Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Sankhya and Yoga According to Sri Aurobindo

". . . while Patanjali gives to works only an initial importance for moral purification and religious concentration, the Gita goes so far as to make works the distinctive characteristic of Yoga. Action to Patanjali is only a preliminary, in the Gita it is a permanent foundation; in the Rajayoga it has practically to be put aside when its result has been attained or at any rate ceases very soon to be a means for the Yoga, for the Gita it is a means of the highest ascent and continues even after the complete liberation of the soul."

". . . The Sankhya also is a Yoga, but it proceeds by knowledge; it starts, that is to say, by intellectual discrimination and analysis of the principles of our being and attains its aim through the vision and possession of the Truth. Yoga, on the other hand, proceeds by works; it is in its first principle Karmayoga; but it is evident from the whole teaching of the Gita and its later definitions that the word karma is used in a very wide sense and that by Yoga is meant the selfless devotion of all the inner as well as the outer activities as a sacrifice to the Lord of all works, offered to the Eternal as Master of all the soul’s energies and austerities." 

". . .Yoga is the practice of the Truth of which knowledge gives the vision, and its practice has for its motor-power a spirit of illumined devotion, of calm or fervent consecration to that which knowledge sees to be the Highest."

Sri Aurobindo's teaching starts from that of the ancient sages of India that behind the appearance of this universe there is the "Reality of a Being and Consciousness, a Self of all things, one and eternal". This "One Being and Consciousness", according to Sri Aurobindo, "is involved here in Matter. Evolution is the method by which it liberates itself."

Evolution is possible, Sri Aurobindo argued, only because the Divine has "involved" or "hidden himself" in the material universe at the beginning of creation. The "Superconscient Spirit" has involved himself in the "inconscient Matter" which gave birth to this material world. The seemingly inconscient Matter, therefore, is nothing but the Spirit in disguise. Evolution is the gradual unfoldment of this hidden spirit. Matter, Life, Mind, are nothing but different expressions of this Spirit at the different stages of evolution: the involved Divine through his creative energy gradually emerging in ever more conscious forms. The process of evolution will complete the circle with the manifestation of this hidden spirit, the involved Divine Reality in the material world. 

. . . from the website of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram

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