Monthly Archives: March 2010

The latent Consciousness within Matter

In the Taittiriya Upanishad, Bhrigu is asked by his Guru to (spiritually) realize : “Matter is Conscious!”.   The ancients believed that Matter was also a form of Consciousness and that this fact could be uncovered through Yoga.  This consciousness within Matter discloses itself as the will in the atom, the symmetry of the crystals, the fatigue in metals, etc.  There is an Intuition in Matter which holds the action of the material world from the electron to the sun and planets and their contents.  To the modern rational mind, any such proposition seems preposterous and untenable.  Modern science has found that Matter and Energy are interchangeable but it has not yet been able to resolve the mind-body dichotomy.   On this topic, Sri Aurobindo said, “Only by an extension of the field of our consciousness or an unhoped-for increase in our instruments of knowledge can the ancient quarrel be decided.The Life Divine – I: The Two Negations: The Refusal of the Ascetic   In the absence of such an advance on either side, all one can do for now is examine and anticipate the possibilities…

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Spacetime in occult worlds

Einstein’s theory of relativity in layman terms states that time slows and length contracts with increasing speed of the observer.  At the speed of light, the play of Time is said to stop in subjective terms.  Something similar occurs in the occult worlds which exist hidden behind our physical world.  The Universe with its physical and supraphysical worlds is a manifestation of Consciousness with different orders of Space-Time. The Yogi by shifting the center of his consciousness is able to awaken in these occult worlds.  As one goes higher up the planes of consciousness, the perception of Time changes while Space becomes more flexible and no longer exhibits the fixed physical laws seen here in the material world.

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How to rise above the ordinary life?

It is question we may ask ourselves at times “Why don’t we progress spiritually faster?”  Because we may meditate for fifteen minutes but, psychologically, the rest of our life remains untransformed.  The way we eat, the way we talk, the friends we keep, the desires we nurture – none of these  really change.  As long as life does not deliver any adversities which throw us off-track, we let things continue and allow ourselves to languish.  These are a couple of conversations by the Mother Mirra Alfassa on how to rise above the ordinary life that we find ourselves in.

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Vidyas in the Upanishads – part 2

The Upanishads feature  koans for contemplation called Vidyas(literally means knowledge).  They are meant to trigger the mind into perceiving yet another facet of the Divine Reality thereby guiding the aspirant into deeper grades of meditation.   In a previous post Vidyas in the Upanishads, five such Vidyas were covered: Bhuma, Prana, Shandilya, Madhu and Vaishvanara.  The book Supreme Knowledge by Swami Brahmananda [3] lists an astounding 101 Vidyas drawn from the Upanishads.  This post discusses a few Vidyas drawn from this book.

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PanchaTattva Dharana : contemplation on the five elements

This post supplements a previous post  Videha Dharana : fixing the mind outside the body, which discussed a method called Videha Dharana as per  Sri Anirvan.   The method is drawn from the Upanishads and can also be called PanchaTattva Dharana or contemplation on the five (pancha) elements (tattva) – namely earth, water, air, fire, ether.   There is a similar technique in the Tantra texts called Bhuta-Shuddhi which is also outlined  here.

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Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on Astrology

We turn to astrology because it gives us hope amidst an uncertain world.  It also affirms our identity and increases our self-esteem (“This is my sun-sign and that is why I am good at that“).  Unfortunately, it also reinforces our defeatist tendencies (“I am always going to have this problem according to my sun-sign“).    This raises the question “Do stars rule our destiny?”  According to Sri Aurobindo & The Mother, the stars are merely indicators of our future; they do not control our destiny.   Furthermore, those who take up the practice of Yoga (and by that, I mean more  than just breathing and postures) begin to actively shape their own destiny.  The practice of Yoga can alter our nature and change our Karma.   In such cases, the horoscope no longer remains a guide to the future.   The following are observations of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother on the general topic of astrology.

