Author: Sri Aurobindo

Sanjay Dixit

Sanjay Dixit

About the Author

Sanjay Dixit, Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Rajasthan, has many feathers in his cap. He graduated as a marine engineer, and sailed the high seas for a few years before changing course to civil services. He is also well-recognised as a cricket administrator who once defeated Lalit Modi in a famous election for the post of the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association. He considers Rajasthan's first Ranji Trophy title triumph as his crowning achievement. He is also credited with bringing a revolutionary new technology for production of date palms on a large scale in western Rajasthan, transforming livelihoods.

Dixit is a prolific columnist on contemporary topics. He has a deep interest in Indian languages, culture, economics, history, philosophy and spirituality. His six-part series - 'All Religions Are Not the Same' - has won critical acclaim. He also heads The Jaipur Dialogues as its Chairman, creating an India-centric think tank in the process, and hosts the YouTube series 'Weekly Dialogues'.

Francois Gautier

Francois Gautier

About the Author

François Gautier was born in Paris, France. He was South Asia correspondent for Le Figaro, one of France’s leading newspapers. He also wrote columns for Indian newspapers: the ‘Ferengi’s column’ in the Indian Express, then the “French Connection” column in the Pioneer, as well as regular contributions for Rediff., New Indian Express, Times of India blogs, etc.

François has written several books – amongst the latest : A New History of India (Har Anand, 2008), The Art of Healing (Harper Collins, 2011), Quand l’Inde s’éveille, la France est endormie (Editions du Rocher, 2013), « Apprendre à Souffler (Hachette Marabout, 2016) & « Nouvelle Histoire de l’Inde » (Editions de l’Archipel, 2017), « Les Mots du Dernier Dalaï-lama » (Flammarion, 2018), « In Defense of a Billion Hindus » (Har Anand, 2018) & « Hindu Power in the 21st Century » (Har Anand, 2019)

Francois, who is married for 30 years to Namrita, shuttles between Pune and Delhi. He is building a Museum of (real) Indian History in Pune (factmuseum.com).

Makarand Pranjape

Makarand Pranjape

About the Author

Author, poet, and humanities professor. He has been the Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla since August 2018. Prior to that he was a professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India for 19 years.

Maria Wirth

Maria Wirth

About the Author

Maria Wirth, a German, came to India on a stopover on her way to Australia after finishing her psychology studies at Hamburg University and an internship with Lufthansa. By chance she landed up in spiritual India, realised the great value of Vedic wisdom, and never went to Australia.

She shared her insights with German readers through numerous articles and two books, as she felt this wisdom is lacking in the West. Only some 15 years ago, she became aware that even many Indians don’t know about their amazing heritage and worse, they look down on it and often consider Christianity and Islam as preferable. This shocked her and she started to compare on her blog the three main religions and also wrote her first book in English, titled “Thank you India”. For her it is clear that Hindu Dharma is the best option for humanity and she keeps explaining why.

Dr. Omendra Ratnu

Dr. Omendra Ratnu

About the Author

Dr Omendra Ratnu from Jaipur is an ENT surgeon who runs a hospital.

He runs an NGO, Nimittekam, with the purpose of helping displaced Hindu refugees from Pakistan and integrating Dalit Sahodaras into Hindu mainstream.

Issues of Hindu survival and conflict with violent faiths are his core concerns for which he roams around the world to raise funds and awareness.

He is also a singer, composer, writer, Geeta communicator and a ground activist for Hindu causes.

He has released a bhajan Album and a Ghazal album composed and sung by him.

