January 22nd – Study of Secrets of Veda:
Rig Vedic verses 10 to 12 from Mandala 1, Sukta 3 dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, were covered in the light of Sri Aurobindo’s interpretations. We understood Saraswati as follows:
• She is that power of Truth, which we call inspiration.
• Inspiration from the Truth purifies by getting rid of falsehood.
• As per Indian idea, all sin is merely falsehood, wrongly inspired motion and wrongly directed will and action.
• The Idea of life and ourselves, we start with is a falsehood and all else is falsified by it.
• Truth comes to us as a light, a voice, compelling a change of thought, imposing a discernment of ourselves and all around us.
• Truth of thought creates truth of vision.
• Truth of vision forms in us truth of being.
• Out of truth of being (satyam) flows naturally truth of emotion, will and action.
She is full of her luminous plenitudes and rich in substance of thought, upholds the sacrifice, the offering of the mortal being’s activities to the divine by awakening his consciousness so that it assumes right states of emotion and right movements of thought in accordance with the Truth.
She brings into active consciousness in the human being the great flood or great movement, the Truth-Consciousness itself and illumines with it all our thoughts.
According to Vedic Rishis, Saraswati liberates the life and being from falsehood, weakness and limitation and opens to it the doors of the supreme felicity.
January 29th – Readings from AIM:
Tantra, the worship of Shakti
1. Hymn to the Goddess: This is a very beautiful hymn on adoration of the Goddess Mother from Tantric compilation. Mother Goddess as the very substance of the whole universe including Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva who creates, preserves and destroys.
She is the primordial cause of the worlds who is ever youthful with full of tenderness and beyond description even by the Vedas.
2. The Philosophy and the Principle behind Tantra: In Tantric philosophy Prakriti is the main principle and the Will-in-Power , executive in the universe. It was by learning and applying the intimate secrets of this will –in –Power , its method, its Tantra, the Tantric Yogin pursued the aims of his discipline.
Vedanta and Tantra: Two sides of the One Truth. While Vedanta deals with the principles and essentials of the divine Knowledge, Tantra deals with forms and processes and Organised powers. It believes that only the “FORCE OF THE MOTHER” is keeping the whole universe, kicking and alive.
The two paths of Tantra: They are right-hand path and left hand path, Dakshina Marga and Vama Marga. It is way of knowledge and the way of Ananda. But these methods distorted over the time to the obscuration of principles, deformation of symbols and a fall.
The Central Tantric Conception: In the central Tantric conception, Shakti is considered the sole effective force of all attainment. In Vedantic concept, She is the power of Maya, and has to be liberated from Her clutches to attain the silent Purusha. In Integral conception Conscious-Soul is the Lord, the Nature-Soul is His executive energy. Purusha in action is creation and the Ananda of the becoming.
Worshipping the Woman as goddess: Feminine principle found in the living personality is the entire presence of the world supporting maternal soul of the Divinity. The Devi with all her aspects, ”kalas”, is there in the Woman. In Tantra it is said a Woman is equal to a Guru and should be worshipped.
I am reminded how a lot of Indian communities have a ceremony to worship and feed women and young girls before any major celebration like wedding or thread ceremony!
February 5th – Readings from AIM:
Read first two paragraphs from Discovering the Vedas.
The Age of Mysteries
This passage talks about how men of this era of Mysteries, focused on the deeper knowledge and self -knowledge, brought about the practices and rites of religion. They established symbols. It is interesting to know that the age of Mysteries brought about the quest to know about the one’s own deeper self and the profounder world knowledge.
To Know Thyself was the highest spiritual need. It took different forms in different countries like Orphic in Greece, Magi in Persia etc....In India to know the ever pervading Atman is the purpose of human birth.
Another preoccupation for them was to systemise the occult knowledge to bring mastery over the physical world and physical things.
Vedas are the creations of an intuitive Age of mankind.
Veda, then is the creation of an age anterior to our intellectual philosophies. The wisest then depended on inner experience; their aim was illumination, not logical conviction, their ideal the inspired seer not the accurate reason seeker. No Rishi composed or put rhythm to the hymns. The divine hymn came vibrating out of the infinite to the inner audience of the man who was fit for impersonal knowledge. It was Drsti and Sruti , (sight and hearing) which had the revelatory knowledge and contents of inspiration.
February 12th – Readings from Questions and Answers, Book 8:
We read the following question and its answer from page 189 (20th June 1956) of the book.
Mother, if the heart can be the means of a more direct knowledge, what is the role of the intellect as an intermediary of knowledge?
Mother replied as follows:
As an intermediary, did you say?
For the true role of the mind is the formation and organization of action. The mind has a formative and organizing power, and it is that which puts the different elements of inspiration in order, for action, for organizing action. And if it would only confine itself to that role, receiving inspirations – whether from above or from the mystic centre of the soul – and simply formulating the plan of action – in broad outline or in minute detail, for the smallest things in life or the great terrestrial organizations – it would amply fulfil its function.
It is not an instrument of knowledge.
But it can use knowledge for action, to organise action. It is an instrument of organization and formation, very powerful and very capable when it is well developed…………………..
These are the two uses of the mind; it is a controlling force, an instrument of control, and it is a power of organization. That is its true place.
- Compiled by Rama, Krishnamurthy, Jayalakshmi