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Friday, July 3, 2015

Evil, pralaya, and astrology

By S. Ferguson on February 5, 2014
While I do not agree with Sri Aurobindo’s theories of evolution, I do find his analysis of the Rig Veda compelling. He evaluates the Rig Veda from the inner esoteric perspective, what he terms 'psychological' - term more general in the era he initially wrote this study, 1914-17.R.L. Kashyap's translation of the Rig Veda is the result of this initial research. The first volume and/or full set is available on amazon. R.L. Kashyap has published many smaller books examining themes in the Rig Veda, one of which "Semantics of the Rig Veda" is an excellent introduction to his work. For those who are serious about understanding the mystery and enigma of the Rig Veda, these books are definitely worth your time.

R.L. Kashyap's translation of the Rig Veda is the result of Sri Aurobindo's initial research. The first volume and/or full set is available on amazon. R.L. Kashyap has published many smaller books examining themes in the Rig Veda, one of which is this "Semantics of the Rig Veda" and is an excellent introduction to his work. For those who are serious about understanding the mystery and enigma of the Rig Veda, these books are definitely worth your time. The word semantics is accurate, however slightly dull sounding - and this book is anything but dull as it reveals just about every why they got is wrong and why the esoteric interpretation works imaginable! See "Secret of the Veda" by Sri Aurobindo - here at amazon.

S. Ferguson 4 months ago - Hi Don,
Thank you for your intelligent question. I wish I had a final answer. I am unable to weave evolution into the theory of the Cycles of Time. I can accept that everything is constantly changing in the temporal realms, in all four Yugas. Ice Ages show that. However the idea that we are evolving into some kind of Super Being seems at odds with the Dissolutions (pralaya) that are said to take place at the end of four yugas, etc.
I would be sincerely interested in your views, because I have been unable to reconcile both of these ideas. I really like what R.L. Kashyap has done in translating the Rig Veda. It's a joy to read! The great scholar S.K Ramachandra Rao (who I very much admire) has agreed with Kashyap's interpretation based on Aurobindo's initial insights, which I agree are quite brilliant. But where does that leave the Cycles of Time? Does every great master always get everything right? It has occurred to me that Aurobindo may have been influenced by the Mother whose background was western occultism. What are your thoughts?

Don Salmon 4 months ago
Oh, one more thing - if you're interested in what we (Jan and I) have written on evolution, there are some excerpts from our book - Yoga Psychology and the Transformation of Consciousness: Seeing Through the Eyes of Infinity - over at integralworld.com - in the Reading Room, under Salmon - 'Ken Wilber's Evolutionary View Gets a Trim With Ockham's Razor", in several parts. That may give some indication of how we approach evolution. I think even huston smith soften his opposition to Aurobindo over the years - he was heavily influenced by Schuon but later had long long conversations with Robert McDermott that shifted his views somewhat. 

By L. Ron Gardner - Published on Amazon.com
This book is of particular interest to me because the subject matter is right up my alley--tying together yoga philosophy and depth psychology. And what makes it even more interesting is the yoga philosophy authors Salmon and Maslow use in their treatise--Sri Aurobindo's.
Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950) was not only a great mystic and sage, but also India's preeminent twentieth-century philosopher. Aurobindo originated Integral Yoga, which Professor Georg Fuerstein, the world's foremost authority on yoga, describes as "the single most impressive attempt to reformulate Yoga for our modern needs and abilities." "Integral" Yoga gurus such as the late, prominent Swami Satchidananda (who founded Integral Yoga Institute) and "Integral" New Age philosophers such as the renowned Ken Wilber (who created Integral Life) owe their inspiration and orientation to Aurobindo's seminal Integral Yoga philosophy.
Although I love and appreciate the authors' integration of Aurobindo's Divine Yoga with depth psychology, I certainly don't agree with everything in this book. Moreover, I wish the authors had mentioned astrology, because from my perspective as an ex-professional astrologer, I do not think it's possible to get a full sense of one's karmic patterns, one's psychical matrix, without an in-depth natal chart consideration. But overall, this book contains so much insightful and enlightening material, I rate it as a marvelous and "must" read for anyone interested in yoga psychology and the transformation of consciousness.

Ashtar Command says: In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2015 - Don,
The problem, however, is precisely the question of evil. "Eating the mango" suggests that evil really is evil, if you get my point, in a robust sense (ISIS comes to mind here). But if everything is "in" God and ultimately comes from God, wouldn´t this imply that evil also comes from God? But if so, God cannot be perfect - i.e. cannot be God (almost by definition). Casteel is right that classical theism is an attempted response to this problem, by suggesting that the world - in some sense - is "outside" God and hence can be deprived of good/evil. On *this* point, I think classical theism sounds reasonable, somehow...
You are right that Aurobindo is usually seen as an intellectual, theoretical guy, like the Hindu version of Teilhard (who is also seen as intellectual-theoretical in this scenario). I originally thought so to, until reading M Alan Kazlev's criticism of Ken Wilber's view of Aurobindo at the "Integral World" site of Frank Visser. Aurobindo was (surprise) a mystic and yogi - Teilhard was also a mystic, although I know very little about it. Perhaps they choose to clothe their mysticism in intellectual garb as a "skillfull means" to attract, say, intellectual types like the Ashtar Command? ;-)

Ashtar Command says: In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2013
Probably in Kazlev´s article on Wilber at the Integral World website. And/or at Kazlev´s own website Kheper. Probably also in Vrekhem´s book "Beyond the human species". The last chapters of Aurobindo´s own "The Life Divine" cover the issue, but they are extremely hard to read! Something admitted by Kazlev. I gave up... 

Aurobindo seems unusual - when I tried to read another chapter of his book I got the impression that he believes in a kind of personal god?! At least one historian of religion, whose name escapes me at the present moment, agrees with me there... But then, "personal god" can mean different things, certainly within a "Hindu" context! Reply to this post

Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth: A Brief History and Philosophy

https://books.google.co.in/books?isbn=0231519478
Aurobindo, Sri. The Future Poetry. Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library, vol. 9. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, 1973. —. Hymns to the Mystic Fire. SriAurobindo Birth Centenary Library, vol. 11. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram  ...

Karma and Rebirth: Post Classical Developments - Page 37

https://books.google.co.in/books?isbn=0873959906
Aurobindo was aware of such attacks, his withdrawal into the practice of Integral Yoga placed him at some distance from continual reenforce- ment of such criticisms. He was removed both from that culture and from concern for the authority of  ...

Mysteries of Death, Fate, Karma, and Rebirth: In the Light ...

https://books.google.co.in/books?isbn=8170587727
Jugal Kishore Mukherjee - 2004 - ‎Snippet view
In the Light of the Teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother Jugal Kishore Mukherjee. Publishers' Note We are happy to bring to the reading public a seventh research work from the pen of Jugal Kishore Mukherjee who happens to be a  ...



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