Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Man:Slave or Free?" by Sri Aurobindo


(Courtesy : "Ayurved Sutra" Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 7, 2014)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga

       There is no method in this Yoga except to concentrate,   preferably in the heart, and call the presence and power of the Mother to take up the being and by the workings of her force transform the consciousness; one can concentrate also in the head or between the eyebrows, but for many this is a too difficult opening. When mind falls quiet and the concentration becomes strong and the aspiration intense, then there is a beginning of experience. The more the faith, the more rapid the result is likely to be. For the rest, one must not depend on one’s own efforts only, but succeed in establishing a contact with the Divine and a receptivity to the Mother’s Power and Presence.

                                                                                                                   -   Sri Aurobindo
(SABCL, Vol. 25, Page 127)

*                          *                           *
        Everyone who is turned to the Mother is doing my Yoga. It is a great mistake to suppose that one can “do” the Purna Yoga – i.e. carry out and fulfil all the sides of the Yoga by one’s own effort. No human being can do that. What one has to do is to put oneself in the Mother’s hands and open oneself to her service, by Bhakti, by aspiration; then the Mother by her light and force works in him so that the Sadhana is done. It is a mistake also to have the ambition to be a big Purna Yogi or a supramental being and ask oneself how far have I got towards that. The right attitude is to be devoted and given to the Mother and to wish to be whatever she wants you to be. The rest is for the Mother to decide and do in you.

                                                                                                                     -   Sri Aurobindo

(SABCL, Vol. 25, Page 130)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Surrender completely to the Divine : Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram

You see, in the present condition of the world, circumstances are always difficult. The whole world is in a condition of strife, conflict, between the forces of truth and light wanting to manifest and the opposition of all that does not want to change, which represents in the past what is fixed, hardened and refuses to go. Naturally, each individual feels his own difficulties and is faced by the same obstacles.
There is only one way for you. It is a total, complete and unconditional surrender. What I mean by that is the giving up not only of your actions, work, ambitions, but also of all your feelings, in the sense that all that you do, all that you are, is exclusively for the Divine. So, you feel above the surrounding human reactions--not only above them but protected from them by the wall of the Divine's Grace. Once you have no more desires, no more attachments, once you have given up all necessity of receiving a reward from human beings, whoever they are--knowing that the only reward that is worth getting is the one that comes from the Supreme and that never fails--once you give up the attachment to all exterior beings and things, you at once feel in your heart this Presence, this Force, this Grace that is always with you.
And there is no other remedy. It's the only remedy, for everybody without exception. To all those who suffer, it is the same thing that has to be said: all suffering is the sign that the surrender is not total. Then, when you feel in you a "bang", like that, instead of saying, "Oh, this is bad" or "This circumstance is difficult," you say, "My surrender is not perfect." Then it's all right. And then you feel the Grace that helps you and leads you, and you go on. And one day you emerge into that peace that nothing can trouble. You answer to all the contrary forces, the contrary movements, the attacks, the misunderstandings, the bad wills, with the same smile that comes from full confidence in the Divine Grace. And that is the only way out, there is no other.
This world is a world of conflict, suffering, difficulty, strain; it is made of it. It has not yet changed, it will take some time before changing. And for each one there is a possibility of getting out. If you lean back on the presence of the Supreme Grace, that is the only way out. That I have been telling you since two or three days, like that constantly.
