Archive for July 2013
The Gita does not accept the idea that the goal of existence is to extinguish that existence in the infinite, unmoving vast consciousness that has been the goal of yogis for millenia. To accept such a goal would be a devaluing of the entire manifestation of life and existence itself. Works, in the Gita’s view, are not simply required until liberation has been attained, but are actually the expression of the divine Being in its own self-manifestation, and have therefore an intrinsic and essential value and role.
Sri Aurobindo goes through the Gita’s analysis: “But the Gita insists that the nature of the action does matter and that there is a positive sanction for continuance in works, not only that one quite negative and mechanical reason, the objectless compulsion of Nature.”
There is a divine Being, impersonal in one aspect, personal in another, which manifests the universe. “The impersonal Brahman…
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While we have been reviewing the traditional understanding of the Vedic sacrifice and comparing it to Sri Krishna’s exhortation to make every act into an act of sacrifice, it must be reiterated that there are many potential stages and intermediate forms that can and should be recognised. Different temperaments and various stages of evolutionary development will lead to a multitude of different forms of practice, and just as there are numerous religions in the world, there are also numerous acts that when done with the proper spirit of consecration and offering to the Divine, in one form or another, can be seen as positive steps along the path.
Sri Aurobindo goes into considerable detail on this point: “There is the psychological sacrifice of self-control and self-discipline which leads to the higher self-possession and self-knowledge. ‘Some offer their senses into the fires of control, others offer the objects of sense into…
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For all human beings, who start from the standpoint of the individual, isolated, and egoistic human view, it is an extraordinary leap, a reversal of consciousness, to reorient oneself to the standpoint of the universal Being and see everywhere Oneness. This does not ordinarily occur in one step; rather, we tend to see a progressive development and widening of consciousness as we go through various stages of growth, starting from our experience of fragmented consciousness and moving successively through the process of the sacrifice toward the experience of one consciousness that manifests and experiences.
Sri Aurobindo describes some of these intermediate stages as we begin by worshiping and sacrificing to the gods, the powers of creation and action put forth by the One to achieve specific and limited objectives: “He recognises that his life is a part of this divine action in Nature and not a thing separate and to…
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The Gita resolves the debate between Vedism and Vedantism by redefining the sense of the term “sacrifice” and putting everything within the broader context already worked out for the opposition between Sankhya and Yoga.
The Vedic term “sacrifice” is tightly focused on the practice of rituals and chanting to obtain specific results from the various gods or powers of creation and existence. The Gita redefines “sacrifice” to mean the dedication of all effort toward the Lord of Creation, which is the active aspect of the Divine Existence. In so doing, the Gita widens the concept so that it now takes on the sense that we see in its definition of the Yoga of Works. Sri Aurobindo concludes: “Vedism is a specialised and narrow form of Yoga; the principle of the Vedantists is identical with that of the Sankhyas, for to both the movement of salvation is the recoil of the…
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