We are here for ‘rising’ in our consciousness!

Sri Aurobindo, a great Yogi of India, says: :“All Yoga is in its nature a new birth; it is a birth out of the ordinary, the mentalised material life of man to a higher spiritual consciousness and a greater and diviner being.

“No Yoga can be successfully undertaken and followed unless there is a strong awakening to the necessity of that larger spiritual existence….(T) here must be a decision of the mind and the will and, as its result, a complete and effective self-consecration.

“The mere idea or intellectual seeking of something higher beyond, however strongly grasped by the mind’s interest, is ineffective unless it is seized on by the heart as the one thing desirable and by the will as the one thing to be done.

“He who seeks the Divine must consecrate himself to God and to God only. The secret Teacher, the inner guide is already at work, though he may not yet manifest himself or may not yet appear in the person of his human representative…. (I)f we desire to make the most of the opportunity that this life gives us, if we wish to respond adequately to the call we have received and to attain to the goal we have glimpsed, not merely advance a little towards it, it is essential that there should be an entire self-giving. The secret of success in Yoga is to regard it not as one of the aims to be perused in life, but as the whole of life.”

He further says: “The first necessity is to dissolve that central faith and vision in the mind which concentrate it on its development and satisfaction and interests in the old externalized order of things. … The next need is to compel all our lower being to pay homage to this new faith and greater vision. All our nature must make an integral surrender. Our whole being – soul, mind, sense, heart, will, life, body – must consecrate all its energies so entirely and in such a way that it shall become a fit vehicle for the Divine.

“Everything in us has constantly to be called back to the central faith and will and vision. Every thought and impulse has to be reminded… that ‘That is the divine Brahman and not this which men here adore’.

“Every vital fiber has to be persuaded to accept an entire renunciation of all that hitherto represented to it its own existence.

“The average human being even now is in his inward existence as crude and undeveloped as was the bygone primitive man in his outward life. But as soon as we go deep within ourselves, – and Yoga means a plunge into all the multiple profundities of the soul – we find ourselves subjectively… surrounded by a whole complex world which we have to know and to conquer.

“The most disconcerting discovery is to find that every part of us – intellect, will, sense-mind, nervous or desire-self, the heart, the body – has each, as it were, its own complex individuality and natural formation independent of the rest; it neither agrees with itself nor with the others nor with the representative ego which is the shadow cast by some central and centralizing self on our superficial ignorance.

“We find that we are composed not of one but many personalities and each has its own demands and differing nature. … We find that inwardly too, no less than outwardly, we are not alone in the world; the sharp separateness of our ego was no more than a strong imposition and delusion; we do not exist in ourselves, we do not really live apart in an inner privacy or solitude. Our mind is a receiving, developing and modifying machine into which there is being constantly passed from moment to moment a ceaseless foreign flux, a streaming mass of disparate materials from above, from below, from outside.
“Much more than half our thoughts and feelings are not our own in the sense that they take form out of ourselves; of hardly anything can it be said this is truly original to our nature. A large part comes to us from others or from the environment, whether as raw material or as manufactured imports; but still more largely they come from universal Nature here or from other worlds and planes and their beings and powers and influences; for we are overtopped and environed by other planes of consciousness, mind planes, life planes, subtle matter planes, from which our life and action here are fed, or fed on, pressed, dominated, made use of for the manifestation of their forms and forces.

Says Sri Aurobindo: “(A seeker of spirit) has to harmonize deliberate knowledge with unquestioning faith… the passivity of the soul… has to be fused with the activity of the divine helper and the divine warrior. To him as to all seekers of the spirit there are offered for solution the oppositions of the reason, the clinging hold of the senses, the perturbations of the heart, the ambush of the desires, the clog of the physical body, but he has to deal in another fashion with their mutual and internal conflicts and their hindrance to his aim… “

Sri Aurobindo says: “There must be a flaming concentration of the heart on the All and Eternal and, when once we have found him, a deep plunging and immersion in the possession and ecstasy of the AII-Beautiful.