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The Four Aids to Yoga

Yoga-siddhi, the perfection that comes from the practice of Yoga, can be best attained by the combined working of four great instruments. There is, first, the knowledge of the truths, principles, powers and processes that govern the realisation – shastra. Next comes a patient and persistent action on the lines laid down by the knowledge, the force of our personal effort – utsaha. There intervenes, third, uplifting our knowledge and effort into the domain of spiritual experience, the direct suggestion, example and influence of the Teacher – guru. Last comes the instrumentality of Time – kala; for in all things there is a cycle of their action and a period of the divine movement. The supreme Shastra of the integral Yoga is the eternal Veda secret in the heart of every thinking and living being. The lotus of the eternal knowledge and the eternal perfection is a bud closed and folded up within us. It opens swiftly or gradually, petal by petal, through successive realisations, once the mind of man begins to turn towards the Eternal, once his heart, no longer compressed and confined by attachment to finite appearances, becomes enamoured, in whatever degree, of the Infinite. All life, all thought, all energising of the faculties, all experiences passive or active, become thenceforward so many shocks which disintegrate the teguments of the soul and remove the obstacles to the inevitable efflorescence. He who chooses the Infinite has been chosen by the Infinite. He has received the divine touch without which there is no awakening, no opening of the spirit; but once it is received, attainment is sure, whether conquered swiftly in the course of one human life or pursued patiently through many stadia of the cycle of existence in the manifested universe. Nothing can be taught to the mind which is not already concealed as potential knowledge in the unfolding soul of the creature. So also all perfection of which the outer man is capable, is only a realising of the eternal perfection of the Spirit within him. We know the Divine and become the Divine, because we are That already in our secret nature. All teaching is a revealing, all becoming is an unfolding. Self-attainment is the secret; self-knowledge and an increasing consciousness are the means and the process. The usual agency of this revealing is the Word, the thing heard (shruta). The Word may come to us from within; it may come to us from without. But in either case, it is only an agency for setting the hidden knowledge to work. The word within may be the utterance of the inmost soul in us which is always open to the Divine or it may be the word of the secret and universal Teacher who is seated in the hearts of all. There are rare cases in which none other is needed, for all the rest of the Yoga is an unfolding under that constant touch and guidance; the lotus of the knowledge discloses itself from within by the power of irradiating effulgence which proceeds from the Dweller in the lotus of the heart. Great indeed, but few are those to whom self-knowledge from within is thus sufficient and who do not need to pass under the dominant influence of a written book or a living teacher. Ordinarily, the Word from without, representative of the Divine, is needed as an aid in the work of self-unfolding; and it may be either a word from the past or the more powerful word of the living Guru. In some cases this representative word is only taken as a sort of excuse for the inner power to awaken and manifest; it is, as it were, a concession of the omnipotent and omniscient Divine to the generality of a law that governs Nature. Thus it is said in the Upanishads of Krishna, son of Devaki, that he received a word of the Rishi Ghora and had the knowledge. So Ramakrishna, having attained by his own internal effort the central illumination, accepted several teachers in the different paths of Yoga, but always showed in the manner and swiftness of his realisation that this acceptance was a concession to the general rule by which effective knowledge must be received as by a disciple from a Guru. But usually the representative influence occupies a much larger place in the life of the Sadhaka. If the Yoga is guided by a received written Shastra, – some Word from the past which embodies the experience of former Yogins, – it may be practised either by personal effort alone or with the aid of a Guru. The spiritual knowledge is then gained through meditation on the truths that are taught and it is made living and conscious by their realisation in the personal experience; the Yoga proceeds by the results of prescribed methods taught in a Scripture or a tradition and reinforced and illumined by the instructions of the Master. This is a narrower practice, but safe and effective within its limits, because it follows a well-beaten track to a long familiar goal. For the Sadhaka of the Integral Yoga it is necessary to remember that no written Shastra, however great its authority or however large its spirit, can be more than a partial expression of the eternal Knowledge. He will use, but never bind himself even by the greatest Scripture. Where the Scripture is profound, wide, catholic, it may exercise upon him an influence for the highest good and of incalculable importance. It may be associated in his experience with his awakening to crowning verities and his realisation of the highest experiences. His Yoga may be governed for a long time by one Scripture or by several successively, – if it is in the line of the great Hindu tradition, by the Gita, for example, the Upanishads, the Veda. Or it may be a good part of his development to include in its material a richly varied experience of the truths of many Scriptures and make the future opulent with all that is best in the past. But in the end he must take his station, or better still, if he can, always and from the beginning he must live in his own soul beyond the written Truth, -sabdabrahmativartate – beyond all that he has heard and all that he has yet to hear, – srotaryasya shrutasya ca. For he is not the Sadhaka of a book or of many books; he is a Sadhaka of the Infinite. Another kind of Shastra is not Scripture, but a statement of the science and methods, the effective principles and way of working of the path of Yoga which the Sadhaka elects to follow. Each path has its Shastra, either written or traditional, passing from mouth to mouth through a long line of Teachers. In India a great authority, a high reverence even is ordinarily attached to the written or traditional teaching. All the lines of the Yoga are supposed to be fixed and the Teacher who has received the Shastra by tradition and realised it in practice guides the disciple along the immemorial tracks. One often even hears the objection urged against a new practice, a new Yogic teaching, the adoption of a new formula, “It is not according to the Shastra.” But neither in fact nor in the actual practice of the Yogins is there really any such entire rigidity of an iron door shut against new truth, fresh revelation, widened experience. The written or traditional teaching expresses the knowledge and experiences of many centuries systematised, organised, made attainable to the beginner. Its importance and utility are therefore immense. But a great freedom of variation and development is always practicable. Even so highly scientific a system as Rajayoga can be practised on other lines than the organised method of Patanjali. Each of the three paths, trimarga [= the triple path of Knowledge, Devotion and Works], breaks into many bypaths which meet again at the goal. The general knowledge on which the Yoga depends is fixed, but the order, the succession, the devices, the forms must be allowed to vary, for the needs and particular impulsions of the individual nature have to be satisfied even while the general truths remain firm and constant. An integral and synthetic Yoga needs especially not to be bound by any written or traditional Shastra; for while it embraces the knowledge received from the past, it seeks to organise it anew for the present and the future. An absolute liberty of experience and of the restatement of knowledge in new terms and new combinations is the condition of its self-formation. Seeking to embrace all life in itself, it is in the position not of a pilgrim following the highroad to his destination, but, to that extent at least, of a path-finder hewing his way through a virgin forest. For Yoga has long diverged from life and the ancient systems which sought to embrace it, such as those of our Vedic forefathers, are far away from us, expressed in terms which are no longer accessible, thrown into forms which are no longer applicable. Since then mankind has moved forward on the current of eternal Time and the same problem has to be approached from a new starting-point. By this Yoga we not only seek the Infinite, but we call upon the Infinite to unfold himself in human life. Therefore the Shastra of our Yoga must provide for an infinite liberty in the receptive human soul. A free adaptability in the manner and type of the individual’s acceptance of the Universal and Transcendent into himself is the right condition for the full spiritual life in man. Vivekananda, pointing out that the unity of all religions must necessarily express itself by an increasing richness of variety in its forms, said once that the perfect state of that essential unity would come when each man had his own religion, when not bound by sect or traditional form he followed the free self-adaptation of his nature in its relations with the Supreme. So also one may say that the perfection of the integral Yoga will come when each man is able to follow his own path of Yoga, pursuing the development of his own nature in its upsurging towards that which transcends the nature. For freedom is the final law and the last consummation. Meanwhile certain general lines have to be formed which may help to guide the thought and practice of the Sadhaka. But these must take, as much as possible, forms of general truths, general statements of principle, the most powerful broad directions of effort and development rather than a fixed system which has to be followed as a routine. All Shastra is the outcome of past experience and a help to future experience. It is an aid and a partial guide. It puts up signposts, gives the names of the main roads and the already explored directions, so that the traveller may know whither and by what paths he is proceeding. The rest depends on personal effort and experience and upon the power of the Guide.   From Synthesis of Yoga, The Yoga of Divine Works, by Sri Aurobindo
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Dharma, Sri Aurobindo

Sanatan Dharma

Excerpts from the Uttarpara Speech by Sri Aurobindo (30 May 1909) When you go forth, speak to your nation always this word, that it is for the Sanatan Dharma that they arise, it is for the world and not for themselves that they arise. I am giving them freedom for the service of the world. When therefore it is said that India shall rise, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall be great. When it is said that India shall expand and extend herself, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall expand and extend itself over the world. It is for the Dharma and by the Dharma that India exists. But what is the Hindu religion? What is this religion which we call Sanatan, eternal? It is the Hindu religion only because the Hindu nation has kept it, because in this Peninsula it grew up in the seclusion of the sea and the Himalayas, because in this sacred and ancient land it was given as a charge to the Aryan race to preserve through the ages. But it is not circumscribed by the confines of a single country, it does not belong peculiarly and for ever to a bounded part of the world. That which we call the Hindu religion is really the eternal religion, because it is the universal religion which embraces all others. If a religion is not universal, it cannot be eternal. A narrow religion, a sectarian religion, an exclusive religion can live only for a limited time and a limited purpose. This is the one religion that can triumph over materialism by including and anticipating the discoveries of science and the speculations of philosophy. It is the one religion which impresses on mankind the closeness of God to us and embraces in its compass all the possible means by which man can approach God. It is the one religion which insists every moment on the truth which all religions acknowledge that He is in all men and all things and that in Him we move and have our being. It is the one religion which enables us not only to understand and believe this truth but to realise it with every part of our being. It is the one religion which shows the world what the world is, that it is the Lila of Vasudeva. It is the one religion which shows us how we can best play our part in that Lila, its subtlest laws and its noblest rules. It is the one religion which does not separate life in any smallest detail from religion, which knows what immortality is and has utterly removed from us the reality of death. It is only the Indian who can believe everything, dare everything, sacrifice everything. First, therefore, become Indians. Recover the patrimony of your forefathers. Recover the Aryan thought, the Aryan discipline, the Aryan character, the Aryan life. Recover the Vedanta, the Gita, the Yoga. Recover them not only in intellect or sentiment but in your lives. Live them and you will be great and strong, mighty, invincible and fearless. Neither life nor death will have any terror for you. Difficulty and impossibility will vanish from your vocabularies. Sri Aurobindo’s India
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Uttarpara Speech  (1909)

