Monthly Updates

Mar 2021

They Wander In Many Disguises

Once, a God-intoxicated sadhu came to the Kali temple. One day he received no food, but, though feeling hungry, he did not ask for any. Seeing a dog eating the remnants of a feast thrown away in a corner, he...

Song Of The Sanyasin

Wake up the note! the song that had its birth Far off, where worldly taint could never reach, In mountain caves and glades of forest deep, Whose calm no sigh for lust or wealth or fame Could ever dare to...

Beyond Name

Parables from the Upanishads Rishi Sanatkumara was once approached by Narada (evidently not yet become a Rishi), who said, "Lord, I desire to be taught by you. Please teach me." The Rishi replied,"Very well, but first tell me how much...

A Consciousness-based Approach

The Tent-House of Matter The modern scientific view of the human body is taken so much for granted that we hardly ever pause to consider that the body could be viewed from so many other standpoints. There is little doubt...

A Dream

There should be somewhere on earth a place which no nation could claim as its own, where all human beings of goodwill who have a sincere aspiration could live freely as citizens of the world and obey one single authority,...

The Goal

(Excerpted from a talk delivered in San Francisco, March 1900. The format of this article has been slightly altered for convenience of reading — Ed.)  Monism  We find that man, as it were, is always surrounded by something greater than...

Feb 2021

The Real Miracle

Devdas was an ordinary man living an ordinary life in the city of Benares. He used to work as an accountant for a wealthy merchant. One day, while walking back from work, he decided to go the river bank and...

The Human Body: A Mystery’s Workshop

We are so used to seeing the body so much as organs, tissues, cells and their functions that we fail to observe any consciousness inherent in it.  Is the body something unconscious, a machine driven by mechanical energy?  It may...

The Coming and Going of All Things

(Addressed to government officers and published in the Yoga Vedanta Forest Weekly of Feb. 2, 1950.) "In the beginning, there was knowledge, but there was no knowledge of another. Then came the knowledge of another, but not the knowledge of...

Practical Vedanta

Continuing Excerpts from His Speech Delivered in London, 10th November 1896   To be able to use what we call Viveka (discrimination), to learn how in every moment of our lives, in every one of our actions, to discriminate between...

She Whom We Adore as the Mother

The Mother In Her Own Words I belong to no nation, no civilization, no society, no race, but to the Divine. I obey no master, no ruler, no law, no social convention, but the Divine. To Him I have surrendered...

February 21, The Mother’s Birthday

A Look Behind and Ahead On one 21st of February in the last 1950's, I repeated to the Mother the usual English formula for a birthday: “Many happy returns." Immediately, half-jocular, half-serious, she exclaimed: "What! You want me to return...

At the Feet of the Mother

There are two statements, which I hear from many of my friends in the ashram, around here and many places. “We are all doing the Mother’s work”, this one statement I hear very often. The second is, “The Mother will...

Pseudologia Fantastica

“It is true, O Rama, that the study of the scriptures is not the cause for the attainment of self-knowledge. Scriptures are composed of diverse expressions; the supreme being is indescribable” explained Rishi Vashisht to Shri Ram, as the 16-year-old seeker...

Invoking Sri Aurobindo’s Truth

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...

The Human Body – a Spiritual View

There is a scientist’s way of looking at the human body and there is a spiritual way to look at it. The two views, though different due to a difference in the angle of the vision, are nevertheless mutually complimentary...

The Hijacking Of Shivaji’s Legacy

Marathas should not only be proud that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was a Maratha, but they should also acknowledge that he has had a lasting influence on the Marathi psyche, which makes their people more nationalistic and self confident than those...

Jan 2021

Republic Day Violence

“We have to make it unequivocally clear that public ways and public spaces cannot be occupied in such a manner and that too indefinitely. Democracy and dissent go hand in hand, but then the demonstrations expressing dissent have to be...

Practical Vedanta

Continuing Excerpts from His Speech Delivered in London, 10th November 1896   Take the idea of sin. I was telling you just now the Vedantic idea of it, and the other idea is that man is a sinner. They are...

Khalsa and India

Identity establishes the attachment for survival. If you identify with something, anything for that matter, its loss will define your existence. In your mind. One, who is free and liberated has no time or need for that. Protection can never...

