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.

In case you want to read the bio of Sri Aurobindo :see here and here

And bio of  the Mother Mirra Alfassa:see here and here

1. Aggregated blog posts

A large number of articles have been indexed on the following pages:

For instance, under Transformation, you will find links to articles such as “Why spiritual experiences do not repeat? and “Explaining the Ascent-Descent in Integral Yoga”

And under Techniques, you can find links to various articles on sexuality, psychic being, sleep, jnana yoga, karma yoga, etc.

2. Blog Posts by Timeline

If you are on the home page and keep scrolling towards the bottom of the page, all the blog posts which have been posted since day one will be displayed slowly, one by one in reverse chronological order.  WordPress calls this feature infinite scrolling.

Alternately, you can click through the section on the right side-bar entitled “Archive of Past Articles” to view articles posted by month.

3. Blog Posts by Categories

On the right side-bar, you will find a section entitled “Articles by category” (replicated below).  By clicking on any of these links, you can access all the posts in that category.

4. Blog Posts by Tags

On the right side-bar, you will find a section called “Article Tags” ( replicated below).  If you click on any of these tags, you will find all the blog posts which have referenced that concept.

anandamayi-ma arthur-avalon bhagavad-gita bible buddhism castaneda chitta consciousness destiny evolution hinduism holy-books india integral-psychology integral-yoga intuition jesus kapali-sastry Karma kundalini mahatma-gandhi meditation Mirra Alfassa Nagin Doshi patanjali Pondicherry Puducherry Ramana Maharshi Record of Yoga reincarnation religion sadhana savitri sex sri-ramakrishna Sri Aurobindo supermind Swami Vivekananda tantra the-life-divine The Mother Upanishads Vedas yoga-practice yogis

5. Reference pages

Besides blog posts, the WordPress platform provides something knows as “static pages”.  These are webpages which exist outside the blog’s chronological timeline.  On the right side-bar, you will see a section entitled “Reference pages“, which displays pages on Cosmology, Constitution of man, (Spiritual)Transformation, Techniques and Books  and various sub-topics beneath them.

How to subscribe to the blog

There are three ways :

  1. by entering your email address in the box shown on the side.
  2. by inserting the RSS Posts feed shown on the sidebar (https://auromere.wordpress.com/feed/) into your google reader feed (http://www.google.com/reader)
  3. using Feedburner as shown in the right sidebar

How to track comments

Insert the RSS comments feed shown on the sidebar (https://auromere.wordpress.com/comments/feed/) into your google reader feed (http://www.google.com/reader)

Read the original works!

Finally, the purpose of the blog is to introduce you to the sublime wisdom present in the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, which cannot be captured entirely by any secondary work, including this blog.  So read the original works whenever you can. It will take time to “grok“* their teachings, but it is worth the effort.   In case you didn’t know, their works are available online.

For more on books, see the “books” page.

* “Grok” means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience.  – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grok

Photo: Mel Silvers. Flickr Creative Commons.  Click image for source

Photo: Mel Silvers. Flickr Creative Commons. Click image for source

52 thoughts on “Ways of navigating this blog

    1. Bhanuprasad

      Sandeep Sir,
      Thank you very much for this site. I found it well knowledgeable and can be a platform for all followers of Integral Yoga outside the Ashram…Bhanuprasad

      Reply
  1. Srikanth

    The banner that you have on top now is especially great! If I remember correctly, the previous one may have been a little stretched or scrunched.

    Reply
  2. zap

    Dear Sandeep,
    The banner is indeed good. A suggestion is that could The Mother be enthroned to the right of Sri Aurobindo? I guess you know the spiritual import of this.

    Zap.

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      Yes, I am indeed aware of the spiritual import of situating the Mother to the right of Sri Aurobindo since she is Shakti (as discussed here). When I brought this issue to the attention of my friend Mohan who designed the banner, he suggested that since they were seated apart, it may not make much of a difference. What do you say ?