“But on that which as yet we know not how shall we concentrate? And yet we cannot know the Divine unless we have achieved this concentration of our being upon him. It is not enough to devote ourselves by the reading of Scriptures or by the stress of philosophical reasoning to an intellectual understanding of the Divine; for at the end of our long mental labor we might know all that has been said of the Eternal, possess all that can be thought about the Infinite and yet we might not know him at all. . . All that the Light from above asks of us that it may begin its work is a call from the soul and a sufficient point of support in the mind. .. The idea may be and must in the beginning be inadequate; the aspiration may be narrow and imperfect, the faith poorly iIIumined or even, as not surely founded on the rock of knowledge, fluctuating, uncertain, diminished; often even it may be extinguished and need to be lit again with difficulty like a torch in a windy pass. But if once there is a resolute self consecration from deep within, if there is an awakening to the soul’s call, these inadequate things can be a sufficient instrument for the divine purpose.

“Therefore the wise have always been unwilling to limit man’s avenues towards God; they would not shut against his entry even the narrowest portal, the lowest and darkest postern, the humblest wicket-gate. Any name, any form, any symbol, any offering has been held to be sufficient if there is the consecration along with it; for the Divine knows himself in the heart of the seeker and accepts the sacrifice.”

“We speak of the evolution of Life in Matter, the evolution of Mind in Matter; but evolution is a word, which merely states the phenomenon without explaining it. For there seems to be no reason why Life should evolve out of material elements or Mind out of living form, unless we accept the Vedantic solution that Life is already involved in Matter and Mind in Life because in essence Matter is a form of veiled Life, Life a form of veiled Consciousness.

“And then there seems to be little objection to a farther step in the series and the admission that mental consciousness may itself be only a form and a veil of higher states which are beyond Mind. In that case, the unconquerable impulse of man towards God, Light, Bliss, Freedom, Immortality presents itself in its right place in the chain as simply the imperative impulse by which Nature is seeking to evolve beyond Mind, and appears to be as natural, true and just as the impulse towards Life which she has planted in certain forms of Matter or the impulse towards Mind which she has planted in certain forms of Life. As there, so here, the impulse exists more or less obscurely in her different vessels with an ever-ascending series in the power of its will-to-be; as there, so here, it is gradually evolving and bound fully to evolve the necessary organs and faculties.”

Sri Aurobindo says: “We are living in modern times and we have to inquire of the problem, albeit ancient one, in the terms of our times. Let us see the slot that Nature – and her device called evolution – accords to man – and his mind with all its brilliant conclusions – in the universal scheme of things.

“The progressive self-manifestation of Nature in man, termed in modern language his evolution, must necessarily depend upon three successive elements, that which is already evolved, that which is persistently in the stage of conscious evolution and that which is to be evolved and may perhaps be already displayed, if not constantly, then occasionally or with some regularity of recurrence, in primary formations or others more developed and, it may well be, even in some, however rare, that are near to the highest possible realization of our present humanity.

“That which Nature has evolved for us and has firmly founded is the bodily life. She has effected a certain combination and harmony of the two inferior but most fundamentally necessary elements of our action and progress upon earth, – Matter, which is our foundation and the first condition of all our energies and realizations, and the Life-Energy which is our means of existence in a material body. . . She has successfully achieved a certain stability of her constant material movement which is at once sufficiently steady and durable and sufficiently pliable and mutable…

“If the bodily life is what Nature has firmly evolved for us as her base and first instrument, it is our mental life that she is evolving as her immediate next aim and superior instrument. This in her ordinary exaltations is the lofty preoccupying thought in her; this… is her constant pursuit wherever she can get free from the trammels of her first vital and physical realizations. … Mind in man is first enmeshed in the life of the body, where in plant it is entirely involved and in animals always imprisoned. … The true human existence, therefore, only begins when the intellectual mentality emerges out of the material and we begin more and more to live in the mind independent of the nervous and physical obsession and in the measure of that liberty are able to accept rightly and rightly to use the life of the body….

“And when the preliminary conditions are satisfied, when the great endeavor has found its base, what will be the nature of that farther possibility which the activities of the intellectual life must serve?

