Friday, August 3, 2007

His championing of the Vedic, Upanishadic scriptures and Bhagvad Gita should not be seen as non-secular or chauvinistic

Re: Untold Potentialities: India and the Third World. by Richard Hartz by Mr. Yeshwant Sane on Thu 02 Aug 2007 07:30 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link India's Resurgence
I'm extremely happy to have read the above address on spirituality to the humanity at large and India in particular. But the comprehensive understanding and pursuit of spirituality both by Mahayogi Aurobindo and the Mother, is not reflected in the thinking and activities by the general humanity and even by the followers. Let us reappreciate his observations in his great book "Essays on The Gita".
"This truth, though it is one and eternal, expresses itself in time and through the mind of man;… moreover, in the statement of the truth the actual form given to it, the system and arrangement, the metaphysical and intellectual mould, the precise expression used must be largely subject to the mutations of time and cease to have the same force; for the human intellect modifies itself always; continually dividing and putting together it is obliged to shift its divisions continually and to rearrange its synthesis; it is always leaving old expression and symbol for new , if it uses the old, it so changes its connotation or at least it's exact content and association, that we can never be quite sure of understanding an ancient book of this kind precisely in the sense and spirit it bore to its contemporaries. What is of entirely permanent value is that which besides being universal has been experienced, lived and seen with a higher than the intellectual vision.”
I feel, that the relative neglect of his great thought as actually reflected in his great works such as The Foundations Of Indian Culture, Essays on The Gita, The Secret of Veda, Hymns To The Mystic Fire (Agni), The Synthesis Of Yoga etc., appear to my mind, as the unfortunate direct result of his version of the phenomenon of natural decline of the spirituality into intellectuality of the present day post modern times.
MahaYogi Aurobindo, though trained and educated in England was born in India. Does it have some significance? His championing of the Vedic, Upanisadic Scriptures and Bhagvad Gita etc, should not be seen as a non-secular or a chauvinistic expression, as the Marxist or by those calling Aurobindo as a racist would term it; but as an expression of the revealed absolute Truth –the Rita and the Satya in the Vedic parlance and revealed to an anthropologically qualified, eligible and gifted Spiritualist.
The esoteric spiritual knowledge and practice was always handed down by the Rishis to their disciples, which practice is followed even today, and many Western individual disciples are the recipients. Mahayogi Aurobindo observes in "Hymns to the Mystic Fire (Agni)” –
“man who handed down this knowledge and their powers by a secret initiation to their descendant and chosen disciples-it is a gratuitous assumption to suppose that this Tradition was wholly unfounded, a superstition that arose suddenly or slowly formed in a void, with nothing whatsoever to support it; some foundations there must have been However swelled by legend and the accretions of centuries.”
Now, this highlights the specificity of the land and the culture for the birth of certain spiritual knowledge. This is true of the Tibetan spirituality or of any other land and its variety. We accept the Specificity of a Ratnagiri Alfonso Mango or the Spanish or the Kashmiri saffron. In that case, why are we upset by the natural specificity? This claim is disliked by the secularist and the Universalist alike, which betray in fact their own racist attitudes and rejection of the plain Truth. Such attitudes are reflected even in India in their separatist’s claims of the States and Provinces. Their assumptive concepts of Integral and secular needs close examination.
Briefly stated, the resurgence of India would need these corrections through out in the immediate future. (Yeshwant Sane) Email: Friday, August 03, 2007

1 comment:

  1. I came across this passage in Dr.Karan Singh's well known & well read book which was his thesis on Sri Aurobindo-Prophet of Indian Nationalism. It may help to give a fresh direction & serve as a pointer for future action: "Sri Aurobindo was no crude, narrow revivalist for whom everything indigenous was good & everything foreign bad. On the contrary he had a clear awareness of the depths to which his country had fallen & the shortcomings of its national spirit & life. He felt strongly, however, that these misfortunes were not the result of any ingrained weakness in the Indian character - as the British sought to prove - but were due merely to a temporary set of unfavourable circumstances, the most adverse of which was the very fact of alien rule. He felt that a revival & regeneration of true Indian culture was a pre-requisite for her political freedom, and all his political writings were directed towards encouraging & hastening such a revival. As spiritualism was the keynote of Sri Aurobindo's approach to political thought and action, the regeneration that he aspired towards was no mere growth of national chauvinism but a deep spiritual rebirth. He writes: "Those who have freed nations have first passed through the agony of utter renunciation before their efforts were crowned by success, and those who aspire to free India will first have to pay the price which the Mother demands...Regeneration is literally rebirth, and rebirth comes not by the intellect, not by the fullness of the purse, not by policy, not by change of machinery, but by getting anew heart, by throwing away all into the fire of sacrifice and being reborn in the Mother." (p,103-04)
    This gives an insight into Sri Aurobindo's vision & meaning of national resurgence from a deeper level - a point of introspection in the sixtieth year of India's independent existence. This if put against the right present perspective can be of help.And the other aspect which emerges is a demand, the demand for renunciation & sacrifice - both of the sense of the superficial self, of surface ambition, agitation & false scheming - characteristics required if one is to work for national regeneration from this sixtieth year onwards. Shall we respond to this call for regeneration in the right spirit?