Dear Rich and Debashish, I always respected your views and thoughts on Integral Yoga and Sri Aurobindo's studies, you know that, but somehow I cannot lie to myself about what I have read. I was also very friendly with PH and considered him to be of the same mindset. But to answer your question on falsehood. Falsehood is what makes a great thing small, and a small thing great; what disorients consciousness to a degree that nothings is clear anymore, for all words sound similar but they mean different things. I don't see any meaning in presenting Sri Aurobindo and the Mother without spiritual attitude. For how can you speak about Sri Aurobindo, the spiritual giant of our Time, in nonspiritual manner? Is it not a falsehood? It is like making nonexistent - existent, secondary - primary, superficial - essential, where we will end then?
Being Ukrainian by origin, born between West and East, I can see both perceptions, and in many points can sympathise with the Western view on things, especially related to matter and organisation of material life, but in this case of spiritual look I am totally Indian. I feel the presence of a higher consciousness in myself and I am grateful for it to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, because I recognise their presence and influence; I feel their guidance.
What PH attempted is to make out of the Supramental Avatar an ordinary human being in the name of smaller truths. This may seem to be noble for him and others who seek humanity in human beings but it is of a loss for all those who aspire to grow beyond it, what Sri Aurobindo really represented.
My point of view is this, that anything written by a sadhak about Sri Aurobindo which brings him down to an ordinary level and admits the reader to a sort of gossiping familiarity with him is an unfaithfulness to Him and His work. Good intentions are not sufficient; it is necessary that this should be understood by everybody. The Mother, 3 June 1939 Words of the Mother, Vol. 13, p. 27
Vladimir, The quotes were presented out of context - in themselves and in respect of the entire work. Unless one reads the entire work, one cannot understand the intent and the place or even the meaning of any quote. I have read the book. I disagree completely with the view that the author has tried to make Sri Aurobindo into "an ordinary human being in the name of smaller truths." The impression of the book is unmistakable to me. It is of a person extraordinary from the beginning who charted a course between credulousness and incredibility as a scientist of consciousness and arrived at a goal which is a beacon for the future. DB
Vladimir I have also respected your perspective as well however to what you wrote...
Well to you he is a supramental avatar - perhaps he is to me too - this would be our interpretations based on faith but our actual interpretations may even differ greatly from each other as to what an Avatar or supramental mean. But to the rest of the world he is Sri Aurobindo a great philosopher yogi and a leader of a revolutionary independence movement. But with all due respect the perspective that he should only be portrayed -even by a Sadhak- as a spiritual figure comes exclusively from a religious perspective toward Sri Aurobindo. The founder of Integral Yoga as Religion. One in which no one should dare see him as anything else than what our personal faith tells us he is.
The current controversy seems to me to be the same perspective as those Christians who see Jesus as the Son of God, and persecute those who see him rather as the Son of Man - The current controversy also makes it perfectly clear that Integral Yoga has become for many exclusively a religion, with charges of blasphemy against someone who does not adhere to their orthodox conception of what a supramental Avatar is, and their willingness to censor and perpetrate violence against persons who hold different views or interpretations. However, especially in the 21st century no one can expect, Jew, Muslim, Christian, Hindu et al that everyone else is going to buy into their particular article of faith.
This book as I understand it is written for an introduction "to the rest of the world" particularly academics and graduate students as an introduction to his life. I know people who have approach Sri Aurobindo from a secular perspective and having read it come to feel he was something much more than all the mere historical figure they thought he was. Who among the orthodox has the right to prohibit one from accessing Sri Aurobindo and taking up the yoga by entering his thoughts from this book?
To those who think Sri Aurobindo was Divine. There is also a quote which I have come across in aphorism or somewhere where Sri Aurobindo obviously speaking to the orthodox asks who among you is so Great that you think you can defend the Divine? So its probably best here that we dont try to justify our actions with quotes, because they can go either way. Best to stick to a dialog that immediately does not condemn and react with intolerance against another for not accepting their own particular way of interpreting Sri Aurobindo or their method of presenting him to an audience outside the already faithful. There are so many levels of understanding that it is quite shocking that those professing to follow an "integral" path seem to want to reduce them all to one particular way of seeing the world. rich
One of the first tenets of religion is the self-justification of Ignorance on the basis of quotes. The Divine is reduced to a slot machine or ventriloquist's puppet which spits out the appropriate quote in a sonorous voice at the bidding of its master. And this becomes the "acceptable representation" with the threat of the electric chair behind it.
It is pointless to want to convince everyone that the intellect is infallible. One doesn’t need to be a yogi to see how limited it can be. True, quotations can be taken out of context and misused…but the opposite is also true. Seeing them as mere quotations and as inapplicable when inconvenient or contending at all times that “the Divine” had wished to convey more (or other) than what the quotations suggest is equally an artifice and (a technically self-contradicting) conceit of the intellect. Thus, an intellectual standpoint can be as much steeped in ignorance and as intimidating when it threatens to label all those who oppose it as ignorant, unintellectual, or religious and to banish them, if not to the death-chamber, at least to the valley of the untouchables.
It stretches the imagination that someone may think this is a discussion about the infallibility of the intellect. The intellect, like all other faculties at our disposal in this discussion, is a power of the Ignorance. The entire discussion is about the arrogance of the Ignorance and in this case, the abuse of "quotations" to act as if it is a power of truth. The utility of the shatra is entirely personal, to aid in and test our inner experience in the growth of consciousness, not to enforce on others as a weapon of the Ignorance in the name of Knowledge. Reply