Food Offering to the Lord

The Legend of Gunderao There was once a Brahmin farmer. His name was Gunderao. He was completely illiterate. He never even moved out of his small village. He had accepted his lot and led a quiet life of contentment. There...

An Unreal Moment for Our Nation

Posted on January 27, 2021 In every nation’s history a moment comes suddenly when its people experience a moment that seems totally unreal, a moment of deja vu that people thought would never happen yet it does and does so with...

Self-Effort and Divine Grace

At one time or another in life, most people begin to reflect upon whether they truly have freedom to act or whether they are just pre-destined by the past. In Yoga Vasistha, Sage Vasistha tells Rama that self-effort will lead...

Health – The Spiritual Perspective

Introduction The recognition of a spiritual dimension of health by the World Health Organization (WHO) has indeed been a landmark event. It is doubtful, however, that the full import and significance of this fundamental aspect of human existence has been grasped...

Buddha’s Path is to Experience Reality

Condensed from a public talk given by S. N. Goenka in Bangkok, Thailand in September, 1989.    Most Venerable Bhikkhu Sangha, friends, devotees of Lord Buddha: You have all assembled here to understand what Vipassana is and how it helps...

Maharana Hammir

The Obstinate Regainer of Chittor  The story of this great Maharana again reinforces the observation that the saga of survival and ascendance of kings to the throne of Mewar in this Sisodia dynasty has been quite bizarre, and how fate...

Practical Vedanta

Excerpts from His Speech Delivered in London, 10th November 1896. I have been asked to say something about the practical position of the Vedanta philosophy. As I have told you, theory is very good indeed, but how are we to...

The Essence of Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga literally means “Royal Yoga,” because it presents a royal road to the integration of personality and attainment of Liberation. Being universal in nature, Raja Yoga gives a deep insight into the mind and its powers, and into the...

The Chess Game

A young man who had a bitter disappointment in life went to a remote monastery and said to the abbot: "I am disillusioned with life and wish to attain enlightenment to be freed from these sufferings. But I have no...

The Hour of God

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...

The Unfinished Agenda of Spirituality

I wish to discuss here a new spirituality, a spirituality which has discarded its old limitations and inhibitions but still draws on its ancient roots and whose aim is the perfection of human life on earth. Sri Aurobindo and his...

Maharana Saanga

The King Who Rode His Misfortunes to Glory The third child of Maharana Raimall, Rana Saanga’s story of ascent to the throne of Mewar and the subsequent struggles and victories form the most intriguing saga ever to be found around...

Archives

Articles, Dec 2020

The Future of Religion

A growing number of people, millions worldwide, say they believe that life definitively ends at death – that there is no God, no afterlife and no divine plan. And it’s an outlook that could be gaining momentum – despite its...

The Boon of Boons

It was a dark rainy night.  The King was riding through a narrow lane.  He was in disguise.  He was in the habit of dressing as a common man and seeing how his subjects lived.  He got thoroughly drenched by...

An Old Chaldean Legend

Long, long ago, in the dry land which is now Arabia, a divine being incarnated upon earth to awaken in it the supreme love. As expected it was persecuted by men, misunderstood, suspected, pursued. Mortally wounded by its assailants, it wanted...

Pratap’s Ascendance to Throne

The Fortification Of Mewar Rana Udai Singh died at the young age of forty-nine at Gogoonda, four years after the loss of Chittor. He left behind 25 sons, all from royal blood and thus laid a fertile ground for a...

Sthitaprajna

Only he who is thus established in the prajna will be able to make the final leap to the anamayam padam, the Sorrowless State, with any hope of success, and, in order to attain this union with the buddhi the...

Sri Ramakrishna

A Short Account of His Life and Teachings On February 18, 1836, was born in India a God-man, who has come to be known as Sri Ramakrishna — a name which spontaneously evokes in the minds of millions of Hindus heart-full adoration...

Sankhya and Sri Aurobindo

Involution and Evolution of Consciousness The Sankhya system begins with consciousness and shows how it systematically fragments and becomes more dense until it is fully involved in Matter. Sri Aurobindo reminds us that there is an intense, concentrated involved intelligence which...