First published in “Karmayogin”, June 1909. Speech that Sri Aurobindo made after his release from prison.    When I was asked to speak to you at the annual meeting of your Sabha, it was my intention to say a few words about the subject chosen for today, the subject of the Hindu religion. I do not know now whether I shall fulfill that intention; for as I sat here, there came into my mind a word that I have to speak to you, a word that I have to speak to the whole of the Indian Nation. It was spoken first to myself in jail and I have come out of jail to speak it to my people. It was more than a year ago that I came here last. When I came I was not alone; one of the mightiest prophets of Nationalism sat by my side. It was he who then came out of the seclusion to which God had sent him, so that in the silence and solitude of his cell he might hear the word that He had to say. It was he that you came in your hundreds to welcome. Now he is far away, separated from us by thousands of miles. Others whom I was accustomed to find working beside me are absent. The storm that swept over the country has scattered them far and wide. It is I this time who have spent one year in seclusion, and now that I come out I find all changed. One who always sat by my side and was associated in my work is a prisoner in Burma; another is in the north rotting in detention. I looked round when I came out, I looked round for those to whom I had been accustomed to look for counsel and inspiration. I did not find them. There was more than that. When I went to jail the whole country was alive with the cry of Bande Mataram, alive with the hope of a nation, the hope of millions of men who had newly risen out of degradation. When I came out of jail I listened for that cry, but there was instead a silence. A hush had fallen on the country and men seemed bewildered; for instead of God’s bright heaven full of the vision of the future that had been before us, there seemed to be overhead a leaden sky from which human thunders and lightning rained. No man seemed to know which way to move, and from all sides came the question, “What shall we do next? What is there that we can do?” I too did not know which way to move, I too did not know what was next to be done. But one thing I knew, that as it was the Almighty Power of God which had raised that cry, that hope, so it was the same Power which had sent down that silence. He who was in the shouting and the movement was also in the pause and the hush. He has sent it upon us, so that the nation might draw back for a moment and look into itself and know His will. I have not been disheartened by that silence because I had been made familiar with silence in my prison and because I knew it was in the pause and the hush that I had myself learned this lesson through the long year of my detention. When Bipin Chandra Pal came out of jail, he came with a message, and it was an inspired message. I remember the speech he made here. It was a speech not so much political as religious in its bearing and intention. He spoke of his realisation in jail, of God within us all, of the Lord within the nation, and in his subsequent speeches also he spoke of a greater than ordinary force in the movement and a greater than ordinary purpose before it. Now I also meet you again, I also come out of jail, and again it is you of Uttarpara who are the first to welcome me, not at a political meeting but at a meeting of a society for the protection of our religion. That message which Bipin Chandra Pal received in Buxar jail, God gave to me in Alipore. That knowledge He gave to me day after day during my twelve months of imprisonment and it is that which He has commanded me to speak to you now that I have come out. I knew I would come out. The year of detention was meant only for a year of seclusion and of training. How could anyone hold me in jail longer than was necessary for God’s purpose? He had given me a word to speak and a work to do, and until that word was spoken I knew that no human power could hush me, until that work was done no human power could stop God’s instrument, however weak that instrument might be or however small. Now that I have come out, even in these few minutes, a word has been suggested to me which I had no wish to speak. The thing I had in my mind He has thrown from it and what I speak is under an impulse and a compulsion. When I was arrested and hurried to the Lal Bazar hajat I was shaken in faith for a while, for I could not look into the heart of His intention. Therefore I faltered for a moment and cried out in my heart to Him, “What is this that has happened to me? I believed that I had a mission to work for the people of my country and until that work was done, I should have Thy protection. Why then am I here and on such a charge?” A day passed and a second day and a third, when a voice came to me from within, “Wait and see.” Then I grew calm and waited, I was taken from Lal Bazar to Alipore and was placed for one month in a solitary cell apart from men. There I waited day and night for the voice of God within me, to know what He had to say to me, to learn what I had to do. In this seclusion the earliest realisation, the first lesson came to me. I remembered then that a month or more before my arrest, a call had come to me to put aside all activity, to go in seclusion and to look into myself, so that I might enter into closer communion with Him. I was weak and could not accept the call. My work was very dear to me and in the pride of my heart I thought that unless I was there, it would suffer or even fail and cease; therefore I would not leave it. It seemed to me that He spoke to me again and said, “The bonds you had not the strength to break, I have broken for you, because it is not my will nor was it ever my intention that that should continue. I have had another thing for you to do and it is for that I have brought you here, to teach you what you could not learn for yourself and to train you for my work.” Then He placed the Gita in my hands. His strength entered into me and I was able to do the sadhana of the Gita. I was not only to understand intellectually but to realise what Sri Krishna demanded of Arjuna and what He demands of those who aspire to do His work, to be free from repulsion and desire, to do work for Him without the demand for fruit, to renounce self-will and become a passive and faithful instrument in His hands, to have an equal heart for high and low, friend and opponent, success and failure, yet not to do His work negligently. I realised what the Hindu religion meant. We speak often of the Hindu religion, of the Sanatan Dharma, but few of us really know what that religion is. Other religions are preponderatingly religions of faith and profession, but the Sanatan Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not so much to be believed as lived. This is the Dharma that for the salvation of humanity was cherished in the seclusion of this peninsula from of old. It is to give this religion that India is rising. She does not rise as other countries do, for self or when she is strong, to trample on the weak. She is rising to shed the eternal light entrusted to her over the world. India has always existed for humanity and not for herself and it is for humanity and not for herself that she must be great. Therefore this was the next thing He pointed out to me. He made me realise the central truth of the Hindu religion. He turned the hearts of my jailors to me and they spoke to the Englishman in charge of the jail, “He is suffering in his confinement; let him at least walk outside his cell for half an hour in the morning and in the evening.” So it was arranged, and it was while I was walking that His strength again entered into me. I looked the jail that secluded me from men and it was no longer by its high walls that I was imprisoned; no, it was Vasudeva who surrounded me. I walked under the branches of the tree in front of my cell but it was not the tree, I knew it was Vasudeva, it was Sri Krishna whom I saw standing there and holding over me his shade. I looked at the bars of my cell, the very grating that did duty for a door and again I saw Vasudeva. It was Narayana who was guarding and standing sentry over me. Or I lay on the coarse blankets that were given me for a couch and felt the arms of Sri Krishna around me, the arms of my Friend and Lover. This was the first use of the deeper vision He gave me. I looked at the prisoners in the jail, the thieves, the murderers, the swindlers, and as I looked at them I saw Vasudeva, it was Narayana whom I found in these darkened souls and misused bodies. Amongst these thieves and dacoits there were many who put me to shame by their sympathy, their kindness, the humanity triumphant over such adverse circumstances. One I saw among them especially, who seemed to me a saint, a peasant of my nation who did not know how to read and write, an alleged dacoit sentenced to ten years’ rigorous imprisonment, one of those whom we look down upon in our Pharisaical pride of class as Chhotalok. Once more He spoke to me and said, “Behold the people among whom I have sent you to do a little of my work. This is the nature of the nation I am raising up and the reason why I raise them.” When the case opened in the lower court and we were brought before the Magistrate I was followed by the same insight. He said to me, “When you were cast into jail, did not your heart fail and did you not cry out to me, where is Thy protection? Look now at the Magistrate, look now at the Prosecuting Counsel.” I looked and it was not the Magistrate whom I saw, it was Vasudeva, it was Narayana who was sitting there on the bench. I looked at the Prosecuting Counsel and it was not the Counsel for the prosecution that I saw; it was Sri Krishna who sat there, it was my Lover and Friend who sat there and smiled. “Now do you fear?” He said, “I am in all men and I overrule their actions and their words. My protection is still with you and you shall not fear. This case which is brought against you, leave it in my hand. It is not for you. It was not for the trial that I brought you here but for something else. The case itself is only a means for my work and nothing more.” Afterwards when the trial opened in the Sessions Court, I began to write many instructions for my Counsel as to what was false in the evidence against me and on what points the witnesses might be cross-examined. Then something happened which I had not expected. The arrangements which had been made for my defence were suddenly changed and another Counsel stood there to defend me. He came unexpectedly, a friend of mine, but I did not know he was coming. You have all heard the name of the man who put away from him