Firstly, what is Sri Chaki's understanding of a religion? The terms like 'culture' and 'religion' are most complicated to define in simple ways as both the terms are involved in collective psychology and social traditions. And both of them also are inter-related. One can not be isolated from another.
Secondly in what ways Sri Aurobindo was different from those after whose teachings some religions were came into existence. As for example - I like to name three persons on whose influence three great religions were established - Jesus Christ, Lord Buddha and Prophet Muhammad. Christianity, Buddhism and Islam came as organised religions long after the death of their founders (though they did not think of founding religions after them).
However as religion was related to collective aspiration for a greater or higher authority (read God) the sociologists and historians are inclined to analyse the social conditions of a particular collectivity that led into a religion. So this obviously will drag us to scholastic discussions which is not the intention of Sri Chaki. But there is also a problem in leaving spiritual or religious matters to the social scientists for proper explanations. In that case we are bound to hear such explanation that religion is the opium of people offered to them for their exploitation. Actually it is not possible for scientists and historians to give explanations as to what is the basis of a religion to evolve as a collective organisation...
There were spiritual power or shakti behind the establishment of all the religions. But these powers were of different regions of consciousness. They did not come from the same strata and their purposes are not same. If one is not completely apprised of such powers as explained by The Mother and Sri Aurobindo it can not be understood. These powers or shaktis descends as Avatars or Bibhutis for helping evolutionary process in its particular junctions. Not all the times they are aware of their missions.
Napoleon was a great Bibhuti and unknowingly he served a great purpose in the process of evolution. But he can never be compared with Vivekananda or Sri Ramakrishna and also Julius Caesar. Buddha was an avatar of mind and so it's in Buddhism the mental factor is more prominent than any religion. So there was also a power of the world's latest religion of Marxism-Leninism. Though the god in it failed quickly-but it also served its purpose. A great atheism was required for the coming of a pure spiritual truth.
It is not that for propagation of religion the patronage of kings and nobility is required as told by a person in a forum. The power itself organises every thing required around it for fulfilment of its purpose. So a shakti as avatar or bibhuti descended to help man in various stages of his status to attain what was his highest-i.e. already existed in him as his consciousness.
Lord Buddha or Christ did not bring down any higher consciousness from any higher zone for man. They came to push , create and empower man to attain what was his highest and already in him step by step -the Overmind-according to the terminology of Sri Aurobindo.
There lies the difference between Sri Aurobindo and other avatars. Sri Aurobindo brought down something beyond man's local own godhead. So far it was a world of gods that performed through different religions. After the Supramental descent -all the gods lost their powers by merging in the Mother and the very basis of religion was rendered useless. There will never be any new religion in this world. The days of religions are gone. What we see now is a hangover of religious sanskaras.
The inner man has already become very great. It seeks the greatest of all godly ideas in his life. Man is already been free from all bondage-religious, social, economical, political, cultural -all that bind him. But he is not conscious of it.
So those who are inclined to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother have become inclined not to be so attached to their concerned religions. But how can they assert their choice for a new freedom? They are in the transition externally from their journey from God of religion to the God of absolute freedom. In the years to come there will be seen some elite groups in varied ways. And there will also be those who will be the followers of Sri Aurobindo. Generally the elites -the elites of consciousness will be evolved in a sporadic manner. So it is not proper to call an elite group -who for obvious reason -is the follower of Sri Aurobindo -a religious sect. It's for the remnants of sectarianism in man that he feels comfortable to belong to sects (read religion). Even some followers of Sri Aurobindo love to think them as separate from other sects (read inferior sects). It is because -the inner has yet to grasp the outer.
The followers of Sri Chaitanya (a founder of a sect and a bibhuti) came from the economically and socially lower rung of society. But a follower of Sri Aurobindo is generally psychologically elevated. Again religion without creeds is unknown. One can best see the contrast in the life of a collective group-Sri Aurobindo Ashram-where the devotees are not bound by any creed for their stay in the Ashram.
Finally -without a temple-and without any mohanta-without any motivated preacher and without knowing what to do in daily life -how and why Sri Aurobindo (I do not like to add any suffix as 'nian' or 'dian' etc) can become a dharma? The Ashram may not be there in future. Even in its present form it never insists people to come to its fold. So where do people go to become religious with Sri Aurobindo?
Perhaps we have become unnecessarily restless to see a future after Sri Aurobindo. We will have to see many queer contradictions of what we want to believe. It is perhaps not futile to discuss about matters related to Sri Aurobindo but it is certainly futile to see or comprehend a future-as life never teaches us-life prepares us. And we are yet to be prepared. ► Reply to This
Fascinating discussion going on here. What I would like to add is that it is part of human nature to require mental symbols to hold on to their faith. In short, we have a tendency to be religious. Even though I had absolutely no connection with Vedanta or with spirituality before coming to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother (I was quite happily agnostic), I too find myself sometimes resorting to behavior that would be seen as "religious" or "devotional". This is not a bad thing, in and of itself, as long as we recognize what all the mental symbols and rituals are: metaphors for the inner transformation.
Where things become really problematic is when people start to use their preferred philosophy or spiritual teachers to push what is really a vital-emotional agenda, which they try to pass off as "spirituality". This involves prosyletizing, trying to convert others, preaching at every available opportunity, not being able to resist arguing, etc. etc. None of this is spiritual -- it has no connection with the equality and acceptance of all that one experiences when one comes into contact with the psychic being. It is all vital, and it is the vital in a very immature and crude state.
To make it clear, I am not being judgmental as I have noticed the same vital weaknesses in my own nature! I frequently overdo it, for instance with my atheist friends, by talking about Sri Aurobindo and the Mother too much or revealing more than they can understand for now. But the point is to recognize these things as vital self-indulgence, and offer them up to the Mother for transformation.
In short, inner transformation is a very difficult process. Getting distracted by these vital by-ways that lead us to dream of imposing our preferred grand narratives onto others is very deceptive and treacherous -- it could potentially lead to us getting possessed by vital beings (perhaps even those of an adverse nature) which could use us to pervert the higher Truth of the spiritual teaching (indeed I see this happening with those who are pushing a new "religion" in Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's name).
The only way out of the human condition is inward and upward. "There is a soul within and a Grace above." That should be our unshakable faith at all times, even when the lower nature persists in the old ways. ► Reply to This