October 29, 2005


I am not an Aurobindonian in the sense of being a sadhaka of the Ashram and therefore I do not speak with any special authority on this matter. I am an admirer of Sri Aurobindo, and have read something of him and on him. So while my interpretation may not be fully in consonance with the 'official' version, shall we say, it is what I think is the essence of his teachings. But before I go into his teachings I am going to reproduce a poem by him. I do this because I think in this poem, he has expressed more dramatically, with more immediacy than in his longer and more complex words, his vision of the Divine which is very important for an understanding of his philosophy. The poem is called "Who".
This poem beautifully expresses the basic feature of Sri Aurobindo's thought. The first point that I wish to make is that he accepted the primacy of the supreme, all-pervading reality. What the Upanishadas speak of as isha vasyamidam sarvam yatkinchya jagatyam jagat, the Vedantic concept of the spirit pervading not only the manifested cosmos but also the unmanifested cosmos and with the Gita, even transcending both in the concept of the Purushottama who is both the manifested cosmos and the unmanifested cosmos and something beyond. This basic reality Sri Aurobindo accepted. Dr. Karan Singh

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