The Evolution of Sankhya

Sankhya darshana is a distinctive contribution of India to world philosophy. It is a pity that it is not studied globally since it impacts not only metaphysics, but psychology, cosmogony, epistemology and soteriology. And it is one of the singular...

A Pathway towards Immortality

November 24, 1926, was the day on which Sri Aurobindo went into seclusion for concentrated Yogic work towards the creation of a new humanity. In the forefront he put, as guru and guide to his disciples, one whom he regarded...

Growth of Consciousness

The body can change by the power of consciousness from within. In fact, we see this happening more often than we believe. A blind man performs the function of sight by the development of other organs. The consciousness involved in...

The Message of Sri Aurobindo

Sri Aurobindo was a political and social rebel and in the process of his transformation to a sage delineated highly inspiring supramental pathways to the future and Indian resurgence. Why is it that of all the great civilisations that arose on...

The Passing of Sri Aurobindo

5th December marks the day Sri Aurobindo, the Maharishi of Sanatan Dharma and the Guru of Integral Yoga, left his body in a supreme act of Yogic sacrifice. While it may take many years for the inner significance of his...

Yusuf and the Little Mouse

Once upon a time there was a Mahatma who was a great ascetic and a great pandit. He was honoured by all, full of years and wisdom. His name was Junun. Many young boys, many young men used to come...

My Yoga and Spirituality

Sri Aurobindo wrote a letter to his younger brother, Barin Ghosh in 1920, explaining, among other things, his Yoga and spiritual approach. We are publishing excerpts from his letter, with minor modifications in formatting, to mark his Mahasamadhi Day. (Editor)...

Sri Aurobindo’s Sublime Adventure

Perhaps if those who from the beginning have proclaimed that it would be, those very people say, “It is going to be...”, after all, perhaps they are the best informed. I am considering how from the beginning of the earth’s...

The Fear of Death and Conquering It

Generally speaking, perhaps the greatest obstacle in the way of man's progress is fear, a fear that is many-sided, multiform, self-contradictory, illogical, unreasoning and often unreasonable. Of all fears the most subtle and the most tenacious is the fear of...

Articles, Nov 2020

Integrality

You have stepped on to the path of integral Yoga. Try to fathom the meaning and the aim of the integral Yoga before you advance. He who has the noble aspiration of attaining the high summit of realisation should know...

A Small Talk

Once upon a time there was a little girl, quite young, very nice, very pretty, living in her family with her parents, particularly in the company of her grandfather. This grandfather was rather old but extremely nice and kind and...

Ahimsa and Self-Realization

Violence is the most extreme form of egoism while love is its anti-thesis. Human suffering seems rooted in the identification with our separative, egoistic consciousness and the consequent desire to be more than this small self of ours we see...

The Idea of Renunciation

Renunciation is central to the spiritual life. One cannot live the spiritual life without renouncing — but what indeed is renunciation?  Renunciation, or tyaga, carries an aura of the impossible for the common man, something reserved for the most privileged,...

Yoga and Evolution of Consciousness

The earliest preoccupation of man in his awakened thoughts and, as it seems, his inevitable and ultimate preoccupation,—for it survives the longest periods of skepticism and returns after every banishment,—is also the highest which his thought can envisage. It manifests...

The Flame of Attention

Before we go into the question of meditation we ought to discuss, or share together, perhaps that is the right word, the importance of discipline. Most of us in the world are not disciplined, disciplined in the sense that we...

The Blessed Virgin

The Divine Mother has been described in various cultures other than the Indic civilization though this has happened not with the fullest understanding of her nature or charitra. We see this in depictions by aboriginal and matriarchal communities and tribes,...

Taking Responsibility

Ask nothing; want nothing in return. Give what you have to give; it will come back to you—but do not think of that now, it will come back multiplied a thousand fold—but the attention must not be on that. Yet...

The Little Bird

Once, the great Yogi, Mahatapa, was meditating on Lord Shiva, absorbed in the inner rhythms of Om Namah Shivaya when a little bird flew overhead the great Yogi, dropping as it flew by. The Yogi felt the bird drop on...