all other thoughts and abandoned all his practice, who sat up half the night day after day for months and broke his health to save me, Srijut Chittaranjan Das. When I saw him, I was satisfied, but I still thought it necessary to write instructions. Then all that was put away from me and I had the message from within, “This is the man who will save you from the snares put around your feet. Put aside those papers. It is not you who will instruct him. I will instruct him.” From that time I did not of myself speak a word to my Counsel about the case or give a single instruction, and if ever I was asked a question, I always found that my answer did not help the case. I had left it to him and he took it entirely into his hands, with what result you know. I knew all along what He meant for me, for I heard it again and again, always I listened to the voice within; “I am guiding, therefore fear not. Turn to your own work for which I have brought you to jail and when you come out, remember never to fear, never to hesitate. Remember that it is I who am doing this, not you nor any other. Therefore whatever clouds may come, whatever dangers and sufferings, whatever difficulties, whatever impossibilities, there is nothing impossible, nothing difficult. I am in the nation and its uprising and I am Vasudeva, I am Narayana, and what I will, shall be, not what others will. What I choose to bring about, no human power can stay.” Meanwhile He had brought me out of solitude and placed me among those who had been accused along with me. You have spoken much today of my self-sacrifice and devotion to my country. I have heard that kind of speech ever since I came out of jail, but I hear it with embarrassment, with something of pain. For I know my weakness, I am a prey to my own faults and backslidings. I was not blind to them before and when they all rose up against me in seclusion, I felt them utterly. I knew them that I the man was a man of weakness, a faulty and imperfect instrument, strong only when a higher strength entered into me. Then I found myself among these young men and in many of them I discovered a mighty courage, a power of self-effacement in comparison with which I was simply nothing. I saw one or two who were not only superior to me in force and character, – very many were that, – but in the promise of that intellectual ability on which I prided myself. He said to me, “This is the young generation, the new and mighty nation that is arising at my command. They are greater than yourself. What have you to fear? If you stood aside or slept, the work would still be done. If you were cast aside tomorrow, here are the young men who will take up your work and do it more mightily than you have ever done. You have only got some strength from me to speak a word to this nation which will help to raise it.” This was the next thing He told me. Then a thing happened suddenly and in a moment I was hurried away to the seclusion of a solitary cell. What happened to me during that period I am not impelled to say, but only that day after day, He showed me His wonders and made me realise the utter truth of the Hindu religion. I had many doubts before. I was brought up in England amongst foreign ideas and an atmosphere entirely foreign. About many things in Hinduism I had once been inclined to believe that they were imaginations, that there was much of dream in it, much that was delusion and Maya. But now day after day I realised in the mind, I realised in the heart, I realised in the body the truths of the Hindu religion. They became living experiences to me, and things were opened to me which no material science could explain. When I first approached Him, it was not entirely in the spirit of the Jnani. I came to Him long ago in Baroda some years before the Swadeshi began and I was drawn into the public field. When I approached God at that time, I hardly had a living faith in Him. The agnostic was in me, the atheist was in me, the sceptic was in me and I was not absolutely sure that there was a God at all. I did not feel His presence. Yet something drew me to the truth of the Vedas, the truth of the Gita, the truth of the Hindu religion. I felt there must be a mighty truth somewhere in this Yoga, a mighty truth in this religion based on the Vedanta. So when I turned to the Yoga and resolved to practise it and find out if my idea was right, I did it in this spirit and with this prayer to Him, “If Thou art, then Thou knowest my heart. Thou knowest that I do not ask for Mukti, I do not ask for anything which others ask for. I ask only for strength to uplift this nation, I ask only to be allowed to live and work for this people whom I love and to whom I pray that I may devote my life.” I strove long for the realisation of Yoga and at last to some extent I had it, but in what I most desired I was not satisfied. Then in the seclusion of the jail, of the solitary cell I asked for it again. I said, “Give me Thy Adesh. I do not know what work to do or how to do it. Give me a message.” In the communion of Yoga two messages came. The first message said, “I have given you a work and it is to help to uplift this nation. Before long the time will come when you will have to go out of jail; for it is not my will that this time either you should be convicted or that you should pass the time, as others have to do, in suffering for their country. I have called you to work, and that is the Adesh for which you have asked. I give you the Adesh to go forth and do my work.” The second message came and it said, “Something has been shown to you in this year of seclusion, something about which you had your doubts and it is the truth of the Hindu religion. It is this religion that I am raising up before the world, it is this that I have perfected and developed through the Rishis, saints and Avatars, and now it is going forth to do my work among the nations. I am raising up this nation to send forth my word. This is the Sanatan Dharma, this is the eternal religion which you did not really know before, but which I have now revealed to you. The agnostic and the sceptic in you have been answered, for I have given you proofs within and without you, physical and subjective, which have satisfied you. When you go forth, speak to your nation always this word, that it is for the Sanatan Dharma that they arise, it is for the world and not for themselves that they arise. I am giving them freedom for the service of the world. When therefore it is said that India shall rise, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall be great. When it is said that India shall expand and extend herself, it is the Sanatan Dharma that shall expand and extend itself over the world. It is for the Dharma and by the Dharma that India exists. To magnify the religion means to magnify the country. I have shown you that I am everywhere and in all men and in all things, that I am in this movement and I am not only working in those who are striving for the country but I am working also in those who oppose them and stand in their path. I am working in everybody and whatever men may think or do, they can do nothing but help in my purpose. They also are doing my work, they are not my enemies but my instruments. In all your actions you are moving forward without knowing which way you move. You mean to do one thing and you do another. You aim at a result and your efforts subserve one that is different or contrary. It is Shakti that has gone forth and entered into the people. Since long ago I have been preparing this uprising and now the time has come and it is I who will lead it to its fulfilment.” This then is what I have to say to you. The name of your society is “Society for the Protection of Religion”. Well, the protection of the religion, the protection and upraising before the world of the Hindu religion, that is the work before us. But what is the Hindu religion? What is this religion which we call Sanatan, eternal? It is the Hindu religion only because the Hindu nation has kept it, because in this Peninsula it grew up in the seclusion of the sea and the Himalayas, because in this sacred and ancient land it was given as a charge to the Aryan race to preserve through the ages. But it is not circumscribed by the confines of a single country, it does not belong peculiarly and for ever to a bounded part of the world. That which we call the Hindu religion is really the eternal religion, because it is the universal religion which embraces all others. If a religion is not universal, it cannot be eternal. A narrow religion, a sectarian religion, an exclusive religion can live only for a limited time and a limited purpose. This is the one religion that can triumph over materialism by including and anticipating the discoveries of science and the speculations of philosophy. It is the one religion which impresses on mankind the closeness of God to us and embraces in its compass all the possible means by which man can approach God. It is the one religion which insists every moment on the truth which all religions acknowledge that He is in all men and all things and that in Him we move and have our being. It is the one religion which enables us not only to understand and believe this truth but to realise it with every part of our being. It is the one religion which shows the world what the world is, that it is the Lila of Vasudeva. It is the one religion which shows us how we can best play our part in that Lila, its subtlest laws and its noblest rules. It is the one religion which does not separate life in any smallest detail from religion, which knows what immortality is and has utterly removed from us the reality of death. This is the word that has been put into my mouth to speak to you today. What I intended to speak has been put away from me, and beyond what is given to me I have nothing to say. It is only the word that is put into me that I can speak to you. That word is now finished. I spoke once before with this force in me and I said then that this movement is not a political movement and that nationalism is not politics but a religion, a creed, a faith. I say it again today, but I put it in another way. I say no longer that nationalism is a creed, a religion, a faith; I say that it is the Sanatan Dharma which for us is nationalism. This Hindu nation was born with the Sanatan Dharma, with it, it moves and with it, it grows. When the Sanatan Dharma declines, then the nation declines, and if the Sanatan Dharma were capable of perishing, with the Sanatan Dharma it would perish. The Sanatan Dharma, that is nationalism. This is the message that I have to speak to you.
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a dream
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A Dream