      Reply
      1. zap

        Sandeep,
        I had altogether forgotten my comment. Somehow I just “chanced” on your blog just now. I feel happy that you have given an open response.
        But let me tell you something. Sometime back (a few years) a friend of mine wanted to install tiles of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo in his house. So as I was visiting Pondicherry, he asked me to check the tiles on the walls of the dining room just inside the front hall leading to the middle hall. When I went there I saw the same incorrect placement. I brought it to the notice of my friend in the construction dept. and soon they were placed properly.
        When we can we should make the change.I am bypassing your friend’s line of reasoning, you may notice.
        I have seen innumerable cases of where people make the “ulta” swastika and invariably some wrong force is found working there.
        I would indeed feel happy if your talented friend agrees to help you out once more and makes the change.
        Zap

  3. Mohan

    Sandeep,

    It’s great to see that you’re continuing to upload more intriguing articles, and at a faster rate too! Ha ha! Stretch those fingers well before you type.

    Reply
  4. Sandesh

    Dear Sandeep,
    Thanks for your continuous effort to improve this blog and its essence. However after the recent updates i feel it has become difficult to distinguish between read and unread comments (before read comments were shown in a different colour-provided i read it from the same computer). Now it is difficult to distinguish between the two and every time we have to open and check a certain comment to know whether it is read or unread.
    thank you for your attention

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      Its probably because the new theme does not use colors to distinguish between read and unread comments. I will ask someone.

      When I want to track comments on another blog, I usually insert the RSS comments feed into my google reader (www.google.com/reader). In case of my blog, you would have to insert the URL shown on the sidebar (https://auromere.wordpress.com/comments/feed/) into the reader subscriptions list. Let me know if that works

      Reply
  5. nizken

    An attempt at self-criticism:
    This blog is mostly devoted to Sri Aurobindo’s and The Mother’s various writings and letters etc., and posting relevant passages from those. I wonder what role context has to play here especially considering the vast volumes of SA’s books & letters and Agenda too. Is there a possibility that many of these words are relevant only within their context? Or can they be read and followed by anyone universally?

    I’m really worried about the passages from the 4 volumes of Letters on Yoga since they seem to be quite disparate and addressed to specific pupils (so maybe everything in here depends upon context?) I’m quite worried if I have been reading Sri Aurobindo out of context and if perhaps many of the passages on your blog are not even applicable to a novice beginner? Or if posting writings outside of the correct book or contextual situation is a good thing?

    These problems have been on the back of my mind since a few days after I read this following paper’s Introduction &c. http://systemicbusiness.org/pubs/1999_ISSS_43rd_99101_Hawk_Takala_Challenge_to_Corp_Values.pdf

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      This is a quick response. I haven’t read that PDF you posted.

      Nizken: Is there a possibility that many of these words are relevant only within their context? Or can they be read and followed by anyone universally?

      Firstly, many of the letters are generic in their advice (be calm, focus, etc) because they pertain to psychological situations we all face from time to time.

      Secondly, if you travel the spiritual path, you automatically go through the same stages that the disciples to whom those letters were addressed had gone through. In a sense, you are recreating the context in which those passages were originally written.

      That being said, it is true that one has to be careful. If you find any such passages on this blog, you should call them out so we can edit them and present the proper context in which they were written.

      Reply
  6. nizken

    Thanks for the quick reply. I was thinking more on the lines of….”where does Sandeep find all these passages & answers from SA’s works on each post/comment, since SA & M have written sooooo many volumes!” And how does he know that the passages he posts are truly relevant to that specific post.

    Also, if reading a passage now from Life Divine, and the next one from SoY followed by another passage taken from Savitri in quick succession etc. would create a jumble in my tiny brain and make me take everything out of context! Because I feel I’m still reading from a very intellectual perspective still, I haven’t progressed much farther 😦

    But I do realize that your blog is more geared towards important issues & articles and trying to explore what SA & M has to say on these questions. It’s not like a nice & easy intro to them or any cliff notes on “SA without tears” etc!
    I just want to know if it’s OK to read from disparate books or letters or even time-periods of SA & M?
    Since it’s the same consciousness in both and throughout their entire lives, I guess it’s the spirit and consciousness behind the letter that matters? And only that ‘Spirit’ which is between the lines which is eternal and universal?

