Sri Aurobindo Studies

The idea of liberation from the bondage of Nature and its action has been a central tenet of spiritual traditions the world over. Sri Aurobindo sets forth the additional goal of achieving mastery over the actions of Nature to be able to express the Will of the Supreme in the world of manifestation. This requires, therefore, not simply a dissolution of the bond between soul and external nature, but a way to gain leverage on the actions of Nature. For this purpose, a detailed understanding of the action of Nature in the manifested universe is essential, and this comes down to the important concept of the three Gunas of Nature, the modes or qualities that combine together to determine our actions and responses. “But this inferior Nature can only be mastered if she is surmounted and used from above. And this can only be done by a transcendence of her…

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Sri Aurobindo Studies

Sri Aurobindo provides the basis for the requirement of equality of soul: “And since all things are the one Self in its manifestation, we shall have equality of soul towards the ugly and the beautiful, the maimed and the perfect, the noble and the vulgar, the pleasant and the unpleasant, the good and the evil.”

The human standpoint, based on the mental predilection for division, separation and fragmentation, tends to emphasize the differences rather than the commonality of all things. Thus we divide humanity into ever-increasing fragmented groups, distinguishing people by their size or shape, skin color, economic status, religious persuasion, country of origin, etc. Once we have divided humanity we then proceed to use these distinctions to create disharmony, separation and difference, forgetting about the common basis and common environment that we all share, and which represents a far greater core of Oneness than of difference!

The process of…

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Sri Aurobindo Studies

One of the propensities of the human mind is to see things as “either-or”, “black and white”. Thus, when we are called upon to recognize the Oneness of all creation, we immediately tend to jump to a standpoint where we fail to recognize and appreciate the differences. There is, however, an underlying rationale and truth to the differentiation we see in the manifested universe and it is thus necessary to find a way to establish our equality of soul, which is based on Oneness, while at the same time recognizing, appreciating and rejoicing in the diversity and differentiation we see in all the forms and beings around us in the world.

Sri Aurobindo explains: “Equality does not mean a fresh ignorance or blindness; it does not call for and need not initiate a greyness of vision and a blotting out of all hues. Difference is there, variation of expression is…

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Sri Aurobindo Studies

The normal circumstance of human life is based on the separation and division we experience in the mental consciousness. We classify and categorize everyone and everything around us, label them, and then act upon them with various forms of emotional and vital response. Love and hatred, like and dislike, attraction and repulsion. We act in a constant state of imbalance and we react based on these preferences. Sri Aurobindo points out that such reactions are both natural and necessary as we grow into consciousness of our individuality, and they shape the larger plan or effort of the Divine in the universal manifestation. At a certain stage, however, when the individual consciously takes up the practice of Yoga for the purpose of achieving Oneness with the Divine consciousness, these automatic distinctions and reactions must eventually be replaced in order for the yogic action to be perfected.

Sri Aurobindo explains: “For the…

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Larval Subjects .

Since last week I’ve been haunted by a discussion with a friend that I had over lunch about his hostility towards Freud. Mind you, I’ve never been an orthodox Freudian. In particular we discussed Freud’s theory of fetishes. He led me to reflect on why I value Freud and where I diverge. I’ve never bought into the gender stuff or Oedipus in Freud. What’s left? The mobility of desire: desire is not programmed, but rather anything can be eroticized. We all have our shine on the nose, our fix. As he said, there are as many genders or orientations as there are people. The entire world becomes a signifying system, a referential system, in terms of our loves and attachments. The Birds. Alice. It’s all kink; perhaps most of all when it doesn’t look like kink. There’s the theory of the repressed. Our desire, our wishes, our betrayals of ourself…

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Sri Aurobindo Studies

Sri Aurobindo identifies what the seeker must overcome in order to achieve the results anticipated through the yogic practice: “At this stage of the Yoga and even throughout the Yoga this form of desire, this figure of the ego is the enemy against whom we have to be always on our guard with an unsleeping vigilance. We need not be discouraged when we find him lurking within us and assuming all sorts of disguises, but we should be vigilant to detect him in all his masks and inexorable in expelling his influence.”

The Bhagavad Gita directly addresses this issue with a series of steps or stages to systematically address the problem of desire and ego. The first step is to recognize that one should act without attachment to the fruit of the action. “To action thou hast a right but never under any circumstances to its fruit.” The fruit, the…

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I’m thoroughly enjoying Jimena Canales social, scientific, and philosophical history of the Einstein-Bergson debate in The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate that Changed Our Understanding of Time. There are quite a few pages on Whitehead’s alternative rendering of relativity theory. There is one place (198-99) where Canales, while commenting on George Herbert Mead’s criticism of Whitehead, offers what to me reads like a distortion of Whitehead’s concept of eternal objects. It could be that Whitehead only worked out a more coherent understanding of eternal objects in Process and Reality as a result of his early exchange with Mead at Harvard in September of 1926.

IMG_6365I’ve often wondered if it makes more sense to replace Whitehead’s phrase “eternal object” with the poet Charles Olson’s suggestion of “eternal event.” The poet’s phrase may actually convey Whitehead’s concept better than Whitehead’s way of wording it. Perhaps Whitehead’s original intent was…

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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
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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