Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I met quite a few saints and sages before finding 'the Road less travelled'

Sri Aurobindo Society of Singapore Sunday 29th May 2011, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
“Savitri” Talk at Our Centre by Prof. Makarand R Paranjape: "The Finding of the Soul" - Book Seven, Canto V
Sri Aurobindo Society of Singapore 2A Starlight Road #01-07 Singapore. We look forward to seeing all of you there.   

From alok pandey taijasalok@yahoo.co.in to sbicitizen@yahoogroups.com date 23 May 2011 11:32 subject Re: [sbicitizen] Re: Leaders of the Integral Yoga dear GB Singh ji 
I certainly do not claim to have read all the scriptures nor do I claim to have arrived at all the realisation of Yoga. But most modestly I can tell you what I have read and done.

Which Yoga Shastras are you refering to, - the four Vedas, The principal Upanishads, the Gita (regarded as Brahmavidya), Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, Shiv Sutra, Brahmasutra, Naradas Bhakti sutra, Shandilya's bhkti Sutras, the pirncipal Puranans such as Garuda purana, Visnu purana, Devi purana, the Ramayana, the Mahanharata (generally regarded as itihasas but the latter also refered sometimes as the fifth veda), the Dasmahavidyas of the Tantra shastras, Srimadbhagwatam, the Dhammapada, Shankara's Vivekchudamani and Saundarya Lahiri, among others......well these ones I have read for sure. I thought the Vedas and the Gita are regarded as sufficient authority in the Indian context at least. Yoga, Darshana, Mimansas, all are derived from the Vedas and refer to It as the highest authority. I am little non-plussed about what scriptures go beyond the Vedas for authority sake. 
In addition, the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda's lectures, Kabir and other saints, Sufi mystics, Jap ji Sahib, the New testament and the portions of the Old testament from the Bible, portions from the Koran (all of which are some form of Yoga) apart from the Complete works of Sri Aurobindo and many others. 
In addition a number of western writers, theologicians, philosophers, mystics, thinkers including Kant, Russels, Voltaire, Dante, Milton, Homer, St Augustine, St Francis, Oscar Wilde, Shelley, Blake and others. 
Yet all this reading does not give us even an iota of true knowledge. It reflects something in the mind and if the mind is ready and receptive something can get formed and help but if it is not then the mind can turn the same truths into a falsehood when it judges by its limited repertoire of experiences and data. Realising this long back, I went into the pursuit of yoga to have a direct first hand experience and knowledge of the subject. In the course of this seeking, met quite a few saints and sages before finding 'the Road less travelled'. It is now nearly thirty years since I have been walking the walk and just talking about it. 
Do you feel these are qualifications enough or there are some more books to be read?

At the same time let me also add that the effect of Yoga on psychological illnesses and physical ones has been also the subject of my own thesis and many others. Far from the conclusions you mention, the general consensus in te world of psychiatry is that Yoga Helps without a doubt to restore both physical and psychological health, The debate is onyl as to the mechanism involved and I could discuss at any length all the possible mechanisms postulated by the neuroscientists. It is this wide background that led me to wonder as to the method you used to reach the conclusions that Yoga is a political and suicidal thing that deludes people. I would surely contest that unless you can provide valid reasons and; logical arguments and raw data as to how many persons who practiced yoga got deluded and were led to suicide. 
A number of studies are available since the early sixties (1960) and none of them support the conclusions you state. That is why I am wondering. Of course I am not refering here to half-baked yogis and quick to market gurus and the practices they may recommend, but to authentic spiritual pursuits. 
Finally, I must say that the proof of the pudding is in eating it. No scripture modernb or ancient can be a substitute for direct first hand experience..... sabdabrahmativartateto go beyond the written and the spoken scripture as the Gita says and all the great Masters affirm.   
I will be willing to learn if you can let me know about those scriptures you are mentioning and the reasons for your conlusions. Please do not take any of this personally. It is in the spirit of a healthy discussion and for the sake of exploring Truth. Regards Alok 

History of Yoga (History of Science, Philosophy & Culture in Indian Civilization) S. P. Singh (Editor), D. P. Chattopadhyaya (Editor) 
History of Yoga is an attempt to trace the contours of origin and development of the discipline of yoga in all its possible ramifications beginning from the Veda up till modern times. Long before Patanjali stood out as the greatest systematizer of the discipline, yoga had its origin in the aspirations, austerity and tapas of the Vedic seers undertaken to understand the mystery of creation of the universe and the individual both in their essence.
In contravention of the Aryan Invasion Theory dominating the process of investigation into the history of ancient India, the volume traces the locus of the yogic sadhana of the earliest Vedic seers in the high Himalayas getting percolated throughout the rest of the country gradually and leaving its remnants also in the Indus seals of the third millennium B.C. 
For The Turnstiles Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Daniel Gustav Anderson On Critical Theory And Integral Theory
I am disappointed in how the book Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge, & Truth, written by the fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (Mirza Tahir Ahmad), has been largely ignored by writers in the integral studies world. If one is interested in the intersection between knowledge-production and "the sacred" in an interdisciplinary and inter-traditional sense, then this text should be on one's list as an artifact of first significance. If one is objective about it, the thrust of its central arguments seem not so very distant at all from Aurobindo's.

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