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Sri Aurobindo And Sri Krishna


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Sri Aurobindo And Sri Krishna

  1. 1. Sri Aravinda Mahatmyam The Greatness of Sri Aurobindo Part 1 – Sri Aurobindo and Sri Krishna
  2. 2. Kurukshetra
  3. 3. Sri Krishna is singing the Gita to Arjuna Sri Krishna has revealed to Arjuna his Divine Identity. However, he has not actually “shown” him his Divine Form and Arjuna says:
  4. 4. Arjuna asks to see the roopam aishwaram (the divine form)
  5. 5. Arjuna’s reaction
  6. 6. What happens? Arjuna sees the Infinite behind the Finite This bodily appearance is not all; The form deceives, the person is a mask. Hid deep in man celestial powers can dwell.
  7. 7. This bodily appearance is not all; The form deceives, the person is a mask. Hid deep in man celestial powers can dwell.
  8. 8. Who is Sri Aurobindo? • Yogi – Creator of the Integral Yoga • Philosopher – Gave the philosophy of Life Divine • Revolutionary – A leader of the Indian freedom movement • Nationalist – The “prophet of Indian Nationalism” and its father • Author – Wrote many books – 37 volumes now • Poet – Wrote Savitri – 25,000 line epic – largest in English literature
  9. 9. Others say.. • Rishi – Seer • Guru – Preceptor • Bhagavan – God • Avatar - Incarnation
  10. 10. But can we glimpse his roopam aishwaram? • The one thing we can say about Sri Aurobindo’s life is that it is incredibly COMPLEX, very rich. • Secondly Sri Aurobindo has not made it his business to announce to the world everything about himself. • To understand the true significance of his life then we can use certain frames of reference • A different frame of reference gives us different clues about of his true greatness
  11. 11. 3 Frames of reference • Let us consider Sri Aurobindo’s life a great play, a great drama, story – his Jeevan Katha • The ancient Greek playwrights came up with three different types of roles for the principal characters in their dramas
  12. 12. 3 Roles for characters in a drama 1. Protagonist – Main actor, principal figure, hero 2. Antagonist – Opponent of protagonist, adversary, villain 3. Deuteragonist – the second role, the double, friend, helper of the main actor
  13. 13. In Sri Aurobindo’s Jeevan Katha Who is the: ↑ Protagonist – Main actor / lead player ↑ Antagonist – Opponent / Enemy ↑ Deuteragonist – Double / Friend & Helper We will take this up in reverse order: ↓ Deuteragonist – “Sri Aurobindo & Sri Krishna” ↓ Antagonist – “The Mother’s War” ↓ Protagonist – “Savitr: The Creator Sun”
  14. 14. Deuteragonist – Double, Friend / Helper • Sri Aurobindo actually called Him “My double” • His life-story, Jeevan Katha, as well as His nature is very similar to that of Sri Aurobindo’s
  15. 15. Sri Krishna: Sri Aurobindo’s Double
  16. 16. “No Difference” From Champaklal Speaks, page 39. Sri Krishna and Sri Aurobindo Kamala's brother Mahesh had come to me in 1923. Obviously we both came for the same purpose, but I found a difference in Sri Aurobindo's way of dealing with us. To me he was speaking and guiding me in his Yoga but to Mahesh he talked of bhakti and upasana [worship] of Sri Krishna. Later I found out that Mahesh was intensely drawn to Sri Krishna and his path was different from mine. One day, however, he expressed his difficulty in reconciling his adoration of Sri Krishna with his surrender to Sri Aurobindo. Sri Aurobindo told him: "There is no difference between Krishna and me."
  17. 17. Sri Aurobindo light is Krishna’s light From “Our Light and Delight” by Amal Kiran (K.D.Sethna), pages 68-69: Sri Aurobindo has said, an "identity" between them was made manifest not only within but also in the most external field. The identity can be guessed from some remarks of Sri Aurobindo's about the spiritual light characterizing his inner being: "The pale whitish blue light is 'Sri Aurobindo's light' — it is the blue light modified by the white light of the Mother... A whitish blue like moonlight is known as Krishna's light or Sri Aurobindo's light".