A poor man was sitting in a dark hut thinking of his miseries and of the injustice and wrongs that could be found in this world of God’s making. Out of abhimana, he began to mutter to himself, “As men do not want to cast a slur on God’s name, they put the blame on Karma. If my misfortunes are really due to the sins committed in my previous birth and if I was so great a sinner, then currents of evil thoughts should still be passing through my mind. Can the mind of such a wicked person get cleansed so soon? And what about that Tinkari Sheel who has such colossal wealth and commands so many people! If there is anything like the fruits of Karma, then surely he must have been a famous saint and sadhu in his previous life; but I see no trace of that at all in his present birth. I don’t think a bigger rogue exists — one so cruel and crooked. All these tales about Karma are just clever inventions of God to console man’s mind. Shyamsundar [1] is very tricky; luckily he does not reveal himself to me, otherwise I would teach him such a lesson that he would stop playing these tricks.” As soon as he finished muttering, the man saw that his dark room was flooded with a dazzling light. After a while the luminous waves faded and he found in front of him a charming boy of a dusky complexion standing with a lamp in his hand, and smiling sweetly without saying a word. Noticing the musical anklets round his feet and the peacock plume, the man understood that Shyamsundar had revealed himself. At first he was at a loss what to do; for a moment he thought of bowing at his feet, but looking at the boy’s smiling face no longer felt like making his obeisance. At last he burst out with the words, “Hullo, Keshta [2], what makes you come here?” The boy replied with a smile, “Well, didn’t you call me? Just now you had the desire to whip me! That is why I am surrendering myself to you. Come along, whip me.”  The man was now even more confounded than before, but not with any repentance for the desire to whip the Divine: the idea of punishing instead of patting such a sweet youngster did not appeal to him. The boy spoke again, “You see, Harimohon, those who, instead of fearing me, treat me as a friend, scold me out of affection and want to play with me, I love very much. I have created this world for my play only; I am always on the lookout for a suitable playmate. But, brother, I find no one. All are angry with me, make demands on me, want boons from me; they want honour, liberation, devotion — nobody wants me. I give whatever they ask for. What am I to do? I have to please them; otherwise they will tear me to pieces. You too, I find, want something from me. You are vexed and want to whip some one. In order to satisfy that desire you have called me. Here I am, ready to be whipped. ye yathā māṁ prapadyante [3]. I accept whatever people offer me. But before you beat me, if you wish to know my ways, I shall explain them to you. Are you willing?”  Harimohon replied, “Are you capable of that? I see that you can talk a good deal, but how am I to believe that a mere child like you can teach me something?” The boy smiled again and said, “Come, see whether I can or not.” Then Sri Krishna placed his palm on Harimohon’s head. Instantly electric currents started flowing all through his body; from the mooladhara the slumbering kundalini power went up running to the head-centre (brahmarandhra), hissing like a serpent of flame; the head became filled with the vibration of life-energy. The next moment it seemed to Harimohon that the walls around were moving away from him, as if the world of forms and names was fading into Infinity leaving him alone. Then he became unconscious.  When he came back to his senses, he found himself with the boy in an unknown house, standing before an old man who was sitting on a cushion, plunged in deep thought, his cheek resting on his palm. Looking at that heart-rending despondent face distorted by tormenting thoughts and anxiety, Harimohon could not believe that this was Tinkari Sheel, the all-in-all in their village. Then, extremely frightened, he asked the boy, “Keshta, what have you done? You have entered someone’s dwelling in the dead of night like a thief! The police will come and thrash the life out of us. Don’t you know Tinkari Sheel’s power?” The boy laughed and said, “I know it pretty well. But stealing is an old practice of mine, and, besides, I am on good terms with the police. Don’t you fear. Now I am giving you the inner sight, look inside the old man. You know Tinkari’s power, now witness how mighty I am.” At once Harimohon could see into the man’s mind. He saw, as in an opulent city ravaged by a victorious enemy, innumerable terrible-looking demons and ogres who had entered into that brilliant intelligence, disturbing its peace and composure, plundering its happiness. The old man had quarrelled with his young son and turned him out; the sorrow of losing his beloved child had cowed down his spirit, but anger, pride and vanity had shut the door of his heart and were guarding it. Forgiveness had no entry there. Hearing calumnies against his own daughter he had driven her away and was lamenting over the cherished one he had lost. He knew that she was chaste but the fear of social censure and a feeling of shame coupled with his own arrogance and selfishness had put a curb on his affection. Frightened by the memory of a thousand sins the old man was trembling, but he did not have the courage or the strength to mend his evil ways. Now and then thoughts of death and of the other world came to him and filled him with terror. Harimohon saw also that from behind these morbid thoughts the hideous messenger of death was constantly peeping out and knocking at the door. Whenever this happened, the old man’s heart sank and he frantically screamed with fear. Horrified by this sight Harimohon looked at the boy and exclaimed, “Why, Keshta! I used to think this man the happiest of all!” The boy replied, “Just there lies my power. Tell me now which of the two is mightier — this Tinkari Sheel or Sri Krishna, the master of Vaikuntha? Look, Harimohon, I too have the police, sentinels, government, law, justice, I too can play the game of being a king; do you like this game?” “No, my child,” answered Harimohon, “it is a very cruel game. Why, do you like it?” The boy laughed and declared, “I like all sorts of games; I like to whip as well as to be whipped.” Then he continued. “You see, Harimohon, people like you look at the outward appearance of things and have not yet cultivated the subtle power of looking inside. Therefore you grumble that you are miserable and Tinkari is happy. This man has no material want; still, compared to you, how much more this millionaire is suffering! Can you guess why? Happiness is a state of mind, misery also is a state of mind. Both are only mind-created. He who possesses nothing, whose only possessions are difficulties, even he, if he wills, can be greatly happy. But just as you cannot find happiness after spending your days in dry piety, and as you are always dwelling upon your miseries so too this man who spends his days in sins which give him no real pleasure is now thinking only of his miseries. All this is the fleeting happiness of virtue and the fleeting misery of vice, or the fleeting misery of virtue and the fleeting happiness of vice. There is no joy in this conflict. The image of the abode of bliss is with me: he who comes to me, falls in love with me, wants me, lays his demands on me, torments me — he alone can succeed in getting my image of bliss.” Harimohon went on eagerly listening to these words of Sri Krishna. The boy continued, “And look here, Harimohon, dry piety has lost its charm for you, but in spite of that you cannot give it up, habit binds you to it; you cannot even conquer this petty vanity of being pious. This old man, on the other hand, gets no joy from his sins, yet he too cannot abandon them because he is habituated to them, and is suffering hell’s own agonies in this life. These are the bonds of virtue and vice; fixed and rigid notions, born of ignorance, are the ropes of these bonds. But the sufferings of that old man are indeed a happy sign. They will do him good and soon liberate him.” So far Harimohon had been listening silently to Sri Krishna’s words. Now he spoke out, “Keshta, your words are undoubtedly sweet, but I don’t trust them. Happiness and misery may be states of mind, but outer circumstances are their cause. Tell me, when the mind is restless because of starvation, can anyone be happy? Or when the body is suffering from a disease or enduring pain, can any one think of you?” “Come, Harimohon, that too I shall show you,” replied the boy. Again he placed his palm on Harimohon’s head. As soon as he felt the touch, Harimohon saw no longer the dwelling of Tinkari Sheel. On the beautiful, solitary and breezy summit of a hill an ascetic was seated, absorbed in meditation, with a huge tiger lying prone at his feet like a sentinel. Seeing the tiger Harimohon’s own feet would not proceed any further. But the boy forcibly dragged him near to the ascetic. Incapable of resisting the boy’s pull Harimohon had to go. The boy said, “Look, Harimohon.” Harimohon saw, stretched out in front of his eyes, the ascetic’s mind like a diary on every page of which the name of Sri Krishna was inscribed a thousand times. Beyond the gates of the Formless Samadhi the ascetic was playing with Sri Krishna in the sunlight. Harimohon saw again that the ascetic had been starving for many days, and for the last two days his body had experienced extreme suffering because of hunger and thirst. Reproachingly Harimohon asked, “What’s this, Keshta? Babaji loves you so much and still he has to suffer from hunger and thirst? Have you no common sense? Who shall feed him in this lonely forest, home of tigers?” The boy answered, “I will feed him. But look here for another bit of fun.”  Harimohon saw the tiger go straight to an ant-hill which was close by and break it with a single stroke of the paw. Hundreds of ants scurried out and began stinging the ascetic angrily. The ascetic remained plunged in meditation, undisturbed, unmoved. Then the boy sweetly breathed in his ears, “Beloved!” The ascetic opened his eyes. At first he felt no pain from the stings; the all-enchanting flute-call which the whole world longs for, was still ringing in his ears — as it had once rung in Radha’s ears at Vrindavan. At last, the innumerable repeated stings made him conscious of his body. But he did not stir. Astonished, he began muttering to himself, “How strange! I have never known such things! Obviously it is Sri Krishna who is playing with me. In the guise of these insignificant ants he is stinging me.” Harimohon saw that the burning sensation no longer reached the ascetic’s mind. Rather every sting produced in him an intense ecstasy all over his body, and, drunk with that ecstasy, he began to dance, clapping his hands and singing the praise of Sri Krishna. The ants dropped down from his body and fled. Stupefied, Harimohon exclaimed, “Keshta, what is this spell?” The boy clapped now his hands, swung round twice on his foot and laughed aloud, “I am the only magician on earth. None shall understand this spell. This is my supreme riddle. Did you see it? Amid this agony also he could think only of me. Look again.” The ascetic sat down once more, self-composed; his body went on suffering hunger and thirst, but his mind merely perceived the suffering and did not get involved in it or affected by it. At this moment, a voice, sweeter than a flute, called out from the hill, “Beloved!” Harimohon was startled. It was the very voice of Shyamsunder, sweeter than a flute. Then he saw a beautiful dusky complexioned boy come out from behind the rocks, carrying in a dish excellent food and some fruits. Harimohon was dumb-founded and looked towards Sri Krishna. The boy was standing beside him, yet the boy who was coming resembled Sri Krishna in every detail! This boy came and throwing a light on the ascetic, said, “See what I have brought for you.” The ascetic smiled and asked, “Oh, you have come? Why did you keep me starving so long? Well, take your seat and dine with me.” The ascetic and the boy started eating the food from the dish, feeding each other, snatching away each other’s share. After the meal was over, the boy took the dish and disappeared into the darkness. Harimohon was about to ask something when, all of a sudden, he saw that there was neither Sri Krishna nor the ascetic, neither the tiger nor any hill. He found himself living in a well-to-do quarter of a town; he possessed much wealth, a family and children. Every day he was giving alms in charity to the Brahmins and to the beggars; he was regularly repeating the Divine Name three times a day; observing all the rites and rituals prescribed in the Shastras, he was following the path shown by Raghunandan, and was leading the life of an ideal father, an ideal husband and an ideal son. But the next moment he saw to his dismay that the residents of the locality he was living in had neither mutual good-will nor any happiness; they considered the mechanical observance of social conventions the highest virtue. Instead of the ecstatic feeling that had been his in the beginning, he now had a feeling of suffering. It seemed to him as if he had been very thirsty but, lacking water, had been eating dust, — only dust, infinite dust. He ran away from that place and went to another locality. There, in front of a grand mansion, a huge crowd had gathered; words of blessing were on every one’s lips. Advancing he saw Tinkari Sheel seated on a verandah, distributing large amounts of money to the crowd; no one was going away empty-handed. Harimohon chuckled and thought, “What is this dream? Tinkari Sheel is giving alms!” Then he looked into Tinkari’s mind. He saw that thousands of dissatisfactions and evil impulses such as greed, jealousy, passion, selfishness were all astir there. For the sake of virtuous appearance and fame, out of vanity, Tinkari had kept them suppressed, kept them starving, instead of driving them away from within. In the meantime someone took Harimohon on a swift visit to the other world. He saw the hells and heavens of the Hindus, those of the Christians, the Muslims and the Greeks, and also many other hells and heavens. Then he found himself sitting once more in his own hut, on the same old torn and dirty mattress with Shyamsundar in front of him. The boy remarked, “It is quite late in the night; now if I don’t return home I shall get a scolding, everybody will start beating me. Let me therefore be brief. The hells and the heavens you have visited are nothing but a dream-world, a creation of your mind. After death man goes to hell or heaven and somewhere works out the tendencies that existed in him during his last birth. In your previous birth you were only virtuous, love found no way into your heart; you loved neither God nor man. After leaving your body you had to work out your old trend of nature, and so lived in imagination among middle-class people in a world of dreams; and as you went on leading that life you ceased to like it any more. You became restless and came away from there only to live in a hell made of dust; finally you enjoyed the fruits of your virtues and, having exhausted them, took birth again. In that  life, except for your formal alms-giving and your soulless superficial dealings, you never cared to relieve anyone’s wants — therefore you have so many wants in this life. And the reason why you are still going on with this soulless virtue is that you cannot exhaust the karma of virtues and vices in the world of dream, it has to be worked out in this world. On the other hand, Tinkari was charity itself in his past life and so, blessed by thousands of people, he has in this life become a millionaire and knows no poverty; but as he was not completely purified in his nature, his unsatisfied desires have to feed on vice. Do you follow now the system of Karma? There is no reward or punishment, but evil creates evil, and good creates good. This is Nature’s law. Vice is evil, it produces misery; virtue is good, it leads to happiness. This procedure is meant for purification of nature, for the removal of evil. You see, Harimohon, this earth is only a minute part of my world of infinite variety, but even then you take birth here in order to get rid of evil by the help of Karma. When you are liberated from the hold of virtue and vice and enter the realm of Love, then only you are freed of this activity. In your next birth you too will get free. I shall send you my dear sister, Power, along with Knowledge, her companion; but on one condition, — you should be my playmate, and must not ask for liberation. Are you ready to accept it?” Harimohon replied, “Well, Keshta, you have hypnotised me! I intensely feel like taking you on my lap and caressing you, as if I had no other desire in this life!” The boy laughed and asked, “Did you follow what I said, Harimohon?” “Yes, I did,” he replied, then thought for a while and said, “O Keshta, again you are deceiving me. You never gave the reason why you created evil!” So saying, he caught hold of the boy’s hand. But the boy, setting himself free, rebuked Harimohon, “Be off! Do you want to get out of me all my secrets in an hour’s time?” Suddenly the boy blew out the lamp and said with a chuckle, “Well, Harimohon, you have forgotten all about lashing me! Out of that fear I did not even sit on your lap, lest, angry with your outward miseries, you should teach me a lesson! I do not trust you any more.”  Harimohon stretched his arms forward, but the boy moved farther and said, “No Harimohon, I reserve that bliss for your next birth. Good-bye.” So saying, the boy disappeared into the dark night. Listening to the chime of Sri Krishna’s musical anklets, Harimohon woke up gently. Then he began thinking, “What sort of dream is this! I saw hell, I saw heaven, I called the Divine rude names, taking him to be a mere stripling, I even scolded him. How awful! But now I am feeling very peaceful.” Then Harimohon began recollecting the charming image of the dusky-complexioned boy, and went on murmuring from time to time, “How beautiful! How beautiful!” 1One of Sri Krishna’s names 2Another name for Krishna 3The Gita 4.11.
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The Ideal of Forgiveness

