August 24, 2006

A spiritual devotion based on reason

The purnayoga of Rsi aurobindo ghosh (1872-1950) is a spiritual devotion based on reason. According to this philosophy, living beings are the manifestations of Brahma or rather the images of Brahma in disguise. The end of human life is to achieve continuously a higher state of development but not by rejecting the material world. It is not enough to perceive the essence of truth in one's spirit; it is also necessary to perceive it in matter. The truth is not soul apart from matter; it is equally present in both soul and matter.
Like the modern evolutionists of the west, Aurobindo believed that evolution was a natural phenomenon. It is through the process of evolution that the inanimate gets life and life gets consciousness. In the next phase this consciousness attains fullness to make a self-conscious man, and, in the due process of evolution, man turns into superman. The supreme being is a developing and moving existence defined in terms of space and time. This existence continuously moves upward to achieve the ultimate objective of life. But this process of upward movement does not aim to reach Brahma by rejecting the material world; rather, it attempts to bring eternal light and eternal bliss down from the heaven to this world of living. In the process of evolution, man reaches such a stage of knowledge where the supreme being comes down to join him.
At this stage man achieves perfect knowledge and turns into superman. But this requires a special kind of exercise. This process of man becoming superman is the essence of Aurobindopurnayoga. Purnayoga is not confined to ashram, but extends to the field of life and the society. Aurobindo, of course, preferred to use the term 'gnostic being' rather than 'superman'. A gnostic being is a person who has acquired perfect knowledge, whose eyes are fixed on human welfare and who is ready to welcome even death for the sake of higher ideals. [Aminul Islam] banglapedia [Home]

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