Thursday, November 20, 2014

Role of Spirituality apropos morality

[Morality involves regulating one’s physical and vital desires and impulses by the power of the mental will. Service to others – family, society, country – and other forms of idealism, while helping to discipline and mould human nature, still belong to the mental evolution and are bound by the ego. Exoteric religion serves a purpose in the life of societies to correct collective egoism and provide a support and help to those who have some spiritual devotion. But there is a radical difference between these three approaches to higher life and that of spirituality. Spirituality and yoga depend essentially on a change of consciousness; they reveal to man another realm entirely, beyond the rule of the ego, where one can begin to live more freely and unite with one’s true self.]

Morality, Idealism, Religion and Yoga
The Meaning of Spirituality — Selections from the Works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
Publisher: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Publication Department, Pondicherry Binding: Soft Cover Pages: 174 Price: Rs 80 ISBN: 979-81-7058-037-8

[Spirituality may often be confused with morality, idealism, and religion, which play significant roles in regulating, controlling, and directing the lives of most men. But spirituality, or yoga in its more general sense, is essentially different because it proceeds directly by a change of consciousness and presents a radical new approach to life. This approach, which goes beyond the ego and its exclusive focus on the common habits of the mind, life, and body, reveals to man how to find his true self and seek union with the Divine. The editor has selected passages from the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother that define and clarify these fundamental differences and, in the final section, that describe how to prepare for and take up the path of yoga.]

Letters present a different aspect of Sri Aurobindo

[The letters present to the reader a different aspect of Sri Aurobindo than we meet in his more formal writings. Prior to November 1926, Sri Aurobindo met with his disciples daily. After he retired to his room, his external contact with them was mostly limited to exchanges of letters. The letters from Sri Aurobindo to his disciples are personal, direct, simple, often humorous, always encouraging, and full of his compassion and care. They respond individually to specific questions on every conceivable subject or problem facing the sadhak. Sri Aurobindo cautioned his disciples that it was not advisable to apply to oneself what he had written for another: “Each sadhak is a case by himself and one cannot always or often take a mental rule and apply it rigidly to all who are practising the Yoga.” Yet there is a core of knowledge that emerges – a common theme on the practice of yoga, the foundation of the sadhana, a set of guiding principles for the path of self-perfection, and an explanation of the psychic and spiritual realisations that form the base of the Integral Yoga – that, if taken in the right spirit, can widen and deepen the understanding of any sincere reader.]

[For some time afterwards, his main literary output was his voluminous correspondence with his disciples. His letters, most of which were written in the 1930s, numbered in the several thousands. Many were brief comments made in the margins of his disciple's notebooks in answer to their questions and reports of their spiritual practice—others extended to several pages of carefully composed explanations of practical aspects of his teachings. These were later collected and published in book form in three volumes of Letters on Yoga. In the late 1930s, he resumed work on a poem he had started earlier—he continued to expand and revise this poem for the rest of his life.[41] It became perhaps his greatest literary achievement, Savitri, an epic spiritual poem in blank verse of approximately 24,000 lines.]
  1. Anonymous comment:

    most ashramites there today, didn't come to imbibe any values or ideals. prime location, free food, no work.... so forget about any evolution. i just hope they don't do the opposite of dragging the rest of us into some dark abyss.

    Polite? thats the deviant trait thats found in less than handful of people in the ashram outlets. 
  2. The state of affairs narrated is quite true as experienced by us often during our visits to Ashram for Darshan. Today only (17/11/14) my wife was misbehaved badly by a male sadhak while she was silently standing in queue in Dining room to deposit utensils in the wash area. It is a pity that there is no one to oversea as to how the visitors/devotees coming from far flung areas are being treated by the so called Ashramites