when the same perception is conveyed by a foreign mind. Let me bring in open the words of Julius Robert Oppenheimer who was a well known scientist and philosopher. He said that ” the general notions about human understanding… which are illustrated by discoveries in atomic physics are not in the nature of things wholly unfamiliar, wholly unheard of or new. Even in our own culture they have a history, and in Buddhist and Hindu thought a more considerable and central place. What we shall find [in modern physics] is an exemplification, an encouragement, and a refinement of old wisdom.”
A French scholar and Orientalist Sylvain Levi is another gentleman who is not ashamed in acknowledging the worth of India on this planet. “From Persia to the Chinese Sea, from the icy regions of Siberia to the islands of Java and Borneo, from Oceania to Socotra, India has propagated her beliefs, her tales and her civilization.” Talking about India he says :“She has left indelible imprints on one fourth of the human race in the course of a long succession of centuries. She has the right to reclaim in universal history the rank that ignorance has refused her for a long time and to hold her place amongst the great nations summarizing and symbolizing the spirit of humanity.” Being a philosopher at heart I just cannot ignore the temptations to rope in glory of Indian philosophers and their philosophy. That’s being done to awake those souls caught in slumber of ignorance, who find it hard to intercept the brilliance of Indian thoughts.
American historian Will Durant unfolding the greatness of Sri Shankara says:”In his short life of thirty-two years Sankara achieved that union of sage and saint, of wisdom and kindliness, which characterizes the loftiest type of man produced in India. ” “Shanakara establishes the source of his philosophy at a remote and subtle point never quite clearly visioned again until, a thousand years later, Immanuel Kant wrote his Critique of Pure Reason.”
Hegel who was a great German philosopher said that“ India is the land of dreams. India had always dreamt – more of the Bliss that is man’s final goal. And this has helped India to be more creative in history than any other nation. Hence the effervescence of myths and legends, religious and philosophies, music, and dances and the different styles of architecture.” “ India has created a special momentum in world history as a country to be searched for.”
I know critics would point out that a nation that’s at present mired in rampant corruption, scams, ethnic violence and terrorism a discussion that’s aimed highlighting the better aspects of past Indian civilization would not serve any good. I just need to remind them unless we learn to to respect our beings in an honourable way, any attempt to create better changes shall not yield better result. An attempt to clean the blackboard of mind with a dirty cloth shall make it more dirtier. What do pseudo intellectuals really want? Should we try to resurrect good values with a dull mind? The right change can only be brought with a positive mindset. It’s means that let’s delve deep into positive Indian orientations reflected in Hindus scriptures. Let’s acknowledge the brilliance of minds of ancient sages and Indian thinkers of yesteryear to make life beautiful not only for ourselves but for the humanity at large.
The Soul of India – By Satyavrata R Patel p. contents).
Indian Philosophy, Volume I – By S. Radhakrishnan)
India as a Creative Civilization – By N. S. Rajaram).
Sylvain Levi in L’Inde et le monde (”India and the World”)
Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage – By Will Durant MJF Books. 1935. p 546 – 547
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)