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      I checked that PDF and it didn’t make much sense to me 🙂

      If you work long enough in any field of human endeavour, be it physics, art or warfare, you begin to see evolution of the field, the linkages between various concepts and how it all fits together. This creates a compressed map of the field in your mind. I have also formed such a map and use it to interpret the works of SA&M while writing the blog. Sometimes I can be wrong as well if my map has blind spots. Jacques Derrida famously said “There is nothing outside the text”.

      I recall reading an introductory book on mathematics where the author said that his college professor told him there are only ten things to know in pure mathematics, and everything else is just a repetitive application of the same concepts. It took this author many years to comprehend the immense significance of his professor’s insight (I can’t recall the book title right now). Its the same phenomenon unfolding in the spiritual field.

      Your second question : is it ok to read disparate books and letters from different time-periods of their life.

      In case of many concepts, it is not a problem because they have purposely elucidated on the same idea across various books. Later in life, Sri Aurobindo preferred to express himself in poetry like Savitri rather than write prose. The Mother’s recorded talks were intended to clarify Sri Aurobindo’s writings so they are complementary to his writings. The Mother also said, “It is not by books that Sri Aurobindo ought to be studied but by subjects – what he has said on the Divine, on Unity, on religion, on evolution, on education, on self-perfection, on supermind, etc, etc. (CWMCE, Vol 12, p 208)

      But Sri Aurobindo also made a distinction between his pre-1909 writings and the ones after them, because he had undergone a transformation of consciousness in between.

      Question:Have you seen my review of The Ideal of the Karmayogin?

      Sri Aurobindo: Yes, I have seen it, but I don’t think it can be published in its present form as it prolongs the political Aurobindo of that time into the Sri Aurobindo of the present time….My spiritual consciousness and knowledge at that time was as nothing to what it is now—how would the change leave my view of politics and life unmodified altogether (CWSA Vol. 35, On Himself, p 77)

      In another recorded conversation, he remarked on how ignorant he had been before!

      Disciple (1) : There is an idea of publishing some of your old writings.
      Sri Aurobindo : Yes, the other day I was looking over the Karma Yogin series with an idea of correcting and it seemed to me as if somebody else had written the book!
      Disciple (1) : what do you mean by “somebody else”?
      Disciple (2) : Perhaps he means not his present self but some past personality which is now gone or absorbed.
      Sri Aurobindo : It is always very disappointing to read one’s own writing. One feels how ignorant one was!

      (A.B. Purani, Evening talks, First series, On Art, p 259)

      Reply
  7. Vaibhav

    You are doing excellent work and I am thankfull that you present the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother topic wise.

    Reply
  8. muse9

    Hello Everyone, Do any of you know what Satprem’s book “Mother’s Log” is about? Is it similar to the Mother’s Agenda books? Also, has anyone here read Satprem’s book “Gringo”. If so, what did you think of it? Is it fiction like “By the Body of the Earth”? – I enjoyed that book. Thanks

    Reply
  9. mike

    oh! ok it seems to be fixed now.

    MOTHER’S LOG (1950–1973)

    Mother’s last 23 years after Sri Aurobindo’s departure. The essence of the “Yoga of the Cells ” gathered in a few key sentences. A bird’s–eye view of the six thousand pages of Mother’s Agenda.

    A work document for those who want to grasp the outline of this prodigious geography of the next world and of the passage from man to a new species on earth.

    Reply
  10. Prabha

    I m reading your blog for some time, and I have a suggestion. If you want to expedite progress in your Integral yoga practises, go and meet Rafiya at chennai or atleast throw a mail to her rafiya1910@gmail.com. YOu will find a firm step towards Divine work.

