Tag Archives: Collected Works of Sri Aurobindo

What’s the purpose of praying in temples?

A reader from India asked a question which deserves to be highlighted as a separate blog post.  The question was: “Many times people on their way to temples meet with accidents and die.  What is the point of praying to Deities if they cannot protect their own devotees ?  We also hear of stories where people claim that their beloved Deity saved them.  How do we know if it was the Deity who intervened.  Why does the Diety intervene in one case and not in another?”

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Practicing Yoga without a Guru

As seen in the previous article on “Yogic Illness”, deliberately pushing oneself into deeper Kundalini-type experiences without a Guru can be perilous to one’s health.  An authentic Guru, if you can find one, is not a suave orator or an object of worship but someone who links their consciousness with yours during initiation (Diksha) and gradually elevates you to their level by transforming you from within.  Such a Guru can also detect and purge the energy blockages which develop in the subtle body (i.e. aura) during the transformation process.  The disciples who came in physical contact with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were fortunate to obtain this intimate guidance.  What happens to those who are called to Yoga but remain devoid of a Guru?  The Mother once provided a sagacious description of the meandering manner in which the spiritual path unfolds for such seekers.

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Reconciling Samkhya, Vedanta and Tantra

In The Life Divine, there is a chapter entitled “Brahman, Ishwara, Purusha – Maya, Prakriti, Shakti“.  According to the editing notes, this chapter was inserted by Sri Aurobindo as part of a revision of The Life Divine completed in 1940 [1].   The purpose of this chapter is to reconcile three different views of the Universe proposed by the philosophies of Samkhya, Vedanta and Tantra.  This intent may not be immediately apparent to those not well-versed in Indian metaphysics, because the word “Samkhya” is explicitly used only twice in this chapter while the terms “Vedanta” and “Tantra” never occur.  This article is a light contextual introduction to this chapter.

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The origin of the Sapta Chatusthaya

This article presents presumably decisive proof of the origin of the Sapta Chatusthaya and maybe of interest more to longtime Aurobindonians than others.  The Sapta Chatusthaya (Seven Quartets) is a program for inner yogic development that Sri Aurobindo received through his spiritual visions sometime in the 1908-1912 period.  However, the exact origin of this program has been regarded as uncertain because Sri Aurobindo’s early spiritual realizations occurred during a turbulent period of his life when he was actively involved in India’s freedom struggle against the British rule, in the course of which he had to undergo a year’s imprisonment and was subsequently actively pursued and watched by British spies for several years.

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