Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Gandhi’s moral rigidity betrayed a spiritual emptiness

When I see people comparing Gandhi and Sri Aurobindo, inwardly I cringe, because there really is no comparison. Now, only God knows the truth of our souls, but honestly Gandhi was much more of a moralistic Christian traditionalist than a spiritual Hindu. Gandhi’s moral rigidity betrayed a spiritual emptiness that one can even detect in his autobiography. His bizarre opposition to contraception, his phobia of modernity and technology, his dogmatic nonviolence (he told the Jews to commit mass suicide when the Nazis were oppressing them!) — all criticized harshly by Sri Aurobindo — indicate that he was far from being spiritually transformed.
The ancient Hindu texts do value morality, but they also understand that morality and moralism have their limits. You find this to be the over-arching message of the Bhagavad-Gita — because ultimately the Gita’s message is of a supraethical surrender. Whatever you are doing, however foolish or ignorant, just surrender and consent to be transformed, and the Supreme will indeed deliver you if you are sincere... As the Mother never tired of saying, moralism is the greatest obstacle to genuine spiritual self-giving.

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