    Reply
  11. Joshua Belisle

    I was wondering where on this blog I can best learn about God/the Divine/Brahman, and it’s aspects (Will, Grace, Knowledge, Light) working with the Divine. Amongst the works (of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother) it seems to be scattered, is there a section on this somewhere that you know of? Thank you so so much. If not I am collecting the materials to make it 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      I don’t think I have covered it here.

      To be honest, I don’t remember what this blog contains any more!

      Reply
      1. mw

        That’s not uncommon. Another writer I know who has written 30 books stated that she cannot remember what she had written. 🙂 This is good, keeps the materials fresh.

  12. mike

    Joshua, the link below explains Sri Aurobindo’s views on The Divine, Brahman etc. very clearly..

    “What the Reality Is
    (topic)

    The Fundamental Reality
    There is one fundamental Reality of which all things are expressions.

    Brahman Dwells in All
    Brahman dwells equally in all existences. (Sri Aurobindo)

    One Reality; Multiple Planes
    All planes of being, from spirit to matter, are different forms of the same Reality, Brahman, the Absolute.

    Planes of the Reality
    There is one Reality, though it expresses at different planes. Matter, life, mind, spirit are then different formations of the same omnipresent Reality (Brahman, God, the Absolute).

    Aspects of Omnipresent Reality
    Both Being and Becoming, Self and Universe, are the Divine, real aspects of one indivisible Omnipresent Reality. (MSS)

    What the Reality, Brahman consists Of
    The Reality, Brahman is the All. It is that which is beyond this Life and it is Life itself. Every plane of being, from the unmanifest to the manifest, from the Divine Being to existence in the universe, from Spirit to Matter are expressions of that one, omnipresent Reality.

    The Reality
    The Reality includes all planes, all dual aspects (like Being and Becoming), yet also exceeds them.”

    hxxp://www.gurusoftware.com/GuruNet/KnowledgeBase/Spirit/Reality.htm

    Reply
  13. Rajeev

    Hi Sandeep,
    I am blessed to be introduced to Sri Aurobindo via your blog and am deeply impressed by the quality of your blogs as well as articles. Can you give me more information on where can I know more about the actual practices of integral Yoga ? Are there any formal trainings for this ?

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      I am not aware of any formal training. You have to undertake a treasure hunt through the literature, and it can be painful but ultimately rewarding.

      Most of those currently on the path speak of an “inner call” which turns them to Sri Aurobindo – like an intuition that “this is what I have been looking for all along”.

      Reply
      1. Rajeev

        Yes, I do feel this Sandeep, what I read in your blogs is probably giving proper words to what I have been feeling since some time — and also is providing much more clarity to little bit of practices for self exploration I have been following, whatever I could lay my hands on and which I resonated with. Coming here, I feel everything kind of clicking in its proper place — and hence I yearn to see & experience the complete structure.

        I have already gone through several of your blogs & some links and the insights have shown me some direction which I have already started following, and this has seemingly accelerated my progress (or is it just my mind playing games with me !?).

        In absence of a formal training, can I ask you if there is any document/ link, which summarizes & gives overview of the recommended practices prescribed by Sri Aurobindo ? I am currently reading Satprem’s book and that’s giving me some leads, but my thirsty mind says there might be some formal methods which can help me with the processes described therein ..

        Apologies for my impatience and also for my insufficiency of words to describe what I am exactly looking for ..

      2. Sandeep Post author

        If you want a summary, check the first 3 links under “External Links” section under https://auromere.wordpress.com/techniques/

        When Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were around, they gave initiation (Diksha) and at the time they would tell the disciple what method was suited for their temperament. Each of the disciples benefited from direct daily contact with the Mother, as well as frequent correspondence with Sri Aurobindo. They were guided in their dreams, and the subtle touch of the Master gradually erased their deficiencies. Some were prescribed a meditation method, others were just assigned some work, asked not to gossip and generally conquer their lower nature.

        Its impossible to specify fixed regimen. Even in the case of a single person, the actual method can change as the person’s consciousness evolves. I used to listen to devotional songs early on in order to induce meditation, but now I don’t need to.