What to do?
What? For your work there is nothing to say. You are doing it perfectly well, exactly as it has to be done; it is all right. Your work is quite all right.
That is what I wanted to ask: whether this work is in any manner needed or not? Why should I go on doing it?
Excellent, go on doing it. You do it perfectly well. Don't expect human appreciation--because human beings don't know on what grounds to appreciate something, and, moreover, when there is something that is superior to them, they don't like it.
But where to get such a strength?
Within you. The Divine Presence is in you. It is in you. You look for it outside; look inside. It is in you. The Presence is there. You want the appreciation of others to get strength--you will never get it. The strength is in you. If you want, you can aspire for what seems to you the supreme goal, supreme light, supreme knowledge, supreme love. But it is in you--otherwise you would never be able to contact it. If you go deep enough inside you, you will find it there, like a flame that is always burning straight up.
And don't believe that it is so difficult to do. It is because the look is always turned outside that you don't feel the Presence. But if, instead of looking outside for support, you concentrate and you pray--inside, to the supreme knowledge--to know at each moment what is to be done, the way to do it, and if you give all you are, all you do in order to acquire perfection, you will feel that the support is there, always guiding, showing the way. And if there is a difficulty, then instead of wanting to fight, you hand it over, hand it over to the supreme wisdom to deal with it--to deal with all the bad wills, all the misunderstandings, all the bad reactions. If you surrender completely, it is no more your concern: it's the concern of the Supreme who takes it up and knows better than anybody else what is to be done. The only way out, only way out. There, my child.
One thing is that whatever I do there, it is not liked by my own people.
Your own people are all mixed up, as everybody is.
But my feeling is so strong--not only strong but it is as clear as daylight, as if I am just sitting in your presence--that I do not do anything myself. This is such a great, clear experience to me for all these years. Whatever is being done by me, it is being done by some Force and not by me at all. And it gets it done, but then the...
What! You expect the world to understand that?
No. They may not understand, I don't want any credit for that. But you see, the obstacles and the... 
If you consider this: that I can understand and know, then you [new p. 401]have my full support. I never told you that you were doing wrong, did I? Now, once and for all you must understand that unless people are true yogis, out of the ego, completely surrendered to the Supreme, they can't understand. How could they? They see with all the exterior eyes and knowledge; they see exterior things and appearances. They don't see the inside. When we have stopped expecting appreciation from the outside, that is from human beings, we have no reason to complain. They appreciate, so much the better for them. They don't appreciate, it doesn't matter. It's their own look-out. We do things not to please them, we do things because we feel that that is to be done.
I have never expected appreciation, Mother.
Perhaps things are coming to compel you to take up that position--because that is the liberation, that is the true liberation.
Not from ego, but I am a sadhu by nature. I don't need anything at all.
That is all right, but also you must not need the appreciation of your own family.
With all my failings and weaknesses, I don't need anything at all. I don't need any appreciation.
Then you can't suffer. Because the only thing that you need is the support of the Divine, and you have it. Then you can't suffer.
But I am suffering very much.
Yes, there is a conflict in your being. One part of your consciousness knows but there is still one part that is the slave of circumstances. 
Perhaps all that has been coming upon you for the supreme and the total liberation. And if you take it as the expression of the Grace, you will see the result. Peace, a peace that nothing can disturb, perfect equanimity and a strength that never fails.
(Long silence)
Take it as a new birth today. The new life that is beginning.
-      The Mother
(Collected Works of The Mother, Volume 15, pp. 419-423)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Death walks beside us on Life's road - Sri Aurobindo

