August 05, 2007

Changes and revisions in Sri Aurobindo's understanding and teaching

The Yoga of Self-Perfection and the Triple Transformation by Richard Hartz
by Debashish on August 5, 2007 04:58AM (PDT)
The personal yoga of Sri Aurobindo, as he himself once characterized it, was an "incalculable" one, leading from realization to realization in a journey without end. Through his life, Sri Aurobindo attempted to chart this journey in the form of a darshana (or philosophy) and a yoga (a process leading to experience and transformation). His earliest formulation to himself of this journey with its goals and processes is what he called the Sapta Chatusthaya (Seven Quartets) which form the background to his private notes to himself of his own yogic progress, kept mostly between 1912-1920 and now publshed as The Record of Yoga.
Between 1914-1920, he wrote most of his major works in the serialized journal, Arya, where he outlined his yoga, philosophy of evolution and social philosophy in terms which may also be thought of as contemporaneous with the Record of Yoga. Particularly, in his principal work on yoga, The Synthesis of Yoga, the fourth part, the Yoga of Self-Perfection, can be thought of as a yoga of transformation, a new formulation for the future which followed the achievements of the more traditional yogas of Works, Knowledge and Divine Love, comprising respectively the first three parts of Sri Aurobindo's synthesis in this text. This Yoga of Self-Perfection can largely be correlated with the Sapta Chatusthaya and thus, the Record of Yoga.
Later, after 1926, we have Sri Aurobindo's Letters on Yoga and later still, after 1932, further revisions to his other texts, including the Synthesis of Yoga and the Life Divine. In these writings, Sri Aurobindo introduces a new terminology and what may seem new emphases to his yoga and darshana. Richard Hartz, who works at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram archives, has studied Sri Aurobindo's texts and revisions intensively as an editor of his Complete Works and takes a historical view of the development of Sri Aurobindo's yoga and writing.
Here, he raises and tries to answer some of the questions pertaining to the changes and revisions in Sri Aurobindo's understanding and teaching, by looking at the Record of Yoga, the Yoga of Self-Perfection and other key texts of Sri Aurobindo such as the Life Divine and Savitri. He also considers what may be the special contribution of Sri Aurobindo to the Indian tradition of yoga and touches on the part paid by Vivekananda as a precursor. more » Leave Comment Permanent Link

No comments:

Post a Comment