“The assertion of a higher than the mental life is the whole foundation of Indian philosophy and its acquisition and organization is the veritable object served by the methods of Yoga. Mind is not the last term of evolution, not an ultimate aim, but, like body, an instrument. It is even so termed in the language of Yoga, the inner instrument (antahkarana). And Indian tradition asserts that this which is to be manifested is not a new term in human experience, but has been developed before and has even governed humanity in certain periods of its development. In any case, in order to be known it must at one time have been partly developed.

“But what then constitutes this higher or highest existence to which our evolution is tending? In order to answer the question we have to deal with a class of supreme experiences, a class of unusual conceptions which it is difficult to represent accurately in any other language than the ancient Sanskrit tongue in which alone they have been to some extent systematized. The only approximate terms in.English language have other associations and their use may lead to many and even serious inaccuracies.

“The terminology of Yoga recognizes besides the status of our physical and vital being, termed the gross body and doubly composed of the food-sheath and the vital vehicle, besides the status of our mental being, termed the subtle body and singly composed of the mind-sheath or mental vehicle (manah-kosa), a third, supreme and divine status of supramental being, termed the causal body and composed of a fourth and a fifth vehicle (vijnankosa and anandkosa) which are described as those of knowledge and bliss.

“But this knowledge is not a systematized result of mental questionings and reasoning, not a temporary arrangement of conclusions and opinions in the terms of the highest probability, but rather a pure self-existent and self-luminous Truth. And this bliss is not a supreme pleasure of the heart and sensations with the experience of pain and sorrow as its background, but a delight also self-existent and independent of objects and particular experiences, a self-delight which is the very nature, the very stuff, as it were, of a transcendent and infinite existence.

“Do such psychological conceptions correspond to anything real and possible?

“All Yoga asserts them as its ultimate experience and supreme aim. They form the governing principles of our highest possible state of consciousness, our widest possible range of experience. There is, we say, a harmony of supreme faculties, corresponding roughly to the psychological faculties of revelation, inspiration and intuition, yet acting not in the intuitive reason or the divine mind, but on a still higher plane, which see Truth directly face to face, or rather live in the truth of things both universal and transcendent and are its formulation and luminous activity.

“And these faculties are the light of a conscious existence superseding the egoistic and itself both cosmic and transcendent, the nature of which is Bliss. These are obviously divine and, as man is at present apparently constituted,, superhuman states of consciousness and activity.

“A trinity of transcendent existence (sat), self-awareness (chit) and self-delight (anand) is, indeed, the metaphysical description of the supreme Atman, the self-formulation, to our awakened knowledge, of the Unknowable whether conceived as a pure Impersonality or as a cosmic Personality manifesting the universe. But in Yoga they are regarded also in their psychological aspects as states of subjective existence to which our waking consciousness is now alien, but which dwell in us in a super conscious plane and to which, therefore, we may always ascend.

“So dazzling is even a glimpse of this supreme existence and so absorbing its attraction that, once seen, we feel readily justified in neglecting all else for its pursuit.”

Sri Aurobindo says: “This terrestrial evolutionary working of Nature from Matter to Mind and beyond (it) has a double process: there is an outward visible process of physical evolution with birth as it’s machinery, -for each evolved form body housing its own evolved power of consciousness is maintained and kept in continuity by heredity; there is, at the same time, an invisible process of soul evolution with rebirth into ascending grades of form and consciousness as its machinery.

“The first by itself would mean only a cosmic evolution; for the individual would be a quickly perishing instrument, and the race, a more abiding collective formulation, would be the real step in the progressive manifestation of the cosmic Inhabitant, the universal Spirit: rebirth is an indispensable condition for any long duration and evolution of the individual being in the earth-existence. Each grade of cosmic manifestation, each type of form that can house the indwelling Spirit, is turned by rebirth into a means for the individual soul, the psychic entity, to manifest more and more of its concealed consciousness; each life becomes a step in a victory over Matter by a greater progression of consciousness in it which shall make eventually Matter itself a means for the full manifestation of the Spirit.”