In the sky, the moon drifted slowly through the clouds. Far below, the river mingled its murmur with the winds, as it danced along on its course; and the earth looked bathed in beauty in the half-light of the moon. All around were the forest retreats of the Rishis, each charming enough to put the Elysian fields to shame: every hermitage was a perfect picture of sylvan loveliness with its trees and flowers and foliage.  On this moon-enraptured night, said Brahmarshi (the seer who has known the Supreme) Vashishtha to his spouse Arundhati Devi, “Devi (literally, goddess), go and beg some salt of the Rishi Vishvamitra, and bring it here soon.”  Taken aback, she replied, “My lord, what is this you are asking me to do? I cannot understand you! He who has robbed me of my hundred sons…” She could say no more, for her voice was choked with sobs as memories of the past rose up to disturb that sweet home of serenity, her heart, and to fill it with pain to its depths. After a time she recovered her composure to continue: “All my hundred sons were learned in the Vedas and dedicated to the Divine. They would go about in moonlight such as this singing His praises, but he… he has destroyed them all. And you bid me go and beg at his door for a little salt! My lord, you bewilder me!”  Slowly the sage’s face filled with light; slowly from the ocean-depths of his heart came the words, “But, Devi, I love him!”  Arundhati’s bewilderment increased, and she said, “If you love him you might just as well have addressed him as Brahmarshi! The whole trouble would have ended there, and I should have had my hundred sons left to me.” The Rishi’s face took on a singular beauty as he said, “It was because I love him that I did not call him Brahmarshi. It was because I did not call him that, that he still has a chance of becoming a Brahmarshi.” Vishvamitra was beside himself with rage. He could not  concentrate on his tapasya. He had vowed that if Vashishtha did not acknowledge him as a Brahmarshi that day, he would kill him. To carry out this resolve, he armed himself with a sword as he left his hermitage. Slowly he came to Vashishthadeva’s cottage and stood outside, listening. He heard what the great sage was saying to Devi Arundhati about him. The grip on his sword-hilt relaxed as he thought, “Heavens, what was I about to do in my ignorance! To think of trying to hurt one whose soul is so far above all pettiness!”  He felt the sting of a hundred bees in his conscience, and ran forward and fell at Vashishtha’s feet. For a time he could not speak, but in a little while he recovered his speech and said, “Pardon me, O pardon me! But I am unworthy even of your mercy!” He could say no more, for his pride still held him fast. But Vashishtha stretched out both arms to raise him. “Rise, Brahmarshi!” he gently said. But Vishwamitra, in his shame and mortification, could not believe that Vashishtha meant what he said.  “Do not deride me, my lord,” he cried. “I never say what is false,” replied Vashishtha. “You have become a Brahmarshi today. You have earned that status because you have shed your haughty self-conceit.” “Teach me divine lore, then,” implored Vishvamitra. “Go to Anantadeva, he will give you what you desire,” said Vashishtha.Vishvamitra came to where Anantadeva stood with the Earth resting on his head. “Yes, I will teach you what you want to learn. But, first, you must hold up the Earth.”  Proud of his tapasya-won powers, Vishvamitra said, “Very well, relinquish your burden and let me bear it.” “Hold it then,” said Anantadeva, moving away. And the Earth began to spin down and down in space. “Here and now I give up all the fruits of my tapasya” shouted Vishvamitra, “only let the Earth not sink downwards.” “You have not done tapasya enough to hold up the Earth, O Vishvamitra.” Anantadeva shouted back. “Have you ever associated with holy men? If you have, offer up the merit you have so acquired.” “For a moment only, I was with Vashishtha,” answered Vishvamitra. “Offer up the fruits of that contact then,” commanded Anantadeva. “I do here offer them up,” said Vishvamitra. Slowly the Earth stopped sinking downwards. “Give me divine knowledge, now”, importuned Vishvamitra. “Fool!” exclaimed Anantadeva, “you come to me for divine knowledge turning away from him whose momentary touch has given you virtue enough to hold up the Earth!”  Vishvamitra grew angry at the thought that Vashishthadeva had played him a trick. So he hurried back to him and demanded why he had deceived him.  Unruffled, Vashishtha answered him in slow and solemn tones: “If I had given you the knowledge you asked for then, you would not have accepted it as true. Now you will have faith in me.”  And so Vishvamitra came to acquire knowledge of the Divine from Vashishtha.  Such were the saints and sages of India in the olden days, and such was their ideal of forgiveness. So great was the power they had acquired by their tapasya that they could even carry the Earth on their shoulders. Such sages are being born in India again, today. They will dim the lustre of the Rishis of old by their radiance, and confer on India a glory greater than any she has ever known. 
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Ahankar, The Ego
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Ahankar, The Ego

