There are moments when the Spirit moves among men and the breath of the Lord is abroad upon the waters of our being; there are others when it retires and men are left to act in the strength or the weakness of their own egoism. The first are periods when even a little effort produces great results and changes destiny; the second are spaces of time when much labour goes to the making of a little result. It is true that the latter may prepare the former, may be the little smoke of sacrifice going up to heaven which calls down the rain of God’s bounty. Unhappy is the man or the nation which, when the divine moment arrives, is found sleeping or unprepared to use it, because the lamp has not been kept trimmed for the welcome and the ears are sealed to the call. But thrice woe to them who are strong and ready, yet waste the force or misuse the moment; for them is irreparable loss or a great destruction.
In the hour of God cleanse thy soul of all self-deceit and hypocrisy and vain self-flattering that thou mayst look straight into thy spirit and hear that which summons it. All insincerity of nature, once thy defence against the eye of the Master and the light of the ideal, becomes now a gap in thy armour and invites the blow. Even if thou conquer for the moment, it is the worse for thee, for the blow shall come afterwards and cast thee down in the midst of thy triumph. But being pure cast aside all fear; for the hour is often terrible, a fire and a whirlwind and a tempest, a treading of the winepress of the wrath of God; but he who can stand up in it on the truth of his purpose is he who shall stand; even though he fall, he shall rise again, even though he seem to pass on the wings of the wind, he shall return. Nor let worldly prudence whisper too closely in thy ear; for it is the hour of the unexpected, the incalculable, the immeasurable. Mete not the power of the Breath by thy petty instruments, but trust and go forward.
But most keep thy soul clear, even if for a while, of the clamour of the ego. Then shall a fire march before thee in the night and the storm be thy helper and thy flag shall wave on the highest height of the greatness that was to be conquered.
These are words from The Hour of God written by Sri Aurobindo. This is Sri Aurobindo’s clarion call to another dharmayuddha, the one that must be fought and won within, as the dharmayuddha of old was fought and won within, long before adharma was conquered on the battlefield without. A dharmayuddha is a battle for the soul. This is what makes it infinitely more critical than the outer battles for wealth or territory. The future of civilization on earth will be determined by who conquers the spiritual space – the devas or the asuras. The devas are the forces of Light, the asuras are those who deny the Light. Dharma is the establishment of the Light of the highest Truth.
In an earlier spiritual epoch, when the last dharmayuddha was fought, this Light was Sri Krishna’s, for Sri Krishna embodied that highest Truth and its Force. Today, in the twenty-first century, it is Sri Aurobindo who embodies this highest Truth and Force. It is Sri Aurobindo’s Truth and Light that must be brought down into the soul, and established in the battlefield which is civilization itself. These are not abstractions: these are hard realities that every one of us is confronting in our day to day lives, across the world. There are many who are calling this a civilizational battle, a battle of narratives, and it may very well be so. The details change with the spirit or dharma of the age. But the fundamentals remain the same. And they have remained the same since the first great devas fought the first great asuras, equal in strength and force and will, in that primeval mystical event we call the great churning.
Such a churning, intense and profound, is happening today as well. If one is even a bit open to the play of forces in this universe, one will feel the vast swells of this churning, like an ocean right beneath one’s surface consciousness. And it is everywhere, raging in everyone, only the intensity of consciousness varies.
If this dharmayuddha has to be won again, if we are to ascend to our next evolutionary plane, we must ask for a higher intervention, a higher and more potent Truth-Force. We need to invoke, as consciously as we can, the Light and Force of the highest Truth that we can access. This Truth was brought down for us, through a lifetime’s intense tapasya, by the Maharishi of this spiritual age, Sri Aurobindo. Many know him inwardly as the avatar of the new age; many know him intimately as the Jagat Guru; many know of him as the great Yogi and Sage of Pondicherry. It does not matter how one knows him, or of him: what matters is the fact that there is such a vast Presence of the Divine amongst us, guiding and aiding all those who are sincerely open to the truth of the future, and carrying forth those who give themselves willingly to the Truth that he represents and embodies, what he calls the Supramental Truth.
This is the time to invoke the Supramental Truth for earth and humanity, for it is this Truth that will be our armor and our great astra in our battle for the eternal dharma. This is the Truth that we need to invoke. Sri Aurobindo’s Truth. In invoking Sri Aurobindo’s Truth, we will invoke the Force and Light at multiple levels simultaneously: the inner psychic, the higher spiritual, the all-comprehensive supramental, and the all-transcending, integral Sachchidananda where all consciousness, and all existences and universes merge into a single stream of eternal Light and Bliss.