        You can follow any Yogic method which silences the mind and stabilizes the breath(Pranayama). Beyond that, you have to start observing restraint in food, conversation, watching television or movies (and now social media). The choice of literature must also improve. There has to a 24-hour observation of one’s consciousness – why am I acting the way I am, what are the influences I need to purge within me – that kind of thing.

        Feel free to ask more questions if this doesn’t answer your concerns.

      3. Rajeev

        Very very thanks for the guidance, I will go through the cited links & incorporate them & your other suggestions in my lifestyle. Oh how much I yearn to be in the presence of these masters now !! I thank you once again for doing this good work of passing the master’s words to all..

        Yes, I have realised the futility (& in fact the damages) of television & trivial readings & have given up on them … except the news, which, though is essential for day-to-day life, but I fear is being more & more frivolous & trivial nowadays. I clearly can, nowadays, feel my vital energies going down after my news reading time, though I try not to focus much on the trivial items (which are more in number than the useful news) ! And I dont know the solution for this..

        I do have many queries for the difficulties & experiences that I am facing, but I am trying to focus now more on the practices to calm my mind & being indifferent to its queries because I know its queries will never end !! Not sure if this is the right approach .. Previously, for a long time, I preferred to reach at a conclusion by conversing it out with like minded mates, but that did not lead me anywhere, probably further strengthened my mind which probably liked giving arguments !? Now am trying to be in the self contemplation mode, trying to go inward … with much effort till now.

        And what bothers me nowadays is that after seemingly being stabilized in me (with bit of mental silence, peace & seemingly being able to touch my-self) for a few days, I suddenly am back with my chaotic & dominating mind patterns. Seems that all my progress is lost & I will have to start from scratch. And that’s very de-motivating. Any kind of mental work (which I cant stay away from in my day-to-day life) then takes me more & more away from what I could feel myself to be in my peaceful periods. In these days, even meditation takes lot of efforts, which otherwise seems quite effortless in my good days. So I’m kind of shuttling between my these two states, & its very tiring & shows up physically as well. I did read your blog about the transitional phase & quite resonated with it, but these recurrent set-backs create a doubt in me whether I am even in transition phase or well below it, still in the unconscious state !?

        Apologize for my long ranting here, I know that I have to find the answers to all this myself, but anyway thanking you to give me a forum to share this & also find many insights that tell me I am not alone in experiencing this …

      4. Sandeep Post author

        The turbulence you experience is normal. I have been through it as well. Much like physical exercise, you have to stick to a routine initially until the being ascends to a new normal. Just like the physical body cries in pain after exercise, so does the mental and vital being get restless after brief periods of tranquility. The mind and vital beings have also been spoiled by long periods of indulgence right from the beginning of our life.

        Perseverance is essential. Remember the words of the Upanishad, “Atma na balahinena labhya” (Self-realization cannot be gained by the weak).

      5. Rajeev

        Thanks again for the guidance, you have indeed given a huge boost to my motivation. I read & was much impressed by the “Larry Seidlitz” article referred by you.

        Unfortunately the first link that you had suggested is broken (Summary of Integral Yoga (Sri Aurobindo Society)) .. could not also find it elsewhere on their website. By any chance do you have a new link to it ??

        Also another query (may be silly one for you) — I have noticed that I cannot retain my awareness even while reading, I am totally lost in the text, its meaning & its own world, until I suddenly realize that I am back to my unconscious state. Can you offer any suggestions about how to go about retaining awareness even while performing tasks which require complete absorption of the mind, reading for example ??

      6. Sandeep Post author

        I don’t know how to revive the first link which is broken. It was posted a few years ago.

        As for your question of losing awareness in reading, its the same situation with movies. Our mind imagines the scenes, we identify with the characters, we get transported to another world and consequently lose awareness. There is some part of the being which is secretly delighted in that other world. One can examine what it is that derives this delight ?

        I suppose one way to prevent this is to retain a modicum of peripheral awareness to the room one is sitting in, what are the fixtures in the room, what other background sounds are going on. Secondly, one could also keep some physical awareness of one’s breathing pattern or sensations around the face or legs or other parts of the body.

