People who are acquainted with the theory of reincarnation are apt to look at the increasing lifespan and the rising population on Earth and wonder if the population growth invalidates the theory of reincarnation. We all know where babies come from but where are all the new souls which inhabit these bodies coming from? In this article, we address this demand-supply problem.
It is a commonly observed amongst those who have awakened to the spiritual path that once they have ceased to be selfish, they start thinking of ways to uplift the rest of the world. One may feel despondent at the chaos in society and seek some semblance of stability or some foothold on which a better future can be built. When we grapple with this intractable problem, we find ourselves psychologically evolving through successive stages of inner growth and along with us, the solution to our dilemma also evolves.
In the history of various countries, one often finds a core group of artists born about the same time who went on to create a cultural movement which ennobled civilization as a whole. Some examples of this trend would be the European Renaissance, the Carolingian Renaissance, the Bengal Renaissance, the Harlem Renaissance, the Celtic Revival and many other literary and art movements. Is there an occult explanation for such collective movements?
The progress of Science has virtually obliterated the religious mentality of the Middle Ages, replacing it with the skeptical, objective and scientific temperament which devotes it’s energies to earthly pursuits. In this process, it has brought about a capitalist world where money is the primary driver. Today, a nation’s worth is decided by it’s GDP, international relations pivot on trade partnerships and opening of new markets, the earth is valued only for it’s natural resources, and the World Economic Forum has become a prestigious annual event. All these changes shape our thinking in ways we seldom realize; they engineer what Sri Aurobindo called an “economic barbarism“.
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
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.
This article continues the previous post on the Illusion of Free will. Free will, as we commonly understand it, is an illusion because the personality which drives our will is fixed and makes predictable decisions. Furthermore, we are unaware of the invisible Forces of Nature (Prakriti) which impinge on our consciousness and compel us to act in pre-determined fashion. It is only when we expand in consciousness and gradually unite with the Divine through Yoga that we begin to experience the true nature of free will, for then our will becomes aligned with the will of the Supreme. True freedom comes with True Knowledge.