Sri Krishna to Sri Aurobindo

We have read and heard the significance of 24th November known as the Siddhi Day among the devotees and disciples of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. The event is generally observed as the day when Sri Krishna, his earthly divine personality, the Avatar so to say, fused with the earthly divine personality of Sri Aurobindo. It means the Avatar of the past now joins hands with the Avatar of the present to steer the world towards a diviner future. This joining and fusion is not just collaboration in the new venture being undertaken by the Divine Mother, in the New Creation as it were, but much more. It meant three things in addition.

The first and foremost is that the spiritual gains of the past had been secured now with Sri Aurobindo. The securing of this wisdom and powers already manifested upon earth in and through the Avatar is important since there are always beings and forces in the occult worlds and their human representatives who are after this wisdom and power, not to help and do good of the world but to misuse it for their own egoistic purposes by giving it a twist. Of course Sri Aurobindo was already well way ahead towards this since his first meeting with Sri Krishna as the Immanent Divine in the Alipore Jail. It is this first encounter that developed through the years until the crowning moment on the 24th November 1926. It was like the final giving of all that Sri Krishna embodied, all the gains he had made, all the victories he had won for earth and man during his earthly sojourn, his divine play as an Avatar, lila as it is called. Sri Aurobindo recounts this sweetly in one of his aphorisms thus.

My Lover took His crown and royal necklace from His head and neck and clothed me with them; but the disciples of the saints and the prophets abused me and said, “He is hunting after Siddhis.”   [CWSA 12: 484]

The second aspect of this fusion is that the Avatar of the past handed over the lordship and guardianship of the Age that was dawning upon man to Sri Aurobindo who from this moment was the custodian of the Sanatana Dharma in the great unfolding of the Divine. From now onwards Sri Aurobindo represented the Supreme for the Divine unfolding upon Earth. His word, His Will would be the final seal of what the future would bring. What Sri Aurobindo had already foreseen and revealed through the Arya (the monthly journal brought out by Sri Aurobindo from 1914 to 1921) was no more just a vision or a dream. The time had come to realize it. It meant a tremendous responsibility with regard to the work of the Supreme upon earth which the Avatar comes to do. This work as we know is to destroy the forces of downward gravitation, on the one hand, while on the other, to open the way towards the future. From now onwards Sri Aurobindo could exclusively concentrate upon the work of bringing down the Supramental Manifestation. The sanction was given and hence the work had to start in full swing with the complete sanction of the Supreme. It is what is meant when Sri Aurobindo mentioned to one of his disciples that it is Sri Krishna’s work that he is carrying on. Sri Aurobindo reveals us the nature of Sri Krishna’s work in his Bengali writings.

In the age of the Mahabharata the earth was groaning under the load of titanic power. Neither before nor after, was there in India such an outbreak of strong and powerful and violent Kshatriya power, but there was little chance of that terrible power being turned to good purpose. Those who were the vehicles of this power were all of them of an asuric nature, vanity and pride, selfishness and self-will were in their very bones. If Sri Krishna had not established the rule of law by destroying this power, then one or the other of the three types of results described above would certainly have happened. India would have fallen prematurely into the hands of the barbarian. It should be remembered, that the Kurukshetra war took place five thousand years ago, it was after two thousand five hundred years had elapsed that the first successful invasion of barbarians could reach up to the other side of the Indus. The rule of law founded by Arjuna was therefore able to protect the country under the influence of a Kshatriya power inspired by that of the Brahmin. Even at that time there was in the country such an accumulation of Kshatriya power that a fraction of itself has kept the country alive for two thousand years. On the strength of that Kshatriya power great men like Chandragupta, Pushyamitra, Samudragupta, Vikrama, Sangramasingha, Pratap, Rajasingha, Pratapaditya and Sivaji fought against the country’s misfortunes. Only the other day in the battle of Gujarat and on the funeral pyre of Lakshmibai was the last spark of that power extinguished; with that ended the good fruit and the virtue of Sri Krishna’s political work, there came necessity of another full Incarnation for the saving of India and the world. 

[Sri Aurobindo, Bengali Writings: 143 – 144]

It may be interesting to note that Sri Aurobindo carried on the work of Sri Krishna further in three main directions:

1. Rescuing the Sanatan Dharma, as ebbedded in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita through his writings in the Arya.
2. Forging the way of India’s independence by awakening the people as and the soul of India to its own dharma.
3. Leading the march of humanity towards a greater International Unity based on the realization of the One Self in all creatures. The nation unit had to be further expanded into a larger world unity but without losing the unique gains of creating a nation, a work that Sri Krishna had already accomplished for India as well as laid down the foundations for the future world-unity.
4. Breaking the forces of downward gravitation, though at a much worse and devastating scale as represented in the Axis powers during the two great World Wars.

The importance of Sri Krishna fusing with Sri Aurobindo is therefore of capital importance for the earth rather than personally for Sri Aurobindo who already had every possible realization that one could ever have and was already moving beyond towards the Supermind that none had even glimpsed except from afar as a remote distant possibility. But with Sri Krishna’s fusing, it was evident that the time had come to realize it upon earth. It meant that now the eager participants had to be taken in to consciously in the new venture.

…. In 1926, I had begun a sort of overmental creation, that is, I had brought the Overmind down into matter, here on earth (miracles and all kinds of things were beginning to happen). I asked all these gods to incarnate, to identify themselves with a body (some of them absolutely refused). Well, with my very own eyes I saw Krishna, who had always been in rapport with Sri Aurobindo, consent to come down into his body.