        This distribution of consciousness has to be done such that one is still able to focus on the book or movie at hand. Its a delicate balance.

        Sri Aurobindo had written about this in letters to disciples. See http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/31/mental-development-and-sadhana

        BTW, just reading Sri Aurobindo’s books daily for half an hour (even if you don’t understand what he has saying) can help your Sadhana. It improves the mental capacity, strengthens the will power and deepens the aspiration to surrender to the Divine.

      7. Rajeev

        Spot on !! I can’t thank you enough for connecting me to these insights, yes I’ve noticed this, all writings of Sri Aurobindo touch me deep within, if only I could retain that touch throughout the day !! Yes, I have to make my subconscious strong enough to be able to retain the experience … & I’m doing it to the best of my knowledge & insights offered by you in this blog. Till now I’ve been taking an easier route to read Sri Aurobindo by your abridged versions, now it seems I need to take the dive in his writings directly … must say, I’m resisting a bit because of the thick volumes, lest I get lost in the text itself !

        I will resist asking any more general questions, I assume will get some more answers in my further readings. But will come back to you for a small push, in case I am stuck again along the way.

        Have downloaded Savitri just for the reason you mentioned, it was also recommended by Larry in his article, but could not make any progress except in the very beginning … later on it became too abstract for me to follow. I assume I will try first with “Letters …” … they seem to be written for more wider readers. OR PLEASE do let me know if you think “Synthesis … ” is a better choice to start …

      8. Sandeep Post author

        Synthesis of Yoga may be better than Letters on Yoga because the former has complete essays while the latter contains snippets of guidance, but read what suits you right now. Essays on the Gita is also good.

        As I said, when you read Sri Aurobindo’s works, you don’t need to fully comprehend what he is saying. Your mind will grasp it eventually in a few months.

    2. Plaban Das

      “If you have within you a psychic being sufficiently awake to watch over you, to prepare your path, it can draw towards you things which help you, draw people, books, circumstances, all shorts of little coincidence s which come to you as though brought by some benevolent will and give you an indication, a help a support to take decisions..”. — THE MOTHER.(The Psychic Being,page 61).

      Reply
      1. Rajeev

        Thanks Plaban for this quote. I really don’t know if its my psychic being which brought me to these pages, but yes I do sincerely yearn to meet & talk to “him” one day. In my recent life many changes have occurred which is pulling me to my inner core, by whatever name I call it. And I never knew I have so many layers in me … everytime a layer is peeled off, it appears I’m there … but then reality of the new one starts hitting me. And I realize that I’am still in grip of my “mind” … layers after that are still beyond me !!??

  14. arya

    Sandeep, in your link I found this last sentence by SRi Aurobindo/ very interesting.

    The inability to read books or papers is often felt when the consciousness is getting the tendency to go inside.

    What exactly does he mean by inability – I am assuming it’s the lack of attention on the words in the book? Or do u think he means something else?

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      He is referring to a transitional stage in Yoga when the mind starts falling silent and the inner consciousness (psychic being) starts awakening. At this point, one may lose interest in reading books and papers since it disturbs the peaceful state one has attained. But this is just a temporary state. Beyond this stage, once the mental Purusha becomes stronger, the mind is again able to read books and papers, and this mental effort doesn’t cause any fatigue.

      There is a Sanskrit word he has used to describe this state of detachment which I can’t remember or find right now.

      Reply
    2. Sandeep Post author

      Found the Sanskrit word I was referring to – udasina

      This is how Sri Aurobindo describes it..

      The experience you have of a division in the being with the inner void and indifferent, udāsīna,—not sorrowful, but neutral and indifferent,—is an experience which many pass through and is highly valued by the Sannyasis. For us it is a passage only to something larger and more positive. In it the old small human feelings fall away and a sort of calm neutral void is made for a higher nature to manifest. It must be fulfilled and replaced by a sense of large silence and freedom into which the Mother’s consciousness can flow from above.

      http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/30/inner-detachment-and-the-witness-attitude

      Reply

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