Guiding Light of The Month

THERE is a great difference between being in the midst of active work, of external action, while keeping one’s thought constantly fixed on Thee, and entering into that perfect union with Thee which leads to what I have called “absolute Consciousness, true Omniscience, Knowledge”. - The Mother


“Reading Sri Aurobindo”, or the Avatar, “one who comes to open the Way for humanity to a higher consciousness” is our theme for this issue. The Mother gives a clue to the magnitude of this endeavor in her comparison of the three conceptions of the world from the spiritual standpoint.

According to the Buddhist and Shankara, the world is perceived as illusory, “a field of ignorance” and “suffering due to ignorance”. There is a stark dualism at play here, between this earthly world and the other world of enlightenment, knowledge and bliss, and the suggestion of moving away from this world to the other.

The second conception is the vedantin’s. The world is “essentially divine” since the Divine is immanent within. However, since the Immanent is not clear, distorted by external appearances, the one aim of this life would then be to fix one’s attention on that Immanent within and to “remain fixed in that consciousness without troubling about the world.”

The last concept is Sri Aurobindo’s, a concept which is very often referred to as taking off from the point where the Vedas drew a concluding line. Sri Aurobindo’s concept necessarily points to the earth as being created to precisely manifest the Divine, the Immanent within, its Creator, “under all His forms and aspects – Light and Knowledge, Power, Love and Beauty.”

The aim of the Integral Yoga is “to open the consciousness to the Divine and to live in the inner consciousness more and more while acting from it on the external life…” It is a process and a way to transform the earthly life into Life Divine, through the bringing down “of the Supramental Consciousness on earth..”

This high aim of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga forms the subject of all his written discourses. It is these that we look upon as a source of guidance in this endeavour to collaborate with him on this mission of expressing the Divine in matter.

There appears to be nothing of this magnitude suggested before. We are therefore faced with a whole new way of thinking and of living. Sri Aurobindo’s writings, together with The Mother’s form an important source of guidance to many of his followers, devotees and sadhaks. Furthermore, Sri Aurobindo wrote from higher planes not normally reached by mortals. However, His and The Mother’s assurance that higher spheres are ours with a heightened consciousness, offer some solace. Getting back to the point, how is a mental being, to begin with, to approach Sri Aurobindo’s writings?

In the pages that follow, light is thrown upon this question, with The Mother herself, most of the time, pointing the way. The nature of the guidance is such that we, as readers, are invited to exercise our own will in the process of reading Sri Aurobindo, as in making a conscious choice of abstaining from any mental approach towards understanding what is read. There is instead a constant suggestion to quiet one’s mind, to keep as still as possible, without any effort made to understand, as we are mostly led to in ordinary reading at its natural. The force contained in that which is read is allowed to seep into one’s depth. The promise is that this force itself will create “in the brain the necessary cells for the understanding.”

Let us attempt to offer ourselves into Mother’s guiding hands and reach out to Sri Aurobindo’s writings.

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