He says: “If you take terrestrial history, all the forms of life have appeared one after another in a general plan, a general programme, with the addition, always, of a new perfection and a greater consciousness. Take just animal forms – for that is easier to understand, they are the last before man – each animal that appeared had an additional perfection in its general nature – I don’t mean in all the details – a greater perfection than the preceding ones, and the crowning point of the ascending march was the human form which, for the moment, from the point of view of consciousness, is the form most capable of manifesting consciousness; that is, the human form at its height, at the height of its possibilities, is capable of more consciousness than all preceding animal forms.”

The Mother of Pondicherry Sri Aurobindo Ashram (a disciple of Sri Aurobindo) said, “This is one of Nature’s ways of evolution. Sri Aurobindo told us last week that this Nature was following an ascending progression in order to manifest more and more the divine consciousness contained in all forms. So, with each new form that it produces, Nature makes a form capable of expressing more completely the spirit which this form contains. But if it were like this, a form comes, develops, reaches its highest point and is followed by another form; the others do not disappear, but the individual does not progress.

“The individual dog or monkey, for instance, belongs to a species which has its own peculiar characteristic; when the monkey or the man arrives at the height of its possibilities, that is, when a human individual becomes the best type of humanity, it will be finished; the individual will not be able to progress any farther. He belongs to the human species; he will continue to belong to it. So, from the point of view of terrestrial history there is a progress, for each species represents a progress compared with the preceding species; but from the point of view of the individual, there is no progress; he is born, he follows his development, dies and disappears. Therefore, to ensure the progress of the individual, it was necessary to find another means; this one was not adequate.

“But within the individual, contained in each form, there is an organization of consciousness which is closer to and more directly under the influence of the inner divine Presence, and the form which is under this influence – this kind of inner concentration of energy – has a life independent of the physical form – this is what we generally call the “soul” or the “psychic being” – and since it is organized around the divine centre it partakes of the divine nature which is immortal, eternal.

“The outer body falls away, and this remains throughout every experience that it has in each life, and there is a progress from life to life, and it is the progress of the same individual. And this movement complements the other, in the sense that instead of a species which progresses relative to other species, it is an individual who passes through all the stages of progress of these species and can continue to progress even when the species have reached the limit of their possibilities and… stay there or disappear – it depends on the case – but they cannot go any farther, whereas the individual, having a life independent of the purely material form, can pass from one form to another and continue his progress indefinitely. That makes a double movement which completes itself. And that is why each individual has the possibility of reaching the utmost realization, independent of the form to which he momentarily belongs.”

In one of his numerous letters to his disciples written in answer to their queries, Sri Aurobindo says: “I mean by the psychic the inmost soul-being and the soul-nature. This is not the sense in which the word is used in ordinary parlance, or rather, if it is so used, it is with great vagueness and much-misprision of the true nature of this soul and it is given a wide extension of meaning which carries it far beyond that province. All phenomena of an abnormal or supernormal psychological or an occult character are dubbed psychic… though these things have nothing whatever to do with the psychic….. There is a constant confusion between the mentalised desire-soul which is a creation of the vital urge in man, of his life-force seeking for its fulfillment and the true soul which is a spark of the Divine Fire, a portion of the Divine. Because the soul, the psychic being uses the mind and the vital as well as the body as instruments for growth and experience, it is itself looked at as if it were some amalgam or some subtle substratum of mind and life. But in Yoga if we accept all this chaotic mass as soul-stuff or soul-movement we shall enter into confusion without an issue.”

He says in another of his letters: “What is meant in the terminology of the yoga by the psychic is the soul element in the nature, the pure psyche or divine nucleus which stands behind mind, life and body (it is not the ego) but of which we are only dimly aware. It is a portion of the divine and permanent from life to life, taking the experience of life through its outer instruments (i.e. mind, vital and physical body).

“People do not understand what I mean by the psychic being, because the word psychic has been used in English to mean anything of the inner mental, inner vital or inner physical or anything abnormal or occult or even the more subtle movements of the outer being, all in a jumble; also occult phenomena are often called psychic.