(Mural painting of the goddess Kali)

Death is the question Nature puts continually to Life and her reminder to it that it has not yet found itself. If there were no siege of death, the creature would be bound for ever in the form of an imperfect living. Pursued by death he awakes to the idea of perfect life and seeks out its means and its possibility.

                                                                - Sri Aurobindo
(SABCL, Vol. 16, Page 386)

*                     *                     *

Death walks beside us on Life's road,
A dim bystander at the body's start
And a last judgment on man's futile works,
Other is the riddle of its ambiguous face:
Death is a stair, a door, a stumbling stride
The soul must take to cross from birth to birth,
A grey defeat pregnant with victory, 

A whip to lash us towards our deathless state.

                                                              -  Sri Aurobindo
     (Savitri, SABCL, Vol. 29, pp. 600-601)   

*                   *                   *

On Death : An interesting experience of the Mother
K left his body. The operation had been extraordinarily, almost miraculously successful—one of those dreadful operations where they extract part of your body. He was quite all right for four days afterwards, then everything went wrong.
During the operation and just afterwards, I had simply put the Force on him, as I always do in such cases, so that everything would turn out for the best. Then a few days ago, during my japa, a kind of order came—a very clear order—to concentrate on him so that he would be conscious of his soul and able to leave under the best conditions. And I saw that the concentration worked wonderfully: it seems that during his last days he was ceaselessly repeating Ma-Ma-Ma—even while he was in a semi-coma.
And the concentration grew stronger and stronger. The day before yesterday it became very, very powerful, and yesterday morning, around half past noon, it pulled me inward; he came to me in a kind of sleep, a conscious sleep, and I even said almost aloud, ‘Oh, K!’
It lasted fifteen minutes; I was completely within, inside, as if to receive him.
But there is something interesting: when I went down at 2 pm, I found the family had come to inform me that they had been notified by telephone that he had died at 11:45 am. Myself, I saw him come at 12:30.
So you see, the outer signs … It’s not the first time I’ve noticed this—the doctors observe all the outer signs, then they declare you dead, but you’re still in your body!
In other words, he was still in his body.
So it’s probably during this period that people are ‘resuscitated,’ as they say. It must be during this period, for they have not left their bodies, they are not really dead, though the heart may give every appearance of having stopped. So K left his body at around half past noon, and officially it was at 11:45. Forty-five minutes later, in other words.
And it takes place very gently, very gently (when it’s done right), very gently, very gently, smoothly, without any shock.
So this morning they’re burning him.
When they’re in too much of a hurry to burn them, sometimes they burn them alive! … They should wait.
For, there’s a consciousness of the form, a life of the form. There’s a consciousness, a consciousness in the form assumed by the cells. That takes SEVEN DAYS to come out. So sometimes the body makes abrupt movements when burned—people say it’s mechanical. It’s not mechanical, I know it’s not.
I know it. I know that this consciousness of the form exists since I have actually gone out of it. Once, long back, I was in a so-called cataleptic state, and after awhile, while still in this state, the body began living again’; that is, it was capable of speaking and even moving (it was Théon who gave me this training). The body managed to get up and move. And yet, everything had gone out of it! [1]
Once everything had gone out, it naturally became cold, but the body consciousness manages to draw a little energy from the air, from this or that … And I spoke in that state. I spoke—I spoke very well, and besides, I recounted all I was seeing elsewhere.
So I don’t like this habit of burning people very much.
I think they do it here (apart from entirely sanitary considerations in the case of people who have died from nasty diseases), here in India, mainly because they are very afraid of all these little entities that come from desires, impulses—things which are dispersed in the air and which make ‘ghosts’ and all kinds of things. All desires, all attachments, all those things are like pieces that break off (each one goes its own way, you see), then these pieces gain strength in the surrounding atmosphere, and when they can fasten on to someone, they vampirize him. Then they keep on trying to satisfy their desires.
The world, the terrestrial atmosphere, is full of filth.
And people here are much more sensitive than in Europe because they are much more interiorized, so they are conscious of all these little entities, and naturally they’re afraid. And the more afraid they are, the more they’re vampirized!
I think that many of these entities are dispersed by fire—that creates havoc.
I know one person, a boy who died here, who was burned before he had left! He had a weak heart, and not enough care was taken—that is, they probably should not have operated on him. He was our engineer. He died in the hospital. Not a serious operation, an appendicitis, but his heart could not take up its natural movement.
But as he was accustomed to going out of his body, he didn’t know! He even used to make experiments—he would go out, circle around in his room, see his body from outside, observe the difference between the subtle physical and the material physical, etc. So he didn’t know. And it’s only when they burned his body …
I tried to delay the moment, but he was in the hospital, so it was difficult. I was in my room when they burned his body, and then suddenly I saw him arrive—sobbing—saying, ‘But … But I’m dead. I DIDN’T WANT to die! Why am I dead, I DIDN’T WANT to die!’ It was dreadful. So I kept him and held him against me to quiet him down.
He remained there for years.
And whenever we used to have meetings to decide on the construction of something or on repairs to be made, for example, I always felt him there and he influenced those who were present.
He wanted to live again; I managed to give him the opportunity. He was very conscious; the child isn’t yet so.
But people are such fools, they are so ignorant! …
                                                                   - The Mother
([1] It was at Tlemcen, in Algeria. While Mother was in trance, Théon caused the thread which linked Mother to her body to break through a movement of anger. He was angry because Mother, who was in a region where she saw the ‘mantra of life,’ refused to tell him the mantra. Faced with the enormity of the result of his anger Théon got hold of himself, and it took all Mother’s force and all Théon’s occult science to get Mother back into her body—which created a kind of very painful friction at the moment of re-entry, perhaps the type of friction that makes new born children cry out.)
(Mother’s Agenda, Vol. 1, pp. 375-377) *                   *                     *