Let us remember that this invocation does not need mental knowledge. We do not need to know in order to invoke. Invocation itself brings the knowledge. No embodied consciousness, anyway, can know Sri Aurobindo’s Truth. But we can, using our deeper power and faculty of psychic intuition, invoke Sri Aurobindo’s Truth, without needing to mentally know or understand. Invocation is the deep secret of all mysticism and religion: nothing can exceed the power and effectivity of invocation. To invoke is to give oneself to what one invokes. The truly effective invocation is when the one who invokes becomes the invocation. Our Rishis of old knew that. Thus, they became flames of invocation themselves, beings of Agni, and plunged into the very forces of the dark and the obscure.
The Vedic Rishis used the power of Yajna to invoke the great Gods, the Devas, the embodiments of Light and Truth. All invocations of the Divine needed the concentrated power of the Yajna. Indeed, the Yajna is the key to all higher realizations. In this day and age, Yajna has lost its truth and power and has become an external ritual without much inner significance. Therefore, the Yajna has to be restored to its original Vedic significance. To invoke the higher Truth and Shakti, we must resort to Yajna, for that remains the most effective and efficient tool.
To undertake Yajna, we must first stand as the Yajman, the initiator of the Yajna, and the one who must preside over the Yajna. To stand as the Yajman, only one condition needs to be fulfilled: sacrifice of the personal. As the yajman, one has to take the stride from the personal to the terrestrial. The yajman cannot be an individual: she or he must be representative of the collective, the samuha, one who stands for earth and represents the race. The Yajna demands the absolute and utter sacrifice of the personal consciousness in the Vast of Brahman.
This is the deep import of the mantra Om Svaha…To Thee I give and give utterly… not as myself, a small and limited personality, but as the vast, the terrestrial, the one who stands for human consciousness itself. All that is petty and limited in me, I offer to the Vast… Om Svaha…
This Yajna for Sri Aurobindo’s Truth must be terrestrial, for Sri Aurobindo’s Truth is of the brihat, the divine Vast. Sri Aurobindo’s own Yoga was for the Divine and for the earth, not for himself. He paved the way for those who would follow as the forerunners of the Luminous Future. Thus, our own Yajna must be impersonal, terrestrial, cosmic. Any trace of self-interest or expectation of personal gain, material or spiritual, would be an asuddhi and would instantly corrupt the Yajna and turn the fires downward, into patala instead of svarga. Patala, as we would know, is the domain of the asura, where all darkness rests self-gathered.
By sacrificing one’s personal self, the greatest and most difficult of all sacrifices, one recovers from the ancient sleep of the unconscious and awakes to the luminous, the true, the eternal. This is the essential condition for the invocation of Truth and Light. He who must invoke the Light must first be awake to the Light. Thus the yajman, as representative of the tribe or the race, presides over the Yajna and lights the sacrificial fire to the resounding sounds of the old Vedic hymn…
May all this go to Thee, for all this we offer to Thee…nothing of all this, neither the Sacrifice, nor the oblations, nor even the fruits of the Sacrifice, belong to us… idam na mama… nothing of this is mine, nothing of this is mine…
The Yajna is a self-giving and self-emptying. All must be offered and nothing kept back. With each offering, the yajman must affirm that he or she gives utterly of himself or herself — Om Svaha.
Then, indeed, the yajman is no longer an external agent presiding over the Yajna but has himself become the sacrifice and the priest who offers the sacrifice; his own physical body has become the havan-kund, the sacrificial pit, the core of the Yajna, and his own inner movements have become the various oblations to Agni, the undying Shakti of the Divine.
And each time one offers oneself to the Divine, one receives a portion of the Divine: this is the ancient law, and the beauty of the Yajna. Ishvara or the Self seated within, our inmost Narayan, receives the offering, sanctifies it by His touch, and returns it to our consciousness, made whole and holy. This loop of giving and receiving between the yajman without and Narayan within is the sacred process of the Yajna, and it is only by Narayan’s sanctification and blessings that the Yajna proceeds from one stage to the next. As one gives of one’s mind and will, one’s desires and actions, one receives into oneself a little of the Divine Light, for, by the occult laws of the Yajna, what one gives is returned sanctified, as Light and Substance of the devas. And thus, the devas descend, bit by bit, sacrifice by sacrifice, into our human terrestrial substance.
Understanding something of all this, we understand a little bit of the profound mystery of Sri Aurobindo’s Truth and Light. At least, a first ray of understanding descends into the mind and heart.
सत्यं श्री अरविन्दस्य आविर्भवतु पृथिव्याम्
May Sri Aurobindo’s Truth manifest upon earth
And may this understanding and knowledge spread in all directions, be scattered with the winds and waters, and reach all those who thirst for the divine Truth and Light… may such be our prayer and our aspiration.. Om Svaha.
12th February, 2021