  18. 18. “My double” In a letter dated August 14, 1945 to Dilip Kumar Roy, who was greatly under Krishna's spell, we have a more explicit personal note: "If you had an unprecedented peace for so long a time, it was due to my persistent inner pressure; I refuse to give up all the credit to my double, Krishna." An earlier letter (June, 1943) to Dilip KumarRoy is even more explicit in a personal vein: "If you reach Krishna, you reach the Divine; if you can give yourself to him, you give yourself to me. Your inability to identify may be because you are laying too much stress on the physical aspects consciously or unconsciously."
  19. 19. Sri Aravind wahi Govind Sadhu Banmalidas was a judge in Bihar before he renounced the worldly life. He made a small hermitage on the banks of the Narmada. During the course of sadhana he had an experience in which he saw Sri Aurobindo as Sri Aurobindo and also as Govind (another name of Sri Krishna). He wrote a Hindi poem “Sri Aravind wahi Govind” about this experience and sent an English translation of the poem to Sri Aurobindo and posed a question, “Am I correct in my premise?” Sri Aurobindo answered, “Yes”. Banmalidas used to narrate with great joy to everyone, “I made Sri Aurobindo acknowledge that he is Sri Krishna.” (From “Beautiful Vignettes of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother”) page 45
  20. 20. The Mother’s Work & Sri Krishna In a letter dated July 11,1933 to an aspirant - Narayan Prasad, who was brought up in a Krishna-charged atmosphere, wrote: "The struggle in you (between bhakti for Sri Krishna and the sense of the divinity of the Mother) is quite unnecessary for the two things are one and go perfectly together. It is he who has brought you to the Mother and it is by adoration of her that you will realise him. He is here in the Ashram and it is his work that is being done in this Yoga."
  21. 21. The Mother’s Experience In Mother's childhood's visions she saw myself whom she knew as ‘Krishna’
  22. 22. How I became Conscious of My Mission (Complete Works of The Mother 13:39) When and how did I become conscious of a mission which I was to fulfil on earth? And when and how I met Sri Aurobindo? These two questions you have asked me and I promised a short reply.
  23. 23. Between 11 and 13 a series of psychic and spiritual experiences revealed to me not only the existence of God but man's possibility of uniting with Him, of realising Him integrally in consciousness and action, of manifesting Him upon earth in a life divine. This, along with a practical discipline for its fulfilment, was given to me during my body's sleep by several teachers, some of whom I met afterwards on the physical plane. Meeting teachers in Her Dreams
  24. 24. Later on, as the interior and exterior development proceeded, the spiritual and psychic relation with one of these beings became more and more clear and frequent; and although I knew little of the Indian philosophies and religions at that time I was led to call him Krishna, and henceforth I was aware that it was with him (whom I knew I should meet on earth one day) that the divine work was to be done. Meeting “Krishna”
  25. 25. Recognizing Sri Aurobindo as Her Krishna And in 1914 … As soon as I saw Sri Aurobindo I recognised in him the well- known being whom I used to call Krishna... And this is enough to explain why I am fully convinced that my place and my work are near him, in India.
  26. 26. Finally, Siddhi Day Nov. 24th , 1926 The 24th November is called the day of Victory in remembrance of a very important spiritual event which took place in 1926 The Mother It was the descent of Krishna into the physical. Sri Aurobindo
  27. 27. The purpose of all this… … to establish Sri Aurobindo’s identity with Sri Krishna, and understand an important aspect of His life in context of the life of Sri Krishna (janma karma cha me divyam, Gita 4:9) But more important is to show next how the actual lives of Sri Aurobindo and Sri Krishna run in parallel… even in Their outward Lives. What can Sri Krishna’s life then teach us about Sri Aurobindo’s life? It’s a sad truth that let alone Sri Aurobindo, people don’t even have a right understanding of Sri Krishna’s life
  28. 28. Sri Krishna’s life The conventional view: • Majhaa and mastee with Gopis and various other ladies • A cunning deceiver who used to steal when he was a kid and tricked some noble people in war to gain victory • Best of all, He is still having fun with his Gopis in heaven • Oh! If only I had a life like Krishna’s. What joy! What fun!