“The distinction between these parts of the being is unknown. Even in India the old knowledge of the Upanishads in which they are distinguished has been lost. The Jivatman, the psychic being (Purusha Antaratman), the Manomaya Purusha, the Pranmaya Purusha are all confused together.

“The psychic part of us is something that comes direct from the Divine and is in touch with the Divine. In its origin it is the nucleus pregnant with the divine possibilities that supports this lower triple manifestation of mind, life and body.

“There is this divine element in all living beings, but it stands hidden behind the ordinary consciousness, is not at first developed and, even when developed, is not always or often in the front; it expresses itself, so far as the imperfection of the instruments allows, by their mean and under their limitations. It grows in the consciousness by Godward experience, gaining strength every time there is a higher movement in us, and, finally, by the accumulation of these deeper and higher movements, there is developed a psychic individuality, – that which we call usually the psychic being. It is always this psychic being that is the real, though often the secret cause of man’s turning to the spiritual life and his greatest help in it. It is therefore that which we have to bring from behind to the front in the Yoga…..

“The psychic being may be described in Indian language as the Purusha in the heart or the Chaitya Purusha, but the inner or secret heart must be understood, hrdaye guhayam, not the outer vital-emotional centre.”

Sri Aurobindo says: “At a certain stage in the Yoga when the mind is sufficiently quieted and no longer supports itself at every step on the sufficiency of its mental certitude, when the vital has been steadied and subdued and is no longer constantly insistent on its own rash will, demand and desire, when the physical has been sufficiently altered not to bury altogether the inner flame under the mass of its outwardness, obscurity or inertia, an inmost being hidden within and felt only in its rare influences is able to come forward and illumine the rest and take up the lead of the Sadhana Its action is like a searchlight showing up all that has to be changed in the nature; it has in it a flame of will insistent on perfection, on an alchemic transmutation of all the inner and outer existence. It sees the divine essence everywhere but rejects the mere mask and the disguising figure.”

He further says: “What is meant by (the psychic’s) coming to the front is simply this. The psychic ordinarily is deep within. Very few people are aware of their souls – when they speak of their soul, they usually mean the vital + mental being or else the (false) soul of desire.

“The psychic remains behind and acts only through the mind, vital and physical wherever it can. For this reason the psychic being except where it is very much developed has only a small and partial, concealed and mixed or diluted influence on the life of most men. By coming forward is meant that it comes from behind the veil, its presence is felt already in the waking daily consciousness, its influence fills, dominates, transforms the mind and vital and their movements, even the physical. One is aware of one’s soul, feels the psychic to be one’s true being, the mind and the rest begin to be only instruments of the inmost within us.”

The Mother says: “In the ordinary life there’s not one person in a million who has a conscious contact with his psychic being, even momentarily. The psychic being may work within, but so invisibly and unconsciously for the outer being that it is as though it did not exist. And in most cases, the immense majority, almost the totality of cases, it is as though it were asleep. Not at all active, (it is) in a kind of torpor.

“It is only with the sadhana and a very persistent effort that one succeeds in having a conscious contact with his psychic being. Naturally, it is possible that there are exceptional cases – but this is truly exceptional, and they are so few that they could be counted – where the psychic being is an entirely formed, liberated being, master of itself, which has chosen to return to earth in a human body in order to do its work. …

“In almost, almost all cases, a very sustained effort is needed to become aware of one’s psychic being. Usually it is considered that if one can do it in thirty years one is very lucky – thirty years of sustained effort, I say. It may happen that it’s quicker. But this is so rare that immediately one says, “This is not an ordinary human being”. That is the case of people who have been considered more or less divine beings and who were great yogis, great initiates.”

The Mother says: “In rebirth it is not the external being, that which is formed by parents, environment and circumstances – the mental, the vital and the physical being that is born again: it is only the psychic being that passes from body to body. Logically, then, neither the mental nor the vital being can remember past lives or recognize itself in the character or mode of life of this or that person. The psychic being alone can remember; and it is by becoming conscious of our psychic being that we can have at the same time exact impressions about our past lives.”