The meaning of the word ahankāra (ego) has become so distorted in our language that often a confusion arises when we try to explain the main principles of the Aryan Dharma. Pride is only a particular effect of the rajasic ego, yet this is the meaning generally attributed to the word Ahankara; any talk of giving up ahankāra brings to the mind the idea of giving up pride or the rajasic ego. In fact, any awareness of ‘I’ is ahankāra. The awareness of  ‘I’ is created in the higher knowledge Self and in the play of the three principles of Nature, its three modes are revealed: the sattwic ego, the rajasic ego and the tamasic ego. The sattwic ego brings knowledge and happiness. ‘I am receiving knowledge, I am full of delight’— these feelings are actions of the sattwic ego. The ego of the sadhak, the devotee, the man of knowledge, the disinterested worker is the sattwic ego which brings knowledge and delight. The rajasic ego stands for action. ‘I am doing the work, I am winning, I am losing, I am making effort, the success in work is mine, the failure is mine, I am strong, I am fortunate, I am happy, I am unhappy’— all these feelings are predominantly rajasic, dynamic and generate desire. The tamasic ego is full of ignorance and inertia. ‘I am wretched, I am helpless, I am lazy, incapable and good for nothing, I have no hope, I am sinking into the lower nature, my only salvation is to sink into the lower nature’— all these feelings are predominantly tamasic and produce inertia and obscurity. Those afflicted with the tamasic ego have no pride though they have the ego in full measure but that ego has a downward movement and leads to death and extinction in the void of the Brahman. Just as pride has ego, in the same way humility also has ego; just as strength has ego, in the same way weakness also has ego. Those who have no pride because of their tamasic nature are mean, feeble and servile out of fear and despair. Tamasic humility, tamasic forgiveness, tamasic endurance have no value whatsoever and do not produce any good result. Blessed indeed is he who perceiving Narayana (Divine) everywhere is humble, tolerant and full of forgiveness. Delivered from all these impulsions coming from the ego, one who has gone beyond the spell of the three modes of Nature has neither pride nor humility. Satisfied with whatever feeling is given to his instrumental being of life and mind by the universal Shakti (Energy) of the Divine and free from all attachment, he enjoys invariable peace and felicity.  The tamasic ego must be avoided in every way. To destroy it completely by awakening the rajasic ego with the help of knowledge coming from ‘sattwa’ is the first step towards progress. Growth of knowledge, faith and devotion are the means of liberating oneself from the grip of the rajasic ego. A person predominantly sattwic does not say, ‘I am happy’; he says, ‘Happiness is flowing in my heart’; he , does not say, ‘I am wise’ he says ‘Knowledge is growing in me.’ He knows that this happiness and this knowledge do not belong to him but to the Mother of the Universe. Yet when in all kinds of feelings there is bondage to the enjoyment of delight, then the feeling of the man of knowledge or the devotee is still proceeding from the ego. Simply by saying ‘It is happening in me’ one cannot abolish the ego-sense.  Only the person who has gone beyond the modes of Nature has completely triumphed over the ego. He knows that the ‘Jiva‘, the embodied being, is the witness and enjoyer, the Supreme is the giver of sanction, and that Nature is the doer of works, and that there is no ‘I’, all being a play in knowledge and ignorance of the Shakti of the sole Brahman without a second.  The sense of ego is only a feeling born of illusion in the nature established in the ‘Jiva’, the embodied being. In the final stage this feeling of egolessness merges into Sachchidananda, Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. But having gone beyond the modes of Nature one who still stays in the divine play by the will of the Lord respects the separate existence of the Lord and the ‘Jiva‘, the embodied being, and, considering himself a portion of the Divine in Nature, he accomplishes his work in the Lila, the divine play. This feeling cannot be called the ego. Even the Supreme has this feeling. There is no ignorance or attachment in Him, but His state of beatitude instead of being self-absorbed is turned towards the world. One who possesses this consciousness is indeed a soul liberated in life. Liberation by dissolution can be gained only after the fall of the body. The state of liberation in life can be realized in the body itself.  From Sri Aurobindo’s writings in Bengali.
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The Way Of Yoga