  29. 29. Sri Krishna’s life – the grim truth • Born in prison, a land rule by a demon-king • Siblings all murdered at birth • Separation from parents • A prince brought up by peasants and having to live the life of a mere cowherd • Having to fight for his life from start to finish • Various demons and asuras try to kill him in the worst ways imaginable at the instigation of Kamsa
  30. 30. Sri Krishna’s life – the grim truth • Has to kill his own uncle • The most powerful emperor of India, Jarasandha, becomes his mortal enemy and continuously assaults him • Has to spend most of his life either involved in fighting or on the run • Always having to help others and nobody to help Him
  31. 31. Sri Krishna’s life – the grim truth • At the end: having to witness his own people kill each other in a drunken brawl • Watching his own son, Pradyumna, being killed by his relatives • Having to destroy his whole clan with his own hands • Dies a painful death, alone in the forest, for no good reason but a mistake • His wives and relatives are abducted, their lives & honor plundered by dacoits, after his death
  32. 32. Sri Aurobindo’s life The conventional view: • Privileged life in England and in India • Never faced serious problems in youth • Lived comfortably well-off for most of his life with other people serving him • Was just relaxing or writing or enjoying Brahma-ananda in his Ashram for most of his life
  33. 33. Sri Aurobindo’s Life – The Grim Truth • India under a demonic alien regime • At the age of 7 parents leave him thousands of miles away in far of England • Can you imagine what life must have been like for a brow- skinned kid in 19th century England? • Lives in poverty with brothers in England. Sometimes no food to eat. Having to ask for money from acquaintances. • Gives up lucrative and prestigious career in ICS • Returns to India to find father dead due to mistaken identity and mother insane
  34. 34. Sri Aurobindo’s Life – The Grim Truth • Hardly ever able to enjoy domestic bliss with wife and family due to involvement in freedom struggle • Lives separated from wife who herself has a painful life. She dies on her way to meet Him in Pondicherry. • Takes on the most powerful empire of the world, His Jarasandha, and is imprisoned in solitary confinement in the worst conditions imaginable for one whole year • Continuously hounded and harassed by spies and agents who try over & over to get rid of him
  35. 35. Sri Aurobindo’s Life – The Grim Truth • Lives in conditions of voluntary poverty in Pondicherry for the rest of his life • Although apparently respected by His country-men, they actually ignore him, particularly the national leadership of the Congress • Throughout his life has to put up with hostile people who misunderstand and misrepresent him… even to this very day
  36. 36. His Life – A continuous battle "But what strange ideas again! -- that I was born with a supramental temperament and that I know nothing of hard realities! Good God! My whole life has been a struggle with hard realities, from hardships, starvation in England and constant and fierce difficulties to the far greater difficulties continually cropping up here in Pondicherry, external and internal. My life has been a battle from its early years and is still a battle: the fact that I wage it now from a room upstairs and by spiritual means as well as others that are external makes no difference to its character. But, of course, as we have not been shouting about these things, it is natural, I suppose, for others to think that I am living in an august, glamorous, lotus-eating dreamland where no hard facts of life or Nature present themselves. But what an illusion all the same!" (Volume 26, Sri Aurobindo Birth Centenary Library, p.153-4)
  37. 37. I have borne every attack which human beings have borne, otherwise I would be unable to assure anybody "This too can be conquered."