She says: “The psychic being may be made centre for self-unification: The work of unifying the being consists of:-

Becoming aware of one’s psychic being.

Putting before the psychic being, as one becomes aware of them, all one’s movements, impulses, thoughts and acts of will, so that the psychic being may accept or reject each of these movements, impulses or acts of will. Those that are accepted will be kept and carried out; those that are rejected will be driven out of the consciousness so that they may never come back again.”

She again says: “If we truly want to progress and acquire the capacity of knowing the truth of our being, that is to say, what we are truly created for, what we can call our mission upon earth, then we must, in a very regular and constant manner, reject from us whatever contradicts the truth of our existence, whatever is opposed to it. In this way, little by little, all the parts, all the elements of our being can be organized into a homogeneous whole around our psychic centre. This work of unification requires much time to be brought to some degree of perfection. Therefore, in order to accomplish it, we must arm ourselves with patience and endurance, with a determination to prolong our life as long as necessary for the success of our endeavor….

“In various times and places many methods have been prescribed for attaining this perception and ultimately achieving this identification. Some methods are psychological, some religious, some even mechanical. In reality, everyone has to find the one which suits him best, and if one has an ardent and steadfast aspiration, a persistent and dynamic will, one is sure to meet, in one way or another – outwardly through reading and study, inwardly through concentration, meditation, revelation and experience – the help one needs to reach the goal. Only one thing is absolutely indispensable: the will to discover and to realize. This discovery and realization should be the primary preoccupation of our being, the part of great price which we must acquire at any cost.

“Whatever you do, whatever your occupation and activities, the will to find the truth of your being and to unite with it must be always living and present behind all that you do, all that you feel, all that you think.”

Sri Aurobindo says: “There are a thousand ways of approaching and realizing the Divine and each way has its own experiences which have their own truth and stand really on a basis one in essence but complex in aspects, common to all but not expressed in the same way by all. There is not much use in discussing these variations; the important thing is to follow one’s own way well and thoroughly.”

Sri Aurobindo, the great Yogi of modem India, says, “The consciousness of the ordinary human mind is subject to the control of vital and material Nature and is limited wholly by birth and death and Time and the needs and desires of the mind, life and body. … The animal has the conscious vital mind, but whatever beginnings there are in it of anything higher are only a primary glimpse, a crude hint of the intelligence which in man becomes the splendor of the mental understanding, will, emotion, aesthetes and reason.

“Man elevated in the heights and deepened by the intensities of the mind becomes aware of something great and divine in himself but which he has not yet become. And he turns the powers of his mind, his power of knowledge, his power of will, his power of emotion and aesthetes to seek out this, to seize and comprehend all that it may be, to become it and to exist wholly in its greater consciousness, delight, being and power of highest becoming. But what he gets of this higher state in his normal mind is only intimation, a primary glimpse, a crude hint of the splendor, the light, the glory and divinity of the spirit within him.

“The mind by its very nature cannot render with an entirely rightness or act in the unified completeness of the divine knowledge, will and Ananda because it is an instrument for dealing with the divisions of the finite on the basis of division, a secondary instrument therefore and a sort of delegate for the lower movement in which we live.

“ The mind can reflect the Infinite, it can dissolve itself into it, it can live in it by a large passivity, it can take its suggestions and act them out in its own way, a way always fragmentary, derivative and subject to a greater or less deformation, but it cannot be itself the direct and perfect instrument of the infinite Spirit acting in its own knowledge.

“The object of Yoga is to raise the human being from the consciousness of (his) ordinary mind… to the consciousness of the spirit. (This spirit is) free in its self and (uses) the circumstances of mind, life and body as admitted or self-chosen and self-figuring determinations of the spirit, (uses) them in free self-knowledge, a free will and power of being, a free delight of being. This is the essential difference between the ordinary mortal mind in which we live and the spiritual consciousness of our divine and immortal being which is the highest result of Yoga.”

%d bloggers like this: