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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Indian Sri Aurobindo learnt Indian spirituality much later after being ‘an accomplished westerner’ first

Comment by Debabrata Ghosh on September 21, 2008 ASPIRATION

  • Firstly, none can deny the sufferings and impermanence of this worldly life.
  • Secondly, the bliss and peace of spiritual consciousness attained by yogis and seekers were far superior to the normal and ordinary consciousness of life.

The height of consciousness as evident in the saints, yogis and other extraordinary spiritual persons viz. Christ, Chaitanyadeva, Buddha, Shankaracharya, Sri Ramakrishna was so dazzling, overpowering and enlightening that it was enough for an emphatic assertion of the truth they held and pursued as valid and the consequent conclusion in regard to the falsity of worldly existence. The elites of Indian mind could naturally find no reason to counter this world-shunning attitude and philosophy. It was to be a very natural conclusion that if one was to believe in the existence of God worth his status the world could not have been a reality in his creations. Otherwise the only way to accept life or to accommodate into it lied in material atheism.

The very essence of Indian psyche unlike the Western is spiritual. So a sense of other-worldliness turned to be the natural climate of Indian mind after the most outstanding and brilliant spiritual personalities –Gautama Buddha and Shankaracharya. Actually Buddhism was supplanted by Shankara’s Adwaitaism in India. The very element of ‘doubt’ that goes natural with the Western materialist’s seeking could not get sustenance in the spiritual Indian mind. It was ‘faith’, spontaneous natural faith that determined the life-movements of India. For this no question was prominently possible to counter Mayavada. So ‘the refusal of the ascetic’ had a very natural way in the Indian situation. It was strongly rooted in the Indian psyche. It would not have been possible in the West where spirituality was not the staple food of life what it was in India. It seems to be a very complicated psychological situation and its phenomenon if we compare the two collective groups-Oriental (especially Indian) and Occidental.

When I ponder over the matter personally I think that there was no way out to break this mindset of India. India was what she had to be under the tremendous spiritual influence of Shankaracharya and Buddha. So to pull up India from this Pacific depth of negative spirituality –one required to be rich with all the riches of western culture. Indian Sri Aurobindo learnt Indian spirituality much later after being ‘an accomplished westerner’ first. So the Providence dropped him as a powerful question mark against the three thousand year-old asceticism of India. There seemed to be no way out to convince with another thought –no key could be made available to decode a knowledge otherwise to awaken man to a new spiritual truth- than to express the truth carried in the words of Sri Aurobindo –when he uttered ‘Man is a transitional being’.

This line is the solace to all those who urgently need to be rescued from degeneration and confusion. This historic pronouncement of Sri Aurobindo helped Satprem with the light he was distressingly in need of. It became his life’s turning point. Satprem was the disgusted face of western materialism. He like an Indian also needed to be convinced of a logical course of life’s ultimate destination. In India we needed Sri Aurobindo in order to turn the inherent spiritual inclination towards its proper destination; and in the case of western Satprem, he needed the rational justification of considering life only in terms of spiritual truth. Man had no destination for his life in this world before Sri Aurobindo showed or discovered it.

Man’s existence was precariously hanging in confusing uncertainty. Neither the spiritual Mayavadins nor the materialists were able to secure a place in this universe for man with a dignified face. Sri Aurobindo on behalf of whole humanity declared that man is not finished or depleted in his manhood. He reminded us citing the words of ancient Indian spiritual wisdom that all this is Brahman and that indwelling Brahman in man is a traveller through life. Man is a traveller and he is travelling through evolution. Life in man has yet to attain the status of the divinity already in him and in his journey. Man is not in the last rung of the evolutionary ladder. And for the fulfilment of his life and progressive journey this world –this very earth has been created. Every grain of sand is true as true is the Brahman. Thus Sri Aurobindo came to return to man his cup of divine nectar of immortality and saved him his forgotten glory.

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