August 13, 2008

Closely argued "suprarational" prose and the lumnously visionary poetry of Sri Aurobindo illuminate my ignorance and release the certitude of my faith

Re: Sri Aurobindo and the Future of Humanity by Debashish on Sun 10 Aug 2008 11:37 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link

I need to clarify that I have not tried to justify or explain Sri Aurobindo - at least such was not my intention. To come to the issue of faith and the "more visible expressions" - ie. the writings, it may appear that I underplay the faith, but this is because I consider this aspect a given. A future-facing definition of man bases itself, of necessity, in faith, as Sri Krishna points out, in his own way, in the Gita - yo yacchsraddha sa eva sah - "you are indeed what your faith is." But today's world is full of gurus who claim to be avatars and I cannot accept them on faith unfortunately, in spite of all their miracles. For me, at the least, it is the closely argued "suprarational" prose and the lumnously visionary poetry of Sri Aurobindo which illuminate my ignorance and release the certitude of my faith. This was the context of my drawng attention to these "more visible expressions."

Did Sri Aurobindo come to write those 30 volumes of the Birth centanary? Well, did he not? Then, why did he write them? To waste his time? I have nowhere claimed this is all he came to do. For me, these 30 volumes are no less part of his continuing occult action. What else he did in "his occult action" any of us may or may not be privy to. Our life is a growth of consciousness in which faith, intuition and experience play their part to expand its horizons. But those "more visible expressions" are the "more visible doors" leading to such growth of consciousness and for me they certainly represent part of the "direct action" which the Mother is talking about.

To return to the question of "justifying" Sri Aurobindo by aligning him with one or another school of philosophy or darshan, my aim was rather the reverse - the history of thought, whether western of eastern, has represented man's approaches to the question of meaning. These approaches also translate themselves into "faiths" - often unacknowledged consciously, but nevertheless subtly orienting our lifeworlds and establishing our horizons. For example, the reason most modern human beings find it difficult to believe in the reality of anything immaterial or animistic is due to the ubiquitous faith of Materialism, whose power pervades the modern lifeworld.

What Sri Aurobindo brings here is the vision and the power of a new faith based on a new experience - more powerfully integral than anything that has gone before, and able to order these earlier orientations, put them in place. What he also brings is a new method replacing the purely "rational." This is his disciplinary revision of human systems of knowledge-seeking.

Was he trying consciously to revise these disciplines or is our attempt to make this connection "just our happy pastime"? This of course is a question, which I don't believe can be settled so easily by assertion to the contrary. My reading of Sri Aurobindo convinces me that he was consciously relating to these systems and engaging them through revisionary hermeneutics and that he was doing this not just to fuel "the happy pastimes" of future readers.

Finally, a word about avatarhood. I remember asking Sri Aurobindo's attendant Nirodbaran, whether he thought Sri Aurobindo was an avatar. He said he had tried in many ways to get Sri Auroboindo to confirm this proposition, but in vain. But, he went on to say, this question did not concern him anymore. In fact, he felt it was a question that ought not to concern anyone. For him, Sri Aurobindo surpassed the acme of human possibility and perfection and gave a goal to his aspiration. In the growth to this goal, it may be given to him to know what an avatar is and that Sri Aurobindo is an avatar. At that point, the question of avatarhood would make sense, but not now. These words of Nirod-da have stayed with me since then and have moulded my approach to Sri Aurobindo. Reply

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