Monthly Archives: April 2010

Ways of navigating this blog

Given the 300+ pages which now comprise this blog, I thought it may be a good idea to summarize the myriad ways in which you can navigate this blog.

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Why one should not hate the sinner?

Sri Aurobindo once said, “To hate the sinner is the worst sin, for it is hating God; yet he who commits it glories in his superior virtue”.  Mahatma Gandhi is known to have said “hate the sin; love the sinner”.  This post discusses the psycho-spiritual reasons why one may not want to hate the sinner.

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The action of subliminal memory

The sultry weather, the pungent aromas, the pensive faces, the distant inaudible music — we may not remember everything we experience during the day, but unknown to us, these things are accurately recorded in our consciousness.  Writing in the early twentieth century, Sri Aurobindo said that “there is a subliminal memory which can hold all things, even those which the mind cannot understand, e.g. if you hear somebody talking Hebrew, the subliminal memory can hold that and bring it up accurately in some abnormal state, e.g. the hypnotic. Exact images are retained by the subliminal memory.  All that is subliminal is conventionally assumed by mainstream psychology to be the subconscious, which is not possible because the consciousness that holds exact memories is far wider and fuller than our waking or surface consciousness, and so cannot be called subconscient.”[1].   Modern psychology uses the term eidetic memory or photographic memory to refer to such precision memory recall skills.   This article covers a few examples of this action of the subliminal memory.

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Stabilizing the body before meditation

The first problem we often face in meditation is restlessness in the body.  There is always some irritating sensation which distracts us from sitting still for long periods of time.   This inability to concentrate can be usually attributed to past indulgences like coffee, cigarettes and alcohol that have contaminated the body.  By sustained effort as well as forswearing of any further excesses, the physical body has to be molded so it can become a willing receptacle (Adhar) which can bear the power and light which pours in during Yoga.    A strong nervous system is a sine qua non for any spiritual transformation.

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Sublimating the sexual urge through Yoga

The path of Yoga demands the difficult task of transmuting the sexual energy(Retas) into spiritual vigor(Ojas) as discussed in a previous post. Sex is a natural urge implanted in human beings for the procreation of the species but when indulged in excess, it leads to the degradation of the soul. The spiritual solution lies neither in forced suppression nor licentious expression but moderation through the application of progressive self-control. There is usually a period of struggle, which varies depending on past-life development, before the individual consciousness evolves to a stage where the sexual urge drops off naturally. How you pace yourself in this conversion is upto you. This post brings together some observations on the sublimation of sexual energy derived from the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.

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The Aurobindonian model of Karma

The conventional view of Karma is that of a rigid, ethical, mechanical and almost revengeful law of Nature which brings rewards for good deeds and punishment for evil actions.  We are told that the individual who commits evil today will suffer in some future life while the good person is suffering right now because of some evil act done in a past life.  This definition seems unconvincing at times because it does not explain the many anomalies seen in real life.  In his works, Sri Aurobindo presented a more flexible and panoptic model of Karma.  He observed that Nature is not rigid or revengeful but subtle and liberal in her application of law, working through multi-faceted principles to achieve her aims.  This article is a distillation of his thoughts[1]

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The transmutation of sexual energy

In this excerpt from Kishor Gandhi’s book Light on life-problems, Sri Aurobindo eludicates on the spiritual purpose behind the transmutation of sexual energies and whether psychological disorders can be caused by abstinence.  Please note that this exchange occurred in the early twentieth century and therefore contains references to some personalities who were prominent at that time.

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