When Kali Comes to Call

A curious Kali surveys me as I write these words. She reached me recently, unbidden, a gift from a friend whose friend was ordered by his guru to divest himself of all his icons. The sticker beneath Her crimson feet...

The Symbol Deepavali

Deepavali, literally, row of Lights, the annual festival of lights and fireworks in India, and now known the world over, wherever there are Indians. It is an old festival, its roots going far back in time. The story has come down...

The Mother Kali

Mother Has Revealed Everything To Me I wept before the Mother and prayed, “O Mother, please tell me, please reveal to me what the yogis have realized through yoga and the jnanis through discrimination.” And the Mother has revealed everything...

The Divine Mother

A Glimpse The Saktas worship the Universal Energy as Mother; it is the sweetest name they know. The mother is the highest ideal of womanhood in India. Mother is the first manifestation of power and is considered a higher idea...

Indian Liberals Are Not Liberal

In a recent article in TOI, Chetan Bhagat lamented the fact that Indian liberals are a disappearing species. And he points out four reasons for the same: 1) Failure to express themselves in a way India understands 2) Obnoxious, holier-than-thou,...

Garuda’s Compassion

Author's Note: There are parables which are of immense significance but which carry the danger of being misunderstood if emphasis is put at the wrong place. Such a story is the one that follows. This is not meant to illustrate...

What is Dhamma?

The Sanskrit word Dharma (which is spelled Dhamma in the Pāli language) originally meant “the law of nature” or “the truth.” In today’s India, unfortunately, the word has lost its original meaning, and is mistakenly used to refer to “sect” or...

The Noble Eightfold Path

The Noble Path consists in a training in the following eight stages: (1) Correct seeing. To see things as they are, that is to say, a pure, accurate vision, the best vision…. The first point then is to see correctly, and to...

On Guru Nanak Dev

Philosophy is a game for people who are not thirsty. Religion is the journey of those who are thirsty. Therefore philosophy plays with words; not so religion. Religion takes cognizance of the hints the words give and follows them. When...

Dharma: Some Perspectives

If there is one word that encompasses the mystique of Hinduism, the Indic philosophy, the Indian civilization and its approach to the Universe, it is dharma. A term so often misunderstood even by its most fervent adherents, that it now...

A Sapphire Tale

Once upon a time, far away in the East, there was a small country that lived in order and harmony, where each one in his own place played the part for which he was made, for the greatest good of...

Articles, Oct 2020

The Aspect of Mahasarasvati

Mahasarasvati is perfection in action, at the most granular level. The extreme detail and microscopic accuracy with which the atom is held together. With which quantum interactions occur in the Universe. With which the cells of our bodies function. And...

The Science of Living

An aimless life is always a miserable life. Every one of you should have an aim. But do not forget that on the quality of your aim will depend the quality of your life.  Your aim should be high and...

Who is a Hindu?

The words Hindutva and Hinduism both of them being derived from the word Hindu, must necessarily be understood to refer to the whole of the Hindu people. Any definition of Hinduism that leaves out any important section of our people...

Maya

“O lord, I feel like laughing when sages and philosophers speak of Maya with some awe. There must be some truth in their fear, but Maya surely cannot put everybody under its spell!” One day Narada observed while walking with...

The Practice of Yoga

To find the Divine is indeed the first reason for seeking the spiritual Truth and the spiritual life, it is the one thing indispensable and all the rest is nothing without it. We must find the self, the Divine, then...

Yogic View Of Health

Health is the basis of all forms of human self-effort. The scriptures declare, Dharmaartha kaama mokshaanam aarogyamoolam uttamam, which means arogya or health is the basis of dharma (ethical value in life), artha (material achievements in life), kama (satisfaction of...

Durga Stotra

Translated from the Bengali by Nalini Kanta Gupta   Mother Durga! Rider on the lion, giver of all strength, Mother, beloved of Shiva! We, born from thy parts of Power, we the youth of India, are seated here in thy temple....

The Powers of the Mother

The four Powers of the Mother are four of her outstanding Personalities, portions and embodiments of her divinity through whom she acts on her creatures, orders and harmonises her creations in the worlds and directs the working out of her...