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Syncretism in Sri Aurobindo’s thought – part 2

The ordinary human mind has a propensity for exaggerating one side of the Truth and ignoring the other.  One of the pleasures of reading Sri Aurobindo’s works is that such contradictions do not exist because he resolves every contradiction by tracing it to its Divine origin and reconciling it as part of a larger Truth.   He explicates how every principle has it’s play in a certain context but if we over-generalize, then it loses its value.  In the previous post, Syncretism in Sri Aurobindo’s thought – part 1, we covered five oppositions which were reconciled by Sri Aurobindo into a larger Truth.  This article presents a few more additions: Self-esteem versus Humility, Good versus Evil, Various formulations of the Divine, Nature versus Nurture, Evolution versus Creationism.

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Syncretism in Sri Aurobindo’s thought – part 1

The ordinary human mind has a propensity for exaggerating one side of the Truth and ignoring the other.  Those who are benevolent by nature tend to prescribe compassion to solve every problem while those who are endowed with dynamism advocate taking action in every instance.  Likewise, some theorize aiding the businessmen and letting the poor uplift themselves while others suggest helping the poor and letting the businessmen take care of themselves.   One of the pleasures of reading Sri Aurobindo’s works is that such contradictions do not exist because he traces every contradiction to its Divine origin and reconciles it as part of a larger Truth.   He explicates how every principle has it’s play in a certain context but if we over-generalize , then it loses its value.  This article outlines some oppositions resolved by Sri Aurobindo. Continue reading

How does the mind change with Yoga?

The ordinary human mind interfaces with the phenomenal world through abstractions; with the aid of the senses, it builds a representation of the world in the human memory which it manipulates with the reasoning process, rejecting and accepting ideas based on the ego’s subjective inclinations.  The nature of the thought process changes as the mind becomes electrified with progress in Yoga.   The practice of mental silence heightens the vibratory pitch of the brain and the awakening of the Kundalini kindles subtle centers in the brain.   The mind expands into the cosmic planes of the Mind and acquires new powers of consciousness.  In such a mind, the memory of the past is purged, the reasoning process is replaced by spontaneous intuition, and the abstractions within are substituted by a more intimate knowledge acquired by direct contact of subject consciousness with object consciousness.

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Twin souls

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother Mirra Alfassa were twin souls.  They made explicit statements and also dropped plenty of hints as to the essential unity of their consciousness.   He wrote that the “supreme state of human love…is the unity of one soul in two bodies” [Sri Aurobindo, The Synthesis of Yoga – I: The Release from the Ego].   This post collects some of the material on twin souls.

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The occult spirits which influence our actions

The universe is larger than the physical world as explained in the section on Cosmology.  There are many occult worlds peopled by conscious beings which exert an influence on earth and man.  There is some element of truth in the fairy tales of yore which talk of elfins, genii, fairies and Titans.  The majority of men are ignorant puppets in the hands of these forces and it only when the Yogin has progressed to a stage where his/her subliminal consciousness has opened to a greater cosmic consciousness that he/she begins to directly perceive the influence of these occult forces.   One may find oneself  succumbing to sudden depressions, violent outbursts and other dreadful thought formations which are the handiwork of these beings of various occult worlds.    This post covers the characteristics of some of these nefarious activities against which one must guard.

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How to make the right choice when faced with a serious decision

Oftentimes in life, one hits a fork in the road where one is faced with a life-changing decision and has to make a choice without knowing all the facts.  In such situations, one must understand that there is not just one future but alternative futures.   Those who want to grow spiritually should know that the inner motive with which one makes the choice is more important than the choice itself.   One must examine one’s thoughts and ask, “what is the underlying motive on which my choice is based?”  Is the choice driven by money, comfort, desire for social status, religious law, despair, anger, cruelty or  the inability to admit mistakes ?  Can one live with the decision in the future…?  One must look for signs of uneasiness in the heart.  Looking back later in life, it is quite possible that one realizes that the choice one made then was pre-destined!

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