In the Light of ...|Apr 18, 2011 10:46 AM| by:

Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga (II)

sa1914

When one begins to walk on this path, it is alright to do some charity but we should not confuse charity and philanthropy with Yoga. The change in humanity, in earth is a consequence of Yoga. But always inwardly one should know that it is being done for the sake of the Divine. So Mother says, the first question is, has the Divine become the raison d’être of your life? On this path, throughout life, one has to live with that consciousness, that it is for the sake of the Divine, to manifest the Divine, to find the Divine, to express the Divine, through whatever activity we may be doing.

And then Sri Aurobindo gives several examples. He says for instance, if we are in the field of science we can try to find how the Divine works through this fascinating process in the universe. We can find the Divine in that. In the field of economics, in art to express the beautiful, in human relationships… So at times, we will meet the Divine in so many ways, so many forms, so many appearances and through all this we have to remember one central secret, that the reason of all the activities I’m doing is to find and express the Divine. The question every time you have to ask is: this that I’m doing, why am I doing it? How will it help me and the group to find or to express the Divine? In which way can I change it, modify it, so that it can bring me closer and closer to the Divine and express him better and better in life? This is the kind of constant awareness required. When this question was asked, the Mother said the first thing necessary is aspiration for the Divine. Yoga begins with that. In this Yoga that is the initiation – aspiration for the Divine and then She says to become conscious of the motives of your actions, impulses and the origin of our thoughts, why we do whatever we do. We must see whether it is being impelled by the ego, whether it is impelled by desire, or suggestions from the universal thought currents, whether it is welling up from the depths of our psychic, whether it is descending as a river of inspiration from above. So all these things you have to become conscious of, the entire gamut of the play of forces, and try to go through them, go behind appearances, to the Divine.

And finally, what are the aids of this Yoga? Many of us would have read ‘The Four Aids’ chapter in the Synthesis of Yoga. Sri Aurobindo speaks of four things, which if they meet together, makes the Yoga wonderful. Even otherwise Yoga can be done but these four aids are kind of, one can almost say, indispensable. These four aids are he says, sastra, utsaha, guru and kala – knowledge, joy and enthusiasm, guide, time. The real sastra of the Yoga is inner. Sri Aurobindo says in one of his letters, how can I write about the most perfect technique of a Yoga which involves every aspect of life? So true sastra is inside but that should not become an excuse for not reading the outer sastras. So I suppose anybody who wants to walk this path should spend few minutes, preferably a few hours, to read the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother to get the base line clear and ready. Reading is a wonderful preparation for a mind, it is a power that helps the rest of our nature to get ready and have a good understanding and it is always best to go back to the originals, always. So read Sri Aurobindo in the original – even whatever I am speaking, it gives a certain slant which comes from my own nature whereas when you read the original it’s a cosmic thing which we receive directly from the source.

Second is utsaha of the disciple. Yoga cannot be done with a morose and despondent heart. Oh my god, why did we get into this problem at all, life was going smoothly and happily, why has this whole Yoga business started, now I’m in conflict every second day, should I do this, should I not do this, how beautiful life was… If that is the case, go back to life, enjoy it, find what it contains. If there is such a strong pull, it is better to get back, get our bearings straight, get on to the main road. But if the pull is not so strong, the aspiration is mounting, then we should tend that fire and it should be with the utsaha, the joy. The zeal for my lord has eaten me up; nothing else is more important and interesting than our appointment with the lord – that’s utsaha.

Third is the guru. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are the gurus in this Yoga. Sri Aurobindo has said that if you turn only towards me you get little bit, if you turn to the Mother you get everything, she is the Mother. He has said all who have turned to the Mother are doing this Yoga. Why the turning comes, how it comes is not an intellectual process, let’s not mentalise it; if it happens, it happens and if it happens you are initiated on the path. Now the rest She will unfold, of Her own. No disciple, however high, great, erudite, however experienced, realised, has to come between us and the Mother. All others are friends and co-travellers, they are not guides of this Yoga; the only guide is the Mother. It is much better to blunder, relying upon Her, than to do everything right, relying on some outer human personality. This is about the guide and the guru.

Kal means why things happen when they happen – many forces have to be adjusted, have to come into play, between the aspiration and its fusion. So there is an intervening period of time. We aspire for the Divine; the moment we aspire, all our nature begins to come under a new impulse and it begins to react in its own way. Some parts collaborate, some parts conflict, other parts resist and as a result the world forces begin to conflict and resist. There are things from our past nature which have to be worked through, therefore we have to give the Divine time. Our attitude towards time should be one of patience and trust.

These are the ‘four aids’ and those who have them will arrive at their goal.