Mahashakti

Our homage to the Divine Mother for this Navaratri   But there are many planes of her creation, many steps of the Divine Shakti. At the summit of this manifestation of which we are a part there are worlds of...

Maheshwari

Our homage to the Divine Mother for this Navaratri   Imperial MAHESHWARI is seated in the wideness above the thinking mind and will and sublimates and greatens them into wisdom and largeness or floods with a splendour beyond them. For...

Mahakali

Our homage to the Divine Mother for this Navaratri   MAHAKALI is of another nature. Not wideness but height, not wisdom but force and strength are her peculiar power. There is in her an overwhelming intensity, a mighty passion of...

Mahalakshmi

Our homage to the Divine Mother for this Navaratri   Wisdom and Force are not the only manifestations of the supreme Mother; there is a subtler mystery of her nature and without it Wisdom and Force would be incomplete things...

Mahasaraswati

Our homage to the Divine Mother for this Navaratri   MAHASARASWATI is the Mother’s Power of Work and her spirit of perfection and order. The youngest of the Four, she is the most skilful in executive faculty and the nearest...

Sri Radha, the Human Divine

The dearest, the closest, because of earth, because human as us, Sri Radha makes the divine possible, real and achievable to all bhaktas. She is not vast and transcendent, distant or formidable, but frail and vulnerable. For she is the...

Seventy Four and a Half

Akbar’s slaughter of Hindus at Chittor When Rana Udai Singh of Mewar refused to surrender Mewar to Mughals, Akbar decided to Attack Chittor. Udai Singh got the information and after a meeting with the Saamants and chieftains of Mewar, Udai Singh...

Buddha Dharma

Essential points of the Buddhist teachings The Buddha refused to have any dealings with those things which don’t lead to the extinction of Dukkha. Take the question of whether or not there is rebirth. What is reborn? How is it...

The Nine Nights of the Devi

October 17th marks the commencement of perhaps the most spiritual period of the Santana calendar: the Navaratri, or the nine nights of the Divine Mother, culminating in Deepavali and the Night of Mother Kali. This is a period that is...

The Mother

The world appears alien. At least on first look. It is the other, that stares in our face, inanimate, unfriendly, harsh. It is outside ourself, moves to its own laws like a vast ‘machine’. And we feel separated right from...

Fundamentals of Yoga

The Witnessing Self This world that we perceive, experience and live in is made up entirely of thought, or thought constructs. Even the personality we believe ourselves to be is a thought construct. A thought construct is a mental formation...

What is Hinduism

If you travel from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin – Kanyakumari – and ask all the Hindus, “Tell me what is Hinduism,” they cannot tell you. They will say, “We are Hindus.” “But tell me what is Hinduism?” That they...

Understanding Sanatan Dharma

Sankhya And Vedanta You must remember that according to Sankhya philosophy, nature is the cause of all these manifestations which we call thought, intellect, reason, love, hatred, touch, taste, and matter. Everything is from nature. This nature consists of three...

Dharma and Devata

Glimpses of Sanatan Dharma    According to physics, atoms are the smallest stable existing physical units. There is a governing principle behind the creation and existence of an atom. That principle includes conditions which will give rise to an atom,...

Austerity

The Mystic Path of Increasing Joy What is austerity? Most people think of austerity as adopting some discipline that is uncomfortable for the body for a spiritual purpose. In the name of religion and devotion, people all over the world...

Articles, Sep 2020

Understanding Jain Dharma

The term Jain is derived from the Sanskrit root Ji, which means to conquer, and a Jain, therefore, is one who strives to conquer his senses and passions to liberate his soul. Jainism, or the Jain Dharma, is one of...

Radha Prem as Universal Love

Radha prem has two senses. In the first place it signifies the love of Krishna for Radha, and in the second place that of Radha for Krishna. Let us take them in order. What is the meaning of Krishna’s love for...

The Way of the Rishi

This you have always to remember that because a little social custom is going to be changed you are not going to lose your religion, not at all. Remember these customs have already been changed.  There was a time in...

The China Challenge

In Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, there is an incident where Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Technologies, advised Apple to sell all its assets and pay out its shareholders. That, in his opinion, would be Apple’s biggest service to...

Articles, Aug 2020

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