Yoga is in its essence a passage from the ordinary consciousness in which we are aware only of appearances into a higher wider deeper consciousness in which we become aware of realities and of the one Reality. Not only do we become aware of it, but we can live in it and act from it and according to it instead of living in and according to the appearance of things. Yoga is a passage from ignorance to self-knowledge, from our apparent to our true being, from an outer phenomenal mental vital material life-existence to an inner spiritual existence and a spiritualised nature. By Yoga we pass from the phenomenal to the real Man, from the consciousness of our own apparent outer nature to the consciousness of our real self, Atman, an inner and inmost man, Purusha, that which we truly and eternally are. This self or true being remains constant through all the changes of our phenomenal being, changes of the mind, life or body or changes of our apparent personality; it is permanent, perpetual and immortal, a portion or manifestation of the Eternal. By Yoga we pass also from our consciousness of the phenomenal appearance or appearances of the cosmos or world around us to a consciousness of its truth and reality. We become aware of the world as a manifestation of or in universal being who is the true truth of all that we see, hear, experience. We become aware of a cosmic Consciousness which is the secret of the cosmic Energy, a cosmic Self or Spirit, the cosmic Divine, the universal Godhead. But by Yoga we become aware also that our own Self or true being is one with the cosmic Self and Spirit, our nature a play of the cosmic Nature; the wall between ourselves and the universe begins to disappear and vanishes altogether. We realise the selfsame Pantheos in ourselves, in others and in all universal existence. But also by Yoga we become aware of something that is more than our individual being and more than the cosmic being, a transcendent Being or Existence which is not dependent on ours or the existence of the universe. Our existence is a manifestation of and in that Being, the cosmos also is a manifestation of and in that one Supreme Existence. This then is the Truth or Reality to which we arrive by Yoga, a one and supreme Being or Existence and Power of Being which manifests as a cosmic Self or Spirit and a cosmic Energy or Nature and in that again as our own self or spirit which becomes aware of itself as an individual being and nature. From: Essays Divine and Human
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