Sunday, June 3, 2007

Seven tetrads for the Yoga of Self-Perfection

Re: 13: Nature a Conscious Front of God by RY Deshpande
on Sat 02 Jun 2007 07:16 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link
Sapta Chatusthaya
The Yoga of Self-Perfection, one of the terms in the creation of the new world in the Divine Will, has its early foundation in the Sapta Chatusthaya, the seven elements or seven tetrads Sri Aurobindo received when he was in the Alipore Jail as an under-trial prisoner for his alleged act of sedition against the British government in India, during 1908-09. A note in the Supplement of the Birth Centenary publication says the following:
“These mantras along with the notes which accompany them were written down by Sri Aurobindo, probably after his release from prison in May, 1909, and certainly before his departure from Chandernagore on March 31, 1910.”
For want of judicial proofs, Sri Aurobindo was acquitted and released from the jail on 6 May 1909; however, the British were still after him and soon he had to go in hiding. He had received an inner command, ādeśa, and first he was in Chandernagore, not too far from Calcutta, for two and a half months and then he left for Pondicherry where he arrived on 4 April 1910, both the towns being French settlements at that time; Sri Aurobindo remained in Pondicherry ever since then, the place having become his Cave of Tapasya. It is here that the Mother was soon to join in the great work they had come to do together. The early seeds of the great work, from the point of view of Adhyatmayoga, were in these Chatusthayas, precise in their formulation, almost like Yoga Aphorisms.
But it is unfortunate that there is no text of the Chatusthayas available in Sri Aurobindo’s own handwriting. What we have are transcripts written down by the first young disciples. We are told that these transcripts or “copies were made either from now-lost manuscript written by Sri Aurobindo or, more likely, from one or more written records of a series of talks given by him.” In any case there cannot be any doubt about the authenticity of their yogic-spiritual contents. Never in yogic annals were given such precise steps, except perhaps what has come down to us in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. If one is chiefly concerned with the Rajayoga, the other has for it the objective of Adhyatmayoga. Let us take an example of an entry, probably written in early 1913:
“There is full perfection of the first chatusthaya; in the second, there are still defects, but you can see the immense progress made in the human parts of the system. Only the divine part is still imperfect. Till then the full intensity cannot come. The perfection is coming. This is the full attack on the karma, no longer of men, but of nature. They have called up the elements to aid them. The battle with the elements is still a losing battle for the present. Nor is the ideality is yet perfectly combined in detail. This is the proof of the ideality but it has yet to be perfected. The knowledge is once more working with a near approach to perfection, only some of the placements are still wrong. The power must be brought up to the same level in its ordinary movements, then in the body, then in the karma. The power will now begin to work in the ideality and in harmony with the knowledge, the telepathy and trikaldrishti. Although it is as yet incompletely done, still it is done…” (Record of Yoga, Part II, pp. 1309-10)
Sapta Chatusthaya, or Yoganga as it is called, could be briefly presented in its revised order as follows:
• Siddhi Chatusthaya—Shuddhi, Mukti, Bhukti, Siddhi
• Brahma Chatusthaya—Anantam, Jnanam, Anandam, Brahma
• Karma Chatusthaya—Krishna, Kali, Karma, Kama
• Shanti Chatusthaya—Samata, Shanti, Sukha, Hasya
• Shakti Chatusthaya—Virya, Shakti, Chandibhava, Sraddha
• Vijnana Chatusthaya—Jnana, Trikaladrishti, Ashtasiddhi, Samadhi
• Sharira Chatusthaya—Arogya, Utthapana, Saundarya, Vividhananda
Sri Aurobindo has incorporated many of these features in The Synthesis of Yoga dealing with the Yoga of Self-Perfection. Let us, however, take just one entry from his Record by way of an illustration, showing how meticulously and scientifically Sri Aurobindo was carrying out his yoga-tapasya, about which we have otherwise the least idea. Even with our best minds and our best faculties, we will simply stand aghast at the kind of things that are involved in this remarkable Yoga of his. The Mother’s Agenda is the only other thing that can stand together in this wonderment. What, then, about our little talk regarding the human potential and the technology promoting spiritual prospects! It looks such a small curious thing in comparison, perhaps no more than queer inquisitiveness! But let us read Sri Aurobindo’s entry, dated 30 April 1918. (pp. 1041-43) ...
Is this not the kind of Yoga of Self-Perfection that was practised by Aswapati when he set himslef to create the new world in the House of the Spirit? The Purusha Yoga is done and now the Prakriti Yoga must begin, that this new world descend upon the earth. RYD

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