  38. 38. And yet … 2 things stand out Why is it that despite these terrible hardships and trials do we not feel them? The secret is two inter-related aspects of life that are unique to Sri Aurobindo & Sri Krishna Both are “Anandamaya”. This means that whatever happens in life it cannot touch something within Them which is full of bliss. While ordinary humans might describe their lives as “Dukkhamaya”
  39. 39. This Ananda is based on the Impersonal, The Divine • The other feature of their lives, which is the basis of the Ananda… IMPERSONALITY. • In other words something is missing from both or at least not as commonly prominent in them as it is in ordinary humans: the ego • We see this in Sri Krishna’s and Sri Aurobindo life from the very beginning • One feels that there is nothing that can touch them and that all can depend upon them • “The greatness of a person is the greatness of the Impersonal in him. Sri Aurobindo from his very birth was such an impersonal personality and, in the very highest sense. He had never the consciousness of a particular individual person: all reference to a personal frame of his was deleted from the texture of his nature and character.” – Nolini Kanta Gupta, The greatness of the great
  40. 40. Sri Krishna’s Impersonality (Gita 3:22 – 3:24)
  41. 41. Degrees of Impersonality Infinite Divine All Life Humanity Race Nation Society Community Friends Family Personal ego In both Sri Aurobindo and Sri Krishna impersonality underpins their lives and motives. They live and work for something greater than just the personal ego. If ego is there it is never the dominant or central part.
  42. 42. What was Sri Krishna here to do? (Gita 4:7 – 4:8)
  43. 43. Sri Krishna’s Work – Part 1 • Establishment of Dharma Raj • Integration of India into a single political union as an empire of Dharma, to re- establish the Sanatana Dharma. He is referred to in the Gita as “shaashvata dharma goptaa” • His aim was to establish a Dharmocracy
  44. 44. Unification of India
  45. 45. What was Sri Aurobindo’s Nationalism? I say no longer that nationalism is a creed, a religion, a faith; I say that it is the Sanatan Dharma which for us is nationalism. This Hindu nation was born with the Sanatan Dharma, with it, it moves and with it, it grows. When the Sanatan Dharma declines, then the nation declines, and if the Sanatan Dharma were capable of perishing, with the Sanatan Dharma it would perish. Uttarpara Speech, 1909
  46. 46. Even here the Impersonal Divine "India does not rise as other countries do, for self or when she is strong, to trample on the weak. She is rising to shed the eternal light entrusted to her over the world. India has always existed for humanity and not for herself and it is for humanity and not for herself that she must be great."
  47. 47. Sri Aurobindo’s Fourth dream (1947) Another dream, the spiritual gift of India to the world has already begun. India's spirituality is entering Europe and America in an ever increasing measure. That movement will grow; amid the disasters of the time more and more eyes are turning towards her with hope and there is even an increasing resort not only to her teachings, but to her psychic and spiritual practice.
  48. 48. The Divine Fighter and Victor • Was Sri Krishna just a charioteer in the war? The course of the Kurukshetra war was determined largely by the action, occult and overt, of Sri Krishna • Was Sri Aurobindo merely a freedom-fighter? The lines of the freedom struggle followed broadly the paths blazed by Sri Aurobindo • Both Sri Krishna and Sri Aurobindo are master-strategists. Both prefer to work from behind the scenes and control the play of forces to achieve their ultimate aim • Both Sri Krishna and Sri Aurobindo can be called ‘Rana- chhod’ (One who leaves the battle) • But another name of Sri Krishna is also ‘Rana-priya’ (One who delights in battle). Both Sri Krishna and Sri Aurobindo are not just fighters themselves but also instigate others to war, to stand and fight for the highest good. Sri Krishna is constantly urging others to fight, not just Arjuna but also Bhima • “I have done politics and the most violent kind of revolutionary politics, ghoram karma, and I have supported war and sent men to it, even though politics is not always or often a very clean occupation nor can war be called a spiritual line of action.”
  49. 49. Sri Krishna’s Work – Part 2 • Ultimate aim of “LokaSangraha” or World-unity as the aim of Dharma and Yoga (Gita 3:20 & 3:25) • Uniting India with a view to uniting human-kind
  50. 50. 3rd dream of Sri Aurobindo The third dream was a world- union forming the outer basis of a fairer, brighter and nobler life for all mankind. That unification of the human world is under way; there is an imperfect initiation organised by struggling against tremendous difficulties. But the momentum is there and it must inevitably increase and conquer. Here too, India has begun to play a prominent part …
  51. 51. Not just world leaders with world-egos • There have been countless leaders in the world. Out of them few could be said to have worked to try and unite people consciously. • Out of these most have worked to satisfy their own personal, national or religious egos. • Only Sri Krishna and Sri Aurobindo stand out as the ones who engaged in the politics of war and unity with a complete and absolute selflessness. He is strength that is loud in the blare of the trumpets, And He rides in the car and He strikes in the spears; He slays without stint and is full of compassion; He wars for the world and its ultimate years.
