On Sri Aurobindo’s Philosophy and Yoga

There are three key elements in Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy that help us orient to his teachings.

(1) There is One Reality behind this world of varied manifold creation. This is of course common to all spiritual seeking and religious thought. The Vision of the One Reality is threefold, Transcendent,  Cosmic and Individual, in the sense that it transcends Creation,  envelops it, extends into it and enters into each and every element of it. This is the first fundamental truth of the One Reality, One Being, that is at once Personal,  Impersonal and Suprapersonal infinite Existence,  Consciousness and Bliss.

(2) The second fundamental truth is that this Reality is not only static but also dynamic. It is not just a silent witness but actively manifesting itself through countless names and forms. All evolution is a progressive manifestation of the One Reality through name and form. The static aspect of the One Reality is the Iswara (Supreme Lord) and the dynamic aspect is Shakti (Divine Mother) or the Supreme Wisdom and Power that has gone into creation. All creation is the play of the Divine as Lord and His Shakti.

(3) The third and most important aspect is that this manifestation is not yet over. It is still labouring in its lesser forms and formulations. It is destined to go further until the world and its forms can manifest fully the unveiled Divine. Right now our mind and body still labouring heavily under ignorance, at worst deflect and distort, at best limit the manifestation. Nature, the executive force is labouring to make it more and more perfect through the conscious collaboration of man. That is why it has given man the dream of a perfect life in every aspect.

The conscious collaboration of man to arrive at fulfilling the Divine intention in creation is what is termed as Yoga. Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo is a means to arrive at this Perfection destined for earth and man. The method is to put our present limited human nature in contact with the Divine Supernature or the Divine Shakti through faith, aspiration and surrender. Once the door is opened and the initial contact established then it is the Divine Shakti who does the progressive transformation and the consequent divinisation.

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother represent and embody these two aspects of the One Reality as the Lord and His Shakti. This embodiment facilitates the process by making it easier for us to connect and contact. Otherwise, the whole thing will remain too abstract for the average human being. Opening to the Mother is therefore the key to this yoga. It starts with the discovery of the soul within, the pouring in of higher and higher forces from spiritual planes above the human mind and the rational intellect. Eventually, once our mind, body and life are sufficiently prepared then there is the divinisation of the entire natural being ending with the emergence of a new divine body not subject to death, disease and decay.

Of course, all this is bound to take time because it is not an individual but a collective change.  But the process has been initiated and the Mother and Sri Aurobindo are watching over it from the subtle realms operating behind the gross material world.

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