"In Wonders We Sail, Questing for the Answers in Veil"

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

'The Creative Power Of An Immobile (Still) Mind' Explained By Sri Aurobindo



During the time Sri Aurobindo spent in exile,in Pondicherry; He got the oppeutunity of his life time to read the original copies of the four Vedas.Until then, he had read only English or Indian translations and, along with the Sanskrit scholars, he had seen in the Veda only rather obscure, ritualistic texts.Since,he started understand exactly what was happening to him. At the time, there were no signposts at all to guide him. Yet here was the most ancient of the four Vedas, the Rig Veda, unexpectedly suggesting that he was not completely alone or astray on this planet. That the Western and even the Indian scholars had not understood the extraordinary vision of these texts is perhaps not so surprising when we realize that Sanskrit roots lend themselves to a double or even a triple meaning, which in turn can be invested with a double symbolism, esoteric and exoteric. These hymns can be read on two or three different levels of meaning, and even after one finds the right meaning, it is still difficult to fully comprehend the "Fire in the water," "the mountain pregnant with the supreme birth," or the quest for the "lost Sun" followed by the discovery of the "Sun in the darkness," unless one has experienced the spiritual Fire in Matter, the explosion of the rock of the Inconscient or the illumination in the cells of the body.

In six uninterrupted years, until 1920, Sri Aurobindo would publish nearly all of his written work, close to five thousand pages. But he wrote in an unusual manner - not one book after another, but four and even six books concurrently, on the most varied subjects, such as The Life Divine, his fundamental "philosophical" work and spiritual vision of evolution; The Synthesis of Yoga, in which he describes the various stages and experiences of the integral yoga, and surveys all the past and present yogic disciplines; the Essays on the Gita, which expounds his philosophy of action; The Secret of the Veda, with a study of the origins of language; and The Ideal of Human Unity and The Human Cycle, which approach evolution from its sociological and psychological standpoints and examine the future possibilities of human societies.

Day after day, quietly, Sri Aurobindo filled his pages. Anyone else would have been exhausted, but he did not "think" about what he was writing.He Explained to his disciples.

"I have made no endeavour in writing, I have simply left the higher Power to work and when it did not work, I made no effort at all. It was in the old intellectual days that I had sometimes tried to force things and not after I started development of poetry and prose by Yoga. Let me remind you also that when I was writing the Arya and also whenever I write these letters or replies, I never think.... It is out of a silent mind that I write whatever comes ready-shaped from above."

Often, those among his disciples who were writers or poets would ask him to explain the yogic process of literary creation. He would explain it at great length, knowing that creative activities are a powerful means of pushing back the superconscious boundary and precipitating into Matter the luminous possibilities of the future.He wrote in his letter;

"The best relief for the brain, is when the thinking takes place outside the body and above the head (or in space or at other levels but still outside the body). At any rate it was so in my case; for as soon as that happened there was an immense relief; I have felt body strain since then but never any kind of brain fatigue."

Let us stress that "thinking outside the body" is not at all a supramental phenomenon, but a very simple experience accessible with the onset of mental silence. The true method, according to Sri Aurobindo, is to reach a state devoid of any personal effort, to step aside as completely as one can and simply let the current pass through.

"There are two ways of arriving at the Grand Trunk Road. One is to climb and struggle and effortise (like the pilgrim who traverses India prostrating and measuring the way with his body: that is the way of effort). One day you suddenly find yourself on the G.T.R. when you least expect it. The other is to quiet the mind to such a point that a greater Mind can speak through it (I am not here talking of the Supramental)."

But then, asked a disciple, if it is not our own mind that thinks, if thoughts come from outside, how is it that there is such a difference between one person's thoughts and another's? And Aurobindo replied.

"First of all, these thought-waves, thought-seeds or thought-forms or whatever they are, are of different values and come from different planes of consciousness. And the same thought substance can take higher or lower vibrations according to the plane of consciousness through which the thoughts come in (-e.g. thinking mind, vital mind, physical mind, subconscient mind-) or the power of consciousness which catches them and pushes them into one man or another. Moreover there is a stuff of mind in each man and the incoming thought uses that for shaping itself or translating itself (transcribing we usually call it), but the stuff is finer or coarser, stronger or weaker, etc., etc., in one mind than in another. Also there is a mind-energy actual or potential in each which differs and this mind-energy in its recipience of the thought can be luminous or obscure, sattwic (serene), rajasic (impassioned) or tamasic (inert) with consequences which vary in each case."

Also He added ;

"The intellect is an absurdly overactive part of the nature; it always thinks that nothing can be well done unless it puts its finger into the pie and therefore it instinctively interferes with the inspiration, blocks half or more than half of it and labours to substitute its own inferior and toilsome productions for the true speech and rhythm that ought to have come. The poet labours in anguish to get the one true word, the authentic rhythm, the real divine substance of what he has to say, while all the time it is waiting complete and ready behind."

But effort helps, the disciple protested again, and by dint of beating one's brains, the inspiration comes.

"Exactly! When any real effect is produced, it is not because of the beating and the hammering, but because an inspiration slips down between the raising of the hammer and the falling and gets in under cover of the beastly noise."

After writing so many books for his disciples, Sri Aurobindo finally avowed that the sole purpose of books and philosophies was not really to enlighten the mind, but to silence it so that it can experience things directly and receive direct inspirations. He summed up the role of the mind in the evolutionary process as follows :

"Mind is a clumsy interlude between Nature's vast and precise subconscient action and the vaster infallible superconscient action of the Godhead. There is nothing mind can do that cannot be better done in the mind's immobility and thought-free stillness."

Courtesy : 
SRI AUROBINDO,OR THE ADVENTURE OF CONSCIOUSNESS 
by Satprem


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