All Life is Yoga by RY Deshpande on Fri 27 Jul 2007 05:30 PM PDT Permanent Link Inspired by Ron’s posting with seven photographs of Sri Aurobindo, I am briefly presenting here in the following a biography depicting the seven aspects of his yogic life. These seven aspects are Abhyasa Yoga, Jivan Yoga, Diksha Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Siddhi Yoga, Divya Yoga, and Param Yoga, that is, Studentship-Life-Initiation-Knowledge-Perfection-Resplendence-Absoluteness.
While commenting upon an early biographer’s attempt to present his life Sri Aurobindo, in the course of a conversation with his attendant-disciples, once remarked as follows: “Nobody except myself can write my life—because it has not been on the surface for man to see.” Yet we should be concerned with a few worldly facts from a certain point of view. And the strange thing is that, for a discerning eye, these facts also bring an intuitive vision which can provide a distant bio-spiritual peep into the secrecies of the person whom we so much adore. No wonder, philosophers have described him as the greatest synthesis between the East and the West; critics have acclaimed him as a poet par excellence; social scientists regard him as the builder of a new society based on enduring values of the life of the spirit; devotees throng in mute veneration offering their heart and their soul in a silent prayer that can secure for them the beatitude of the Supreme; Yogins long to live in the sunlight of his splendour to kindle in it their own suns; in the tranquil benignity of his spiritual presence is the fulfilment of all our hopes and all our keenest and noblest aspirations; gods of light and truth and joy and beauty and sweetness are busy in their tasks to carry out his will in the creation; in him the avataric incarnation becomes man to realize the divine in man. Such is the real birth of the Immortal in the Mortal. He comes here as Sri Aurobindo... Not long after his coming to Pondicherry in 1910 Mme Alexandra David-Néel, who acquainted herself deeply with Tibetan occultism, met Sri Aurobindo in 1912. About her meeting with him she reports: “His perfect familiarity with the philosophies of India and the West wasn’t what drew my attention: what was of greater importance to me was the special magnetism that flew out of his presence, and the occult hold he had over those who surrounded him.” A glimpse of that special magnetism, which grew more and more luminous as his Yoga progressed, we may get from his diary records of the period between 1912-1920. Meticulous as a scientist’s were his observations of the various spiritual siddhis or realisations achieved by him. These constitute a unique record in the entire annals of spirituality. About these documents collectively called Record of Yoga, the compiler writes as follows: “This document is noteworthy in at least three respects… It provides a first-hand account of the day-to-day growth of the spiritual faculties of an advanced yogin… The language of Record of Yoga is bare, unliterary, often couched in arcane terminology… What it provides is a down-to-earth account of a multitude of events, great and small, inner and outer… It may be looked on as the laboratory notebook of an extended series of experiments in yoga.” The intent must have been to fix what was experienced, fixed in the occult way in the working of the yogic process. In the yogic parlance we may say that this was the period when Sri Aurobindo’s attempts were towards supramentalisation of the mental planes that presently govern our limited evolutionary consciousness. There was soon to follow the supramentalisation of the vital. The last significant stage of the great triple transformation was to be preceded in 1926 by what Sri Aurobindo called overmentalisation of the physical. But ahead of this Siddhi Yoga we also have two remarkable poetic creations of the Master-Poet. Sri Aurobindo had started writing his epic Ilion while in Alipore jail; he took it up again and worked upon it during the early period at Pondicherry. This was lightly revised by dictation in the late 40s. Then, during 1916-1918, in the midst of his multidimensional Arya-scripting, Sri Aurobindo also made a preliminary draft of his magnum opus Savitri. Eventually it “became a poetic chronicle of his yoga.” We have similarly the record of his later Yogic realisations in his poetic compositions of the 30s. But what stands out as the double autobiography, his and the Mother’s spiritual realisations in the transformative Yoga of the earth-consciousness, is his supreme creation—in the Mother’s phrase, supreme revelation—Savitri. That indeed marks Divya Yoga of the Supreme himself. Keywords: Studies, SriAurobindo, Spirituality, Personalities, People, Literature, Evolution, Events, Biography, Avatar, Ashram