  52. 52. …but World Soul The universal Vishwa-atma behind the Visha- roopa The silent Soul of all the world was there: A Being lived, a Presence and a Power, A single Person who was himself and all And cherished Nature’s sweet and dangerous throbs Transfigured into beats divine and pure. One who could love without return for love, Meeting and turning to the best the worst, It healed the bitter cruelties of earth, Transforming all experience to delight; Intervening in the sorrowful paths of birth It rocked the cradle of the cosmic Child And stilled all weeping with its hand of joy; It led things evil towards their secret good, It turned racked falsehood into happy truth; Its power was to reveal divinity.
  53. 53. Sri Krishna’s Work – Part 3 The Divine Teaching and Method of Practice (YOGA) (Gita 4:1 – 4:3)
  54. 54. The teaching of the Gita When I first read the interpretation of the Gita by Sri Aurobindo, it read like the author Himself was explaining it. Tilak on the Gita: When a person is engulfed in commentaries he cannot find a different solution, though he may feel that the solution given in the commentary is not satisfactory. I, therefore, put aside all criticisms and commentaries, and independently and thoughtfully read the Gita over several times. I then got out of the clutches of the commentators and was convinced that the original Gita did not preach the Philosophy of Renunciation (nivrtti), but of Energism (Karma Yoga); and that possibly, the single word yoga used in the Gita had been used to mean Karma Yoga.
  55. 55. The significance of the Gita What does the Gita really represent? • The revival and rejuvenation of all of Indian’s spiritual wisdom that preceded it. Gita as “Sarv-opanishad-artha- sara-sangraha.” • Making the wisdom of the veda practical through Karma Yoga and Samata • Democratizing Yoga through Bhakti to the lord in oneself and in all beings • A vast synthesis and a giant step in the spiritual evolution of humanity.
  56. 56. Yogeshwar Sri Aurobindo • A greater synthesis of Yoga is what Sri Aurobindo has accomplished for our age • Like Sri Krishna he has given the world a new yoga, which builds upon, purifies, corrects and ultimately fulfills all the other yogas before it
  57. 57. Sri Krishna’s Work – Part 4 • The forgotten truth of Divinization replaced by escapism • Sri Krishna did not take the final step. Message limited to overmind, which persisted the final division, the “overmental” schism – between matter and spirit – between world existence and the life divine
  58. 58. Sri Aurobindo’s Fifth Dream – Fulfillment of Sri Krishna’s evolutionary mission The final dream was a step in evolution which would raise man to a higher and larger consciousness and begin the solution of the problems which have perplexed and vexed him since he first began to think and to dream of individual perfection and a perfect society.
  59. 59. Identity even in their outer life We see almost exact parallels between Sri Krishna and Sri Aurobindo: • The Anandamaya consciousness that impersonally engages in the most terrible world-work • Re-establishers of Dharma Raj in India, Dharmocratic politicians and leaders • Divine fighters and victors who continually war against adharma
  60. 60. World redeemers • Yogeshwar: the Lord of Yoga who synthesizes and evolves spirituality for a new age • Divine Poets (Kavi) who gave expression to the highest Spiritual Truth • World-uniters who impersonally work to bring about human unity and harmony
  61. 61. Sri Aurobindo - The Supramental Avatar • Sri Aurobindo’s life is not just a repetition of the life of Sri Krishna. • There is much more to it that is revealed only in relation to the True Work done with the collaboration of The Mother • Sri Krishna wanted to show that it was possible to ascend to and unite with the Divine while engaged in any walk of ordinary life • Mother Sri Aurobindo are at work to bring down the Divine Life on the earth itself, something that represents an almost total reversal as well as the highest culmination of world spirituality
  62. 62. Identity