December 23, 2006

Brahman consciousness is not alien to the mental and physical world

Re: Instruments of Knowledge and Post-Human Destinies
by RY Deshpande on Fri 22 Dec 2006 09:08 PM PST Profile Permanent Link
In a talk with Pavitra in 1926 Sri Aurobindo speaks about his Nirvanic experience. It was in Baraoda, in 1907, when he received the initial guidance from Lele; he had within three days one of the major spiritual realisations in a state of silent mind, of the Passive Brahman. He tells Pavitra that, in that state of silent mind, “…everything had stopped. But everybody cannot do it. I could do it because there had always been a tendency to calm in my being and because I became aware of the thoughts coming from outside. When I rejected them the calm descended upon me. Everything appears in the mind but does not evoke any response in it. I see, I hear, but no respon¬ses are awakened. At that time a complete silence came down. Everything that happened was like a cinema. After that I had to take things back again into me, but in their right place.” Later he put some of these experiences in Savitri.

The important point in the context of our discussion of responses of the senses is that one sees objects, one hears things, but no impression is made anywhere—because the mind-sense has fallen quiescent, is not there. The connection between the object and the sense perception is kind of snapped. The instruments are there but they have remained unused. But that very condition awakens the eye behind the eye and the ear behind the ear, chakuschya chakshuh, srotrasya srotyah, that by which the eye sees and the ear hears. In this state, says the Kena Upanishad, the wise are released and pass from this world; they become immortal. And yet this Brahman consciousness is not alien to the mental and physical world. Sri Aurobindo wrote the whole of the Arya, for seven years, from 1914 to 1921, in this state, and he could have continued to do so, he writes in a letter afterwards, for seventy years without exhausting his knowledge.

Human speech is “a shadow of the divine Word,” says Sri Aurobindo in his commentary on the Kena Upanishad. In the same manner, our eye and our ear are the far shadows of that which sees and that which hears, the Eye of the Spirit and the Ear of the Spirit. With them come the faculty of revelation, drishti, and the faculty of inspiration, sruti, of truth-vision and truth-audition. With them comes true knowledge of things.

Knowledge by the comprehending consciousness gets closer to the subjective knowledge by identity. This can open out to the knowledge by the apprehending consciousness as a beginning of objective cognition. But eventually we should know how our physical organs of recognition are formed? The details might not be available, but there are ample clues at a number of places. We might hopefully explore them as we shall proceed

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