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Sri Aurobindo Studies

As long as we remain rooted in the mental consciousness, which functions on the basis of separation, division and fragmentation, we are bound within the actions of Nature working through the Gunas. As we undertake the process of the Yoga, we begin to experience the calm, wideness, stillness, unity of consciousness which begins to create a new platform for our experience and our action. This experience puts us into touch with our wider and truer Self, the Self that is ONE with all existence, and which is not limited by the specific ego-personality that we experience when we are fixed in the mental consciousness.

Sri Aurobindo describes the experience and the process: “When this Self is revealed within us, when we feel its peace and stillness, we can grow into that; we can transfer the poise of our soul from its lower immergence in Nature and draw it back into…

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Sri Aurobindo Studies

Throughout the history of human civilization, humanity has grappled with basic and essential questions of how to apply principles, whether moral or ethical, to the situations that arise both in one’s individual life and in one’s relation to society and social norms and expectations. For the most part, our solutions proceed from the normal human standpoint and represent some accommodation between various conflicting duties or principles as defined by the society within which we live and act.

The Gita goes through the ethical and practical considerations with Arjuna when he declares that what he is about to do is a sin, and concludes with “I will not fight.” Arjuna responds to each of these values with a conflicting value, and thus, reaches a stage of paralysis of action where he feels trapped in a wrong decision regardless of what he decides to do. He is illustrating the ultimate stage of…

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Sri Aurobindo Studies

When we undertake the practice being recommended by the Gita, as an aid to quieting the mind and withdrawing from the entanglement of the senses and their objects, we quickly find out that this is not as simple as it sounds. Once one begins to seriously attempt this, one recognizes that the mind tends to jump around from object to object, the external impressions force themselves on the senses and impact our inner awareness, and we are constantly moved to respond, reach out, interact with and otherwise maintain our involvement with the external world and its forms and forces. At any early stage many actually want to give up, claiming the impossibility of the task.

The process requires patience and persistent practice. Sri Aurobindo has summarized the basic steps or stages that can be noted: “First, all the desires born of the desire-will have to be wholly abandoned without any…

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Larval Subjects .

While reading Christian Thorne’s excellent essay “To the Political Ontologists” in Dark Trajectories:  Politics of the Outside (Joshua Johnson, ed), I found myself thinking once again what on odd idea “political ontology” is.  As Thorne beautifully puts it,

The political ontologists have their work cut out for them.  Let’s say you believe that the entire world is made out of fire:  Your elms and alders are fed by the sky’s titanic cinder; your belly is a combustion engine or a mtabolic furnace; your lungs draw in the pyric aether; the air that hugs the earth is a slow flame– a blanket of chafing-dish Sterno –shirring exposed bumpers and cast iron fences; water itself is a mingling of fire with burning air.  The cosmos is ablaze.  The question is:  How are you going to derive a political program from this insight, and in what conceivable sense could that program be a…

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Sri Aurobindo Studies

If one studies the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, one finds that there is a very significant focus on the attainment of the state of Samadhi, an inward drawn consciousness, separated from any attention to the outer existence, the senses, the mind or the ego-sense. Therein is described several stages of Samadhi, each one successively deeper and more abstracted from the world. Yogis throughout the ages have focused on attaining this state of disassociation from the forces, forms and events of the world. There is a clear emphasis on renunciation being the path to liberation, moksha. And generally the concept of Nirvana has been equated with this separation and abstraction from the world.

The Gita, however, defines Nirvana quite differently and makes it clear that it can be achieved and experienced in the midst of the manifested world of action. Sri Aurobindo takes up the Gita’s position with the following…

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Sri Aurobindo Studies

A great deal of confusion of meaning occurs through the use of terms that have varying meanings based on context. One such term is “nirvana”. The primary sense of this word has been developed through the use of it in the Buddhist tradition. In both cases, it implies a status of conscious awareness that is separated from involvement with the senses, the objects of the senses and the human ego-sense and intellect attached to and acting up (and being acted upon) the objects of the senses. Whether or not we have correctly understood and applied the term in the actual sense meant by those practitioners who experienced and reported those states of consciousness, we do get a general sense that the status of nirvana is one that is different than and opposed to our normal human way of relating to our existence.

It is therefore somewhat confusing to us to…

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Tusar N. Mohapatra

Director, Savitri Era Learning Forum
SRA-102-C, Shipra Riviera, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad - 201014 (UP) India + 91 96500-65636
tusarnmohapatra@gmail.com
Aadhaar No. 3628 2075 7337
SELF posits a model of counselling and communicative action as an instrument in order to stimulate the public sphere. The model aims at supplementing the individual’s struggle for a successful social adjustment with more aspirational inputs so as to help one take an informed and balanced attitude towards life as well as society.
Savitri Era of those who adore,
Om Sri Aurobindo & The Mother.

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