(Disciple) Yes, in fact I wanted to ask you what this realization of 1926 was.

It was this: Krishna consented to descend into Sri Aurobindo’s body – to be fixed there; there is a great difference, you understand, between incarnating, being fixed in a body, and simply acting as an influence that comes and goes and moves about. The gods are always moving about, and it’s plain that we ourselves, in our inner beings, come and go and act in a hundred or a thousand places at once. There is a difference between just coming occasionally and accepting to be permanently tied to a body – between a permanent influence and a permanent presence.
These things have to be experienced.

(Disciple) But in what sense did this realization mark a turning point in Sri Aurobindo’s sadhana?

No, the phenomenon was important FOR THE CREATION; he himself was rather indifferent to it. But I did tell him about it. …

It was only … (how can I put it?) a participation from Krishna. It made no difference for Sri Aurobindo personally: it was a formation from the past that accepted to participate in the present creation, nothing more. It was a descent of the Supreme, from … some time back, now consenting to participate in the new manifestation….

[The Mother, Conversations with a Disciple, August 2, 1961]

Thirdly, it meant that all the roads that led to Sri Krishna would automatically open the way further towards Sri Aurobindo, of course if the soul of the seeker was ready and aspired for the same. There was no more any difference between the two. Sri Aurobindo therefore had to additionally take charge of all the genuine and sincere lovers of Sri Krishna as his own. Of course here one is not speaking of cults and sects and movements that claim to be inspired by Sri Krishna, for that is a different matter. But all genuine individuals who would turn to Sri Krishna for Guidance, for Light, for Strength and for Succour would automatically get the response from Sri Aurobindo. We see this happening with a number of disciples and devotees of Sri Aurobindo such as Dilip Kumar Roy, Sahana Devi, Charu Chandra Dutt and many others.

What you were told of the incompatibility of love and adoration of Krishna with this Yoga, is not true. There is not and cannot be any such incompatibility. Otherwise we would not have encouraged you in your aspiration. You can seek for him quite as well here as in Brindaban.

[Sri Aurobindo’s letter to Dilip, Dec 7, 1941]

This day however also marks two other significant events with far-reaching implications for humanity. The first is related to the past and the other to the future of man. The first is that with the sanction of the Supreme for the New Creation upon earth, the Age of the gods was coming to a close. The gods had been carrying on the work of creation until now assisting the work of the Avatar and the Vibhutis from behind, helping humanity in its upwards ascension. But now man was ready to go beyond the gods whose reign extends until the Overmental plane and its forces. The man was now being made ready to go further towards the Supramental creation. This meant that those who were ready for this new venture had to be weaned off or taken off the influence of the gods who, however great and powerful keep man bound to the lower creation and its limited possibilities. Of course, the gods would continue to work for those who are not yet so ready but few were ready to go beyond and it is in they who had to now come directly under the influence of the Supreme through the Grace and Love of the Divine Mother who alone could mediate between the two.

The third and most important aspect of this day is that it marks the beginning of the Ashram as a first seed plot for the New Creation. Even more importantly this day Sri Aurobindo openly placed the Mother in the forefront. Sri Aurobindo himself stepping behind to bring down the Supermind. The Mother was given the entire charge of the disciples who were the first representative humanity through whom She would work upon the human kind to carry it towards the divine superhumanity of the future.

The Mother recounts:

In the end, Sri Aurobindo told me it was an overmental creation, not the Truth. These were his very words: “Yes, it’s an overmental creation, but that’s not the truth we’re seeking; it’s not the truth, the highest truth,” he said.
I made no reply, not a word: in half an hour I had undone everything – I undid it all, really everything, cut the connection between the gods and the people here, demolished absolutely everything. Because you see, I knew it was so attractive for people (they were constantly seeing the most astonishing things) that the obvious temptation was to hang on to it and say, “We’ll improve on it” – which was impossible. So I sat down quietly for half an hour, and I undid it all.
We had to start over again with something else….

I had begun a sort of ‘overmental creation,’ to make each god descend into a being – there was an extraordinary upward curve! Well, I was in contact with these beings and I told Krishna (because I was always seeing him around Sri Aurobindo), ‘This is all very fine, but what I want now is a creation on earth – you must incarnate.’ He said ‘Yes.’ Then I saw him – I saw him with my own eyes (inner eyes, of course), join himself to Sri Aurobindo.
Then I went into Sri Aurobindo’s room and told him, ‘Here’s what I have seen.’ ‘Yes, I know!’ he replied (Mother laughs) ‘That’s fine; I have decided to retire to my room, and you will take charge of the people. You take charge.’ (There were about thirty people at the time.) Then he called everyone together for one last meeting. He sat down, had me sit next to him, and said, ‘I called you here to tell you that, as of today, I am withdrawing for purposes of sadhana, and Mother will now take charge of everyone; you should address yourselves to her; she will represent me and she will do all the work.’….

[The Mother, Conversations with a disciple, August 02nd, 1961]

Such is the importance of this day that marks a definitive turning point not only in Sri Aurobindo’s personal sadhana or the history of the Ashram but even more so in the history of the earth. From this time onwards the sun of the future had started to emerge for earth and man. Though the darkest night had yet to be crossed but the divine event was assured and the ‘things that were promised’ were on the road to their fulfilment.

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